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Most Of Us Are Not Happy That You Have Moved From Your Autocratic Nature To An Extreme Democrat, Amaechi Tells Buhari

Thu, 2019-05-23 16:36

Rotimi Amaechi on Wednesday thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for not converting him to Islam. He made the comment during the valedictory session  of the Federal Executive Council.

The former governor of Rivers State made the statement to spite the president's inverterate critics  who consider him a religious bigot. He said he was misunderstood and criticised for associating with the president.

At the valedictory session of the council, ministers in the cabinet took turns to narrate the lessons they learnt from the president as members of his cabinet.

Amaechi narrated how he was almost chased out of Christ the King Catholic Church in 2014 for supporting the president, whom they alleged was trying to Islamise the country.

“Mr. President, let me thank you for not converting me to Islam. I say that specifically because in 2014 when I walked into Christ the King Catholic Church, I was literally chased out of the church as a governor because I was accused of supporting a man whose agenda was to Islamise Nigeria.

“And in Rivers state they began to call me `Alhaji Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi’. I thank you because they have dropped the `Alhaji’ and back to Mr Chibuike Amaechi,’’ he said.

Amaechi said some persons initially thought that the president would be an autocratic leader only for him to turn out to be an “extreme democrat".

“I was told in the course of the campaign that you were autocratic and therefore you would not be democratic.

“Most of us are not happy that you have moved from your autocratic nature to an extreme democrat that everything puts to test of the people, to the extent that the people now feel that the only way things can go on in this country is by the rule of law.

“We all know that the rule of law is the beginning and the end of this government. Talking about the financial impunity that we saw before, people were making money without having any productive capacity for that,’’ he said.

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IPOB’s Words Of Palm Wine: Stone Igbos Who Fail To Sit-At-Home By Churchill Okonkwo

Thu, 2019-05-23 15:25

The diverse human experiences and artistic dimensions in Chinua Achebe’s works capture how Igbos distaste laziness and drunkenness. In the rich Igbo culture and tradition, for example, drunkards are not given a position of authority. They are laughed at for their buffoonery and refusal to work to discourage the young ones in the community from towing that line.

In Achebe’s Arrow of God, after Obika was whipped by the white man, Ezeulu, the Chief Priest accused his son of being “blind by palm wine when he left [his house] in the morning.” He added that “even when he came back a short while ago, it had still not cleared from his eyes.” Ezeulu’s good friend, Akuebue, reminded him that the story going around was that Obika did not strike the first blow in the fight.  The Chief Priest wanted to know whether Akuebue “would swear before a deity on the strength of what a drunken man [said].”

In the excerpts, above, Achebe was painting a picture of how unreliable drunks are in Igbo society.

In the real-life drama unfolding before us in Nigeria, Nnamdi Kanu was blinded by wine when he left the United Kingdom for Nigeria, in pursuit of the elusive, yet enigmatic Biafra. In Nigeria, he drugged himself with palm wine. The same palm wine was still not cleared in his eyes when he “resurrected” after he was “crucified” by Buhari, and returned to the U.K. via Israel.

From the comfort zone of Oyibo man’s land, Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB are now calling for the stoning of hardworking men and women of Igboland. This is a senseless and self-destructive utterance that best be characterized as words of palm wine.

A feature of alcoholism is deception. Once drunk, alcoholics start lying about the quantity they have drunk. They start lying about where they have been. Because alcohol has taken control, chaos and disorder reign. Those who live with an alcoholic will tell you that it is a rollercoaster ride.

Since we embraced IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu, our life has been in a rollercoaster ride. Here are some samples of their words of palm wine: "No referendum, no election”; It is either Biafra or death"; "President Buhari is Jubril from Sudan" "Atiku Abubakar is from Cameron"; "signed sealed and delivered." And the latest is “refuse to sit-at-home and be stoned.”

Here are some actions of an alcoholic and how IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu have exhibited them.   After drinking too much palm wine, you start making ridiculous claims like claiming that your president is an imposter from Sudan. You also start using abusive language: IPOB has abused all the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.

With additional palm wine, a drunk start acting like a complete idiot: It is idiotic for IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu to keep claiming that President Buhari is a Jubril from Sudan.

As it gets worse, you start peeing on yourself and your followers: IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu peed on themselves when they called for the boycott of the 2019 Presidential election, only to reverse themselves and declare support for Atiku.

Then, there is the hangover. For IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu, the hangover from all the hallucination and wishful thinking is that they remained lazy.

Laziness is often symptoms of a bigger problem. Having failed in the lackluster attempt to instigate conflict between different ethnic nationalities, IPOB’s default resort to issuing “Sit-at-home” orders is an act of laziness. Calling for the stoning of Igbos working hard to feed their families is a symptom to the bigger problem – inferiority complex.

Nigeria’s multicultural character is a permanent feature that is expanding exponentially. As such, promotion of isolationism by any group could be an act of fear, fear that is driven by laziness and absence of courage to embrace and compete in the inevitable cosmopolitan nature of our cities and even villages.

For Ndigbo to remain focused and competitive, we cannot make the mistake of having a drunk in charge of a motor vehicle when you have sober men around. Why have Igbos allowed men who do not understand the value of labor to keep manipulating the Biafran Spirit? How can we stop the derailment?

Some self-reflection is needed if we are to wiggle ourselves out of this. As Igbos, even though the palm-wine drinkers in IPOB have lost their senses, we as a tribe must remain wise and be faithful to our age-long traditional understanding that the medicine against palm wine is the power to say no.

So, we must say no to the weaponization of the Biafran Spirit against Igbos by IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu.  Igbos must start challenging IPOB’s ideology and strategy of misinformation. We must counter their buffoonery with sound and a superior argument backed by facts and not lies.

I will end this piece by returning to Chinua Achebe. In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo's father Unoka was a drunkard who owed money to everyone. Unoka was not a good provider, and his wife and children often went hungry. As Chinua Achebe narrated, Okonkwo was ashamed of his father and was determined to rise above his upbringing to become a successful citizen and brave warrior.

To rise above the increasingly shameful utterances of IPOB, Ndigbo must begin to distance ourselves from this plague that we embraced. If an arrow has not entered deeply, then its removal is not hard. Before this arrow called IPOB penetrates deep into the heart of Umu Igbo and cause collateral damage, we must pull it out NOW.

The antics of a village drunkard or a market buffoon will provide laughter, but nobody prays that his child becomes a drunk or a market buffoon. With the latest words of palm wine from IPOB that the hardworking Igbos who refuse to sit-at-home should be stoned, the buffoons we sent to the market square are turning to koboko wielding masquerades, threatening to flog us for exhibiting the Biafran Spirit.

The Biafra land is under attack by the self-acclaimed Supreme leader of Indigenous People of Biafra.

What an irony!

You can email Churchill at or follow him on Twitter @churchillnnobi


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Buhari: The Absentee President By Bayo Oluwasanmi

Thu, 2019-05-23 15:02

Of all Nigerian Presidents, President Muhammadu Buhari lacks relevant experience and subject expertise for the job of the president. Tragically, Buhari has failed to make up for his historical lack of qualifications. He has compounded the problem with his historical laziness.

Buhari is an absentee president who relish overseas jaunts instead of finding solutions to crippling socio-economic and political problems facing Nigeria. Nigerians don’t know exactly what Buhari is doing or would do as president. His plans, policies, and programs remain hazy and fuzzy in a country whose future is as uncertain and hopeless as its 200 million Akindanidani citizens.

In the midst of 500 billion Naira stolen by Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor and his three top staff, and with endless killings by both Buhari's Fulani kinsmen herdsmen terrorists and Boko Haram terrorists, Buhari jets out Nigeria to attend Umar Hajj (lesser hajj) in Mecca. 

Here's a summary of the countries Buhari has visited as president from 2015 to 2018.

2015: Niger June 3 (Anti-Boko Haram Summit), Chad June 4 (State Visit), Germany 7-8 June (42nd G7 Summit), South Africa 12-13 June (25thAfrican Union Summit), US 19-23 July (State Visit), Cameroon 29-30 July (State Visit), Benin 2-3 August (Independence Celebrations), Ghana 7 September (State Visit), France 14-16 September (State Visit), US 24-29 September (70th Session of the UN General Assembly), India 26-30 October (Third India Africa Forum Summit), Sudan 30 October (State Visit), Iran 22-24 November (3rd Gas exporting Countries Forum), Malta 28-30 November (2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit), France 30 November – 1 December (Paris Conference of Parties 21), South Africa 4-5 December (China Africa Summit). 

2016: Benin 8 January (11th Summit of the Heads of State of Niger basin Authority), United Arab Emirates 17-29 January (Wold Future Energy Summit), Ethiopia 26 January (26th Summit of African Union Heads of State and Government), Kenya 27-29 January (State Visit), France 2-4 February (Official Visit). UK 5-10 February (Vacation), Egypt 18 February (Sharm el-Sheikh “Africa 2016”) Saudi Arabia 22-27 February (OPEC Meeting), Equatorial Guinea 14 March (State Visit), US 30 March – 3 April (4th Nuclear Security Summit), China 11-14 April (State Visit), UK 13 May – 15 May (Anti-Corruption Summit), UK 6-9 June (Medical Visit), Chad 8 August (Inauguration of Idris Deby), Kenya 27-28 August (Tokyo Conference on Africa), US 11-15 September (71st Session of the UN General Assembly), Germany 13-16 October (State Visit), Morocco 14-18 November (UN Climate Chabge Conference), Senegal 5-7 December (Third Dakar International on Peace and Security in Africa), Gambia 13 December (ECOWAS Summit).

2017: Ghana 7 January (Inauguration of Nana Akufo-Addo). Gambia 13 January (27th Africa France Summit). 

2018: UK 16-20 April (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting). US 30 April (Working Visit). Poland 2-3 December (Working Visit).

If presidential success is determined by winning re-election, Buhari is unsuccessful because he failed to convince Nigerians to give him another four years in office which was why the election was massively rigged in his favor. Buhari came into office promising change. He did not advocate radical change or announce sweeping domestic reforms. 

Buhari lacks vision. A bad communicator, he has never communicated his approach effectively on how he'll tackle Nigeria's problems. As the nation spirals into economic depression and anarchy, Buhari remains stoic, aloof, distant, insensitive, missing in action, and always abdicates his responsibilities by traveling abroad.

Buhari has bluntly refused to authorize large-scale relief programs that might have alleviated suffering and hunger. He's unwilling to use significant federal spending to jumpstart the economy. Buhari never grasped the grave threat the economic crisis represents to the nation. These missteps were further complicated by his inept political maneuvering and frequent overseas trips. 
His questionable political judgment and leadership are in serious doubt. He displays little political acumen on issues. What emerges then for Buhari is a damning verdict of an absentee president – physically and mentally.

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Stop Get-Rich-At-All-Cost Syndrome, Magu Cautions Celebrities

Thu, 2019-05-23 14:32

Ibrahim Magu, the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has called on Nigerian artiste and comedians to collaborate with the anti-graft agency in its fight against all forms of corruption.

In an interactive session on Wednesday with artists, comedians and On-Air-Personalities (OAP) which held at the EFCC Headquarters, Jabi, Abuja Magu said the celebrities had a very reach and their voice would be helpful in the commission’s fight against corruption.

“You have a very wide reach, so lend us your voices, please let your works propagate and promote integrity and the right values,”

“I urge you to raise a collective slogan against all forms of criminality among our youths, condemn in strong terms, ostentatious living without credible sources of income, particularly the get-rich-at-all-cost syndrome among the youths,” he said.

Speaking further, Magu expressed the readiness of the anti-graft agency to join hands with the creative industry saying the commission needs them “more than ever before to change the negative narratives about our country being havens of internet fraudsters”.

He said: “I have always stressed that we cannot claim to have the monopoly of knowledge of how to fight corruption at the EFCC.

“We are however, driven by the passion to explore all frontiers that will enable us achieve a better society for our children yet unborn – an egalitarian society and one which we all can be proud of. Let’s find a way to reduce or stop our teeming youths from engaging in internet fraud.”

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195 Nigerians Return From Libya, Recount Terrible Ordeal

Thu, 2019-05-23 14:21

Returnees at Lagos airport

Officials welcoming returnees

Officials documenting returnees

Returnees at Lagos airport Sahara Reporters Media

The largest contingent of Nigerians on Wednesday night returned from Libya since the repatriation exercise commenced in 2017.

Among the returnees were seven heavily pregnant women and a 66 years old man, Evangelist Kehinde Gideon Obala from Badagry.

The latest returnees numbering 195 consisting of adult males and females and toddlers, were returned to the country through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

The returnees were brought into the country by Al Buraq Air from Sabha area with flight number: UZ 389/22 and registration number 5A-DMG SEB at 8:20pm.

They were then received by officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other government officials.

Returnees in temporary shelter facility Sahara Reporters Media

Mr. Idris Muhammed, the Coordinator of NEMA Territorial Office in Lagos, who received the Assisted Voluntary Returnees at the cargo wing of the airport disclosed that the returnees were the 69th batch brought back by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in special intervention programme to repatriate stranded irregular migrants trapped in Libya with funding by European Union.

NEMA said that the returnees consisted 71 female adults, 25 female children and 17 female Infants 17.

Also, male adults were 60, male children 12, while male infants were 10.

In all, the females were 113, while males were 82 with adults as 131, children as 37 and infants as 27 including three males with minor medical issues and seven pregnant women.

Officials documenting returnees Sahara Reporters Media

Muhammed while welcoming the returnees back on arrival, urged youths to try and look inward and utilise the money they wasted foreign travels on something more fruitful.

He noted that since the EU had closed its borders for irregular migrants, the journey through irregular means had become wasteful and dangerous.

He noted that if the returnees had used the huge amount of money spent on these journeys in Nigeria for a business, they would have been very successful in their endearvours.

"Therefore, you need to strive and embrace Federal Government enabling initiatives to empower the youths,” he added.

The 66 years old, Obala from Badagry claimed that he had spent 10 years in Libya.

Sahara Reporters Media

He however regretted his sojourn in Libya, stressing that at first, he was a successful business man and artisan in Libya before the war broke out, thereby crumbling his businesses.

He said: “I sell tyres and motor spare parts and they liked my services. I also had a church over there, but everything I worked for were destroyed.

“Ordinarily, I never thought of coming back to Nigeria, but when I was assured and promised that I will be resettled when I return home that was why I came back. I have wasted my life except IOM and government are magnanimous enough to help me start from the scratch.”

Also, Qasim Apena from Ogun State, 55 years who showed how gunshot wounds on the ankles of his two legs disclosed that he was a painter in Libya.

He however lamented that he was shot in the two legs during a business he got for painting a house that would have fetched him 1,250, 000 Libyan money.

He narrated that the problem started when he demanded for his money half way into the job where he was reluctantly given N400, 000.

He added: “Immediately I got the money and at the weekend, my boys and I wanted to take a break to relax, the militants picked us up, collected all the money in our possessions, but I was dragging it with. It was then I was shot on the legs and dumped in dungeon where migrants are kept without medical treatment, but I was helped by other migrants inside the underground camp to remove the bullets in my legs and thanks be to God the wounds healed on it its own.”

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BREAKING: Court Convicts Former Maritime Director-General For Money Laundering Of N136 Million

Thu, 2019-05-23 13:35

Calistus Obi, a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has been convicted for knowingly converting and laundering N136 million meant for the corporation.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, the presiding judge, sitting at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Thursday, gave the judgement in a two-hour long ruling. 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Obi and his co-conspirators in 2016 for conspiracy, conversion and money laundering of the sum of N136 million. 

Obi was charged alongside one Alu Dismas, an aide to Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former Director-General of NIMASA, on an 8 count charge of conspiracy and money laundering. 

Although, the court discharged and acquitted the defendants of conspiracy, for failure of the prosecutor to judiciously prove conspiracy, the court, however, convicted the defendants of conversion and money laundering.

Details soon...

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I Am Not Happy About Naira Marley’s Arrest Says Simi

Thu, 2019-05-23 13:34

Since news broke about the arrest of Nigerian singer Azeez Fashola better known as Naira Marley several Nigerians and celebrities alike have given their opinions and reactions to his arrest but Nigerian Singer Simi who Naira Marley had earlier accused her of snubbing him at an event had chosen to stay quiet.

Before his arrest, Naira Marley had taken to his Instagram handle to call out Simi for allegedly snubbing him at an event over his stance on cybercrime. “@symplysimi I saw u at d homecoming last night, u look sad & upset.. why? Am I a yahoo boy?” he wrote alongside a picture of him on April 22. 

In an interview with Beat FM, Simi used to opportunity to clear the air saying “"To be honest with you, I have zero issues with Naira Marley, I don't have anything against him, he is not my enemy. We are not friends, we are not enemies. I saw him coming, we did not make eyes contacts, he did not talk to me, I did not talk to him. It is funny because he didn't do anything to me, he did not directly disrespect me...he is not the first person that would say what he is saying.”

"I'm not a stupid person, I'm not going to antagonize you because I'm not dumb. I like to mind my business. Probably he saw something and said something else. But he never spoke to me, he didn't approach me and I saw that and I said whatever makes you happy. And for me I'm a big picture person, I look at the big picture and if you are not in the picture, I'm not going to stress myself.” 

Yesterday, during a questions and answer section on her Instagram page Simi finally gave her reaction to the arrest of Naira Marley. “You happy Naira Marley is arrested yea?” one of her fans asked.  She replied “No”.

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Abike Dabiri Denies Report On Ethiopian And Egypt Airlines Running Drug Cartels

Thu, 2019-05-23 13:03

The Chairman Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa has denied a media report title " Egypt, Ethiopian Airlines Running Drug Cartels in Nigeria" says Dabiri-Erewa."

The denial is contained in a press release signed by her Special Assistant on media, Abdur-Rahman Balogun and made available to journalists on Thursday in Abuja.  

Dabiri said that the report was incorrect and not a true reflection of what she said during the Senate committee public hearing chaired by Senator Kabiru Gaya on Wednesday. 

The statement reads, "The attention of Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa has been drawn to some news headlines accusing some foreign airlines of running drug cartels in the country.

"The headline which reads "Egypt, Ethiopian Airlines Running Drug Cartels in Nigeria" says Dabiri-Erewa, is a figment of the Reporter's imagination.

"Dabiri-Erewa had during the hearing stressed the need for those two airlines to ensure compulsory baggage identification as all cases recorded on issue of drugs had been from both airlines.

"Luckily enough, the representative of Ethiopian Air, who was at the public hearing, promised that baggage identification would be strengthened."

Dabiri noted that the Senate public hearing was geared towards probing the circumstances surrounding the framing up and eventual arrest of Zainab Aliyu in Saudi Arabia over allegation of carrying tramadol drug in her baggage.

She urged members of the public to discountenance the publication adding  that it does represent what transpired at the hearing .

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Academic Staff Union Of Universities Threatens Strike

Thu, 2019-05-23 12:36

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said that it will embark on strike if the Federal Government of Nigeria does not show commitment to carrying out the 2019 Memorandum of Action.

Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU National President made the threat while giving an update on the ongoing renegotiation with the government and to clear the air over the N25 billion confirmed by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to have been approved for universities.

Ogunyemi said said, “Since information on the amounts mentioned in the media went round, the ASUU has been inundated with enquiries on the union’s perspective to the story.

“Funding for the revitalisation of public universities has for years been of very high priority to ASUU.

“Reaching an agreement with the Federal Government has often been a frustrating journey for our union. It is often marked with protests, strikes and requires a conscious and focused engagement. The 2001 agreement, which gave birth to the 2009 agreement, was not an exemption. The exception here is the personality leading the government negotiation team.

“The current leadership of the government team clearly lacks the academic disposition and humility needed to undertake such task.

“Our members enjoy their work and hate to see any disruption in the smooth running of our universities. However, the level of frustration occasioned by the lackadaisical attitude of the government towards meeting the terms of the 2019 Memorandum of Action that was freely signed with our union is increasingly becoming unbearable.

“We, therefore, call on all Nigerian patriots, parents and students including the Nigeria Labour Congress to prevail on the government to keep to the terms of our agreement. Otherwise, our union should not be held responsible for any disruption in the system.”

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Why Wike is Chasing Shadows By Idoko Ainoko

Thu, 2019-05-23 12:10

Anyone seeking to understand the concept of a tortured soul only needs to pay close attention to Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, whose every action in recent days seems to provoke his demons instead of pacifying them.  

Yet, Wike knows the solution to his problems, he has to stop chasing shadows and focus on the reality, the reality that he is fighting a lost war of attrition. He sowed the wind and he is now reaping the whirlwind, physically and politically.

That he is today the equivalent of a political orphan is of his own making, after all he actively partook in the destruction of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when he attempted to become the supremo of the dying behemoth once touted as Africas largest party. 

Had he been wise enough to not kill his own political party, perhaps he would have been able to go into the election with more confidence such that he would not have needed to rig the election, kill and maim the same people he is desperate to govern. The fanatical zeal with which he pursued that agenda is today directed at making Nigeria fail.

With a dead PDP, Wike was left with no other option but to unleash violence of industrial proportion to steal the election. But knowing that the law does not approve of violent behaviours, even from certified louts, he thought himself clever by dressing his thugs in military uniform. 

The idea appeared smart the time since it allowed Wike’s thugs to go about unmolested while soiling the image of the military, which was the only impediment to the criminality he was bent on imposing on Rivers state. But like every other crime, Wike has since realized that there are consequences.

Poor Wike has become a tormented soul since controversially winnning that election. He now presents with clinical manifestations of hallucination. He sees detractors even in the midst of his own family. If he is not talking about Amaechi he is talking about Buhari or attacking Federal Government institutions.

His troubled state of mind has not allowed him lock down on one strategy in pursuit of whatever it is he is so desperate to acheive. He has oscilated between attempting to advise President Buhair, when he clearly lacks the capacity to do so, and being belligerent towards the President once he realized that his poisoned chalice got not positive reaction.

The maniac tendencies of the Rivers State Governor makes no distinctions that would have intelligently recognize that Federal Government agencies are not meant to be his private property. 

Like a disoriented avian attacking its reflection in a glass panel, Wike has been hurling himself like a projectile against these organizations. If he is not fighting himself he is fighting the military. If his outburst is not directed at the Police then it is directed at the Army.

This brings us to how bad things have become for Wike in the last few days to the point of launching demented allegations against the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sarhem. In the space of a few days, Sarhem, has in Wike’s troubled mind attempted an assassination bid on him, run an illegal oil bunkering squad with the objective of financing his drive to be made the Chief of Army Staff and possibly Sarhem even attempted to become the next Rivers state governor in Wike’s hallucination.

But the source of Wike’s disturbance is well known. He is his possibly the only one still in denial as to what truly ails him. Truth be told; Wike is afraid of the possible consequences of having rigged himelf in as the governor of his state for  a second time. 

He knows that organizations like the Army, Police and other federal agencies that were present during the polls have information that can sink him in the course of  judicial challenge to his victory in the election  in which he had rigged himself into office. For instance, he decided the GoC is an enemy after his offer of bribe was turned down.

The Rivers state governor is in need of help and urgently so. Those close to him have to do something to manage his delusional tantrums. They can start by reassuring him that a loss at the Election Tribunal would not be the end of the world.

They should also remind him that those whose elections have been nullified by the courts are fortunate enough not to be criminally tried for stealing the election in the first place. 

He should be told that the most of his phobias are unfounded since the Army and Police have more pressing issues than wasting scarce national resources on lowlife politicians, so they will barely have time to care about what happens to him after being sacked by the tribunal.

Instead of chasing shadows, Wike should productively engage himself, both as a matter of responsibility being the Rivers state governor and as an act of contrition, remorse and remediation. 

He should give law enforcement agencies the comprehensive list of the people he mobilized to unleash violence during the election for the purpose of their being demobilized and rehabilitated. He should also work with these security agencies to retrieve the firearms he provided to these people. The entire country may be facing one security challenge or the other but the one in Rivers will prove peculiar in the future because it is being inspired by one man’s unsettled mind.

Ainoko is a civil rights activist and writes from Abuja.

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Insecurity: 15,000 Displaced Nigerians Seek Refuge In Niger Republic

Thu, 2019-05-23 11:15

15,000 Nigerians, mainly comprising  women and children displaced by activities of insurgent groups, are currently taking refuge in Niger Republic.

Dr. Kofoworola Soleye, Head of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Sokoto Operations Office, revealed this at the stakeholders’ meeting on disaster management organised by the agency in Gusau, Zamfara State.

He noted that data collected showed that the Nigerians were those who fled from Isa and Sabon-Birni Local Government Areas of Sokoto State as well as Shinkafi and Zurmi Local Government Areas in Zamfara, while adding that they are residing in nine host communities in Niger republic.

He said, “The assessment team discovered that following the bandits’ attacks no fewer than 15,000 Nigerians mostly women and children are presently taking refuge in neighbouring communities of Niger Republic.

“They are living in about 9 host communities and are willing to come back to their homes. They need humanitarian assistance as facilities there are overstretched,” he said. 

He also said that NEMA headquarters would visit the refugees with relief materials and he urged stakeholders to be abreast of disaster management issues in the state.

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Senator Adeleke Sues Inspector General Of Police Over Detention

Thu, 2019-05-23 09:01

Senator Ademola Adeleke has sued the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, for his detention by the police in Abuja on May 6.

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the September 2018 Osun State governorship election, on Wednesday through his lawyer, Kanmi Ajibola wants the courts to enforce his fundamental rights to personal liberty and right to freedom of movement at the Osun State governorship election. 

Joined in the suit are the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 11, Mr. Leye Oyebade; an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Simon Lough;  and an Assistant Superintendent of Police, John Faluyi.

Adeleke, who has a case at the Court of Appeal over the declaration of Adegboyega Oyetola as the winner of the  Osun governorship election, called on the court to further press it on the respondents the earlier order made by the Federal High Court, Abuja,  on the matter.

Ajibola said, despite the fact that the respondents were duly served the earlier order of an Abuja Federal High Court, they still went ahead to detain the lawmaker.

In his ruling,  Justice S.O.  Falola gave the order to the police not to arrest or detain the senator pending the determination of the substantive case before him.

Making reference to the ruling of Justice I.E. Ekwor of the Federal High Court, Abuja, who granted Adeleke permission to travel to the United States on  May 7 for medical attention Justice Falola noted that the ruling of the Federal High Court had prevented the respondents from arresting or detaining the applicant.

The judge said he had to allow the order made by Ekwor J. of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in charge No, FHC/ABJ/CR/156/2018 on  May 3,  2019, to continue to operate.

Justice Falola subsequently issued Form 48 against the police, asking them to take notice of the consequence of disobedience of court order.

He adjourned the case to June 17, 2019.

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Our Law Books Still Contained Pound Sterling, The UK When We Took Over Says Dogara

Thu, 2019-05-23 08:36

As Nigerian Government officials continue their preparation for handover and inauguration on May 29, speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has given his verdict on the performance of the eighth House of Representatives.

Dogara on Wednesday said that the house, under his leadership, has cooperated fully with President Muhammadu Buhari’s led executive arm of government in ensuring the progress of the country.

The speaker noted that the eighth House of Representatives always gave speedy consideration and passage to legislation and other requests forwarded by the President.

Dogara,  according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Turakhi Hassan, stated this in Abuja when he received the Euro Knowledge Award in recognition of his exemplary leadership.

Dogara said, “We have done exceptionally well. It is on record that this has been the most productive National Assembly ever, as well as unparalleled House in the history of the House of Representatives.

“We hope that those who are coming after us, those who will take over from us will do better and be able to rededicate themselves and to achieve the ideals they set out for themselves.

“When we started out, it was our desire and thank God we can say today that we have cleaned up virtually all laws we inherited from even 1800.

“Before we embarked on this massive exercise, some of our law books were still containing Pounds Sterling, in some laws, some addresses in the United Kingdom were even mentioned.

“To the credit of the eighth assembly, all those things are no longer reflected in the body of our laws.

“Anyone who thinks we have not supported the Federal Government enough in the bid to create a conducive business environment to attract better investment into Nigeria should check what we have done in the area of the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

“There were times when we ensured that within days or weeks, we passed these bills that were required to jumpstart this process to bring Nigeria out of recession and prosper.

“This made Nigeria jump about 24 places in the Global Index of the world ranking of nations in the Ease of Doing Business.” 

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I Respect The Judiciary Says President Buhari

Thu, 2019-05-23 08:23

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has said that he respects the Judiciary and is willing to abide by its decisions at all times.

Speaking at an Iftar dinner with the representatives of the third arm of the government at his official residence on Wednesday, President Buhari took his guest down memory lane on how he was in court three times during his journey to become president.

He said believes that the judiciary should be independent and respected because their words on any issue are the last words.

Buhari said:  “I respect the institution. I have come before you three times before I got here on the fourth run for the office. Your word is the last word on any given issue.”

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President was full of praise for the capabilities of Nigerian judges, saying that “your training and experience has earned you respect”.

In his remarks in appreciation of the Ramadhan fast-breaking, the Acting Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, leading retired Chief Justices, some Justices of the Supreme Court and heads of courts in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, expressed confidence and assurance that the judiciary will continue to do its best in safeguarding the country’s democracy.


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Pick Substance From Obasanjo's Comments On Boko Haram, Soyinka Advises Federal Government

Thu, 2019-05-23 08:13

Noble Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka has advised the Nigerian government to stop worrying about the language of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s when he made comments about insecurity but rather focus on the substance of the statement.

Obasanjo, during the second session of the Synod of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Oleh, Isoko South Local Government Area, Delta State, said that every insecurity challenge in the country must be taken seriously and addressed without favouritism or denial.

He said: “It is no longer an issue of lack of education and lack of employment for our youths in Nigeria which it began as, it is now West African Fulanisation, African Islamisation and global organised crimes of human trafficking, money laundering, drug trafficking, gun trafficking, illegal mining and regime change.” See Also Sahara Reporters 'Boko Haram Is For West African Fulanization, African Islamization', Says Obasanjo 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

The Federal Government in its reply on Tuesday rebuked the former President for his state saying it was tragic for someone like Obasanjo who fought for Nigeria during his days in the military to be making such “offensive and divisive in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country like Nigeria”.

However, speaking yesterday in Lagos at the Africa Day 2019 organised by United Bank for Africa (UBA), Soyinka cautioned the government against overlooking Obasanjo’s advice.

The Nobel Laureate, who spoke on the theme: “Africa’s history redefined: Our past, a path to the future”, observed that Nigeria was going through “horrendous descent into the abyss”.

The literary giant said: “We should be careful not to be too dismissive over the matter. The Federal Government is leaving aside the substance, which is the high level of kidnapping, youth suicide, and terrorism in the country. I support unity in Africa but we need to particularize the area of unity we seek. Even Boko Haram also tries to unify everybody. See Also Sahara Reporters 'Boko Haram Spread Under Your Watch', Lai Mohammed Blames Obasanjo 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

“When you talk about Uthman Dan Fodio, what comes to people’s mind is a threat to dip the Koran into the Atlantic Ocean. There are many people in this controversy. My feeling is that the response of Minister of Information shows that they are leaving behind the substance, and worried about the language.

“Obasanjo was calling for a meeting to tackle some the serious issues in the country, including youth suicide. He said there are immediate needs to sit down and discuss these issues. And I am saying there are more immediate needs to do that.”

Other speakers at the event are Afrobeat musician, Femi Kuti and Samia Nkrumah from Ghana, among others.

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Amidst '500bn' Scandal, Emefiele Says Nigeria Must Prepare For Next Global Economic Crisis

Thu, 2019-05-23 07:57

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele

Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, has said that although the country is lucky to have exited recession, Nigeria must brace itself for the next global economic crisis.

The CBN governor said this while delivering a lecture titled: ‘Beyond the Global Financial Crisis: Monetary Policy under Global Uncertainty,’ at the University of Benin, Benin, Edo State on Wednesday.

SaharaReporters had in a report over a week ago revealed audio details of a frantic effort by Mr. Emefiele to find the money which he and other top CBN officials stole (N500bn), to restore to the bank before it becomes obvious to shareholders and the government. Although the CBN confirmed the authenticity of the audio, no investigation was carried out by the apex bank or the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

In the audio, Emefiele can be heard lamenting the implication of the stolen money on the economy, "the implication for the economy is no no no".

Speaking at the lecture, Emefiele said: “From some of my concluding remarks, you may have observed, whether you like it or not, there is global uncertainty that will, unfortunately, most certainly lead to another crisis. See Also Breaking News CAUGHT ON TAPE: How Central Bank Governor Emefiele, Deputy Adamu And Top Officials Discussed How To Cover-Up N500bn Which They Stole From The CBN 0 Comments 2 Weeks Ago

“The question could be, how are we as Nigerians, particularly our leaders, I am talking of monetary and fiscal policy authorities, how are we preparing our country for the next crisis?

“We have luckily exited recession; we have seen recession pending downward to about 18.72 per cent in 2017 to about 11. 37 per cent today.

“We have seen the reserve moving up but unfortunately we still have issues and those issues border on the unemployment rate and those issues border on how we prepare our country,” 

Eulogising on the moves made by the CBN to stabilise Nigeria’s economy, Emefiele  said the introduction of the investors and exporters’ window had helped in growing the country’s external reserves.

He said the turnover in the I&E FX Window had reached over $48bn since the inception of the window and that the nation’s foreign exchange reserve had risen to $45bn in April 2019 from $23bn in October 2016.

As a result of availability of foreign exchange, the CBN governor said that the exchange rate at I&E FX Window had been stable over the past 24 months at an average of N360/$, and the parallel market exchange rate had increased from N525/$ in February 2017 to N360/$ today.

“After five consecutive quarters of negative growth beginning in the 1st quarter of 2016, a coordinated approach by the fiscal and monetary authorities supported a rebound in the nation’s economy during the second quarter of 2017.

“The recovery has been driven largely by improved non-oil activities especially the agriculture sector which expanded consistently by about 3.5 per cent to 4.3 per cent reflecting government’s efforts at diversifying the economy,” he added.

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Any Governor Saying He Can Tackle Insecurity Is Lying Says Taraba Gov Ishaku

Thu, 2019-05-23 07:49

Darius Ishaku, the Governor of Taraba State has called on residents of his state not to believe any governor who says they can tackle insecurity. 

The Governor stated this on Wednesday in Jalingo while speaking with journalist immediately after he kicked off the distribution of fertilisers, seedlings and agro-chemicals for Tarawa farmers for the 2019 farming season. 

According to Ishaku, who is preparing to kick off his second term in office come May 29, Governors's lack of control over the place or the army makes it “virtually” impossible to do anything about insecurity.

He said: “If any governor tells you that he will do anything about insecurity, such a governor is lying. As governors, we don’t have control over the police or the army and virtually there is nothing we can do about security.

“We have been calling for the establishment of state police, but nobody seems to consider our position, but state police remains the only viable option to contain insecurity across the country now.

“The constitution does not place the security architecture of the country in the hands of governors. I am praying myself for peace and I have also asked the people of the state to pray for peace in the state.”

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To Hell With Self(ish) Interest, Outside The Box By Alex Otti

Wed, 2019-05-22 23:01

"Politics is a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles; the conduct of public affairs for private advantage" - Ambrose Bierce

As is usual in Nigeria, the word ‘interest’ has been bastardised but I will come back to that shortly. Take the expression ‘PR’, which has acquired such notoriety that the actual Public Relations practitioners think twice before using that expression to describe what they do. When a Nigerian tells you that he’s not ‘being carried along’, you must think twice to realise that oftentimes it has a deeper sinister meaning than just not being briefed on areas relevant to him. He may not be aware of the dynamics of a transaction he should be on top of, and yet be ‘carried along’, when the due share of the loot comes his way.

In the same light the word ‘interest’ has become a much purloined and desecrated word in its Nigerian parlance. It has become a popular saying in Nigeria that in politics, there are no permanent friends nor enemies but permanent interests.

This quote was adapted from Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston (1784-1865). Lord Palmerston, as he was popularly called was a two time British Prime Minister in the 19th century.

He had said “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests. We have no eternal allies and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and these interests, it is our duty to follow”.

What Lord Palmerston meant is very different from the context that we use it in Nigeria today. When you listen to a typical Nigerian talk about interest, you will get the feeling that he is talking about the general good of the nation or better still, his constituents.

Sadly, you will be mistaken big time. Our politicians actually mean self or better still, selfish interests. For them, it is not about the people they represent. It is about themselves, family and friends. They also employ this expression to explain their legendary ability to camp in one party today, decamp tomorrow and “recamp” the next day. Of course, it has been proved time and time again that our over 90 political parties are just mere platforms to stand for elections, believing in nothing in particular.

There is virtually no difference between one and the other. There is no ideological orientation in practically all the parties. Even when they proclaim such, their actual practice demonstrates that they go where the money, better still, interest, dictates. The fact that there exists a humungous number of parties, including those that exist practically inside the suitcases of their sponsors, only creates room for the confusion. Even the simple issue of ballot papers has become so cumbersome as all the political parties that sponsored candidates be they contenders or pretenders must be accounted for on the ballot sheet, otherwise, the election would be subject to cancellation.

From the people we copied democracy, political parties have clear distinguishing characteristics based on what they believe in. So, it is unimaginable that someone who is a conservative today would suddenly become a liberal tomorrow, only to swing back the day after, with no modicum of shame or conscience. It seldom happens that someone would be a Democrat today and tomorrow pitch his tent with the Republicans. In Nigeria, these things don’t matter. The end justifies the means and the Maradona politician is hailed as being smart.

In recent times, there had been reports of politicians attempting to hijack the patrimony of their electorate for personal interests. The first notable case was that of Bayelsa State house of Assembly members, passing a law to appropriate funds to themselves as pension on leaving the House of Assembly.

A document titled, “Pension Bill for Governors, Deputy Governors and Members of the State House of Assembly” released recently, generously awarded a retired Speaker a monthly pension of N500,000; a retired Deputy Speaker N300,000; House Leader and the Whip, N250,000; Deputy Leader N200,000 and other retired members of the House, N100,000. In addition, former lawmakers, including persons of Bayelsa origin, who served in the old Rivers State House of Assembly, would enjoy life pensions as applicable to former presidents, vice-presidents, governors and deputy governors across the country.

This new bill was to replace the “Bayelsa State Pensions for Governor and Deputy Governor Law” passed in 2003. Apparently, the 2003 law did not make provisions for law makers, so this new bill was to include the lawmakers in the looting game. After all, they are the ones that make the laws and should not have been left out in the first instance, so it seems. For the new bill to be attractive to the governor whose signature would make it a law, there was something in it for him also.

He needed to be ‘carried along’, obviously. The new bill consequently increased the allowances for both the governor and his deputy in tow. In the new law a governor’s monthly allowance is put at 8 per cent of his Annual Basic Salary (ABS); wardrobe allowance, 50 per cent of his ABS; entertainment, 40 per cent of his ABS; transport allowance, 50 per cent of ABS and utilities, 80 per cent of ABS. Deputy governor’s allowances were also enhanced as follows: monthly basic, 8 per cent; wardrobe, 25 per cent of ABS; entertainment. 20 per cent, transport allowance 30 per cent and utilities 40 per cent. But where the governor and his deputy successfully served a second term of office, they would be guaranteed,150 per cent of their ABS.

As if all those were not enough, a governor is also entitled to seven bedroom duplex and a three-room boys quarters in any location of his choice in the state. A deputy governor exits with one five bedroom duplex and a two-room boys quarters in any location of his choice in the state. In addition, they were to receive two cars and one backup car, and one car and one backup car to be replaced every five years respectively.

The pension includes three drivers, a cook, a steward and a gardener, who shall also be pensionable and two drivers, a cook and a gardener between the governor and the deputy respectively. Both of them will also enjoy paid vacation of 60 per cent of ABS for and 40 per cent of ABS, respectively. Holy Macro!

The action of the Bayelsa State house of assembly generated so much condemnation and pressure from citizens that the governor withheld accent to the bill. This is probably one of the few terrible things that happen in the polity that had attracted this kind of attention. A lot of bills that get approved at the state assemblies seem to be shrouded in secrecy such that people hardly know before they are smuggled through, given assent and implemented without recourse to how it affects the populace.

While we were trying to settle down from the ‘Bayelsa war’, news filtered in that the Kano House of Assembly had also passed its own version of the Pension bill and had sent it to the governor for assent. The Kano Assembly is known for passing bills with jet speed like the recent one that was passed within 48 hours to split the Kano emirate into five small units. As if the house of assembly was seeking compensation for a job well done with the “Kano Emirs Appointment and Deposition Amendment Bill 2019”, the Assembly quickly packaged and passed the “ Life Pensions Bill for Speaker and Deputy Speaker 2019”. The bill grants Speakers and their deputies pension for life by the state, provided that such person were not impeached.

“There shall be paid pension to persons who held office as Speaker and Deputy Speaker equal to the emoluments of a serving Speaker and deputy speaker, provided that either the Speaker or the Deputy do not hold any paid elective or selective appointment.”

“Where the speaker or deputy speaker dies in office before the expiration of the term of his tenure, he shall be paid pension pro-rata the number of years he spent in relation to his tenure of office. This provision needs to be explained as our understanding is that the House wants to pay a dead Speaker or Deputy. I hope they would be required to sign for the money!

The bill continues, “there shall be provided for the speaker and the deputy speaker a brand new vehicle to be bought by the state government every four years. “There shall be provided for the speaker and the deputy speaker medical expenses either home or abroad depending on the nature of the illness,”.

Again, this bill has attracted the attention of civil society organisations and organised labour who have mounted resistance asking that the governor withholds accent.

While all these were on, the National Assembly, in approving this year’s budget, approved a staggering sum of N23.678 billion as severance package for Senators and members of the House of Representatives.

We wish to put it stridently that this column condemns this self-serving attitude of our law makers, both at the national and state levels. Our laws are very clear about who fixes salaries and allowances for public officers. In the 1999 Constitution, the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) is responsible for fixing salaries and allowances of public officers including lawmakers. It is a breach of our constitution for the law makers to hijack the job of RMAFC. It is also against the doctrine of separation of powers and checks and balances for law makers to be fixing their own emoluments.

We also worry about the state of the economy. Like we had said in this column over and over, we run a very expensive public sector at all levels, such that over 70% of our budget goes to recurrent expenditure. It is a known fact that all tiers of government have been borrowing to pay salaries. It is sad that the same people who should worry most are the ones who pass laws that enhance their self-interests and put further pressure on our earnings and our collective interests.

Related to this is the clear insensitivity to the plight of workers and the real people who should actually be entitled to pensions; namely the real pensioners. In some of the states paying jumbo salaries and allowances to both the executive and legislator, salaries of poor workers have been in arrears for several months. One would have expected these ‘elected representatives of the people’ to show greater empathy and  concern for such people who need the money more, rather than approving jumbo packages for already well-off people in government.

We are also of the opinion that it is very inappropriate for someone who offered himself for public service to spend his or her valuable time discussing pension.  Frankly, we should begin to do everything possible to make public service very unattractive to people who see it as an avenue to make a living. Elsewhere, people offer themselves for such services when they had been successful in other walks of life. Unfortunately, the reverse is the case here in Nigeria.

It is also the main reason why our elections have turned into banditry and war. It is up to us to sit down and change this deplorable situation. I believe we all know what to do, if we don’t do it voluntarily, the realities of the economy would force us to do it. Even then, these are the more palatable choices facing us. It is difficult to contemplate worse, but not impossible scenarios. The French monarchy and aristocracy had its comeuppance in this manner about 200 years ago. If we let that happen here, the consequences could be too dire for all of us.

There are a lot of cases where governors and other public officers receive jumbo packages called pension on leaving office. Some like we had seen, are entitled to mansions in their states and elsewhere, in addition. Meanwhile, many of them, surprisingly, do not retire. Many of them end up in the Senate or the House of Representatives while others get appointed to ministerial and other juicy positions. So, they end up collecting salaries twice or even more. This also applies to retired military officers. This is simply unfair and dishonest, but more importantly, dangerous in a society like ours where the poverty levels are rising daily. By the way, have you bothered to find out how much your governor draws as monthly ‘security vote’? Is the information classified?

I also want to put it on record that I do not believe that pension should apply to temporary positions of 4 years, 8 years or even more, in the case of legislators. We must let our public officers know that they are not employees of the government. My understanding is that pensions apply to employees and today, we have all adopted the contributory pension scheme. Let it be known that anyone who is interested in receiving pensions should approach pension funds administrators and work out an arrangement for payment as required by the pension reform act, which interestingly, was also passed by the National Assembly a few years ago. I believe it is an insult on our collective intelligence for someone to offer himself for a 4 year or 8 year service and on expiration of his tenor, want us to put him on the payroll for the rest of his life.

Finally, I call on citizens to become more vigilant and show interest in how our commonwealth is used. It is our responsibility to know and we should be asking questions. As they say, the rat cannot steal from the hands of someone who is alert. Our leaders are bound to take us for granted if we do not ask questions. We must learn to hold them accountable because they are actually our servants and not our lords.

That many of them are pulling in the same direction is understandable, but just like Edward Abbey wrote “One man can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain’t nothing that can beat team work”. The choice is ours. We can decide to be collectively dumb or collectively wise. We must thank organisations like the CLO and SERAP for rising to the occasion. We must emulate them and help raise this public alarm. They also deserve our support. We must do these yesterday.


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Egypt, Ethopian Airlines Running Drug Cartels In Nigeria, Says Dabiri-Erewa

Wed, 2019-05-22 22:45

Abike Dabiri-Erewa

Abike Dabiri-Erewa

Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman of the Nigeria Diaspora Commission (NDC), has accused Egypt and Ethiopian Airlines of running drug cartels across Nigeria’s international airports.

She made the disclosure on Wednesday during an investigative hearing by an ad-hoc Committee of the Senate set up to look into the circumstances leading to the arrest last December of a Nigerian lady, Zainab Aliyu by Saudi Arabian authoritiesDabiri-Erewa told the committee that, “We have other foreign and local Airlines operating at our Airports. But Egyptian and Ethiopian Airlines have drug cartels operating at our International Airports. They operate alongside local collaborators. It is not Air Peace, not Arik Air, but Egyptian and Ethiopian Airlines”.

Mr. El-Yakub Usman Lamir, the Airport Chief of Security at the Federal Airport Authority(FAAN), however, made a shocking revelation that scanners at the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, were not configured to detect drugs.

He made the revelation in response Senator Kabiru Gaya, Chairman of the adhoc Committee, who demanded to know the status of the scanners at the nation’s airports across the country.

Lamir added that there were 15 security agents involved in checking luggage at the point of entry and exit but that the number had been reduced as a result of frequent complaints by air travelers.

On his part, Mr Mustapha Abdallah, who represented the chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), also disclosed that the agency did not have enough German trained sniffer dogs.

Abdallah said, “Throughout the federation, NDLEA only has 14 sniffer dogs stationed in Lagos and we don’t even have one to detect drugs at the Aminu Kano International Airport at all.

The committee chairman, Senator Gaya, charged the officials of the NDLEA to increase the number of sniffer dogs in all the international Airports across the country.

Gaya also directed the officials of the Federal Airports Authority (FAAN) to upgrade such sensitive equipment like scanners at the various Airports to ensure that the country did not become a transit camp for hard drugs.

The senator however, commended Zainab’s father for providing the information on the arrest of his daughter by Saudi Arabian authorities to the Social Media from where the federal government got wind of her arrest and detention.

The committee is expected to submit its report to the Senate upon conclusion of the investigative hearing.


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Six Days To End Of Tenure, Yobe Governor Approves N6bn For Upgrade Of ‘Non-existing Airport’

Wed, 2019-05-22 22:38

Barely six days to handing over as Governor of Yobe State, Governor Ibrahim Gaidam has approved the sum of N6,067,305,786.91 for the upgrade of design of Yobe International Cargo Airport.

The money would also be used to cater for the bill of quantity for the completion of the International Cargo Airport.

Gaidam approved the money at the State Executive Council meeting that held on Wednesday in Damaturu.

Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, Alhaji Mala Musti, State Commissioner of Information, said N127,187,270.00 was earmarked to cater for operational expenses of 2019 Hajj.

He added that the monies approved were to ensure the deadline of May 30, 2019, fixed for the completion is done.

“This is in a bid to meet the deadline of May 30, 2019, for the final remittances of 2019 Hajj fares by the states pilgrims agencies, boards and commissions in Nigeria to NAHCON,” Musti said.

It could be recalled that in November 2018, Gaidam had set aside N4.2 billion for the completion of the international cargo airport.

Also in June 2018, the sum of N1.760 billion contract was awarded to United Aviation Services for the supply and installation of communication gadgets at the Damaturu International Cargo Airport under construction.

In 2017, Gaidam awarded the contract for the building of airport at N11.3 billion and he promised to complete the cargo airport with the commissioning slated for or before May 29, 2019.

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