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The Next Level Of? By Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa

Sat, 2018-12-08 16:50

"On the face of nearly every Nigerian today, there are bold expressions of despondency and disillusionment"- M. K. O Abiola

One does not envy those who had the task of coining the campaign slogan for the APC in 2019. There was virtually nothing they could have come up with that would not have been torn apart the way 'Next Level' has come under a barrage of assaults. They first seemed to have settled for 'continuity' as the campaign slogan. But continuity of what? All previous catchy phrases and slogans attempted before 'Next Level' lack a notable and visible foundation for the Nigerian masses to buy into as a reason to vote the ruling party again. The charm of 'Change' had also spoilt and could not be used again.

The 'change' slogan participated greatly in influencing the massive victory of the APC across Nigeria. Nigerians have wanted a change with different definitions of what and how to change albeit there existed(and still exists) a general consensus that something needed to change for Nigeria to be better. The APC bought into this slogan and by so doing rallied the votes of people who wanted 'change' but had no clear definition of what they wanted changed. The APC thus shortchanged the Nigerian masses riding on their votes and confusion at the same time.

Whenever political commentators and public analysts had to say something in the media pre-2015, they all anchored the crisis in Nigeria to the need for change repeating the term for grammatical and not political uses when they were not supporting the APC in some cases but merely expressed their desire for change. The voting public assumed the change was in voting the APC nationwide in the 2015 elections as they had already worn the cloak of 'change' and everyone thought the change was here. Change we wanted, shortchanged we are.

The ruling party in Nigeria tries to portray in the media that it is encountering economic difficulties and cannot perform as expected due to this. Where this is not the narrative, the narrative is that 16 years of PDP explains the failings of the APC (despite the fact that the barrier separating both parties is thinner than a thread). They also lay claim to having fought corruption(kindly ignore the fact that one of the leading opposition candidates Atiku Abubakar who they now claim is very corrupt was not corrupt as at when he participated in the party primaries of the APC and could have even become President under the party banner had he emerged at that primary). The change the APC lays claim to having created is not visible for the average Nigerian. Before we move to the Next Level, we must still ask for the change.What has changed? 

The same way the APC slogan for the 2015 elections was ambiguous. It now is too with 'Next Level'. Change has turned an undesirable negative with veritable facts from international and credible local bodies which reflect 42 million in poverty, 492 shiites killed and several pro-Biafra protesters, massive unemployment, serious brain drain especially in the Health sector, continued(but reduced) security concerns, severe dropout and out-of-school rates with the figures hovering between 10 and 13 million children(the children in school have access to terrible facilities, teacher shortage, teaching equipment shortage or outdated and several other shameful). 

There is an unblockable stench of poverty across the nation that has striken traders who find no customers if they do not trade in essential commodity such as food, artisans who find no use of their labour and are quickly switching to transportation business because it seems to guarantee at least their daily survival, students who are gripped by hunger and lack of resources as a result of irregular salaries and renumeration for their parents. It is a terrible national condition and any attempt to whitewash the situation especially with internet branding and social media image projection is conscienceless. 

The APC claims some change exists through the welfare schemes such as TraderMoni and theschool feeding programme. It is interesting that TraderMoni is supposed to give 10,000 to 2,000,000 Nigerians in the first phase. At least 20billion will be expended on the scheme by this simple arithmetic. It is incontrovertible that there is a need for a social welfare scheme that will cater for the poor such as traders but Tradermoni(like N-Power) seems headed for a long jump and a hard crash. The loans are too paltry to achieve anything with. There are concerns if these loans would ever be repaid by those taking them even with the promise to be given more upon repayment.

Tradermoni is reminiscent of a political patronage scheme built around waste collection and disposal in Lagos. Remembering the people suddenly during election and campaign periods to give them handouts is fishy and is obviously tailored more towards getting votes than solving the real problems of the dust poor that 10,000 naira cannot address. The idea of entrepreneurship without equivalent government responsibilty and societal development is an idea headed for a cliff. It will not work.

The school feeding programme like Tradermoni cannot really be measured in terms of the cost implications. How much is being spent to fund the scheme? How many schools do the children get the meals?  The figure of 8,567,000 being bandied around as the total number of students being fed is a figure that raises fears that some persons are submitting falsity to the government as facts or fears that the government itself is carrying out corruption through the scheme.  

The change is also visible in the sainthood of corrupt APC politicians such as the responsible man in Kano whose high level of responsibility made him take over the function of the banks in keeping state funds. The change is visible in the votes bought to win elections. Some apologists of the ruling party argue that the opposition also indulges in vote buying, the money the opposition uses to finance vote buying is usually raised independently and from sponsors who want to lobby for future interests. The money the APC uses to buy votes by virtue of being custodians of the national treasury makes one suspect  that Nigeria's wealth is being used to finance the independent ambition of individuals from the national commonwealth of everyone. 

The menace should be condemned for both ruling party and opposition. The mere fact that another does it too does not mean we should exonerate the other party but rather address as enemies of democracy all those involved in the act which continues to manifest results because of the great level of poverty and the attendant need of the electorates for instant survival.

The change is visible in the frequent visits of the President to foreign countries for healthcare. It is strange that Nigeria is losing Medical Doctors to brain drain as young graduate doctors and established Doctors with their own clincs or employment are scrambling to Europe. At the same time, rich Nigerian patients and those who manage to raise funds by begging are going to Europe for Healthcare. If our Doctors are running away and our patients are running to meet them there. Is something not wrong? Is all well like the APC and her supporters portray in their Tweets? 

Going to The Next Level is a good idea when the previous level was favourable. If we have not seen change, what Next Level is there?

The Next Level of? 


Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa writes from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He can be reached He is an advocate of good government and governance. He is a frequent opinion writer with several reputable media.

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa Disable advertisements : 

Tinubu Re-organises APC Ahead Of 2023

Sat, 2018-12-08 15:29

Bola Tinubu

Bola Tinubu

Facts have emerged why the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, turned down an offer by the presidency and national leadership of the party for him to lead President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign for the 2019 presidential election. A source close to the former governor of Lagos State told Saturday Telegraph that Tinubu asked to be left out of Buhari’s campaign, so that he can have enough time to reorganise the party in the South-West zone ahead of the 2019 general elections. His words: “There is no doubt that Asiwaju is committed to President Buhari’s second term bid and have started mobilising towards that, but he pleaded to be left out of the national campaign committee, so that he can reorganise the APC in the South-West ahead of the coming elections. “You know very well that the party is now in control of the six states of the zone given the outcome of the recent governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states, but Tinubu feels that it is not yet a done deal.

“His thinking is that measures should be put in place to sustain the gain by ensuring that the party retains Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, where governorship elections will hold in the forthcoming general elections. So, his request should not be misconstrued as opting out of the APC presidential campaign.” But, another source close to the APC leader told our correspondent that Tinubu’s main reason for excusing himself from the APC presidential campaign was for him to seize the opportunity of the 2019 general elections to consolidate his grip on South-West APC ahead of the 2023 general elections. The feeling is that the APC national leader wants to further energise his base in the South West following the various crises and discontent that emanated from the primaries in some states.

As the saying goes, charity begins at home, so Tinubu’s action is consistent with this adage as his eyes are firmly fixed on the horizon in 2023. According to the source, Tinubu played a major role in the emergence of APC governorship candidates in Lagos, Oyo and Ogun states and feels that it would be a costly political gamble to leave the candidates for the presidential campaign given the opposition against their candidacy from within and outside the party.

“There is no pretence that Tinubu is gearing to run for the presidency after Buhari might have concluded his second term and the time for the ground work is now. So, the APC national leader has practically launched that bid with the game he played during the party’s governorship primaries.

“The calculation was to install his loyalists as governors in order to have a solid base as well as to cripple other party chieftains, who may pose a threat to his ambition in 2023. That informed his support for the party’s governorship candidates in Lagos, Oyo and most importantly, Ogun State. “Though he had his way during the primaries, the battle is yet to be over because those who lost out have not given up. That is why you see fresh alignments and realignments about two months to the elections. Ogun State is a typical example; you saw how APC lawmakers in the state and other chieftains dumped the party in their numbers.

“So, for Tinubu to keep hope alive ahead of 2023, he has to stay back home and make sure that his anointed candidates; Babajide Sanwo-Olu in Lagos, Dapo Abiodun in Ogun and Adebayo Adelabu in Oyo, emerge tops in the governorship elections though he is also working for Buhari’s re-election,” the source said. It would be recall that the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, recently urged the people of South-West to vote for President Buhari in the 2019 elections to guarantee a return of power to the region in 2023. Fashola said besides the massive investments by the Buhari administration on infrastructure across the country and in South-West in particular, the zone would benefit more politically by voting for Buhari.

The minister, who spoke in Yoruba language and with a proverb said: “Did you know that power is rotating to the South- West after the completion of Buhari’s tenure if you vote for him in 2019? “Your child cannot surrender her waist for an edifying bead and you will use the bead to decorate another child’s waist. A vote for Buhari in 2019, means a return of power to the South West in 2023. I am sure you will vote wisely.” Already, the APC national leader has a firm grip of the party’s structures in Lagos and Osun states, but he is working to take over those of Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti and Oyo states. Meanwhile, National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lanre Isa-Onilu, who allayed fears over Tinubu’s position, said there is no doubt that the party’s national leader remains committed to the party and that whatever stand he takes would be in the interest of the party. His words: “I have not seen the report you are talking about, but in the first place, that could be a bit hypothetical as members of the campaign council have not been announced. “What you should be certain of, is that whatever position Asiwaju Bola Tinubu takes, as someone who has demonstrated uncommon leadership for this party, it must be in the best interest of the party.

“So, if for any reason it is true that Asiwaju said he was not going to chair the campaign council, by the time you get the details, you will know he has taken the best decision. “As l said, l have not seen that report and l don’t know the reasons he gave and in any case appointments have not been announced as far as the council is concerned. That is why l said it is hypothetical, but l am at peace and nobody in the party will lose sleep because they are certain that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is working 24/7 in the best interest of the party.”

Politics New Telegraph Newspaper News AddThis :  Original Author :  New Telegraph Disable advertisements : 

Seven Killed, Dozens Injured As Boko Haram Launches Four Attacks in 48 Hours

Sat, 2018-12-08 15:12

Residents of Borno State have experienced a wave of attacks by Boko Haram terrorists within the last two days.

SaharaReporters gathered that at least four attacks were recorded, which left seven persons dead, including two soldiers. Dozens were also injured in the attacks.

An aid worker who witnessed the attack in Rann told SaharaReporters that five persons lost their lives, while many houses were razed.

"We experienced heavy and massive explosions and gunshots by Boko Haram terrorists. This made us run into the bush and outskirts of town for safety. The attacks continued until around 9pm on Thursday night. We lost five persons and dozens were wounded. Three persons were evacuated to Maiduguri due the critical nature of their injuries. All humanitarian partners have been evacuated to Maiduguri until the situation is brought under countrol. I was one of those evacuated at the last trip, together with officials of the UNDSS around 5:22pm on Friday," the aid worker told SaharaReporters.

The terrorists also attempted to infiltrate Bama town in the early hours of Friday, but were subsequently repelled by the troops. Similarly, there were reports that the terrorists also attacked Ngala but details were still sketchy at the time of this report.

Meanwhile, an attack was launched on a military base in Jakana town, about 23 kilometers from Maiduguri, along Maiduguri/Kano highway. A security operative told SaharaReporters that two soldiers were killed, while others were injured when the terrorists made an attempt invade the base. They were, however, were repelled by the soldiers.

Hundreds of motorists and travellers, who were plying that route at the time of the attacks, were forced to sleep in the bushes for their safety.

Boko Haram Insurgency News AddThis :  Featured Image :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 

Nollywood Actress Yetunde Akilapa Arrested For Allegedly Stealing in Lagos

Sat, 2018-12-08 15:11

With the massive down turn of low cast income, though the lucrative movie industry. According to YEN magazine, several actors have tried to supplement their income by venturing into other businesses, but this is not an excuse for illegal activity.

Nigerian actress, Akilapa, has made the news again, but not for positive reasons like most of her counterparts.

Reports shows that, she was caught on December 6, while trying to gain entry into a house at Ajao estate, off Oluwalogbon, Ketu, Lagos state. She was subsequently taken away by the police to prevent jungle justice.

CRIME Nollywood News AddThis :  Original Author :  LEADERSHIP NEWSPAPER Disable advertisements : 

Labourer Sentenced To 2 Months Jail For Stealing Crate Of Eggs

Sat, 2018-12-08 14:57

getzandbraverman .com

A Karmo Grade I Area Court, Abuja, on Thursday sentenced a labourer, Abdulahi Danjuma, to two months in prison for stealing one roll of sachet cowbell powdered milk, a carton of Vaseline blueseal and one crate of eggs, this is according to a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report.

The judge, Alhaji Inuwa Maiwada, found Danjuma of no fixed address guilty of house breaking and theft. Maiwada, however, gave the convict an option to pay a fine of N5,000 while warning him to desist from committing crime. The judge ordered that the milk be returned to the owner.

The prosecutor, Mrs. Ukagha Ijeoma, told the court that two traders, Isreal Abraham and Mohammed Sani, both of NNPC Quarters Life Camp, Abuja, reported the matter at the Life Camp Police Station on Dec. 3.

The prosecutor told the court that the convict broke into Sani’s shop and stole a carton of Vaseline bluseseal, one roll of Cowball powder milk, and one crate of egg all valued N5,000. Ijeoma said that the convict was apprehended and handed over to the police immediately. She said that during police investigation and interrogation, the convict admitted to committing the offence and one roll of powder milk was recovered from him. The prosecutor said the offence contravened sections 354 and 287 of the Penal Code.

The convict pleaded guilty to the charges and begged court for leniency. Ijeoma, therefore, urged the court to invoke Section 347 of the Administration of Criminal Justices Act, 2015 on summary trial.

CRIME Legal New Telegraph Newspaper News AddThis :  Original Author :  New Telegraph Disable advertisements : 

Ex-Generals’ Plot Against Buhari Is Treason – Moh’d Lawal

Sat, 2018-12-08 12:13

Engineer Mohammed Lawal is a long time political associate of President Muhammadu Buhari. He has been with him since 2003, when Buhari joined politics to contest the presidential election on the platform of All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP). In 2015, he was made the deputy director of the Buhari Presidential Campaign Council. In an interview with VINCENT KALU, Lawal, who is a member of the Board of NNPC, warned that the gang up by ex-Generals and other political actors against Buhari amounts to treason.

READ ALSO: Buhari will retire ex-generals against him in 2019 – Mohammed Lawal
The gang up against the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari is becoming broad. Within the week, some retired Generals met in Abuja, their agenda was on how to stop the president. In the same vein, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) adopted Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as its candidate. What do you say to this?

I still maintain my position in my earlier interview that in 2019, President Buhari would retire all these political Generals. Let us be more practical so that our audience can understand what is at stake. Let’s go to the domain of the gang leader, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, what can he deliver in the Southwest, can he deliver what Tinubu cannot deliver, is he more important than the Obas there, who have affirmed that Buhari has done well for this country, and therefore, they are supporting him; is he better than the Oba of Lagos, can he deliver even a ward in Lagos?

Obasanjo may be influential internationally, and he can make noise because he is a former military head of state, and also a former president and has met a lot of people, as well as made so much money, which he extended to many of his cronies, and also going about telling the whole world that he is something, which he is not.

Somebody whose family members are deserting him is leading others against the president. His children are saying that this man is mischievous; the younger elements in the Southwest are telling us to beware of that man because he doesn’t have good intention for the country and he doesn’t know God.

Yes, if he knew God, there is no how he can come out to tell people that Atiku is the man now. Look at what he wrote in his book about Atiku? People have read his book and analysed it, then can somebody with a sense of shame come back to tell people that ‘what I wrote in that book is all lies; that I was deceiving you initially’, telling you lies because of some ulterior motives. He is doing the same thing now, trying to deceive and mislead Nigerians by saying that they shouldn’t support PMB.

Even as he is leading his fellow gangsters to say that Buhari is not the man they want, it is because the president is saying the wealth of the country is for all Nigerians, you have feasted enough, let it now go round to everybody, so that we won’t wake up tomorrow to see people rioting and revolting against the system because Nigerians are opening their eyes and they know what is happening. The sordid situation we found ourselves is because of misused of statecraft, misdeed in governance, so people are fed up and they are seeing what is going on around the few elites, while they wallow in poverty, in hunger, in disease, etc.

What is the fault of PMB? He is just saying we are putting a stop to corruption, brigandage and theft by the very few. Are they the only retired Generals in Nigeria, why is Gowon not with them? Even Danjuma, who is rational, is going about his work quietly.

I repeat, those political Generals that couldn’t find anything to do after leaving office rather than to continue to feast on Nigeria will be retired by 2019. The next General, IBB, is he not in PDP and Niger State is APC; is he not in PDP when his son couldn’t make it under PDP, and another person made it under APC. Can he go beyond Niger State? They have names; they made names during military adventure. Military adventure is different from political adventure. They amassed wealth and influence, but day in day out they refuse or they fail to see the unfolding development in the political landscape of Nigeria. Military adventure is not political adventure; military influence can never be equated with political influence. On the ground, PMB has changed that and he is going to change that and by the time he leaves in 2023, political choice, political action in Nigeria will be very transparent and the commoners will decide who will be their leader.

The gang up is simply because some people decided to go to PDP in order to continue the usual feast that has been stopped by PMB. Look at what the senate president, one of them that jumped from APC to PDP said recently that the APC, PMB is now distributing money simply because we are near election. Isn’t it madness? So, because we are now in an election period we should stop and deny the petty traders that should receive it to expand their businesses. This is wickedness. They want us to keep the money so that they can come and steal it but not to give it to the people that need the money; the people that need some succour of N10, 000; N20, 000, N30, 000, N50, 000 etc given to them -traders and unemployed graduates who don’t have collateral to go to banks for loans.

This is criminal; they hate the masses and that is why they are kicking against that. Like I said earlier, Buhari is going to retire these people and the election is going to be peaceful. The president is cleaner than any of them; if they have anybody better than Buhari, let them go and bring him. The game is over, and if not because of one key issue we would have started celebrating. Look at the Atiku they are promoting; look at their show in Sokoto; look at their outing in the bye- election in Kwara, the home of their campaign DG or the DG of the gangsters. We are going to retire them come 2019.

Vice President Osinbajo decried this gang up when he said that some Nigerians are praying for the death of Buhari, when you add this to the growing coalition, doesn’t this amount to treason?

Before the vice president said it, I had said it earlier and it will come out officially maybe not now but in future. The president was not even wished dead, but was poisoned to die. Some people poisoned him to die so that they can… because they did all they could. The president knew all those people that were going behind to be made either deputy if he dies, or what they wanted done if he dies. They wanted to kill him; they poisoned him and the doctors said they have never seen such a miraculous survival. He said he doesn’t mind that he can die, and he told Nigerians that if you think I’m good to you and I’m the right choice, vote for me, but if not vote whoever you want. Have you seen a sitting president said that?

Look at how difficult he finds it managing his own people because he is standing by the truth, that the votes must count, and the election will be credible. As a democrat, he doesn’t want Nigerians or the press to say you are dictatorial, and that is one reason we are not pushing the treason charges too far.

Look at what happened in Plateau State, where a retired army General was killed, the army was itching to go on revenge mission, but the president said, no, there is rule of law, go to court. But when some soldiers were killed in Odi, during the reign of Obasanjo, he ordered the military to destroy the community and wipe out the people. Anybody who was in that community was killed. The same thing could have happened in the Plateau community, but the president said, don’t do that, establish the fact and go to court. He is trying to prove that he is not only a democrat, but is following democratic norms.

The treason charges, we know, but we want to finish the major task ahead, and they may come, depending on the president. One of the Obas said that after the election, close the borders so that some of these people would be prevented from running away from the country. It’s not me that is saying what these people are doing could amount to treason, even other people are of the opinion, especially an Oba who asked that the border be closed after the election to prevent these people from running away.

Gang up, if you look at it as a political game, though, I’m not a lawyer, it is not a treasonable felony, but working in order to undermine the system, in order to undermine the government because you are trying to cause chaos, cause mayhem so the government may fail, or may not be able to discharge its duties effectively and constitutionally, constitute treason. It will be established beyond reasonable doubt.

Their actions are done in order to produce reactions and when that reactions happen then 100 percent treasonable felony is established and the government can decide to do something about that.

Added to this, is the story that has gone virile that Buhari had died, and one Jubirl from Sudan is the one in the Villa now

This is inciting, to create chaos. I said it earlier, these people are not above the law and nothing will happen. Was Obasanjo not sent to prison, what happened? He was in prison and if not because of some benevolent people, who pleaded that he should be pardoned, he was released and pardoned. He is back doing the same thing that sent him to prison before. He has to be very careful; he is pushing his luck too far. He has to be very careful, government is government, and nobody is above the law. What they are doing amounts to treason because they are promoting an action and the action by the time it reaches a certain level, nobody will sit down and hold himself.

Talking about gang up, some Northern elders were said to have met with their Southern counterparts on stopping the president’s reelection

I have been a student of politics in the North through the regional organisation like the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), most of the decent elders, some of them are late now have been my mentors. This is not what you can hear from anyone, but because of what The Sun is to me and what it is to PMB through your proprietor, the campaign of the Northern elders now is that the worst of Buhari cannot be equated with the best of Atiku. This is what they are sitting talking, that the worst deed of Buhari is still better than the best deeds of Atiku; forget about all these mushroom parties adopting Atiku.

So, the best of Atiku, the best character he exhibited cannot even go close to the worst deeds of Buhari. So, Buhari is the man.

The North is for Buhari. The meeting of Northern elders with the Southern elders is for selfish interest, and these people are no longer leaders in the North.

The Northern Elders Forum now has a faction, the major people in that group are working round the clock to promote PMB in the North, and they have offices in Kaduna and Abuja. One of their slogans, which has not been made public is what I’m bringing up now, which is, ‘the worst of Buhari is better than Atiku.’ They are telling their followers that it is PMB. Everybody’s votes matter, but those people are promoting their personal interests.

For whatever you are doing to promote Buhari’s aspiration, he doesn’t give money. I know it myself. I need money but not to go and steal what my family and immediate family don’t even need. One of his ministers said, ‘Buhari’s fault is this, he met people eating in darkness and he decided to put on the torchlight; he met people feasting in darkness and put on light that exposed them.’ This aptly captures the elites, especially, the Northern elites going to the South, and making noise that Buhari is not their candidate.

In fact, let them deliver North, as this is the main straw that will break Buhari. If they are sincere let them deliver North, why should they go and look for a support from the South? Let them break Buhari in the North, especially in Kano if they can. Kano people are saying they will give Buhari five million votes.

I’m from Zamfara State, where APC doesn’t have governorship candidate, senatorial candidates, House of Representatives candidates and state Assembly candidates, but the people are saying Buhari is hundred percent, and thereafter people should choose parties and candidates for other elections.

Let these so-called Northern leaders not deceive people in the South. If they break Buhari in the North, people in the South will follow suit. We have been on this job for the past 25 years; these people can say this and that to deceive people in the south, and we know how to decode them clearly.

Politics Interview News AddThis :  Original Author :  SUN NEWSPAPER Disable advertisements : 

UNILORIN Attributes Student’s Death To Drug Use

Sat, 2018-12-08 12:02

The management of the University of Ilorin has attributed the death of one of its students, Adigun Emmanuel Adewale, to drug use.

The late student of the Faculty of Agriculture reportedly committed suicide last week to vent his frustration over his failure in his final year project.

In a statement, the university’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Kunle Akogun, said that painstaking investigations revealed that the late Mr. Adigun took his own life as an eventual culmination of his pathetic drug addiction, adding that he unwisely adopted the action to address the prolonged depression he suffered as a result of personal challenges he could not bear.

The statement said that “some close friends of the late Mr. Adigun revealed that the obviously depressed student had unsuccessfully attempted suicide thrice, having publicly expressed profound regret on many occasions that it was his ‘nagging younger sister’ that was sponsoring his education.

“He was further reported to have lamented that it would be too difficult for him to approach the same younger female sibling for the needed finances to complete his extended stay on campus as a result of his failure in several core courses.”

The University added that contrary to the speculations that the deceased, with a CGP of 2.72 and failed results in seven different courses, which accounted for his non-graduation in the last academic session, could neither be said to be academically outstanding nor on the verge of completing any research project.

The university made it clear that the late Mr. Adigun, who hailed from Oyo State, never completed the series of enabling experiments that would have given him the data needed for his research and that he took his life while he was expected to complete registration formalities, a prerequisite for his retake of all the courses he had earlier failed.

The statement added that when a senior academic staff of the deceased’s Department of Agronomy got wind of the late Mr. Adigun’s psychological problem through their interactions, she offered series of assistance to him to avert the regrettable consequence.

It was added that his alleged drug addiction, courtesy of peer group influence, frustrated all the rehabilitative assistances that were rendered to him to the awareness, admiration and appreciation of his family members.

The university said that some of the measures taken by the management and good-spirited members of staff to soothe the nerves of the deceased included a four-week intensive rehabilitation at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, courtesy of the Professor who also adopted him as her mentee; the facilitation of hostel accommodation for him on campus through the recommendation of the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Prof. Gbadebo Olaoye; and a soft loan granted him by the same mentor, even while she (the mentor) was in far-away Nairobi, Kenya, some days to the incident, to settle his school fees.

Akogun added that despite all these rehabilitative efforts to place the deceased in the right frame of mind, he still resorted to the despicable act of suicide to the consternation of all those who assisted him one way or the other.

Read also: Buhari may present 2019 budget to NASS next week

The university insisted that there is no iota of truth in the media reports that the suicide had anything to do with the deceased’s academic challenges at the University of Ilorin, adding that it is a “manifested testimony” of the increasing danger of drug addiction and peer pressure as it was reliably gathered that a son of his landlady, who was also his friend, schooling in a sister tertiary institution in Ilorin, also terminated his own life in similar circumstance not quite long ago.

While the University commiserated with the late Mr. Adigun’s family over the unfortunate incident, it appealed to parents, relations and guardians to be up and doing in their responsibilities to their children and wards so that they (the children) would grow up to live a decent life.

The university assured stakeholders of its commitment to the provision of qualitative education and other forms of services to its students.

Education News The Nation Newspaper AddThis :  Original Author :  The Nation Disable advertisements : 

Banditry: Zamfara Orders Sellers To Take Pictures With Their Animals

Sat, 2018-12-08 11:48

Zamfara State Governor Yari

Zamfara State Governor Yari

The Zamfara State government has directed animal sellers to take pictures with their animals to confirm that they are the real owners.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Bello Dankande, who issued the directive yesterday in Gusau during a meeting with animal dealers and transporters, said the move became necessary to check activities of rustlers who have continued to find their ways to market to sell stolen animals.

He stated that the state government would station photographers at approved animal markets who would take pictures of all intending animal sellers after they had been screened and confirmed as the rightful owners of such animals by the market authorities.

The commissioner added that the state government would work in partnership with security agents to carry out the new policy aimed at frustrating bandits and cattle rustlers from moving with stolen animals.

“This picture will not exempt any animal seller throughout the state; the seller must carry along his government approved picture with his animal, be it cow, donkey, camel, sheep or horse,” he said.

Dankande stressed that the order also affects movement with large amount of fresh meat, usually transported by motorcyclists from one location to another, especially in the villages, saying such meat must also be cleared by the authorities, explaining that the order would become effective from next Monday, December 10 and that any animal dealer, transporter or traditional ruler found violating it would face the full wrath of the law.

The Emir of Bungudu, Alhaji Hassan Attahiru, commended the initiative and attributed the proliferation of the animal business by bandits to the support the rustlers received from middlemen at such markets.

He urged the state government to closely monitor activities of middlemen through the new measure.

The state Chairman of Animals Transporters Association, Alhaji Garba Gusau, expressed his members’ commitment to exposing any suspicious rustler, but appealed for security cover for the safety of his members.

The state has suffered from the activities of bandits, kidnappers and rustlers for over five years, with both the state and federal government introducing various security measures to check the menace.

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ASUU strike: Anambra Varsity Lecturer Disguises As Spiderman To Teach Students

Sat, 2018-12-08 11:16

A lecturer of Anambra State University, now known as Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, wore Spiderman costume to teach students during the ongoing strike by Academic Staff Union of Universities across Nigeria.

The man was photographed coming out of his car and walking into class on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, for a lecture with his postgraduate students.

It was gathered that when the teacher entered the lecture hall, he refused to acknowledge students who called his real name, pretending to be Spiderman.

According to reports, he had earlier told his students, who wanted to have a final discussion with him ahead of their project defence, that they should await the coming of Spiderman to assist them in their final preparations, according to

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Father Mbaka Slams Critics, Says God Deserves Money

Sat, 2018-12-08 10:55

The Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, has lambasted his critics, insisting that God deserves money.

Mbaka said this while responding to criticisms over a video that went viral wherein he was seen trying to compel the Vice-Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Peter Obi, during the annual harvest and bazaar celebration of the church to disclose how much he would donate to his church project.

The cleric had told a reluctant Obi that God hates stinginess and if he continues to act in such a manner, he and the PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, would lose woefully come election day.

In a new video which was posted on Youtube by Dave Partner and has been viewed over 11,000 times, Mbaka, who spoke in English and Igbo intermittently, said God deserves money and there was nothing wrong with him asking for donations.

The cleric explained that bazaar day is strictly for raising of funds and that is the only time his church asks for donations.

Mbaka said, “There are some people who are ingrates. These are people from the kingdom of succubus and Incubus. I want to tell you that all these things are caused by jealousy and envy. They are not fighting Mbaka for anything wrong.

“Everyone who came was blessed but they turned it against me, saying I am after money. God deserves money. If you don’t want to bring your own in your stinginess, hold it. I will give God all that I have and even if anybody wants to join them, you’re free to join them.

“Where God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are, there Fr. Mbaka will be. I will build this place for the church. Whoever felt insulted, I apologise. But I didn’t come to your house. It was you who came for the bazaar.”

The cleric said all those fighting him were fighting God. He subsequently asked God to punish his detractors and those “firing arrows at him”.

Although he did not mention Obi’s name, Mbaka said any politician who had donated money to his ministry was free to send his or her bank account number and he would gladly return the donation.

He added, “As for me, I am in high spirits. I want to assure you, those who are thinking that it is their money we will use to build this ministry, before the end of tomorrow, I will send all their monies into their accounts.”

On why he demanded money from Obi publicly, the cleric said he wanted the process of donation to be open and transparent so that no one would accuse him of diverting funds.

Mbaka said every person who made a donation on the day the bazaar held did so publicly.

The cleric added, “We do it outside, publicly because if I am silent, rumours will begin to spread that someone gave me $10m and why did Mbaka keep quiet? They will abuse me even if I am silent because anytime they want to attack this ministry, they will start somewhere.

“If I am silent they will attack, if I talk, they will attack it. And don’t forget that the liturgy was not tampered with. I finished the mass and even removed my priestly attire. No one can fault me on that.”

The cleric insisted that he was not partisan, adding that every person, regardless of political leaning, was free to come to him for blessings.

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16-yr-old Student Dies In ‘Juju’ Superiority Contest In Ekiti

Sat, 2018-12-08 10:37

A secondary school student at the Ado Grammar School, Ado Ekiti, Mathew Favour, died on Thursday following injuries he sustained in a  superiority contest with a colleague on the efficacy of their charms.

Sources told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the incident occurred in the evening  within the school’s  premises.

The 16-year old was said to have been engaged in a friendly dispute with a colleague over the ownership of  a ball before it degenerated into an argument over who had  more portent charms.

NAN reports that the late Favour, who was in Senior Secondary Class Two before his death, was allegedly stabbed in the chest and later died at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado Ekiti,  where he was taken.

The suspect, who allegedly killed Favour, has since been taken into police custody.

Sources said Favour, an Ebira indigene from Kogi, was said to have initiated the encounter when he brought out a small axe and a knife wrapped in a white and red scarf  and dared his colleague to a fight.

However, his colleague was said to have overpowered him after a while trying, stabbing him in the chest with the knife and fatally injuring him in the process.

It was learnt that the  development brought  activities in the school to a halt as other students and teachers alike fled the premises.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, said he needed time to react to the incident after getting a clearer report on the incident.

Police officers from the nearby Odo Ado Division were, however, sighted  at the main entrance into the school which had been shut.

NAN learnt the police deployment followed  alleged threats by the family of the deceased  to embark on reprisal attack at the school.

Confirming the incident,  the school’s  Principal, Mr Ebenezer Falayi, said the incident  occurred at about  2.15pm after the school had closed .

Falayi said the students had dispersed before the incident attracted  teachers who  mobilised to the scene  to convey  the victim to EKSUTH.

“This incident really saddened us because it could have been avoided

” What I gathered from students who were at the spot of the gory incident was that the duo were arguing over who had superior power and the deceased had earlier gone home to bring all those weapons which could not pierce the suspect when used on him.

“I was told that the suspect  later overpowered him,  collected the  weapons and stabbed  the victim in the chest

” Our teachers, including myself, my Vice and Registrar alongside other teachers who were resident on campus here rushed him to EKSUTH. We even took the suspect along.

“The victim was put on life support, but that could not help the situation, he died in the hospital.

“ I had to quickly call the DPO of Odo Ado Police Station who reinforced his men and contacted the police station at Oke Ila to prevent the suspect  from being killed by highly enraged  family members of the deceased.

“The hospital insisted on doing the autopsy before releasing  the corpse but the family resisted this

“ They later released the corpse to the family when it nearly caused trouble in the hospital

“The police also took the suspect into custody. But I had to beg for security beef up around the school when there was a threat that 30 students will be killed in a reprisal attack today(Friday),’’ he said. (NAN)

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NCP Dissociates Self From Atiku’s Emergenceas CUPP consensus Candidate

Sat, 2018-12-08 10:25

The National Conscience Party (NCP) has disassociated itself from the adoption of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, as the consensus candidate of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP).

According to the NCP, the purported adoption of Atiku is “an affront to the spirit and letter of CUPP.” Speaking in a phone interview with Saturday Telegraph yesterday, NCP National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Okereke, declared the process that threw up Atiku as CUPP consensus presidential candidate as “a rape to the ethos of political alliance viz social re-engineering.”

While stating that “it is not only an affront to the National Conscience Party, which gave this alliance credence but also to CUPP, therefore must be unfalteringly resisted,” Okereke added: “There is absolutely no other imperative of an alternative development and self-sacrificing rescue agenda to save democracy and cure our hemorrhaging Nigeria than the sacrifice and history collectively made by the National Conscience Party’s National Executive Committee and National Coordinating Council unanimous resolve via a highly questioned, but robust and long-winded consultations with the masses to fully go into alliance with the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) for credence.

“NCP as a socialists’ movement political party however, came with very strong, masses-oriented sentiments and stern warning that the NCP, being not just mere political party but Nigeria’s home to the oppressed, undeviating and unrepentant advocate for the abolition of poverty in Nigeria as ingrained by our Gadfly, Lethal Weapon Gani Fawehinmi, via NCP 10-Care pro-masses programme, must ensure that CUPP goal of truly rescuing the poor masses remains altruistic at all time without any iota of gerrymandering by other party/parties.”

Speaking further, he added: “Disappointedly today in CUPP, same poor Nigerian masses we all came together to rescue are alarmed as just few elements against the letter and spirit of CUPP, purportedly adopted the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, as a consensus candidate in the February 2019 presidential election.

This is a rape to the ethos of political alliance viz social re-engineering; an affront not only to the National conscience party which gave this alliance credence but also to CUPP; therefore must be unfalteringly resisted. NCP dissociates herself from this macabre dance of shame.”

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Refusal to Sign Electoral Act Amendment Bill, Invitation to Anarchy, Says CUPP

Sat, 2018-12-08 10:15

Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has described the refusal of assent to the 2018 Electoral Act amendment Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari as an invitation to electoral anarchy.

In a statement issued on Friday by its spokesperson, Ikenga Ugochinyere, CUPP said

President Buhari had expectedly failed again to take advantage of the rare opportunity presented by the Electoral Act Amendment Bill to write his name as the President that signed the law that guaranteed electoral credibility in Nigeria.

“It is an act of clear desperation that the President had shown. For each of the four times the Electoral Amendment Bill was presented to him for assent, he waited until the last day of his constitutionally allowed 30 days. Nigerians should also be reminded that throughout the amendment process, President Buhari never made any suggestions or proposals to the National Assembly for the improvement of our electoral process but kept delaying and indulging in unnecessary hide and seek until this last minute,” Ugochinyere said.

He lamented that signing the Electoral Amendment Bill into law, would have guaranteed the conduct of the freest and most credible election in Nigeria’s history. He fumed that the refusal of presidential assent would present the conditions for violence in next year’s general elections.

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However, he revealed that to checkmate a failed regime from this plot to steal the mandate of the Nigerian people in the February 2019 presidential elections, the opposition will in the coming days unveil the neutralisation strategy: the Opposition Code 20.

“This Code is as enshrined in Section 20 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act which allows citizens to perform policing duties of arrest. The section provides that “a private person may arrest a suspect in Nigeria, who in his presence, commits an offence or whom he reasonably suspects of having committed an offence for which the Police is entitled to arrest without a warrant. This Code is the effective counter measure to the stealing and rigging plot of the APC and President Buhari.”

The CUPP calls on the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, to stand firm and resist all attempts to rig the 2019 general elections by reintroducing the incident forms and pre-loading the card reader machines with the details already generated through the controversial cash-for vote/Tradermoni policy supervised by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The coalition party also urged Yakubu to insist on implementing all the innovations already successfully test run in the Ekiti and Osun elections which they said were only devalued by the involvement and interference of the Police and other security agencies in the electoral process.

Ugonchinyere called on all PVC bearing Nigerians to vote out all APC candidates at all levels.

“Nigerians have had enough of the Buhari misfortune and are resolved on consigning it to history where generations shall be taught on the kind of persons not to be elected President in any country ever again. President Buhari by all indications is willing to plunge Nigeria into electoral crisis worse than those that twice directly led to the collapse of democracy after the 1963 and 1983 general elections,” he said.

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What Ezekwesili Said At Chatam House By Iyinoluwa Aboyeji

Sat, 2018-12-08 08:36

Obiageli Ezekwesili

Al Jazeera

It is frightening how far fake news could go to douse the impact of positive public communication.

As someone who was present when the Presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, addressed Nigerians at the Chatam House, I found it odd to believe that some Nigerians could actually twist the facts to suit their personal interests.

In clear and simple language, Ezekwesili stated her determination to foster unity and equality among Nigerians if elected president of the country.

She said she was determined to ensure that the constitutional rights of Nigerians would always be upheld by government, noting that there was a need to address the growing rate of poverty in Nigeria as well as uphold the rule of law in the opportunities available to every Nigerian regardless of race, region, religion, status or gender. 

These were her words: “There is no doubt that Nigeria is a multi-plural nation. We are different people with diverse language, age, gender, religion, beliefs and status. As the president, I promise to play a role that acknowledges our differences yet fosters unity of diversity. All citizens will be accorded the fundamental rights guaranteed within the provisions of our constitution and laws.”

I was therefore flabbergasted to read in some online sites that the ACPN Presidential candidate promised to protect gay rights. As the President she is obligated to protect human rights, which are not equivalent to gay rights.

What Ezekwesili said was that if elected, her administration will work collaboratively with the judiciary and the legislature to safeguard every citizen’s rights as guaranteed in our constitutional democracy and ensure the protection of human rights according to the rule of law.


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Appeal Court: Nigerian Prisoners Have A Right To Vote During Elections

Sat, 2018-12-08 00:38

A Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City, Edo State, has ruled in favour of prisoners voting during the election.

The ruling was announced on Friday after five prisoners filed a suit asking the court to direct the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to include all prisoners in the voter register.

Delivering the lead judgment, Justice S. Oseji, behalf of Justice Helen Ogunwumiju ruled in favour of the prisoners, who instituted the case on behalf of other inmates in Nigerian prisons.

According to NAN, those that filed the appeal are Victor Emenuwe, Onome Inaye, Kabiru Abu, Osagie Iyekekpolor and Modugu Odion.

However, Oseji did not grant a declaration that INEC liaise with the Nigeria Prison Service to create a registration centre at various prisons across the country.

Speaking to newsmen after the judgment, Counsel to the appellant, President Aigbokhan of the Initiative for Rural Development, Information and Legal Advocacy (IRDILA), urged INEC to commence immediate registration of inmates across the country to enable them participate in the 2019 general election.

Noting that they would appeal certain aspects of the judgment, he said: “Prison inmates have their community. Polling units should be located there. We believe they have a right to vote in an election so as to decide those who ultimately decide their future.

“When franchise is given to them, attention will be focused there. Their situation and health conditions will be improved.

“In 2014, the Federal High Court granted our prayers that prisoners can vote but narrowed it to the four applicants in the suit even though it was stated there that those applicants were representing other inmates.

“We went to the Court of Appeal and the court agreed that the judgement represented all inmates in the country. That INEC should with immediate effect collate the names of inmates and allow them to vote in 2019.

“The judgment disagreed that INEC should create polling units inside the prison. In 2015, the inmates were over 550,000. All INEC needs to do is to update their voter register and liaise with NGO as volunteers to help them. It is victory for Nigeria’s democracy.”


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Nigerians In Diaspora Won't Vote In 2019 Elections, Says Presidency

Sat, 2018-12-08 00:37

Abike Dabiri-Erewa

Abike Dabiri-Erewa DailyPost

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, has said Nigerians in the Diaspora won't vote in the 201o general election.

She stated this at a meeting with Stanislaus Kamazi, while Rwanda's High Commissioner to Nigeria, in Abuja.

Noting that Nigerians in the Diaspora had contributed significantly to the economy, she said there were ongoing efforts by the Federal Government to ensure that they participate in elections, but this would take place after 2019, NAN reported.

“Nigerians abroad have the touch of the government, Nigerians in the Diaspora have remitted about 22 billion dollars annually. But, beyond the remittance, they also want to vote and efforts are being made to achieve that; though, not in 2019. It is one of what we hope that will happen in subsequent elections,” she said.

In his remarks, the high commissioner said there were a lot of lessons to learn from Rwanda's Diaspora policy, noting that Rwanda’s new administration had created a platform for the Diaspora to be part of the country and enjoy the same right as the citizens in the country.

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Wanted Militant Kingpin, 265 Others Arrested In Bayelsa

Fri, 2018-12-07 22:20

Brigadier-General John Agim, acting Director of Defence Information, has said since the launch of 'Operation 777', an initiative of the Joint Military Task Force, in the Niger Delta, 266 persons have been arrested for various offences.

He stated this while speaking with journalists on Thursday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

According to Agim, suspects arrested included militant kingpin, Gift Apollo a.k.a. 'Thousand' whose gang is said to be responsible for the attack on soldiers deployed to Abua/Oduma creeks in Bayelsa State.

He disclosed that the operation had helped in destroying about 436 illegal refineries, 609 boats, 1,507 surface tanks and 1,538 drums used for illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta region.

His words: “Operation 777 has recorded several significant achievements by men and officers of Operation Delta Safe, anti-illegal bunkering, illegal refiniing operation carried out in Okaka community in Bayelsa State which had become notorious for crude oil theft and illegal bunkering/refining activities, and one of the most wanted militants and a member of 'kill and bury' gang by name Gift Apollo a.k.a. 'Thousand' was arrested. The group was responsible for the attack and death of soldiers deployed to Abua/Oduma.

“Furthermore, in a bid to eliminate militancy and reduce the spate of incessant attacks on shipping within Joint Operation Areas (JOA) and identified active militant camps at Okparakiri, Sanikiri and Okporama communities on a tip-off, suspected sea robbers/cultists terrorising Abonnema-Buguma waterways were arrested.

“Seven Nigerian Agip Oil Company maintenance workers kidnapped while carrying out an assessment of a blasted well head in Azuama in Southern Ijaw local Government in Bayelsa were recovered and released unharmed. Operation Delta Safe have arrested 266 persons for various crimes and handed over to appropriate government agencies for prosecution. Several dangerous items such as 230 different types of arms, 240 assorted ammunitions, 11 barges, 101 outboard engines, 135 pumping machines were recovered from the criminals."

In his remarks, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman, Commander of Operation Delta Safe, said with the operation of the JTF in Niger Delta region, the level of vandalism in oil infrastructures had dropped significantly.

“Our efforts have increased the crude production from 900 barrels per day to 2.2 million barrel of crude oil and we shall continue on our mandates of operation to weed off criminal elements in the area of operation,” he said.

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British Council Trains Nigerian Journalists On Conflict Sensitive Reporting

Fri, 2018-12-07 21:49

Stephen Forbes, Director of Operations, British Council Nigeria

Stephen Forbes, Director of Operations, British Council Nigeria

In the wake of the 2019 elections, the British Council has hosted a workshop to enhance the capacity of journalists.

The British Council, UK’s organization that works in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society, addressed topical issues like Conflict Sensitive Reporting, Equality Diversity and Inclusion in the Nigerian Media and Child Protection, as well as the power of storytelling in journalism.

The workshop had participants from different media organisations across the country.

Stating the reason for the training, Head of Communications, British Council Nigeria, Edemekong Uyoh, said the council recognised that journalists have to continually develop themselves and meet up to the standard and task required of them in the society.

Uyoh added that the British Council had trained more than 300 journalists in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt states in Nigeria.

“In the last two years, we have trained over 300 journalists in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. The British Council has found it necessary to develop the capacity of journalists to deliver optimally and professionally in their career," Uyoh said.

Enlightening Nigerian journalists on the need for collaboration among the media, Adejuwon Soyinka, Editor, BBC Pidgin Service, maintained that collaboration would help the media in uncovering various things that will benefit the country.

He further prompted journalists to leverage on collaboration through the exchange of expertise, infrastructure, manpower and finance across their different organisations and internationally.

On her part, Lauratu Umar Abdulsalam, Communication Specialist and Media Engagement Advisor, Palladium, emphasised the importance of ‘Conflict Sensitivity in Journalism’ and spoke on being ethical, conflict sensitive and avoiding hate speech in reporting the upcoming elections in the country.

She advised journalists to always research the background of stories and avoid stories that could trigger conflict.

“As journalists, you need to do more than write and report what you hear. Go further by investigating what has happened and know the background of every story, especially when it is conflict-related," she said.

Speaking on the role of the British Council in creating opportunities and developing the media, Stephen Forbes, Director of Operations, British Council Nigeria emphasised the role of the media in Nigeria.

“The British Council is the UK’s International Organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities; we are constantly seeking for ways of creating opportunities by providing platforms where knowledge is shared amongst keys stakeholders. This workshop is timely to develop the capacity of journalists around conflict-sensitive reporting and sifting facts from fake news as the election period approaches," he said.

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NBA President Usoro Has Case To Answer On N1.4bn Fraud, EFCC Insists

Fri, 2018-12-07 21:39

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has insisted that Paul Usoro, President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has a case to answer.

The EFCC had filed a 10-count charge against Paul Usoro, bothering on allegations of fraudulent dealings involving the Akwa Ibom State Government, among others. See Also Exclusive DETAILS: EFCC’s 10-Count Corruption Charge Against NBA President Usoro 0 Comments 5 Days Ago

Citing remarks credited to Usoro on the charges, which he made at the NBA's National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja on December 6, 2018, the anti-graft commission insisted that he had a case to answer.

A statement by Tony Orilade, EFCC's acting Head of Media and Publicity, issued on Friday, read: "The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has been drawn to the speech made by Paul Usoro, SAN, president of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA at the Association’s National Executive Committee, which held on December 6, 2018 in Abuja.

"Indeed, the EFCC had invited Usoro in June this year, to explain his role regarding the inflow of N300 million (Three Hundred Million Naira) from the Akwa Ibom State Government’s account into the account of Paul Usoro Chambers, PUC. Usoro was also questioned on the aggregate inflow of N1,110,000,000 (One Billion One Hundred and Ten Million Naira) from the state government’s account into the bank account of PUC.

"Under interrogation, Usoro had claimed that the various sums of money received from the Akwa Ibom State Government, under the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel, were payments for 'legal fees' to him and other 'eminent members of the Inner Bar and a host of other members of the Outer Bar that I had engaged to work with me in respect of the Election Petition matter' involving the governor."

The EFCC also noted that Usoro stated that the payments were independent transactions and that the Akwa Ibom State Government’s payments-on-account were in respect of his Firm’s professional services to the state, while the payments to the senior counsel were made by him for and on behalf of Governor Udom Emmanuel, "at his request”.

The statement continued: "Whipping up sentiment, the learned silk then raised the issue of 'client-lawyer privilege', arguing that 'judicially and historically', the 'issues of fees, as between a lawyer and his client, is a matter of privilege'.

"While we do not intend to engage the learned silk on the pages of newspapers, on media landscape, the EFCC wishes to state that it does have regard for the Rule of Law and in this regard, the said 'client-lawyer privilege', but it should be stated that what is at stake, is the legitimacy of the source of the money used for the various payments.

"The learned silk, further accused the EFCC of playing the role of 'Auditor and/or Regulator of Legal Fees'. This is definitely not the case. It is worth reiterating that while the EFCC has 'Special Powers' to investigate suspicious financial transactions, Section 18 (d) of the EFCC Establishment Act 2004, empowers the Commission, to investigate and prosecute any person, who 'engages in the concealment or disguise of the true nature, source, location, disposition, movement, rights, with respect to or ownership of property knowing such property is derived from any offence referred under this Act commits an offence'. From all intent and purposes, payment of over N1.4 billion to Usoro from the accounts of Akwa Ibom State Government for unofficial transaction, is nothing short of criminal diversion of public funds.

"From the foregoing and in line with the mandate of the Commission, the SAN, definitely has questions to answer before a competent court of jurisdiction on allegation of money laundering and no amount of intimidation and or razzmatazz can stop the Commission from carrying out legitimate assignment of investigation and prosecution of financial impropriety.

"The act of making such humongous payment of over a billion naira to an individual from state vault raises reasonable suspicion of money laundering. This may amount to a disservice to the people of Akwa Ibom State, and we shall not rest on our oars and allow such financial crime to continue unabated. Paul Usoro, SAN, surely has a case to answer.

"The allegation of Usoro that the effort of the Commission at collaborating with the National Judicial Institute, NJI on capacity building was an anomaly is likened to a drowning man who holds unto a straw for survival. Let it be known to Usoro that agencies like the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC); Nigerian Institute of Bankers (NIB); the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN); and the National Communication Commission (NCC) are among the many government and organised bodies that have been having such collaboration with the NJI on capacity building.

"While we do not intend to engage the learned silk on the pages of newspapers, or the media landscape as the case might be, it should be stressed, that what is wrong is wrong."

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Shiites Hold Procession To Mark 40 Days After 'Barbaric Massacre' In Abuja

Fri, 2018-12-07 21:13

Members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shiites, have held a march to mark 40 days since the 'Arbaeen Symbolic Trek’ held in October 2018.

The group also accused the president of ordering security operatives to "kill 52 of its members" during the trek which held in Abuja.

Followers of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky had embarked on the 'Arbaeen Symbolic Trek'. The three-day protest took place from October 28 till October 30, 2018.

The march, however, took a different turn as the Nigerian Army attempted to dispel the protest, which led to a clash and the soldiers opened fire on the Shiites. See Also CRIME 16 Shi'ites Shot 'At Close Range' By Soldiers In Abuja 0 Comments 1 Month Ago

The group, however, held a protest march on Friday, which began from the Central Mosque immediately after the Juma'at Prayer, and ended at Zone 4.

Addressing the crowd, spokesperson of the movement, Ibrahim Musa, accused President Muhammadu Buhari of being behind the killings and arrest of members of IMN.

His words: "Till today, the Nigerian government intentionally refused to brief the public on the actual reason behind such a barbaric massacre on its citizens. The military were confused enough to say that they were pelted with stones, which was justified with the use of live bullets.

"When somebody dies in Islam, after 40 days there will be a prayer and remembrance for the person. So, today is 40 days after the President of Nigeria ordered the army's 'Guards Brigade' to kill followers of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky during their Arbaeen Symbolic Trek here in Abuja. It is the Guards Brigade that came out and opened fire on unarmed citizens with live ammunition, including tankers and all sorts of arms and weapons they used against us. They killed 52 people and went with so many."

He said the movement lost another member who had been receiving treatment in the hospital, as a result of the torture she experienced, adding that 70 per cent of the young people who lost their lives during the protest were graduates and students of various higher institutions of learning.

"They were mercilessly killed by the Guards Brigade ordered by the president. Remember, the Guards Brigade is answerable only to the President of Nigeria. They are yet to come out and tell us why they killed 52 followers of El-Zakzaky," Abdullahi added.

The group said it would continue to carry out its daily protest to demand justice and unconditional release of their leader.

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