Sunday, 31 January 2016

How Jonathan's $37m secured victory for Fayose - PDP Secretary

A former Secretary of the Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Temitope Aluko has narrated how former President Goodluck Jonathan gave Governor Ayo Fayose $37m in cash to prosecute the June 21, 2014 governorship election in the state.

Aluko who was a member of Fayose's campaign team alleged that Jonathan gave Fayose $2m in March 2014 for the PDP primary election.

He said that the money was delivered at the NNPC towers, Abuja by petroleum products marketer, Ifeanyi Uba. It was then taken to Fayose's Abuja home for onward transmission to Ekiti.

His words:
“Immediately after the primary election, we collected another$35 million from Jonathan on June 17, 2014. The money was brought to us by the former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.

“We all assembled in front of Spotless Hotel, Ado-Ekiti, owned by Fayose. Thereafter, the cash was taken to a Bureau De Change in Onitsha  where, with the support of Chris Uba, it was converted to N4.7 billion."

Aluko also disclosed how Fayose used the military and security agencies to win the governorship election.

“The former President agreed with Fayose and summoned a security meeting at the Presidential Villa for the purpose of the election.

“Those at the meeting were the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh, then Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimmah and former PDP National Chairman Adamu Mu’azu.

“Others included Fayose, Senator Iyiola Omisore, then Minister of Police Affairs Jelili Adesiyan and Obanikoro.

“At that meeting, the former President made it clear to the ex-Chief of Defence Staff that Fayose would stand for him (as Commander-in-Chief) in terms of providing security for the election.”

He said that after the meeting, Fayose approached the then
Commander of the Army Brigade in Akure, Brig.-Gen. Dikko, to 'take charge of the election for the PDP.'

“But Gen. Dikko did not give us audience. He stated bluntly that he would not be available for such operation. So Fayose sponsored a petition against him, which led to his replacement with Brig.-Gen. Aliyu Momoh who was amenable to our plans."

Aluko explained that armed with a huge war chest, Fayose's team proceeded to recruit four carefully selected stalwarts from each of the 16 local government areas of the state, making it a total of 64

“They gave detailed information regarding names and locations of opposition members in all the local governments, the various routes, areas of strength and weaknesses of the PDP in the 16 local government councils.

“Today, most of these 64 men are members of the Senate, House of Representatives, State House of Assembly, commissioners, local government chairmen, special advisers and the rest.

“We went into the election with 1040 recognised soldiers and another batch of 400 unrecognised soldiers brought from Enugu by Chief Chris Uba.

“In addition, we raised 44 Special Strike teams, brought in Toyota Hilux trucks from Abuja and Onitsha. We made special stickers for the vehicles that conveyed members of the Strike Team and black hand bands for each of them.

“Each Strike Team was made up of 10 members headed by a soldier and comprising soldiers, policemen, DSS operatives and Civil Defence Corps. They were detailed to attack and arrest prominent APC chieftains in all the local governments.

“We set up anchorage, mainly residential houses, in every local government where the Strike Team members collected their welfare and other allowances.

“To encourage the Strike Team members, we gave them orders to share money and other valuables they could lay their hands on in the houses of APC chieftains they raided.

“Then we set up detention camps, mainly in primary schools, where most of the APC chieftains were detained. Others were detained in police stations where the DPOs were friendly with us. We let them off after the election was over.

“A day to the election, we used the military to block all routes in the local governments and prevented APC chieftains, including former Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, from coming into Ekiti.

“So we ensured that no APC chieftain was in sight on election day. We provided polling agents for the APC in most of the polling units so we had no problem getting them to sign election results in the units.

“All these local and foreign observes that described the election as free and fair only witnessed the voting on election day without knowing what transpired before the voting.”

Aluko said he was fully involved in the plot with Fayose from the very beginning till the conclusion of the election.

How Nigeria spent N20 trillion on fuel importation in five years

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, Nigeria spent N20.2 trillion to import petrol, diesel and kerosene between January 2010 and September 2015.

Figures jointly compiled by both the NBS and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA and made available to newsmen show that N12, 529, 746, 397, 978. 48 was spent on the importation of 102,374,588,480.91 litres of  Premium Motor Spirit, PMS.

The figures also show that  N6,450,576,065,479.43 was spent on the importation of 16,679,065,103 litres of diesel, otherwise known as Automotive Gas Oil.

The period between January 2012 and September 2015, saw the sum of N1,271,500,290,241 being spent on the importation of 9,448,409,070 litres of kerosene.

CBN to provide amenities for displaced persons.

The Central Bank of Nigeria says it wants to provide basic infrastructural needs at Internally Displaced Persons camps

To this end, the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele has requested the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA to furnish him with details of what the IDP camps need.

CBN Director of Projects and Planning, Mr Kabiru Nuhu Koko disclosed this while receiving a meritorious award from the Northern Youth Network, NYN in Abuja.

Koko said that NYN had specifically requested  the CBN to device a means of alleviating the suffering of the IDPs.

Koko, who is  the immediate past President of the Unity Schools Old Students Association, USOSA urged youths across the country to work together to sustain the unity of the country.

His words:
“This Nigeria is real, some people will tell you otherwise, please don’t listen to them. Some will say Nigeria is a mere geographical expression, some will l ask you why you’re promoting Nigeria, instead of promoting your village, please don’t listen to those negative comments. Nigerian communities  have a very long history of inter-group relations, and Nigerians have been interacting long before the coming of British colonialism."

50,000 Borno IDPs set to return home in five councils

The government of Borno State, northeast Nigeria has declared that it has concluded plans to resettle 50,000 Internally Displaced Persons in their communities this February.

The state has 200,000 IDPs from 23 of its 27 local governments living in 22 camps in Maiduguri.

News Agency of Nigeria, NAN reports the Executive Chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Malam Satomi Ahmad as saying that; “we are returning IDPs from communities in five local governments to their homes in liberated areas.

“The communities are in Monguno, Gwoza, Askira-Uba, Mafa and Dikwa councils.”

He explained that government has procured foodstuff for IDPs returning from Gwoza, Mafa, Askira and Monguno among others.

“Government is buying food items for the IDPs because there was no farming in the last few years. They need food to survive when they return home.

“We plan to provide foodstuff to last them at least two months before they settle down to start economic activities,” he said.

NiMet gets 7 days ultimatum to implement agreement with labour

The Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees, AUPCTRE is threatening a showdown with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet over the non implementation of agreement reached between the two parties. 

The union issued the ultimatum in Abuja on Friday through a letter it submitted to the Director General of NiMet.

President of the union, Solomon Adelegan, said the ultimatum became necessary following the failure of the management of NiMet to respect and implement the agreement reached with the union in December last year.

He said that the issues in contention include ;
,”Commencement of full implementation of the recently approved Condition of Service/ Addendum for NiMet workers: Effective date of 2013 Promotion: Mandatory Training for would be Retirees: Staff Quarters occupied by officers who have retired from NiMet and Payment of 2015 Ex-Gratia.”

Boko Haram sourcing bomb materials locally - Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday called for vigilance among Nigerians, especially in the Northeast so as to help check the activities of insurgents.

He said that Boko Haram terrorists have been sourcing the materials for their Improvised Explosive Devices locally.

The president expressed his embarrassment over the renewed spate of suicide bombings in the Northeast.

He said that recent suicide attacks in Chibok market, Dolari Internally Displaced Person’s (IDP) camp in Borno State and the Gombi market in Adamawa State represent the desperation of the insurgents to attract attention, having been roundly beaten by the military.

“Having lost the war, they are seeking ways and means to gradually find their way back into society. They are not returning to contribute but to cause more havoc. They are so desperate to embarrass the government and the people that they have no qualms attacking isolated communities and markets.

“I urge all citizens wherever they live to own the war against terror and to be part of the fight because it is the only way we can finish the remaining work that needs to be done to make our country safe again," he said.

Buhari extended his "condolences to all the people of Chibok, Gombi and Dolari who lost loved ones in the recent attacks and prayed that the Almighty God will comfort them and grant the injured persons quick recovery.”

FG declares French language compulsory in Nigerian schools

The Federal Government has declared the French language compulsory for students across all levels of education in the country, following its decision to make French the second official language of Nigeria.

To this end, government is embarking on intensive training of French teachers at all levels.

The Minister of State for Education, Prof Anthony Anwukah, announced the policy decision in Abuja on Saturday during a courtesy visit by the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Denys Gaver.

His words:
“French language is a matter of necessity. We have to because we have Cameroon, Niger, Chad, Benin Republic, Togo Guinea, and Ivory Coast surrounding us and so there is need for us to get more Nigerians to become proficient in French language.

“This is good for the continent; it is good for us as a nation. It is good for our brothers at the borders because it will enable us to communicate with them effectively."

Anwukah also appealed to the ambassador to assist Nigeria with more French teachers.

“We plead that you consider it a lot more expedient in helping us train our teachers in French both for the primary school level, secondary level and tertiary level.

“So far, we have demonstrated the enthusiasm to foster the teaching and learning of French in Nigerian schools which are the tertiary, basic and secondary levels and our main concern now is the training of sufficient number of French teachers within our school system,” he said.

The minister on the same day, flagged off the French Clinic Project at Federal Government Boys College Apo, Abuja.

He explained that the project was one of many expected to come up across the country.

“The ministry is geared towards establishing French clinics in 104 government colleges, and unity schools.

“We are keen and motivated by the need to actualise our dream of making French language our second language of business in Nigeria.

“The clinic is expected to improve the listening, speaking, reading and writing skills of students.

“It is expected that with these skills, our students will fare better in their examinations and in the world of worth."

Dalori attack: How Boko Haram burnt children alive

A survivor of Saturday's Boko Haram attack on Dalori village, near Maiduguri, Borno State has described how the insurgents burnt children alive.

The eyewitness who said he survived the attack by hiding on a tree recounted the heart-rending cries of children burning to their death.

He told the Associated Press that the children could not be rescued because it was only on Sunday morning that soldiers arrived the village.

Other witnesses told stories of roads littered with charred human remains with visible bullet wounds.

Dalori village is one of the most affected communities in the last six years of Boko Haram insurgency.

Dasukigate: My sons are innocent, Obanikoro cries out.

Former Minister of State for Defense, Musiliu Obanikoro is crying blue murder over the mention of his two sons by the EFCC and Sahara Reporters as signatories to the infamous Sylvan McNamara account which was allegedly used to siphon N4.7b from the Office of the National Security Adviser.

Obanikoro has challenged the anti graft agency and the online publication to publish the details of the alleged transaction and the signatories to the said account at the time of the transaction rather than malign his family with vague and distorted news.

In a statement issued by his media aide, Jonathan Eze on Saturday, Obanikoro
questioned the “wisdom and logic of bandying figures and associating same with his sons who are thorough bred professionals in their own rights.”

He reminded the EFCC and Sahara Reporters that the “court of law remains the judicial institution for trying cases and not whipping sentiments in order to give the dog a bad name and hang it.”

Dangote Group To Build Power Plants In Abuja, Kano.

As part of the its $5 billion joint venture agreement with Black Rhino Group, a subsidiary of the Black Stone Group to develop  power infrastructure in Africa, Dangote Group plans to establish power plants in Abuja and Kano.

Chairman of the group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote disclosed the plan on Friday at the 38th Convocation lecture of the Ahmadu Bello Univer­sity, ABU, Zaria.

He said that the plan is intended to boost power generation in the country.

“We are also furthering a new ground by investing in two 554 Km, 3 billion square cubic meter feet of gas offshore pipeline project, the first indigenous owned undersea gas pipeline that will supply gas to industries and power plants and it would be run from Bonny through gas fields,’’ he said.

Dangote also revealed plans by his company to cultivate 260,000 hectares of sugarcane plantation as well as invest $1 billion in the cultivation of rice.

He said that Nigeria's socio- economic problems could best be tackled by strengthening small and medium entrepreneurship and eliminating the problems of power supply, lack of access to finance and a good regulatory environ­ment.

Lassa Fever Kills Two In Nasarawa

Following the outbreak of lassa fever in Nasarawa State, two people have been confirmed dead at the Dalhatu Specialist Hospital, DASH, in Lafia, the state capital while one person is under observation at the same institution.

The state commissioner for health, Dr Daniel Iya made the disclosure in Lafia at a public hearing organised by the Nasarawa State House of Assembly committee on health.

Dr Iya told the committee that the state had no isolation unit for the treatment of lassa fever, even though Governor Tanko Almakura had promised to provide one.

He said that the state government has released 5.9 million naira for the control of lassa virus across the state.

“We have already bought 2000 injections of Ribavirin, 1000 tablets of Ribavirin and we are tracking about 130 persons in the state,” he said.

He also said that his ministry has concluded plans to sensitize the people of the state at the grassroots beginning from February.

Armsgate: Why serving military officers under probe are still in office.

It has been revealed that some of the serving military officers being investigated for their roles in the arms procurement scandal have been allowed to continue to perform their official duties for strategic reasons.

Abujacitynews learnt that the affected officers have been kept in charge of their respective formations in the interest of their rights to fair hearing and innocence until proven guilty.

A military source also said that the decision is a strategic plan to keep the said officers from leaving the country.

“They are no doubt distracted by the allegations against them but it is tactical to leave them in their positions until it is ripe to invite, arrest or detain them.

“As long as they remain in service, it will help the assignment of the Special Investigative Committee.

“We want them to be in the system and answer all the allegations against them. It is like putting them in a tight corner,” he said.

Some of the affected officers are ;
AVM A. M. Mamu (the Chief of Administration); AVM O.T. Oguntoyinbo (former Director of Production, Defence Headquarters);  AVM R.A. Ojuawo (Air Officer Tactical Air Command, Makurdi;  AVM J.B. Adigun (former Chief of Accounts and Budgeting in NAF); and AVM J A Kayode-Beckley (Director, Armament Research in Air Force Research and Development Centre); AVM T Omenyi (MD, NAF Holdings);four top officers at the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, Air Cdre A O Ogunjobi; Air Cdre G M D Gwani; Air Cdre S O Makinde; Air Cdre AY Lassa and Col. N. Ashinze.

Damaturu-Biu Road Now Safe For Civilian Use (Photo)

An army checkpoint at the now liberated 130 kilometers Damaturu-Biu Road, Northeast Nigeria.

Boko Haram: Military Hands Over Liberated 130 km Road

The military has handed over liberated communities in the Northeast of Nigeria, including the 130 kilometers Damaturu /Biu road which it says are now safe for commercial activities and civilian use.

The General Officer Commanding, GOC of 3 Division of Nigeria Army, Brig-Gen. Mohammed Aliyu said that the
liberated communities have been handed over to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC and other security agencies for their routine duties, ahead of the return of displaced persons currently living in IDP camps.

The hand over exercise was a prelude to the stakeholder’s meeting convened by the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj-Gen Umaru Hassan in Maiduguri on Thursday.

At the meeting which was attended by the Police, Nigerian Security And Civil Defense Corps,NSCDC, Department of State Services, DSS, Nigerian Immigration Service , Nigerian Customs Service, Civilian Joint Task Force, Civilian-JTF, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Nigerian Prisons Service, and the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, the Theater Commander said that the military was now ready to bring operations to an end, having made significant gains in counter insurgency operations in the last six years.

On the strategic Damaturu/Biu road, the theater commander had this to say :

“This road is one of the strategic entry points to Yobe and Borno states from other parts of the North-East states and the country as a whole, which was under the control of Boko Haram terrorists; but the military reclaimed it last year to open this strategic road linking so many communities.

“Opening up commercial activities along this road is significant to our current military operations in the North-east geopolitical zone of the country, considering the strategic nature of the road and its economic significance to the people of Yobe and Borno States."

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Catholic Church Transfers Fr Mbaka To New Parish

Emotions flowed freely on Saturday as thousands of Catholic faithful converged at the Christ the King Church, Enugu to watch fiery priest Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka move to his new parish at Emene, a satellite town of Enugu.

Thousands of followers of the Adoration Ministries watched in tears as trucks, cars and buses lined up to evacuate the belongings of their beloved priest and ministry out of the premises of the Christ the King Church at Enugu GRA.

Mbaka who spoke briefly to the wailing crowd recounted how he had built up the Christ the King Parish from 1997 when he was posted there.

He said that he had accepted his transfer as the will of God even though those behind it intended to use it to suffer him.

“I know I am going there to suffer within now and few months. I am going to suffer because I have no place to put my head. I am going to suffer because I have no place to keep the ministry’s assets. I know I am going to suffer and fortunately it is going to happen in the month of lent. Although, I have accepted it as the will of God, it is a mega suffering. All these while, we have been keeping the vineyard and building the Christ the King Parish. All the money I got from my cassettes and crusades were spent on the church, the school and parsonage.

“I am giving God the glory and I welcome the church’s choice and action with absolute acceptance and obedience.
So, there is no negation to what God has approved and what the church suggested. Nobody should see me as a recalcitrant priest. I am not. I have taken an oath of obedience and I stand on it,” he said.

Army Warns Against "Mad" People Suicide Bombers

The army has issued an alert to the general public that Boko Haram has now resorted to dressing their suicide bombers like lunatics in order to gain easy access to unsuspecting public areas.

Acting director of defence information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar, issued the warning on Saturday in the aftermath of Friday’s twin bomb blasts at Gombi market, Adamawa state, in which about 15 persons lost their lives.

He said that investigation revealed that the two male suicide bombers who carried out the Gombi grains market attacks were dressed like mad women.

“The Defence Headquarters therefore urges our fellow good citizens across the country to be wary of mad persons approaching markets, public places or crowded areas so as to nip this ugly trend in the bud. Nigerians are also enjoined to be security-conscious at all times and should endeavour to report any suspicious person or object to security agencies for prompt action,” he said.

The story of the 19 year old Kano girl without limbs (Photos)

The year 2016 seems to have become the beginning of a new dawn in the life of Miss Rahma Haruna, born without limbs to the family of Haruna Mohammed of Lahadin Makole community in Dawakin Kudu local government area of Kano State 19 years ago.

For most of her life, Rahma has been carried around the streets of Kano by her brother in a plastic basin to beg for alms for the poor family's sustenance.

Both Rahma and her brother have no education.

Then came the early days of January 2016 and a veteran journalist and former BBC correspondent, Ibrahim M Jirgi blessed the physically challenged Rahma with a wheelchair.

This was quickly followed up by a certain Linda who sent a donation of ten thousand naira after reading Rahma's story.

A few days down the line, Mavin Records artist Di'Ja also came calling with gifts.

Now, fast forward a couple of weeks later and Kano State government also comes calling with gifts of their own.

The Commissioner of Women Affairs, Barr. Zubaida Damakka said that the government of Kano State was moved by Rahma's condition and had therefore decided to donate items for the family to start a business and fend for themselves.

Her words:
“Government would continue to look after her welfare to ensure that she lives as comfortable as possible and to make sure that she does not beg because of her physical challenge."

Items donated by the Kano State government for the family to start a new life include 10 cartons of noodles, 2 bags of detergent, 10 cartons of biscuits, 2 bags of semovita, 2 bags of rice, a sack of soya beans, 2 jerrycans of cooking oil 25 liters each and a cash gift of twenty thousand naira.

See Rahma's turning point in pictures.

Search for Chibok girls intensifies as Airforce raids Sambisa forest.

The search for the abducted Chibok girls has assumed a renewed intensity with the Nigerian Air Force more strike sorties on Boko Haram targets.

The Deputy Theatre Commander (Air), Operation Lafiya Dole, Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao, disclosed this to newsmen at the military's media centre in Maiduguri, Borno State.

His words:
“In continuation of the counter insurgency, the Air Component in the last one month conducted 286 operational sorties against terrorists’ targets from December 25 to date in the Sambisa Forest covering an area of 157,000 km2 which is equivalent to the total land mass of South Korea, Portugal and Togo.

“A total of 536 hours 21 minutes were flown by various platforms engaged in the operations, translating into 316,637.5 litres of aviation fuel which amounts to N60.3 million, excluding the cost of maintenance and armament expended.”

He said that some highlights of the operations included those of December 25, 2015 and January 17, 2016 in which some Boko Haram command centers and high value targets were neutralized.

Abuja bombing suspect goes on hunger strike.

The prime suspect in the 2010 Independence Day bombings in Abuja, Mr Charles Okah has embarked on a hunger strike to protest his maltreatment by officials of Kuje Prison.

Mr Okah who has been in detention since his arrest in 2010 is threatening to slam a N5b suit for damages against the Federal Government.

In a petition to the Minister of Interior, Abdulraman Dambazau, dated January 21, Okah's counsel, Mr Timi Okponipere alleged that his client has been subjected to persistent harassment and intimidation by the officer in charge of Kuje Prison, Mr Musa Tanko.

“At the time of writing this letter, our client is as emaciated as a bean pole on account of the hunger strike he has embarked upon, to draw global attention to his plight.

“Figuratively speaking, our client is virtually a dead man. If our client dies in prison custody, the entire world, particularly the Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta where our client hails from, shall rise in unison against President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, even as we concede the fact that, our client’s ordeal began during the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan, a fellow Ijaw,” the petition said.

No human heads for Tor Tiv's burial - Atom Kpera

Brigadier General Atom Kpera, Chairman of the Central Planning Committee for the burial of the late paramount ruler of the Tiv nation, Orchivirigh Alfred Akawe Torkula has assured that no human head will be used in the burial.

Kpera said at a press conference to kick off activities for the late Tor Tiv's burial on Friday that Tiv culture does not prescribe the use of human heads for the burial of its kings.

“The Tiv tradition does not involve burying monarchs with anybody. Nobody should entertain any fear at all as the Tor Tiv will not be buried with the head of anybody. All the Tor Tivs are buried in one place and that is why we have told you that the burial would be conducted by a Catholic priest,” he said.

He added that the burial program began with each of the various Tiv clans taking their turn to observe a wake keep.

They include Jemgbagh, Jechira, Kwande, Sankera and Minda.

Tivs in the diaspora and friends of the Tiv nation will also have their turn to observe the wake keep.

The Tor Tiv who died at an Abuja hospital on 23 November 2015 will be buried on February 4, after a valedictory session of the Traditional Council.

Nigerians are corrupt down to the grassroots - Bafarawa

Former governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa has declared that most Nigerians are corrupt, even down to the grassroots.

In fact, his score card says that ninety per cent of Nigerians are corrupt.

In an interview with Vanguard Newspapers, Bafarawa said that Nigerians are lucky that President Buhari is fighting corruption head on and should therefore give him all their support.

Here is an excerpt from ex-Governor Bafarawa's interview with Vanguard's Northern Region Editor, Soni Daniel.

Why are you talking about fighting corruption after being arrested and detained by EFCC along with some other top politicians over money-related matters?

Attahiru Bafarawa:
Well, from my analysis, corruption in Nigeria is not a thing that one man can fight. I believe fighting corruption is the responsibility of every Nigerian.

Don’t forget that I served for eight years from 1999 – 2007, I served for eight years. When we took over from the military in 1999 the crude oil was $9 per barrel and in 2007 it had gotten up to $30 - $40 and then we left a lot of legacies in our various states during that period. When I left office, I left behind N12 billion in the treasury. You can see the fortune that came the way of the nation between 2007 and 2015 when the price of oil rose to over $100 per barrel.

One begins to wonder why those who enjoyed the huge oil revenue should be asking for bailout from the Federal Government.

I can say that I left behind legacies that generations yet unborn will be very proud of. We had a good leader, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who was committed to fighting corruption and he created many institutions like the EFCC and the ICPC to handle the job.

Whatever name you want to give him; whether he did it for fighting corruption or for witch-hunting, at least, it assisted in fighting corruption. He laid a foundation, he realised there was corruption and he fought it.

After he left, his successors -YarÁdua and Jonathan-did not do much to fight corruption and that exacerbated the monster in the land.

Today, one can say that up to 90 percent of Nigerians are corrupt because when you go to the grassroots level, that is where corruption starts. The electorate will demand money before they elect you into office no matter how good you are, no matter the kind of ideology you have and intend to bring for their own good. If you don’t give them money, they would not support you. The game is that anyone who comes and shares money to them gets the support and nothing more.

Is that why you are supporting Buhari’s anti-corruption war?

Certainly. My support for him stems from the fact that it is a blessing for Nigerians that Buhari’s administration is fighting corruption. We shouldn’t see it as Buhari fighting corruption but something that all of us must join and ensure that it succeeds because Buhari can’t do it alone. It would also be dangerous if we ignore the fight against corruption because it will swallow the country.

As I have said earlier when a huge amount of about $100 a barrel for crude oil is spent and all the money vanishes and government has to bail states out it shows clearly that something has gone wrong somewhere. Giving that bailout to state without the Federal Government investigating what they did with their huge oil earnings was a bit hasty. I would have expected the President to raise a committee to probe how the states incurred their debts and how they arrived at seeking bailout and how they want to use the bailout funds.

For this administration to succeed in fighting corruption, the government must involve not just the EFCC and ICPC but also other Nigerians. The government must open an office for public awareness for fighting corruption.

Special office should be opened to campaign for the common man to see the dangers of corruption. We have to consider preventive measures before prosecuting those who are corrupt. We must adopt the two methods if we must succeed.

Nigeria is in serious problem because it appears to me that loan which the Obasanjo’s administration managed to pay off, we are going back to incur more debts for the nation. We seem to be back to square one by borrowing, borrowing and borrowing and heading to nowhere. No matter what we are talking about, we will not succeed if we don’t fight corruption. I want Nigerians to take the fight against corruption as a project and not just Buhari’s.

Let’s take it as a collective project otherwise we will continue to sink and our children who are not yet born will not forgive us. In 2012 when Jonathan wanted to remove fuel subsidy, Nigerians came out and protested but he had seen it coming that was why he decided to remove subsidy but it wasn’t supported by Nigerians.

More than four years later, people have seen the need to do so. If oil subsidy had been removed when Jonathan wanted to do so, President Buhari would have gotten an easy ride to continue.

If we don’t help Buhari to fight corruption, the person who will succeed him will have many issues to contend with and the nation would suffer the more for it. I believe we don’t have any country than Nigeria and we have to tell ourselves the truth about the situation of this country. It is only in Nigeria that you will see a person looking for government office for them to amass public funds for their own selfish interest. It is only in Nigeria that when a man who had no house gets into public office and in few months after taking over office, he can afford to buy over the whole community because of illicit public funds.

See Vanguard for more.

Olisa Metuh's new beards after life in Kuje Prison (Photos)

After incarceration comes the beards. Beards of wisdom you may say.

Enjoy Metuh's new luxuriant white beards.

Friday, 29 January 2016

#PreventLassa: How To Prevent Lassa Fever

#PreventLassa: How To Prevent Lassa Fever

By Umar Zubairu Mohammad

Primary transmission of the Lassa virus from its host to humans can be prevented by avoiding contact with Mastomys rodents, especially in the geographic regions where outbreaks occur. Putting food away in rodent- proof containers and keeping the home clean help to discourage rodents from entering homes. Using rodents as a food source is not recommended.

Trapping in and around homes can help reduce rodent populations; however, the wide distribution of Mastomys in Africa makes complete control of this rodent reservoir impractical.

When caring for patients with Lassa fever, further transmission of the disease through person-to-person contact or nosocomial routes can be avoided by taking preventive precautions against contact with patient secretions (called VHF isolation precautions or barrier
nursing methods). Such precautions include wearing protective clothing, such as masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles; using infection control measures, such as complete equipment sterilization; and isolating infected patients from contact with unprotected persons until the disease has run its course.

Furthermore, educating people in high-risk areas about ways to decrease rodent populations in their homes will aid in the control and prevention of Lassa fever. Other challenges include developing more rapid diagnostic tests and increasing the availability of the only known drug treatment, ribavirin.

Research is presently under way to develop a vaccine for Lassa fever.

Umar Zubairu Mohammad Katsina. 07032879225

EFCC Arrests Own Operative For Extortion, Name Dropping

An operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has been arrested by the anti graft agency.

The operative, Abdulrahman  Mohammed Biu,  a Deputy Detective Superintendent was arrested for collecting $150,000 (N45 million) from some military officers under investigation in the infamous arms procurement scam, ostensibly to secure soft landing for them.

According to a statement issued by Wilson Uwujaren, Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, documents connected with the current investigations into the arms procurement scandal were recovered from the suspect.

“An operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrahman Mohammed Biu, Deputy Detective Superintendent (DDS), has been arrested for offences bordering on extortion, influence peddling and impersonation.

“The officer was arrested on Monday following intelligence report alleging that he extorted a whopping sum of $150,000 from some military officers on the pretext that he would help give them a soft landing in the ongoing investigation into the arms deal scandal.

“Upon his arrest, a search was executed on his residence in Abuja where the following items were recovered: $20,000 cash, N500,000 cash, two police uniforms bearing his name with the ranks of Deputy Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent; Police warrant card No: 27/2014 with the rank of DSP allegedly obtained from Kano Constabulary office; documents relating to military arms investigation and account information of several senior military officers.

“A search of his car parked in the premises yielded the following items: unbranded pistol with a magazine and ten live ammunitions.

“His modus operandi includes dropping the names of ranking officers of the commission, claiming he was acting on their behalf.

“A paper containing seven of such names was recovered in his house.

“The suspect has made useful statement while investigation continues,” the statement said.

Dasukigate: How Ex-Minister Obanikoro's sons received N4.7b from ONSA in phony deals.

Babajide and Gbolahan, sons of former Minister of Defense in the Goodluck Jonathan administration, Mr Musiliu Obanikoro should by now be preparing to explain to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC all they know about the N4.7b transferred into the account of a company in which they are directors from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA
It is strongly suspected that the money was used to prosecute the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Furthermore, Obanikoro who was the linchpin for the PDP in the coordination of the election in the two states was fingered in the abuse of deployment of soldiers in those areas during the elections.

According to a source close to the investigation, the N4.7b was paid in several tranches.

"Two sons of former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, Babajide and Gbolahan, are currently on the radar of the EFCC. About N4,745,000,000.00 was traced to a company, Sylvan McNamara Limited, in which they have interest.

“The money was allegedly paid in several tranches into the company’s account number: 0026223714 with Diamond Bank from the Office of the National Security Adviser account with the CBN,” he said.

Another source disclosed that “all the transfers were done between June and December 2014, a period that coincided with the preparation for and conduct of the Ekiti state gubernatorial election which ushered in the current administration of Governor Ayodele Fayose.

“For instance, N200 million was transferred into Sylvan Mc Namara’s account on June 5, 2015, while N2 billion was also wired into the account from the CBN/Imprest Main account on June 16, 2016.

“Another transfer of N700 million hit the account on July 7, 2014, while N1 billion was credited to the account on July 30, 2014.

“Other transfers included N160 million on August 8, 2014; N225 million on August 22, 2014; N200 million on November 14, 2014 and N200 million on December 5, 2014.

“Both Gbolahan and Babajide Obanikoro, directors of the company, were also signatories to its account until 2014 when one Olalekan Ogunseye was made sole signatory to the account.

“The payments to the company from the office of the National Security Adviser were made without any contract.”

THE NATION reports an EFCC source as saying that:
“Some of the funds traced to Obanikoro's sons' account were meant for procurement of arms.

“We are making necessary contact with the son of the ex-minister for appropriate interaction with our operatives.

“We hope he will get in touch as required or else we may invoke necessary legal procedures to make him to account for these curious payments.”

Source: The Nation

After the music, play the football

Photos: Peter Okoye and Samuel Eto'o on the streets of London

Kogi Election: Tribunal Relocates To Abuja

The tribunal set up to hear complaints from parties to the recently concluded governorship election in Kogi State has been moved to Abuja.

The relocation was on the orders of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachua.

The three man tribunal comprising Justice Halima Mohammed (Chairperson), Justice Patricia Ajoku and Justice Ogbogo Ejembi, commenced had been sitting in Lokoja before the relocation order which was announced by its Secretary, Mr. Akanji Akinlabi. 

The African Democratic Congress, All Progressives Grand Alliance,  Labour Party, Progressive Peoples’ Alliance, Peoples Democratic Party and Deputy Director elect, James Faleke are challenging the declaration of All Progressives Congress' Yahaya Bello as the winner of the election.

Buhari calls for more intra Africa trade

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for the acceleration of economic integration of African countries and the intensification of intra-African trade.

Buhari made the call on Thursday in Kenya at a dinner organized to mark the end of his state visit to that country.

According to a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari said that the expansion of trade in the past few years between Nigeria and Kenya should be replicated among other African countries to enhance economic development on the continent.

“We now have Nigerian industrialists establishing cement plants in Kenya, while Nigerian telecommunications operators are learning and adopting the Kenyan mobile banking model as a tool for financial inclusion in rural Nigeria.

“We have Nigerian farmers coming to learn from successful Kenyan farms while at the same time, we have many up and coming Kenyan oil and gas businesses partnering with Nigerian oil companies.

“We have Nigerians drinking Kenyan coffee in their homes and offices, while we have many Kenyans listening to Nigerian music and watching Nollywood movies.

“These developments point to a real integration on the continent beyond formal diplomatic relationships. Greater intra-Africa trade will ultimately result in the creation of millions of jobs within Africa for Africans,” he said.

Villagers lynch, set armed robbers ablaze in Kogi State.

Three armed robbers on Friday met their Waterloo at Orunu junction in Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State in the hands of the youth of the community.

A gang of five armed robbers was said to have in recent times been terrorizing commuters along the motorway passing through the community.

An eyewitness to the lynching said that the robbers had as usual mounted their nefarious operation, oblivious that the youth of the area had decided to end their menace.

“The villagers came out in their numbers and in the process seized their guns before crushing three of them to death with heavy stones, clubs and other dangerous weapons. Two of the armed robbers escaped into the bush while three were burnt to ashes after they were given the beating of their lives," he said

The incident was confirmed by the The Kogi State Police Public Relation Officer, PRO, Williams Aya who explained that the mob had dispersed by the time his men got to the scene, leaving three charred human remains.

Adamawa grains market blasts claim 15

No fewer than 15 persons were killed this Friday when twin bomb blasts rocked the popular Gombi grains market in Adamawa State.

The blasts reportedly happened in the afternoon when activities at the market were in full swing.

An eyewitness said that two male suicide bombers carried out the attack.

He disclosed that a third suicide bomber was apprehended by the youth of the community before he could detonate his device. The suspect then disclosed that two other suicide bombers had escaped into the community. 

Supreme Court sacks sacks Senators Andy Uba, Stella Odua

The Supreme Court of Nigeria sitting in Abuja this Friday, unanimously sacked two Senators and a member of the Federal House of Representatives from Anambra State.

The decision affected Stella Odua representing Anambra North Senatorial Zone and Andy Uba representing Anambra South.

With the apex court's ruling, Chris Uba is expected to take over the seat vacated by his elder brother Andy Uba in the Senate while Prince Emeka takes over from Stella Odua.

Friday's judgment of the Supreme Court affirmed the earlier ruling of the High Court which held that Ejike Oguebego's faction of the PDP is the legitimate one to conduct primaries in Anambra State.

I bought the weapons Buhari is fighting Boko Haram with - GEJ

Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan nathan has said that the progress being recorded by the present administration in the war against Boko Haram is on built on the solid foundation that he left behind.

He said that the Buhari administration has not procurement any weapons but has been relying on the equipment he bought to prosecute its counter-insurgency operations.

Jonathan told Paris based France 24 on Wednesday that he laid the groundwork for the successes being recorded by the military against Boko Haram.

“... you know the new government is working hard and I believe they are still using the equipment we procured.

“The 2016 budget is still being debated and no new equipment has been bought. So, even what the new government is still using to prosecute the war is the equipment we procured. I believe that with what we left behind, and the new ones they would acquire, this issue of Boko Haram will be taken to a logical conclusion,” he said.

The former president however declined to comment on the Buhari administration.

“Please, please, I have said that I will not comment on these areas because they are sensitive areas and I wouldn’t want to create problems for my country.

“I cannot comment on what is happening now. It is not proper for a former president to be commenting, either positive or negative,” he said.

Kaduna monarch caught with Indian hemp suspended from office.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State yesterday announced the immediate suspension of Alhaji Ibrahim Danladi, the traditional ruler of
Goma village in Gimi District of Danga Local Government Area of the state.

The village head was allegedly found in possession of 1.5kg of cannabis otherwise known as Indian hemp by men of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA on January 20, 2016.

The suspension was announced through a statement issued by El-Rufai's Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Samuel Aruwan.

“In a dramatic demonstration of its campaign against drugs, the Kaduna State Government has announced the immediate suspension of a traditional ruler who was arrested for a drug-related offence.

“He admitted ownership of the illegal drug, and the NDLEA will be charging him to court as soon as it concludes its investigations.

“The NDLEA subsequently notified the Kaduna State Security Council of the arrest of the traditional ruler. While deliberating on the matter, the council recommended his suspension from office pending the conclusion of investigations and possible trial. The government accepted the recommendation,” the statement said.

Former Army Chief's Estate Seized By EFCC In Abuja (Photos)

A luxury estate belonging to a former Chief of Army Staff, Gen Azubuike Ihiejirika was yesterday sealed off by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC in Abuja.

The estate is located in Jabi district of the Federal Capital Territory.

See photos here.


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