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Tinubu Had Better Get A Designer Perfume By Femi Adeyeye

Thu, 2020-01-23 12:46


I was in a discussion till late last night with one of my mentors and I learnt some things I think are necessary to share here as I type my juvenile thoughts. 

Like him or hate him, Obafemi Awolowo was a deep and disciplined scholar. I have always known this but not much. 

I learnt yesterday that Awolowo stopped sleeping with his wife at age 40. He would only eat when he is hungry and would stop when satisfied. There was no room for extra. All these, he did so he could study and give himself to critical thinking. 

Did he practice prebendal politics and steal? Maybe. 

But there is a difference between being a thief and being a useless thief. Not justifying crime of any form. 

Let me paint this descriptive. 

America steals from all over the world to give to her citizens some token in form of social security. A thief. 

Nigerian politicians steal from poor Nigerians to take to America. They like the sound of mentioning their money in dollars than naira. That’s a useless thief! 

The former description was Awo. 

However, many of today’s irredentists chanting, “I am an Awoist” think it is by wearing his type of cap and eye glasses knowledge is transferred. What you don’t have, you don’t have. 

Despite using his type of glasses, they can’t see far. His type of cap only covers their empty heads. 

There is one in Ogun State, who sniffs more than a mouse, claiming to be an Awoist. Education suffered in his hands more than anyone else. He brought arms into cultism in Ogun State and monetised the politics like never before. 

Interestingly, they have a father in Tinubu.

As deep as Awolowo was, I don’t think I have come across a picture of Awolowo posing with books like the confused Lagos landlord did in one of his photographs. 

You know this popular saying they have always pushed down our throats as young people – “Readers are leaders”. Yes! That’s the reason for this branding. The Adebola Williams’s have started the branding contract like they did for Buhari. 

Have you forgotten so soon how we were told that President Muhammadu Buhari had an Igbo driver. A pupil saved her meal money meal to donate towards the purchase of his nomination form. Just to brand him as a detribalised Nigerian, we were told the same Buhari gave his daughter’s hands in marriage to an Igbo man. His cook, a Christian. Fiction! Baba nla fiction. All of these characters disappeared after 2015 elections. 

Here we are in 2020 with someone, who has many false records of existence (from birth to academics) pretending to be a scholar. 

“Se b’emi ni mo lowo mi” too is now reading Steve Jobs. “Toronto” is now issuing statements with highfalutin verbiages. All for 2023! 

Ha! We af suffered o. 

Unfortunately, no amount of perfume oil can suppress the stench of a he-goat. Not even a plastic surgery would save Tinubu. 

If there be any sin Nigerians have committed to have these misfits ruling, the ever-merciful God should have forgiven. It’s taking too long. 

To be frank with God, we don’t deserve the kind of punishment. We can’t be the most sinful, I know.

Adeyeye Olorunfemi writes from Lagos. He can be reached through femiadeyeye101@gmail.com

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Significance Of Nigerian Words, Coinages In 2020 Oxford Dictionary By Olabisi Deji-Folutile

Thu, 2020-01-23 12:42


Olabisi Deji-Folutile

Olabisi Deji-Folutile google

At long last, my daughter can now use the word ‘severally’ without my adrenaline surging unnecessarily, courtesy of the 29 Nigerian words and expressions included in the January updates to the Oxford English Dictionary. This is a big relief. Apart from having to correct her for repeatedly using the expression, which she was probably convinced was right going by the number of people around her that boldly used it, I had another challenge of constantly editing the word in my brain each time I heard it. Unfortunately for me, there was hardly any public or private discussion in Nigeria where the word ‘severally’ would not crop up. And having been trained to always edit it to ‘several times,’ which used to be the proper English expression, you can imagine my ordeal and the attendant stress I went through in my bid to do  the job of a self-imposed custodian of her Majesty’s language. 

I am glad all of this is in the past. Apart from the freedom to use the word ‘severally’, Nigerians have been officially permitted to use many more words and expressions they have created over the years. For example, they can now decide ‘to rub mind together’ when deciding on which ‘Tokunbo’ car to buy or plan a ‘send forth’ for their colleagues and friends.  Yes, they can now ‘flag-off’ their programmes and ‘gist’ without anyone accusing them of speaking bad grammar. Believe me, this is a big deal.  As editor, I can’t tell how many reporters were punished for using the term ‘flag-off.’ Doing so was not almost sacrilege but a major howler that could lead to the ‘offenders’ losing part of their pay. You dared not use the expression ‘to put to bed’ in describing anyone that was just delivered of a baby. To describe a thief as ‘eating money’ or say something had a ‘k-leg’ was a no-no.  That is why I find it exciting that we can now go to our ‘buka,’  ‘bukateria,’ or ‘mama put’ and do our ‘chop chop’ or just ‘chop’ as we like. Not only that, we are free to board our ‘danfo’ in our ‘ember months’ and rest assured that we would reach our destinations in peace without having to explain the meaning of ember months to anyone. And when we write ‘Okada,’ it will no longer be necessary to put it in italics and there won’t be any need to explain to non-Nigerians that it is our own way of describing motorcycles. 

Interestingly, majority of the new additions to the 2020 Oxford dictionary are either borrowings from Nigerian languages, or unique Nigerian coinages that have only begun to be used in English in the second half of the twentieth century, mostly in the 1970s and 1980s, according to OED’s World English editor, Danica Salazar. Other Nigerian words that made new entries into the dictionary apart from the ones in single quotes above are guber, Kannywood, next tomorrow, non-indigene, sef, zone, zoning, qualitative and agric. ‘Next tomorrow’ According to Salazar, is regarded as the oldest among the uniquely Nigerian words/expressions as it was first used in written English as a noun in 1953, and as an adverb in 1964. Kannywood, which refers to the film industry in northern Nigeria, is deemed the youngest among the lot. 

The inclusion of these Nigerian words and coinages in Oxford dictionary is significant in many ways. First, it’s a positive departure from the usual negative narratives around Nigeria in recent times. That Oxford issued a statement on this inclusion is also a testimony to its importance. Looking at it from a broader perspective, this will likely encourage those who assume that anything Nigerian or indigenous is inferior to have a rethink. Possibly, policy makers in the education sector may decide to revisit the suggestion of late Prof Babs Fafunwa that indigenous languages should be used to teach Nigerian pupils for easy assimilation. Those who were hitherto afraid that some scientific terminologies might not be correctly interpreted in indigenous languages can now see that there is really nothing sacrosanct. The way we carry our basket is the way others will help us to carry it. In other words, whatever name we choose to describe any scientific expression in our local parlance, is the same thing that the world will eventually recognise as our own local expressions of such words. Although I don’t like the fact that Nigeria is using okada for transportation in this age and time, unfortunately that is the reality.  Foreign investors have even bought into the booming business and Okada is now part of the world lexicon. Can we imagine what the nation will gain  if through the application of our indigenous languages to learning sciences, we are able to come up with positive scientific inventions that could solve some of the myriads of problems bedevilling the world?

It is high time Nigeria encouraged the use of its local languages. Nigerians should freely express themselves in their own ways and continue to push themselves to acceptance on the world map. After all, people made up all the words that we have all accepted to be correct English expressions today. That shows that there is really nothing right or wrong. Have we ever bothered to ask ourselves how people came up with what is accepted to be right or wrong today?  Who are the people saddled with the responsibility of authorising what is deemed to be correct? Who gave them the power and authority to do so? What are the yardsticks employed in arriving at such decisions? The truth is that the more popular some expressions, the greater the possibility of them being accepted by the larger society.  It is unfortunate that all the words that we had previously punished and reprimanded people for, have now become acceptable.

Schools should encourage students to speak Nigeria’s indigenous languages. They should stop punishing pupils for conversing in their local languages. Why should children pay fine for speaking their indigenous languages? Is it possible for a Chinese teacher to punish a pupil for speaking Chinese in class? I have made this suggestion before and it is worth repeating. Stakeholders should work at boosting students’ interest in local languages through writing competitions in indigenous languages. 

Life is dynamic and language is a reflection of a people’s culture, we need to reflect our cultures in our languages. Aside this, there is also the need for those in charge of the education sector  to be flexible in their approaches to curriculum development at the basic and secondary school levels. Why for instance, should a science student be prevented from taking literature as a subject? Will literature do harm to scientific thinking? There are many science students that would have loved to do literature but the curriculum has ruled this out. Students should be given the opportunity to think widely. It doesn’t make sense fitting science and art students into a convenient pigeonhole without taking into account the students’ personal preferences. 

Olabisi Deji-Folutile is a member of the Nigerian Guild of Editors. Email: bisideji@yahoo.co.uk

 

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No, Mr Oyeyemi, Nigeria Will Not Break Up By Churchill Okonkwo

Thu, 2020-01-23 12:24


Most Nigerians acknowledge that Nigeria, as presently ran is not working as efficiently as it should. The same Nigerians will also be quick to tell you that the solution to the challenges we are facing cannot be quickly resolved by a break-up. It was, thus, interesting that Remi Oyeyemi’s piece, “Why Nigeria Must Break Up” was written while Nigerians were saying “Never Again” as we marked the 50 years to the end of the Civil War. 

Ndigbo have a saying that if one does not know the place where a corpse was buried, he digs it up at the feet. Rather than digging for the problems of Nigeria from the feet, our myriad of problems will only be resolved with some 21st century solutions. What we need in Nigeria at this point is an informed understanding of where we are today as a nation and where we should be heading.

Nigerians do now want to be traumatised by another Civil War. A quick lesson on the traumatic and life lasting effect of the last attempted break up of Nigeria, was on display in Onyeka Onwenu’s speech at the ‘Never Again Conference’ organized by Nzuko Umunna, to mark 50 years since the end of the Nigerian Civil War. At the conference, Onyeka Onwenu’s uncharacteristic outburst and expression of pains over what Igbos went through, during the Nigerian Civil War, was revealing.

Listening to Onyeka Onwenu, I was reminded of the powerful Igbo proverb that “when we see an old woman stop her dance to point again and again in the same direction, we can be sure that somewhere there, something happened long ago which touched the roots of her life." Here we are 50 years after the Civil War and Onyeka Onwenu, who has remained my go-to person for Nigerian music of unity, bitterly expressing the hurt and unhealed wound from the scars of the Nigerian Civil war.

My heart melted when she narrated her shock and pain over the abandoned properties in Port Harcourt. The pain in Onwenu’s voice when she recollected the betrayal made me believe that an apology from President Buhari on behalf of Nigeria and Governor Wike on behalf of Rivers State will not be inappropriate. That’s a subject for another piece though.

For now, let me circle back to why we should be saying “Never Again” rather than push for another break-up. Every Nigerian should pause and ask, what will happen to us after the breaking up of Nigeria? If the “contraption” will not give us peace, do you think that the rest of the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria will open their hands and welcome foreigners on a red carpet?

Without downplaying the worth of the abandoned properties after the Nigerian Civil War, pause, as Onye Igbo, and think of what will happen to the properties and investments of Igbos, worth trillions of Naira, across Nigeria after we are carried away by the seductive whisper of letting Nigeria break to pieces.

While I agree with Remi that “The Agatu is not satisfied”, “The Magale is not satisfied”, “The Lamang is not satisfied”, I disagree with his conclusion that “the silent majority are angling to extricate themselves from the contraption called Nigeria.” 

Does it mean that the people of Agatu in Benue state, the people of Southern Kaduna, in Kaduna State and the people of Onitsha in Anambra State, for example, should “extricate” themselves and form their own nations because they are not satisfied with the “contraption” called Nigeria? 

The truth is that it is easy to latch on the cleavages across the diverse and complex Nigerian cultural and ethnic landscape and advocate for the division. But, it is also easy, very easy, to latch on the same cleavages that could be found within regions, states ethnicities, subethnicities, clans, kindred’s, families, husband and wife, and even identical twins to promote violet breakups.

My question for people advocating for the breaking up of Nigeria is, at what point should one set the boundaries to the breaking to “pieces” as some of us are currently advocating? What should be the rationale? Where should we you stop after we commence the disintegration?

As Igbos say, a woman who began cooking before another must have more broken utensils. Ethnicity in Nigeria is complex, interwoven with Nigerians of different tribes starving together; drinking unclean water together; fornicating together, risking their lives on bad roads together; struggling to make a living in the streets and markets together; sickening and dying together. These Nigerians already have more than enough broken memories; broken lives; broken relationships; broken hopes and broken businesses experiences. A broken Nigeria, will only worsen their situation.

To my Igbo brothers clapping for breaking up of Nigeria, remember our proverb that he who kills his plantain tree with his own gun does not know that it is his own property being lost. Agitating for breaking up of Nigeria is akin to killing your plantain plantations in Yenagoa, Otuoke, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Kano, Kaduna, Maiduguri Lokoja, Benue, Lagos, and even Asaba. One who throws away the seed pod does not realize that he has thrown away a basket of vegetables. Assisting to break Nigeria up is like throwing away the seed pod.

My people have a saying that an effective word is not long. I have written a long rejoinder, but permit me to end by first urging Nigerians to free ourselves from the trap of ethnocentrism. 

Hot soup should be eaten slowly. Nigeria is hot soup. The complexity, interrelationship, interdependence has grown much bigger than pre-civil war era. I, thus, strongly believe that the solution to the problem of Nigeria will not come from its breaking up.

We are stronger together and together, we can.

I rest my case.

Twitter: @churchillnnobi

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Seven Persons Killed In Clash Between Cult Gangs In Lagos

Thu, 2020-01-23 12:10


The Guardian Nigeria

The police in Lagos have said that seven persons had been killed during cult violence in the Ijede area of Ikorodu, a sprawling suburb in the state. 

Spokesperson for the police in Lagos, Bala Elkana, further disclosed that 10 others had been arrested in connection with the crime.

According to him, the fracas started after an argument ensued between members of two rival cult gangs. 

He added that the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, called an emergency meeting and summoned the Area Commander, DPOs, tactical commanders where the incident happened, and ordered the arrest of the miscreants to deal with the situation.

Chairman of Ijede Local Council Development Area, Fatiu Salisu, said the clash started on January 20 when a man was reportedly stabbed with a bottle and was rushed to a hospital. 

According to Salisu, the man was rejected due to the nature of his injuries and was later referred to a teaching hospital. 

Salisu added that his members thought he had died and so launched a reprisal.

He said, “I was at a meeting in Ikeja when I was called that a boy belonging to ‘Eiye Fraternity’ had been stabbed.

“On that day, two people died, another four were killed the next day while another one was killed on Wednesday, making seven in all.”

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Boko Haram: Cleric Urges Buhari To Sack Buratai, Other Service Chiefs

Thu, 2020-01-23 12:06


Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria in Adamawa State, Stephen Mamza, has urged President Muhammad Buhari to sack all service chiefs.

Mamza on Wednesday in Yola, the state capital, alleged that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Buratai, and other service chiefs were only looting the country's resources in the ongoing war against Boko Haram.

He said, “It is no longer news that the top hierarchy of our military and other security agencies have become billionaires since this problem of Boko Haram insurgency started.

“In our annual and supplementary budgets, billions of naira are being allocated and claimed to be expended on purchase of weapons and war equipment but you hear our troops complaining that the terrorists have superior firepower.

“For that as a matter of fact, these service chiefs should be sacked because they have ran out of ideas with the ongoing security deterioration in the country, especially the North-Eastern part where people are being abducted and killed by the day.”

He further alleged that corruption was the reason why Boko Haram insurgency continued to thrive, stressing that “these top brass in the security sector are feeding fat on our resources to the detriment of the country and its people”.

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BREAKING: Police Kill Journalist During Shiite Protest In Abuja

Thu, 2020-01-23 11:56


The police in Abuja have shot dead a journalist and activist known as Alex Ogbu during a protest by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.

Ogbu, was until his tragic demise a journalist with Regent Africa Times, a magazine publication based in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. 

He was the passerby shot on the head during the Shiite protest on Tuesday by police personnel around the Berger area of the city.

Two other persons sustained gunshot wounds during the protest that ended in chaos.

Curiously, the FCT police authorities are attempting to change the circumstances surrounding the death of the journalist.

Apart from claiming that Ogbu hit his head on a stone while running during the protest and died in the process, spokesperson for the FCT Police, Anjuguri Manzal, refused to disclose the identity of the deceased when contacted by journalists. 

Manzal had on Tuesday issued a statement admitting that their men shot a passerby during the protest and vowed to investigate the incident.

The management of Regent Africa Times said that its legal team had been briefed on the development and would soon come up with a position on the matter.

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Angry Mob Kills Men For Robbing Pregnant Woman In Uyo

Thu, 2020-01-23 11:17


Two suspected armed robbers have been burnt to death after robbing a pregnant woman at the Abak Road Boulevard in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. 

According to Daily Trust, four robbers surrounded the woman when she got down from a motorbike at about 9:00pm on Tuesday night. 

The motorcyclist drove off after dropping his passenger but was forced to turn back on hearing screams from the pregnant woman. 

He stated that on sighting the motorcyclist, two of the robbers fled the scene after successfully dispossessing the lady of her valuables. 

He however, said that the other two robbers were not fortunate as the motorcyclist immediately alerted nearby residents, who engaged in a battle with the hoodlums. 

A resident of the area, Arit Archibong, lamented that the boulevard area had become a den of criminals for some years now. 

She added that about four rape cases were reported within the tunnel in December 2019, blaming the crime on power outage and lack of security in the area. 

Police spokesperson in the state, Odiko Macdon, confirmed the incident but frowned at the jungle justice meted out to the hoodlums, noting that such an act had no place in law. 

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Policeman Named 2019 #IntegrityIcon Winner After Rejecting N6m Bribe

Thu, 2020-01-23 11:13


CSP Francis Erhabor, Divisional Police Officer of Itam, Akwa Ibom State, who rejected a N6m bribe has been named as winner of 2019 Integrity Icon award.

The Integrity Icon Summit and Award organised by Accountability Lab in partnership with Luminate, MacArthur and Ford Foundation, is a global campaign powered by citizens in search of honest government officials.

CSP Erhabor was nominated alongside four other finalists for the award.

They include Tani Ali Nimlan, an official of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control; Tina Odinakachi Lirmdu, a lecturer at the University of Jos, Plateau State; Kacheilom Betram Roberts-Ndukwe, a teacher in a secondary school in Port Harcourt, Rivers State; and Christian Ngozi Ahiauzu, head of the network infrastructure unit in ICTC at the University of Port Harcourt.

CSP Erhabor was appointed as the Pipeline Commander by the PPMC with an allowance of N37, 500.

In 2019 he was approached and offered N6m to beat the system but he refused.

He was also informed by some of his colleagues about an illegal arrangement that will fetch him N500, 000 every day, which is way above his monthly stipend from the government but he stood his ground and never compromised.

The organisers of the award revealed the decision in a tweet as the event was going on in Abuja.

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Court Sentences Fugitive Oil Thief To 10 Years Imprisonment

Thu, 2020-01-23 11:03


An oil thief, Abednego Ogede, who was convicted in absentia by Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos, on December 18, 2019, has now been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

Aikawa had in December 2019 pronounced the convict alongside a vessel, MV Shirley and a company, Sagwe International Limited, guilty of all four counts of conspiracy and illegal and unlawful dealing in 145, 000 metric tonnes of Automated Gasoline Oil brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Upon declaring the convict guilty of the charges, the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the court for forfeiture of the vessel and the company charged with the convict to the Nigerian Government of Nigeria, while also pleading with them to empower all security agencies to arrest the convict and bring him to court for the purpose of sentencing him.

On Thursday, Oyedepo informed the court of the convict’s arrest and urged it to sentence him as prescribed by Section 1(17) of the Miscellaneous Act, 2017.

“The court had on December 18, 2019, convicted the fleeing convict and directed various security agencies to see to his arrest.

“He has been arrested after he was smoked out of hiding by the police.

“We urge the court to sentence him according to section 1(17) of the Miscellaneous Act”, Oyedepo stated.

Responding to the prosecutor’s request, the convict’s counsel, Mr A. Joseph, pleaded with the court to consider Section 312 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (2015), in sentencing his client. 

He pleaded with the court not to take the disappearance of the convict into consideration during judgment, which he described as product of fear.

“In line with Section 321 of ACJA, I urge the court to tamper justice with mercy. He has erred by running away and that is a product of fear.

“I urge the court not to look at his running away but to consider that he’s a father with children, who depends on him for survival. If it is possible to convert the prison term to fine, we’ll be grateful.”

Justice Aikawa after listening to both prosecutor and convict’s counsel, held that, “I’ve listened to the plea of the convict’s counsel and also to the submission of the prosecutor.

“It is a serious offence for someone dealing in petroleum products unlawfully. Consequently, the convict is hereby sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in count one, two, three and four.

“The jail terms shall run concurrently and effective from today.”

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Lagos Opens Camp For Residents Displaced By Pipeline Explosion

Thu, 2020-01-23 11:00


Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has ordered the opening of the Igando Relief Camp of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency for residents rendered homeless as a result of Sunday night’s pipeline explosion.

The explosion, which led to a fire outbreak, left five persons dead and 10 houses razed.

Public Affairs Officer of LASEMA, Nosa Okunbor, announced that Chairman of Agbado Oke-Odo LCDA, Hon. (Dr.) Adeoye Augustine Arogundade, appealed to the governor to open the camp for displaced people.

About 300 people are being housed in the relief camp.

He said, “Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in view of the disaster resulting from the pipeline vandalisation of January 19, 2020, has magnanimously granted the request of the Chairman Agbado Oke-Odo LCDA, Hon. (Dr.) Adeoye Augustine Arogundade, and has directed that the Igando Relief Camp of LASEMA be opened to the about 300 displaced persons/victims with immediate effect.”

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Lagos Residents Petition Governor Sanwo-Olu Over Poor Road Standard

Thu, 2020-01-23 10:55



 

Residents of Igando, Lagos State, have petitioned Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu over the ongoing rehabilitation of the Agric/Egan/Igando Road.

The road being constructed by Neesarm Ventures Nigeria, the residents said, had fallen short of acceptable standard and quality.

The petition was sent to the governor and Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa; Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engineer Aramide Adeyoye; as well as Neesarm Ventures.

“Our clients intermittently monitored the level of quality and performance of the contractor especially in relation to their area, after the visit to the site by Eng. Aramide Adeyoye, sometimes in 2019.

“Consequent upon the above, we have our clients instruction to express our client dissatisfaction with the contractor's failure to meet the acceptable industry level of quality standards and performance, and urgently call your esteem attention to the immediate inspection of the said road especially with respect to the blocking of major streets, gutters and access covet to the houses of our clients some of which have their houses on the said road, without any alternative route, in case of emergency.

“The above identified and other degree of compromise in standard and quality and failure in total adherence to the project guidelines, are not suited to the needs and expectation of the people in the community to the extent that the youth are having a serious confrontation with the contractor's engineers at the site.

“Upon calling the attention of the engineers to the compromise, the engineers directed that our clients should write to the State Government based on their complain, as providing an alternative route to the streets blocked will cost them extra cost not budgeted by them except the State Government further instruct them to do so based on new agreement,” the petition reads.

The residents urged the state government to send a team to inspect the road and make necessary amends to the ongoing road rehabilitation.

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BREAKING: Nigeria Drops Deeper On Transparency International's 2019 Corruption Index

Thu, 2020-01-23 10:36



Nigeria has dropped farther on the 2019 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index. 

In the 2018 report, Nigeria ranked 144 out of 180 countries surveyed by the organisation.  

The country has now dropped two steps below in the recent 2019 report released on Thursday. 

Nigeria also scored 27 out of 100 points in the 2018 CPI, maintaining the same score as in the 2017 CPI, the same as it did in 2018. 

The score is below the global average of 43.

According to the 2019 CPI, two-thirds, which is 120 countries, scored below 50.

Countries within Sub-Saharan Africa also have the lowest average with 32 over 100 points. 

Countries in Western Europe and the European Union came out as the highest region with 66 over 100 points. 

Somalia ranked lowest with points while Denmark scored the highest with 87 points. 

The report suggested that countries where elections and political party financing are open to undue influence from vested interests are less able to combat corruption, analysis of the results revealed.

“Frustration with government corruption and lack of trust in institutions speaks to a need for greater political integrity,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International. 

“Governments must urgently address the corrupting role of big money in political party financing and the undue influence it exerts on our political systems,” Rubio added. 

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As Angola’s Dos Santos Faces Scrutiny Over “Luanda Leaks,” Another Kleptocrat, Uganda’s Museveni Woos Investors In London

Thu, 2020-01-23 10:32


Contrast the global scrutiny that’s now faced by Isabela dos Santos with the royal treatment being accorded a confirmed African kleptocrat, Uganda’s Gen. Yoweri Museveni.

Dos Santos faces a barrage of attacks and criminal investigations and possible charges following revelations reported in The New York Times from the “Luanda leaks” that several Western accounting firms and consultants aided and abetted her schemes that led to alleged theft of hundreds of millions of dollars from Angola.

On the other hand, Gen. Museveni, the militarist ruler of 34 years was in London this week attending the U.K-Africa Summit and claimed he's now on a crusade to fight corruption.

Ever since he was exposed in 2018 in a U.S. court trial as a corrupt tyrant, Gen. Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s militarist ruler, has been on a public relations campaign to prove that he’s serious about “fighting” corruption.

Museveni recently participated in a widely mocked “march against corruption” in Uganda. 

How can a confirmed kleptoctrat fight corruption? 

If Gen. Museveni were indeed serious, he would surrender at the nearest police station. He would take his foreign minister and in-law, Sam Kutesa, with him.

In a U.S. federal court trial in December 2018, a Chinese national was convicted of paying a bribe of $1m, which was split between Museveni and Kutesa on behalf of a Chinese company for business concessions including in the oil industry. Other incentives for the corrupt duo was a promise of joint venture companies with the families of Museveni and Kutesa and the Chinese company, CEFC China Energy. 

Yet, this week, both Museveni and Kutesa, who is peerless in the annals of Uganda’s corruption scandals, were in London attending the U.K-Africa Summit hosted by British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. 

Museveni told scores of potential investors during one gathering that opportunities abound given that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement officially launches in July. The historic agreement lowers tariffs across the continent and will boost by billions of dollars intra-Africa trade and create economies of scale.  

Museveni, the shameless cynic, warned that with increased opportunities come more temptation for corruption. Taking bribes from potential investors to facilitate business transactions was a no-no, he said. He claimed he’d been cracking down and that he recently arrested some corrupt officials. He didn’t reveal that these were small fish and that their arrest was a public relations gimmick.

Here are some of the things the pathological liar did not tell his audience. 

In March 2019, the Chinese national and former Hong Kong Home Affairs minister, Chi-Ping Patrick Ho, was sentenced to three years in prison by Judge Loretta A. Preska of U.S. Federal District Court in Manhattan. He was convicted in December 2018, following a jury trial, of paying a $1m bribe split between Gen. Museveni and foreign minister Kutesa.

The bribe payment was on behalf of CEFC China Energy, a Shanghai-based company, for concessions in the oil industry and for other businesses including in tourism; construction of a China-Town themed casino on an island in Lake Victoria; and infrastructure construction. The CEFC plan to form joint venture companies with the families of Gen. Museveni and Kutesa would further enriching the corrupt pair. During the one-week trial blown-up photographs of Museveni and Kutesa were on display in the courtroom for jurors. Museveni’s photograph was labelled Government Exhibit 1510 17 Cr. 779 (LAP), while Kutesa’s was labelled Government Exhibit 1504 Cr. 779 (LAP).

The trial was widely covered although, conspicuously, it was ignored by the BBC which seems to have a cosy relationship with the Ugandan dictator. He is supported by the U.K with aid from British taxpayers’ money so that could explain the BBC news blackout. Whether by design or not, British taxpayers have been kept in the dark about the true nature of Museveni and his regime when it comes to corruption. Likewise, the U.K business community are not able to adequately assess the risks involved in dealings with Museveni and his officials.

Soliciting and accepting bribes are certainly crimes. How does a major media company conclude that this is not relevant information for British taxpayers, including businesses?

The focus of The New York Times' story on the “The Luanda Leaks” is on how Western accounting firms and consultancies helped billionaire Isabel dos Santos in her alleged embezzlement. Her father Jose Eduardo dos Santos was president of Angola for 38 years from 1979 to 2017.

The cases of Museveni and Kutesa demonstrate clearly that the Western establishment routinely aid and abet corruption in Africa. 

Museveni has ruled Uganda for 34 years, having rigged multiple elections. He and chief capo and in-law, foreign minister Kutesa —who’s been in the same post for 15 years— have both been implicated in past corruption scandals. Museveni was alleged to have accepted a bribe from ENI and Kutesa from Tullow Oil company, which the companies denied; Tullow is in the process of selling off its interest in Uganda’s oil business due to unrelated matters. 

Kutesa was also implicated in the theft of $27m from funds set aside when Uganda hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference in 2007. The U.K Government shortly after had considered revoking Kutesa’s visa and was expected to ask for U.S. support according to a cable from the U.S Embassy in Uganda. The cable said the British had also considered barring other Ugandan officials and that the “primary target is Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa…” whose corruption the American embassy considered “...egregious…”

Kutesa was involved in another major theft revealed by this media outlet Black Star News. He took the helm as President of the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. It turns out Kutesa had billed the U.N about $30m in the preceding five years before he took that job, through his private company, Entebbe Handling Services (Enhas). He was the owner of the company even while Uganda’s foreign minister. Enhas had contracts to handle operations associated with the U.N’s peacekeeping in East and Central Africa. This means when Uganda invaded Congo, as it did multiple times, and South Sudan, there were additional U.N operations. Kutesa’s company made more money as a result of the wars instigated by Museveni and Kutesa. More deaths in Congo and Sudan meant more U.N missions and billings for Kutesa's Enhas company.

Kutesa had clear conflict of interest and the U.N never would have awarded Enhas the contract had he informed it of his ownership. When this publication confronted the U.N with the evidence of Kutesa’s deception, and therefore fraudulent billings of about $30m, the U.N removed the links to the invoices paid out to Enhas from its website. The U.N also declined to reveal whether it has tried to recover funds from Enhas. The U.S. contributes more than one-third to the U.N’s operations, meaning at least $10m of the money stolen by Kutesa belongs to American taxpayers.

Here’s how the CEFC bribe to Museveni and Kutesa evolved. 

Kutesa met Patrick Ho while he was the General Assembly president. Ho operated an NGO at the United Nations, which was a front for him to develop relations with diplomats like Kutesa. Ho was wined and dined at Kutesa’s official residence in New York and eventually the pair developed their corrupt enterprise. Kutesa boasted to Ho that Museveni was his in-law, court documents in the December 2018 trial, revealed.

Kutesa’s cut of the $1m bribe was wired to him through a New York bank branch into his account in Uganda, in 2016, giving the U.S jurisdiction. By that time Kutesa’s term had ended as General Assembly president and he’d returned to Uganda. After Museveni stole the 2016 vote from Dr Kizza Besigye, candidate for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), he invited Ho for his swearing-in. Ho flew in to Uganda in a Gulf-stream jet accompanied by other CEFC executives to meet Museveni, Kutesa, and other Ugandan officials including in the oil industry. He also brought with him $500,000 in cash wrapped as “gifts” for Gen. Museveni, the federal jury trial in New York found. Kutesa’s wife Edith helped Ho and his delegations clear custom with the “gifts” documents at the trial, showed. 

With the conviction and sentencing of Ho, you’d think some major corporate honchos would want to stay as far away from Gen. Museveni as possible, unless aiding and abetting corruption are indeed part of their business model. TOTAL is negotiating with the Ugandan dictator and in December the CEO, Patrick Pouyanne, flew to Uganda to meet with Museveni. The Chinese government reportedly detained Ye Jianming the CEO of CEFC China Energy, the company that bribed Museveni and Kutesa. Yet, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) is negotiating with Museveni. The U.S. ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac, also lobbied Museveni on behalf of American business interests in Uganda’s oil sector, disregarding her own government’s case against Ho for bribing the dictator she wanted to conclude a deal with. Malac boasted of calling the dictator a dozen times to lobby him.

Museveni bargains off Uganda’s national assets with no legislative oversight by Uganda’s Parliament. He is a law unto himself. No wonder he and Kutesa accept bribes along the way. How does TOTAL’s CEO Pouyanne justify his dealings with Museveni to the company’s shareholders, especially now, after the “Luanda leaks” expose of Western collusion in corruption in Africa? How does he justify this to TOTAL’s board of directors?

Gen. Museveni was not forthcoming with the whole truth in his business pitch with potential investors in London this week.

Ugandans in London held protests against his visit – calling for a travel ban – but not a single reporter confronted him and Kutesa about the $1m bribe from Ho. A kleptocrat can’t fight corruption.

Follow the author @allimadi

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Amotekun, A Vote Of No Confidence On Buhari’s Handling Of Security -PDP

Wed, 2020-01-22 23:22


President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari gettyimages

 

The Peoples Democratic Party has described the establishment of Amotekun as a direct vote of no confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari’s handling of security in the country.

The National Working Committee of the PDP stated that the President Buhari-led administration had not only failed to end insurgency and terrorism in the country, but also fuelled disunity and acts of violence among citizens. 

The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, also held that the execution of Rev Andimi remains a sad commentary on the inability of government to stand for citizens at very crucial moments.

According to the PDP, if President Buhari had handled the security well, the situation would not have degenerated to the creation of Operation Amotekun by South-West governors.

The statement reads, “The PDP recalls that the Buhari-led Federal Government had failed to prosecute the masterminds of the mass killings in Benue, Nasarawa, Bauchi, Taraba, Kogi, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Zamfara, Kaduna, Ekiti and other parts of the country under the current administration.

“Moreover, the body language, brazen acts of nepotism as well as divisive and incendiary comments by officials in the Buhari administration have continued to fuel disunity, acts of violence and insecurity in various parts of our nation.

“The situation would not have degenerated to this level if the Buhari was living up to his billing on security, including listening to wise counsel by well-meaning Nigerians to rejig his security high command.

“The PDP holds that it is clear that security of lives and property in our nation has gone beyond what the insensitive, divisive and incompetent Buhari administration can guarantee.”

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Nigeria’s Islamic Council Condemns Killing Of Adamawa Christian Leader By Terrorists

Wed, 2020-01-22 19:37


 

The National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs has expressed shock over the killing of the Christian Association of Nigeria chairman in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Lawan Andimi, by Boko Haram.

The council described the murder as barbaric and provocative, adding that it was a ploy by the insurgents to incite Christians against Muslims in the country, a report by PUNCH said.

Andimi was abducted by Boko Haram on January 3 and subsequently killed on Monday despite a N50 million ransom offered to the terrorists.

The NSCIA in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, by its Head of Media and Communication, Aselemi Ibrahim, condoled with CAN and the family of the deceased and also called on government and security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities of protection of lives and property.

The statement reads, “The council hereby expresses her heartfelt condolences to the immediate family of Pastor Lawan Andimi in particular and the leadership and members of the Christian Association of Nigeria in general.

“We equally want to seize this opportunity to appeal to the leadership of CAN in Nigeria to be wary of the comments and statements it puts out in the public domain, so as not to play into the antics of the enemy.

“We should think through and be sure that our comments are in the interest of national peace, security and cohesion.”

 

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Hours After Supreme Court Ruling, Adamawa Governor Vows To Probe Predecessor

Wed, 2020-01-22 19:06


 

Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Fintiri, has vowed to probe the administration of his predecessor, Jibrilla Bindo.

After a ruling by the Supreme Court on Tuesday affirming his election victory, Fintiri said it was time to clean up the mess in the state.

At a rally in Yola, the state capital, on Wednesday, Fintiri said, “I must ensure that state and local government looters return public money to the state.

“Any person or group of persons involved in looting the resources of the state must be investigated.

“No matter their position in society, they would be probed.”

Fintiri described the apex court's judgment as a positive development for the state, adding that his administration will deliver on promises made to the people.

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Four Cases Of Lassa Fever Confirmed In Kano

Wed, 2020-01-22 18:06


Lassa Fever

Lassa Fever

 

Commissioner for Health in Kano State, Ibrahim Tsanyawa, has said four persons have been diagnosed with Lassa Fever in the state.

He confirmed this during a press briefing on Wednesday, the News agency of Nigeria reports.

The commissioner said the existence of the disease in the state came to light on Tuesday.

He said, “A pregnant woman, who had a caesarean session at AKTH in December, was said to be a carrier of the disease and had died.

“Subsequent to that, one of the doctors and a health worker that carried out the CS on the woman also died, while another doctor is under care at the Isolation Centre at Yargaya area of Kano.

“The consultant, who took charge of the pregnant woman when she was moved to the Intensive Care Unit of AKTH also died of the same symptoms.”

He said there would be daily meetings to keep all stakeholders updated about the situation.

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Religious Group Condemns Killing Of Adamawa CAN Chairman By Terrorists

Wed, 2020-01-22 17:59


 

A group, the National Inter-Faith and Religious Organisation for Peace, has condemned the killing of Rev Lawan Andimi, Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State by Boko Haram terrorists.

The group described the murder of Andimi as unacceptable, noting that something urgent must be done by the Nigerian Government to stop incessant killings of innocent persons in the country.

In a statement, the group’s coordinator, Julius Ediwe, said it was time for decisive action to be taken on the matter by government.

The statement reads, “This death is indeed one too many for all lovers of peace in Nigeria regardless of ethnic and religious affiliations.

“The killing of Rev Lawan Andimi by Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist group is indeed against biblical injunction, and there shall be consequences.

“As an organisation under God, we pray that the wrath of God shall fall heavily on all those responsible for the death of Rev Andimi.

“All those that have conspired directly or indirectly to the death of the servant of God shall be visited with the wrath of God. This includes the financiers, local, and international promoters of the Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist groups.”

 

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Teenager Arraigned For Destroying Rice Farm In Ekiti

Wed, 2020-01-22 16:26


The police in Ekiti State have arraigned 17-year-old boy, Bumba Karba, before an Ado Ekiti Chief Magistrate Court over unlawful destruction of a rice farm.

Karba was arraigned alongside Nafiu Mohammed and Mohammed Audu for grazing their cattle on the farm located at Okemesi Ekiti with others still at large on January 7, causing massive destruction on the land.

Police prosecutor, Johnson Okunade, said the total damage caused by the accused person to the farm belonging to Olusola Sanni was N4.5m.

The accused however, pleaded not guilty.

Upon their application for bail, the Chief Magistrate, Mr Adesoji Adegboye, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties each in like sum and adjourned the case until February 24, 2020, for hearing.

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Edo: Court Remands Man In Prison For Raping Teenager

Wed, 2020-01-22 16:06


A 30-year-old man, Chigozie Mathew, has been remanded in prison custody in Benin, Edo State, for raping a 17-year-old girl.

Prosecutor, Ifidon Daniel, told the court that the accused person committed the offense on January 6 at Okey Golden Hotel, Upper Sakponba Road, Benin city.

The accused however, pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him.

Magistrate Adamaigbo Dorothy, who rejected the oral application for bail made for the accused, adjourned the case until March 25 for hearing.

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