Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Osinbajo launches End Child Marriage in Nigeria campaign (photo)

On Tuesday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo launched the campaign by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to end child marriage in Nigeria.

Ritualists kill 3 years old boy in Abuja, cut off genitals

The body of a three-year-old boy  was on Saturday 26 November found under a bridge along the Abuja-Lokoja road in Gwagwalada with his penis missing.

Residents of the area suspect the deed to be the handiwork of ritualists. The remains of the boy have been evacuated to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital while efforts are underway to locate his relations.

Meanwhile, the police in Gwagwalada have confirmed that investigations into the incident are underway.

Monday, 28 November 2016

MTN to increase data charges December 1st

MTN Nigeria has announced that it plans to increase data charges with effect from December 1, 2016.

In an SMS message to its subscribers on Monday, the company said that the action was to reflect the new rate set by the Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC to telecommunications services providers.

"Dear customer, please be informed that from 1st Dec, some MTN data tariffs will be increased to reflect the new rates set by the NCC to operators. Thank you."

Friday, 25 November 2016

Niger State to slash C-of-O fee to N15,000 from N127,000

The Government of Niger State says that it plans to effect a drastic reduction in the cost of issuing Certificate of Occupancy from the current fee of N127,000 to N15,000 with effect from January 2017.

Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Alhaji Haliru Zakari Jikantoro made this known to newsmen at the end of the State Executive Council meeting at the Government House Minna.

He said that the measure was intended to boost the Internally Generated Revenue of the state and would last for only six months, terminating in June, 2017, after which the  old rate of N127,000 would be reverted to.

“The state government has decided to reduce the cost of processing and acquiring Certificate of Occupancy of all types of titles. Land in the urban areas will now cost N15,000 while the Certificate for land in other towns will attract N5,000.

“This policy which takes effect from January 2017 and last till 30th of June, 2017 is aimed at raising the Internally Generated Revenue of the state, to authenticate properties to genuine owners, ensure security and at the same time to create wealth for the people," he said.

Borno to close all IDP camps in 2017 - Shettima

All Internally Displaced Persons, IDP camps in Borno State are to be closed down by May 29, 2017, says Governor Kashim Shettima.

The governor who made the disclosure while briefing newsmen in Maiduguri on Friday said that the state has about two million displaced persons in its IDP camps.

Shettima said that his administration was working hard to reconstruct communities destroyed by Boko Haram terrorists , to facilitate the return of IDPs to their towns and villages.

“We have reconstructed Bama by 25 per cent; my target is to reach 50 per cent by the end of this year and 75 per cent by first quarter of 2017.

“I want to close down all IDP camps latest May 29, 2017, because the IDP camps are becoming a huge problem on their own.

“If we allow the entrenchment of these IDP camps, they are pregnant with loads of challenges of early child marriage, prostitution, drug abuse, gangsterism.

“And we will be confronted with huge social challenges of an entitlement complex of people feeling that they are entitled to be catered for.

“So in as much as we observe the Kampala Convention, we will not compel anybody to return to their communities.

“But we know our people better than any other person, and it is not for somebody sitting in Abuja, Paris, London, US and any other places to dictate to us on how we should live our lives.
“Our people, in spite of their poverty, still have some pride left in them, a lot of them will rather go back to their communities and eat guinea corn and millet than to eat your rice and chicken in the IDP camps.

“This is why we want to restore the dignity of our people by rebuilding their homes, rebuilding their schools, engaging them in gender empowerment initiatives so as to enable them return back to their homes, ” he said.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Buhari to seek re-election in 2019 - Presidency

The Presidency has confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari will be seeking re-election at the end of his current tenure in 2019.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu disclosed this on Monday while reacting to a comment by a former member of Buhari's defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Alhaji Buba Galadima, that Nigerians would dessert Buhari at the polls should he choose to seek re-election in 2019.

Shehu described Galadima's statement as "unfounded and utterly ridiculous.”

He said that Nigerians would continue to support Buhari because he is not stealing their money.

“Ordinary Nigerians are the backbone of his mandate and the only reason he ran for the office is to protect them against the rapacious merchants of corruption, who have held Nigeria back for decades. Galadima’s calculation and prediction are utterly confused and misleading.”

He added that “the masses are solidly behind Buhari because he is not stealing their money and their future.

‘’President’s enormous goodwill remains ever strong because the people are convinced the President is acting in their best interest, despite the temporary unintended consequences of reforms.”

Buhari to attend Africa - Arab Summit

The Presidency has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari will attend the 4th Africa-Arab Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016.

The summit which is jointly organized by the AU Committee and League of Arab States will be attended by Heads of State and Governments from Gulf and African countries.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

200,000 N-power recruits to start work December 1st - Presidency

The 200,000 young Nigerians selected as teachers, agriculture  and health workers will start work on December 1, 2016, says the Presidency.

A presidency source said that the names of the 200,000 young graduates who were selected about 2 weeks ago have now been sent to state governments and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja for deployment to specific assignments.

The source said that the names will also be published this week on npower_ng portal, while participants will start receiving notification SMS from Monday 21 Nov 2016.

Petrol tanker fire kills 1, rates police station, 15 cars in Zaria

A petrol tanker fire which occurred on Saturday night at Danmagaji area of Zaria in Kaduna State consumed one person and burnt down a police station and eleven vehicles.

According to the Kaduna State Police Command,  the tragedy occurred when the driver of the truck suddenly lost control while trying to evade a pothole.

The State Commissioner of Police , Mr Agyole Abeh confirmed the incident.

“The incident was quite unfortunate but we have to give glory to God because the level of lives involved is what we should appreciate God for.

“The inferno would have consumed a lot of lives, most especially as Danmagaji usually has heavy traffic, and this police station is a place where people always patronise.

“Today, we would have been telling a different story.

“However everything in the station have been completely burnt down, as you can see the structure, nothing is left apart from the wall,” he said.

Kidnappers release wives of Nasarawa commissioner

The abductors of Hajia Rabi Aliyu and Hajia Larai Aliyu, wives of the Nasarawa State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Aliyu Tijjani, have released them after three days of captivity.

The spokesman of Nasarawa State Police Command, DSP Kennedy Idrisu said on Sunday in Lafiya that the kidnappers let go of the women at Mararaba-Udege village in Nasarawa town around 11 pm on Saturday following sustained pressure from the police.

He said that the women are unharmed and no arrest has been made.

Kidnappers release wives of Nasarawa commissioner

The abductors of Hajia Rabi Aliyu and Hajia Larai Aliyu, wives of the Nasarawa State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Aliyu Tijjani, have released them after three days of captivity.

The spokesman of Nasarawa State Police Command, DSP Kennedy Idrisu said on Sunday in Lafiya that the kidnappers let go of the women at Mararaba-Udege village in Nasarawa town around 11 pm on Saturday following sustained pressure from the police.

He said that the women are unharmed and no arrest has been made.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Lt-Col Ali's family gets N10m from Borno government (photo)

Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima on Saturday presented a cheque of N10m  to Samira, widow of fallen army commander, Lt. Col Mohammed Abu Ali who was killed along with some of his troops in Malam-Fatori, Borno State on November 4 in an ambush by Boko Haram terrorists.

Gov Shettima presented the cheque at the family’s Unguwar Sarki residence in Kaduna where he met with the late commander’s widow, three children and aged mother.

Shettima directed that the N10million be shared in the ratio of N2m for the aged mother of the fallen commander, N2m for the widow and N2m for each of the children in a fixed deposit account.

His words :
“The late Lt. Col. Muhammad Abu Ali gave Borno everything.

“He worked hard in leading troops to recover many communities and at the end he paid the supreme price by giving his life for us.

“The least we can do for him as government and people of Borno State is to not only pray for the repose of his soul but also to support those who depended on him for their livelihood.

“I am concerned about his immediate family .This money cannot replace his life. No amount can replace human life.

“We only want to support his family in the ways we can as humans. Please let us know if you need any more help.

“We will stand by this family and the families of our fallen heroes.

“I think one of the things that should console this family is the legacy the commanding officer left behind.”

Ali was the Commanding Officer, 272 Task Force Tank Battalion at the time of his demise.

Gunmen abduct Nasarawa commissioner's two wives, demand N50m ransom

The unknown gunmen who abducted the two wives of Nasarawa State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Aliyu Ahmed last Thursday are demanding N50m ransom for their release.

The kidnappers were said to have made several calls to Ahmed on Saturday, threatening to prolong the ordeal of his wives if the money was not paid.

“They demanded that I should give them plenty money, but I told them that I don’t have money to give anybody,” Ahmed told The Punch correspondent in a telephone chat.

When contacted, the Nasarawa State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abubakar Sadiq Bello said that his men were on the trail of the kidnappers.

Ondo 2016: Gov Mimiko receives PMB at APC grand rally (photo)

President Muhammadu Buhari was in Ondo State on Saturday to attend the final campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress for the 2016 governorship election.

President Buhari who was received by Gov Mimiko, met with APC leaders in the state and the party's Gubernatorial aspirants, also visited Deji of Akure before he joined the grand rally.

Ondo 2016: Gov Mimiko receives PMB at APC grand rally (photo)

President Muhammadu Buhari was in Ondo State on Saturday to attend the final campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress for the 2016 governorship election.

President Buhari who was received by Gov Mimiko, met with APC leaders in the state and the party's Gubernatorial aspirants, also visited Deji of Akure before he joined the grand rally.

MMM-Nigeria donates N5m relief materials to IDPs in Abuja

‘MMM-Nigeria’, a community of mutual financial aid and donations, on Saturday, blessed  two Internally Displaced Persons, IDP camps in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with relief materials worth five million naira.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN reports that the donation was part of the community’s humanitarian week tagged ‘MMM cares’ to celebrate its one year anniversary in the FCT.

Beneficiaries of the relief items were the Gwoza and Bama IDP Camp in Durumi area of Abuja and the New Kuchigoro IDP camp. The items included bags of rice, beans, garri and cartons of beverages and noodles as well as drugs, clothes and educational materials.

According to Mr Seyi Bello, a Guider in the ‘MMM Community’, the donation was motivated by the desire of the group to affect the society positively, especially the less-privileged.

“We are marking our first year anniversary and we have decided to come and celebrate it with our brothers, mothers and children in the camp.

“As a community, we do not only provide help to our members, we also extend that to the larger society as part of our social responsibility.

“In these times of economic challenges, the IDPs are the ones that need help and support more than any other person; that is why we visited them today,” he said.

PMB inaugurates management boards in petroleum ministry (photo)

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday inaugurated the management boards of parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

Buhari charged the boards of
Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Authority, NNRA, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC and Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board NCDMB at the Council chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja to help the NNPC chart a new course in finding solutions to the economic problems facing the country.

“The new boards are coming at a time when the global petroleum industry is witnessing a downturn in purchase which has also translated into dwindling production by most producer nations. Nigeria has been hit by the misfortunes of oil industry but several countries have been hit much harder.

“The composition of the board which will be chaired by the minister of state petroleum and other well selected persons who have both the experience and knowledge to drive the NNPC into harnessing its potentials and fulfill its expectations to the nation even at this challenging time in the oil and gas industry.

“Oil and gas industry are the country’s foreign earners, therefore the importance of this boards cannot be over emphasized.

“Your job should be to ensure propriety in the management of these most important national institutions. You should advise the minister and the corporation management on the most effective way for Nigeria to get more money from our assets.

“My expectations from the members of these boards is for them to ensure that the NNPC charts a way to face current economic challenges.

“These will involve a careful look at the ongoing reforms designed to steer the corporation to achieve better performance and efficiency. In addition, you should explore more innovative ways to resolve the joint venture funding constraints and other investment issues.

“Since the arrival of this administration, there has been an improvement in transparency through publishing monthly operational and financial report of the corporation. This, added to the major restructuring of the corporation and the liberalization of the downstream sector, are pointers to the determination and focus of the new NNPC under this administration.

“Finally, I must mention that the task before you is enormous but I am confident that with your wealth of experience and knowledge of members of this boards, the desired growth, this government aspires and indeed the aspirations of Nigerians will be achieved within a seasonable time frame," he said.

Friday, 18 November 2016

FG owes former Presidents, Heads of State 10 months salary arrears - SGF

The Federal Government disclosed on Thursday that it owes former Nigerian Presidents and Heads of State ten months in arrears of salaries and allowances.

The affected heads of government include Alhaji Aliyu Shehu Shagari, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; General Ibrahim Babangida, rtd; General Abdulsalami Abubakar, rtd; General Yakubu Gowon, rtd and Chief Ernest Shonekan.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, David Babachir Lawal made the disclosure in Abuja on Thursday while receiving the Tijani Kaura led Senate Committee on  Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs in his office.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Marrakech 2016: PMB delivers Nigeria's Statement (photo)

President Muhammadu Buhari delivering Nigeria's Statement at the Opening Plenary of the High Level Segment of the Climate Change Conference themed "Moving from Commitment to Action with Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in Africa."

He said that Nigeria's goal is to become one of the world's best examples of how reducing emissions can benefit the environment, economy and the people, noting that Lake Chad has shrunk to a mere 10% of its original size, with negative consequences for the livelihood of over five million people.

Amina Mohammed President Buhari at Climate Change Conference (photo)

Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed confers with President Muhammadu Buhari just before he delivered Nigeria's National Statement at the Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco.

Buhari disclosed in the statement that Nigeria plans to reduce emissions by 20% by 2030, and to raise the target to 45% with the support of the international community.

PMB arrives at Africa Action Summit (photo)

President Buhari on his arrival for the Africa Action Summit being hosted by King Mohammed VI of Morocco, for African Heads of State and Government.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

I didn't know my husband had a wife and 6 children

An Abuja based fashion designer has told the court how she was deceived into tying the knot with a man who already had a wife and six children.

During Tuesday's hearing in a divorce suit which she filed before a Jikwoyi Customary Court, Abuja, Mrs Lydia Dallah said that she only found out about her husband's marital status after they had tied the knot.

“He never told me that he had an existing marriage with six children.

“It was after I got married to him that I discovered the whole truth about him. Whenever I told him to let me go, he threatened my life.

“He even destroyed some valuables in the house; I was rescued by our neighbours who heard me shouting and crying out for help.

“I later sought medical attention in a nearby pharmacy, and reported the incident to the police who then invited him,” she said.

Mrs Dallah told the court that attempts by her church and family to wade into the matter had not been successful.

“My family and our pastor advised us, pleaded with him and sought to know what he wanted, to grant me divorce.

“He said that he wanted the two children of the marriage.

“I beg this court to dissolve my marriage and grant me the custody of my children.”

After the respondent identified only as Yakubu had denied the allegations, the Presiding Judge, Mr Labaran Gusau, adjourned the matter till November 16th for continuation of hearing.

I didn't know my husband had a wife and 6 children

An Abuja based fashion designer has told the court how she was deceived into tying the knot with a man who already had a wife and six children.

During Tuesday's hearing in a divorce suit which she filed before a Jikwoyi Customary Court, Abuja, Mrs Lydia Dallah said that she only found out about her husband's marital status after they had tied the knot.

“He never told me that he had an existing marriage with six children.

“It was after I got married to him that I discovered the whole truth about him. Whenever I told him to let me go, he threatened my life.

“He even destroyed some valuables in the house; I was rescued by our neighbours who heard me shouting and crying out for help.

“I later sought medical attention in a nearby pharmacy, and reported the incident to the police who then invited him,” she said.

Mrs Dallah told the court that attempts by her church and family to wade into the matter had not been successful.

“My family and our pastor advised us, pleaded with him and sought to know what he wanted, to grant me divorce.

“He said that he wanted the two children of the marriage.

“I beg this court to dissolve my marriage and grant me the custody of my children.”

After the respondent identified only as Yakubu had denied the allegations, the Presiding Judge, Mr Labaran Gusau, adjourned the matter till November 16th for continuation of hearing.

Marrakech 2016: PMB at Opening Plenary (photo)

President Muhammadu Buhari joined other Heads of Government at the Opening Plenary of the High Level Segment of the Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Saraki supports World Diabetes Day

Monday November 14 was World Diabetes Day and Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki was among prominent Nigerians who declared their support to the raising of awareness to stem the rising tide of the disease.

He said that the #WorldDiabetesDay was an "opportunity to raise awareness of diabetes in Nigeria and support health care initiatives."

Senate signs sexual harassment bill

The Senate on Thursday signed its own version of the Sexual Harassment in Educational Institutions Bill.

According to Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, the bill "will help curb the abuse of students by lecturers and administrators in our tertiary institutions."

Sharia police seize 916 bottles of beer in Jigawa

The Hisbah, the sharia law enforcement agency in Jigawa State said on Monday that it arrested 34 persons and confiscated 916 bottles of beer after raiding beer parlors in Kazaure Local Government Area of the state.

Mallam Sa’idu Aliyu, the commandant of the Hisbah in Jigawa State told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN that the raids were carried out on Sunday at Gada and Kanti quarters in Kazaure town.

He disclosed that 673 empty bottles, four jerry cans , two coolers and two jumbo-size pots used in brewing brukutu, a local beer, were also seized during the raids.

He noted that the consumption of alcohol was banned in all parts of the state and advised residents to avoid indulging in acts of immorality capable of destroying the society.

Buhari arrives Marrakesh (photo)

President Muhammadu Buhari on arrival at Marrakesh Menara Airport, Morocco on Monday.

He will be taking part in the  22nd Conference of the Parties, COP to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC tagged, COP-22.

According to the Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adeshina, Buhari will be addressing the conference on Nigeria’s commitment to implementing the Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs and policy actions aimed at tackling climate change through environmentally sustainable efforts.

FG to end wheat import from Russia

In an apparent effort to shore up its dwindling foreign reserves, the Federal Government has decided to stop the importation of wheat from Russia.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hajiya Khadija Abba-Ibrahim disclosed this in Abuja during the weekend at the end of the fourth Joint Commission meeting between Russia and Nigeria.

She said that Nigeria spent $880 million on wheat imports in 2015 and has already spent $660 million on the commodity this year.

She added that Nigeria would henceforth invite Russians to help  the country modernize its agriculture. .

Her words: “We import a lot of wheat from Russia and we are telling Russia that this has to stop.

“We want the Russian companies and farmers to come to Nigeria to show us how we can grow our agriculture sector with modern technology.”
The Russian delegation was led by Mr Dianov Alexandar Yurievich.

Many killed in Kano as police clash with Islamic movement.

No fewer than twenty persons including a policeman lost their lives in Kano on Monday as men of the Kano State Police Command clashed with members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN.

Eyewitnesses said that trouble started around Tamburawa on the outskirts of Kano metropolis when the police tried to disrupt a Shiite protest march said to be heading towards Zaria.

The resultant violence led to the death of a policeman and several of the protesters.

Well armed anti-riot police officers have been deployed in the area while the Kano-Zaria road has been cordoned off.

Osinbajo in closed-door meeting with NASS, state governors

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
on Monday met behind closed doors with the leadership of the National Assembly and some state governors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Although the subject matter of the meeting was not disclosed, it is suspected that it may not be unconnected with the Buhari administration's request for approval to borrow $29.9 billion as well as the 2017 to 2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF forwarded by President Buhari for approval which the Senate described as empty.

Among those present at the meeting were Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello and Adamawa State Governor, Jubrilla Bindow.

Climate Change Conference: PMB departs Abuja for Morocco (photos)

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday departed Abuja for Marrakech, Morocco to participate in the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

We didn't pay $21m for Chibok girls - Presidency, Military

The Presidency on Saturday denied paying $21million to the leadership of terrorist group Boko Haram for the recent release of 21 Chibok girls.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu said in a statement in Abuja that the Buhari administration has no such money to pay as ransom, even as negotiations are ongoing for the release of the remaining Chibok girls.

There have been claims in some sections of the press that the alleged $21m ransom is responsible for the resurgence of Boko Haram attacks in the northeast.

“Over the past few days, some newspaper reports ascribing the recent terrorist attacks in Borno State to the government’s negotiation of the release of 21 Chibok girls, with a particular report alleging the exchange of US$21 million for the girls are false and should be disregarded by members of the public. This loose talk is journalism at its most irresponsible and it’s most dismaying.

“As a responsible government that is run on the basis of the constitution and budgets duly appropriated by the National Assembly, we have no such money under any allocation to pay out this outrageous sum of money as ransom.

“Beyond the call of journalism, the newspaper making this charge has a national duty to point how and where this money was paid, and to supply leads as to where the “powerful weapons” were bought by the terrorists.”

In a statement issued by the Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. General Rabe Abubakar in Abuja, the Defence Headquarters decried the attempt by a national newspaper to undermine national security by publishing the false and unsubstantiated story.

“The DHQ wishes to once more remind the media to be cautious of such reports which has serious implication on national security and to further add that, as partners in progress, the media also has a stake in the ongoing efforts to restore lasting peace in the North East and the country in general," he said.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Two Nasarawa men in police net for killing their mothers

The police in Nasarawa State on Saturday arrested Mr Oyin Osaba, 25, of Amba village, Kokona Local Government Area for the alleged murder of his own mother, Mrs. Diji Osaba.

Mrs Osaba, 75 was allegedly killed by her son during a quarrel. .

Nasarawa State Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Sadiq Bello, said in Lafiya while parading the suspect before newsmen that his command also arrested another suspect, Mr. Adamu Iyanga, for allegedly killing his biological mother, 55-year-old Mrs. Hajara Iyanga.

“The suspect, who followed his mother to fetch firewood, hit her with a machete and ran away but he was later arrested. He confessed to the crime,” he said.

PMB receives Kenya VP in Abuja (photo)

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday received  the Deputy President of Kenya, Hon. Williams Ruto at the State House, Abuja.

Ruto was in Nigeria as the Special Envoy of President . Uhuru Kenyatta.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Boko Haram: another hero falls in battle (photo)

In the picture is MUSTAFA SALE KONTAGORA who was killed in Borno State on Tuesday while in action against Boko Haram insurgents. Yet another proof of how Nigerian troops are putting themselves in harm's way to keep the rest of the country safe.

Photo by Shehu Sani.

FEC observes minute's silence for Lt-Col Ali & co (photo)

The Federal Executive Council FEC on Tuesday observed a one-minute silence for Lt Col Muhammad Abu Ali and the other fallen heroes who paid the ultimate price in the war against Boko Haram terrorists.

The FEC meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari swears in Acting Chief Justice (photo)

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday afternoon in Abuja swore in Justice W.S.N. Onnhogen as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Photo by Bayo Omoboriowo.

South East senators meet Buhari (photo)

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday received a group of Senators from the South east at the State House, Abuja.

The group was led by Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

Monday, 7 November 2016

PMB poses with Oba Ewuare II in Benin City (photo)

President Muhammadu Buhari landed in Benin City on Monday at the start of a 2-day working visit to Edo State.

Before he proceeded to commission infrastructural projects built by the APC administration of Adams Oshiomhole in the state , PMB paid a courtesy visit to the newly coronated monarch of Benin Kingdom, His Royal Highness Omo N'Oba N'Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Ewuare II.

See photo below.

PMB commissions new projects in Edo as Oshiomhole finishes strong

President Muhammadu Buhari was in Edo State on Monday to commission a number of projects which had just been completed by the administration of outgoing governor Adams Oshiomhole.

The projects commissioned by the President included the New Central Hospital, and the Upper Siluko Road both in Benin City.

State burial for Lt-Col Ali and fallen colleagues (photo)

The Federal Government on Monday honored the late Lt-Col Muhammad Abu Ali and his colleagues who died in Borno last Friday while fighting Boko Haram insurgents with a state burial.

They were buried with full military honors at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja.

FG's delegation to the funeral of the fallen heroes was led by Chief of Staff Abba Kyari.

See photo below.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

PMB cuts the tape as their highnesses look on (photo)

President Muhammadu Buhari with Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, Sokoto State Gov. Aminu Tambuwal , Kaduna State Gov, Nasir El-Rufai, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, His Eminence The Sultan of Sokoto, His Royal Highness, the Ooni of Ife, and His Royal Highness, the Emir of Kano at the 10th anniversary of the coronation of the Sultan.

Before Boko Haram struck: Sarkin Yaki with wife and child (photo)

Here's a family photo of the soldier whose bravery, gallantry and commitment in the counter-insurgency operations against Boko Haram his colleagues have been saluting.

He was the self-styled Sarkin Yaki (lord of war), Lt-Col Muhammad Abu Ali who was killed during an attack by the insurgents on Friday.

He was reputed to have played decisive roles in retaking some of Boko Haram's former strongholds. With his T 72 tank, he is reported to have always told his troops to do 5% of the work while he did 95%.

Because of his exceptional bravery, Sarkin Yaki was given an accelerated promotion from the rank of Major to Lt-Col in September 2015.

Troops rescue 85 hostages, destroy IED factory, warehouse near Lake Chad

Troops of 7 Division Nigerian Army, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, led by the General Officer Commanding of the Division, Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu between Friday and Saturday rescued 85 Boko Haram hostages during an operation inside the terrorists strategic hub town of Chukungudu on the southern fringes of the Lake Chad Region, in the northern part of Borno State.

During the operation in which five terrorists were neutralized, the troops recovered significant amounts of weapons including an IED factory.

Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col Sani Kukasheka Usman said in a statement that;
"The troops recovered 4 rounds of Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) bombs, 1 Double Barrel Gun, 349 packets containing various rounds of ammunitions, 3 Magazines, a link belt of machine gun ammunition and 1 AK-47 rifle magazine.

"During the clearance operations, the troops made spectacular discovery of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) making factory at Geram. In the factory, they found several already primed suicide bombers’ vests. They also discovered a well equipped motor vehicles and motorcycles’ workshop and spare parts where house at Chukungudu village.

"The troops recovered 3 vehicles and several newly acquired motorcycles.

"Unfortunately, a soldier died during the encounter.In line with Rules of Engagement, IED factory, vehicles and motorcycles were destroyed."

FG signs agreements to add over 500MW to national grid (photo)

In the pursuit of its goal of improving power supply in the country, the Federal Government on Thursday signed a number of agreements aimed at adding more than 500 MW of electricity to the National Grid.

The parties to the agreements were the FG, World Bank, Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading, NBET, and the gas supplier, Seven Energy, an integrated gas company which is investing about $500m in the construction of gas processing facility at the Uquo Field in Akwa Ibom State.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said at the event that the agreements which would open up new opportunities for investments in Nigeria’s gas and power sectors would come into effect within 90 days.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Army loses 'intelligent' Commanding Officer in Boko Haram attack

When Boko Haram terrorists attacked the 119 Battalion, Nigerian Army location at Malam Fatori in northern Borno, on Friday, one of the five gallant soldiers who paid the supreme price was Lt-Col. Muhammad Abu Ali, the Commanding Officer of 272 Task Force Tank Battalion.

14 of the attacking Boko Haram terrorists were killed in the encounter.

According to Army spokesman, the fallen senior officer was a fearless soldier who because of his "exceptional bravery and gallantry, was given an accelerated promotion from the rank of Major to Lieutenant Colonel and was decorated by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, at Gamboru Ngala on Sept. 9, 2015, during an operational visit.’’

Below is a tribute written in honor of Lt-Col Muhammad Abu Ali on June 17, 2016 by www.thecable.ng for his exploits in the war against Boko Haram.

TRIBUTE: Abu Ali, ‘intelligent’ lieutenant-colonel who ‘doesn’t brag’ but is killing off Boko Haram in Borno

Muhammed Abu Ali is the name. You may have heard about him before: he is the officer who was granted accelerated promotion from rank of major to lieutenant-colonel in September 2015, for his courageous performance in a series of the army’s engagements with Boko Haram.

His elevation was first announced shortly after one of the army’s fiercest-ever battles with Boko Haram, in February 2015, culminating in the recapture of Baga from insurgents. But the official decoration was delayed until September when, after another monumental success — the capture of Gamboru-Ngala — Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, visited the war front.
During that decoration, Buratai praised Ali for his “courage, bravery and exceptional performance in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists”.
Tukur is not alone in his opinion; and it has now emerged that even soldiers, majority of whom have built an unwanted reputation for always criticising the army hierarchy, have tremendous respect for Ali’s professionalism.

PUREST GOLD FROM MIRY CLAY
For all of the army’s hardline public relations tactic, discontent is high among soldiers and officers DIRECTLY involved in the ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ (peace by force) in Borno state. But as Ali’s example shows, good work and truth require no trumpet; they always find their way to the public.

During TheCable’s recent investigative trip to the theatre of war, the first mention of Ali came at a time a sergeant was complaining about the crude equipment and archaic manner with which the army was prosecuting the war.

“Yes, the problem is that the Nigerian army still has this archaic idea of fighting, relying more in the numerical strength of its troops rather than on equipment,” he had said.

“There is nowhere in the world, a civilised or modernised army, where they want to lose soldiers in large numbers again, and that is where you need these equipment.

“If you have good equipment, it will reduce the number of casualities on your side but if the weapons are not there and you want to use the number of your soldiers, then definitely you are going to suffer casualties.”

He then cited the example of the recapture of Baga, but he was quick to recognise Ali’s “brilliance” in its success — even though the original intention was not to praise the officer.

“In the case of tanks, what one tank can do, 200 soldiers cannot do it; 300 soldiers cannot do it if the tank is functional and serviceable,” he said.

“In the case Baga, when it was recaptured from Boko Haram, the officer who led that operation, Abu Ali, a major at the time, told the soldiers that they should not worry, that they should only do five percent of the job, that he was going to do 95% of the job with the tanks.

“And that was exactly what happened. He did most of the work with the tanks. He was a major at that time and his promotion after the operation was automatic because he performed very well. One smallish guy like that o.

“After they recaptured Baga, the soldiers were so happy that they raised him up, telling the president to elevate him to the status of colonel, not even lieutenant-colonel, because he really performed; he tried. Even recent operations in Sambisa Forest, he led some of them.”

RESPECTED BY SOLDIERS
Ali’s elevation was not just the decision of the chief of army staff or the rest of the army hierarchy; the soldiers fully supported it. According to a soldier who witnessed his “leadership qualities” in Baga, and two others who were with him in Sambisa, soldiers were generally “very happy for him”.

“He led us with the T-72 when we advanced to Monguno and Baga, and he collected those places,” he said.

According to Wikipedia , the T-72 is a Soviet second-generation main battle tank that entered production in 1971. About 20,000 T-72 tanks were built, making it one of the most widely produced post-World War II tanks, second only to the T-54/55 family.

There have been at least three upgrades to the tank, the most popular being in 1988 and 1995, although they are unavailable in Nigeria.

A second soldier who extolled Ali’s virtues said: “After he collected those places [Baga and Monguno] in 2015, they brought someone else to replace him and they took him to Sambisa area; we went with him to Sambisa.

“He is a brilliant fighter. When he began hanging his promotion emblem officially on September 9, we were together on that day and we were all very happy for him.”

A third soldier, who had spent time with him in Sambisa, went as far as touting him as a potential helmsman of the army:
“The man is very active; very active. And he is a very calm and intelligent person. He doesn’t brag, he knows his job and he is very simple.

“He is a future chief of army staff, if I may say, but he has to be wary of the corruption that is the shortcoming of many good hands in the army.”

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
It is interesting to know that Muhammed Abu Ali is the son of Colonel Abu Ali, who was governor of Bauchi state from August 1990 to January 1992 during the military regime of Ibrahim Babangida.

At this rate, no one would want to bet against the younger Ali surpassing his father’s achievements. He is already a lieutenant-colonel and should he continue his anti-Boko Haram heriocs, it won’t be long before he earns another elevation to the status of colonel, which his father was before retiring.
From then on, anything — just anything — is possible!

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