Sahara Reporters

'You Are Not God', Ohanaeze Ndigbo Fires Back At Amaechi Over 2023 Presidency Comment

Sat, 2019-05-18 18:15

Ohaneze Ndigbo

Ohaneze Ndigbo
Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Igbo socio-cultural group on Saturday fired back at Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation for saying the South-East cannot produce a President in 2023.

Ameachi while speaking in an interview with The Sun had said that the Igbo have nothing to bring to the table in 2023.

He said: “I don’t know what they will do now for voting against the APC.

“For refusing to support the APC, they cannot come to the table to demand the presidency slot.

“For people like us in the APC, if the Igbo had come and voted Buhari, they would boldly tell Mr President and the National Chairman of the party that presidency should go the Southeast since the South-south; South-west and North-west have produced president. What argument would the Southeast come up with now to convince anybody that they deserve the slot for 2023 president?”

Ohanaeze Reacts

Chuks Ibegbu, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze however fired back at the minister in an interview with Daily Post saying: “It’s very unfortunate that an Igbo man of that calibre could make such a statement in public, it’s very bad.

“There is no Yoruba or Hausa man that would say his people would not produce president for one reason or the other. Whether we voted for Buhari or not it’s not for Amaechi to make such statement.

“It’s a very big affront on the political dignity of the Igbo people. Let me tell you it’s not for Amaechi to tell Igbos where to learn politically.

“He can advise but it’s a tragedy for him to go to the public to make such a statement. If he is not happy with the way Igbos voted he should have kept it to himself or advised them quietly, I’m disappointed by that statement.

“Besides, Rotimi Amaechi is not God to decide the political future of anybody including the Igbos, it’s a very disgraceful , unexpected of him and besides some Igbos voted for Buhari just like some Hausas and Yorubas did so there is no essential tribalising the political scenario. It’s not a tribal thing Atiku won in Oyo and Ondo States and almost won Lagos State so is it not Yorubas that voted for Atiku. In the North Atiku made a very strong presence so what will Amaechi say about the Yoruba and Hausas that voted for Atiku.

“This is very disgraceful and many Igbo elites are found of doing this, condemning their people publicly. It’s very unfortunate”.

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Adeleke Embarks On Last Legal Lap As He Files Notice Of Appeal At Supreme Court

Sat, 2019-05-18 17:32

Senator Ademola Adeleke, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic  Party(PDP) in the September 2018 gubernatorial election in Osun state, has taken his case to the Supreme Court to seek an invalidation of the ruling of the  Court of Appeal  that declared Gboyega Oyetola, candidate of the All Progressives Congress(APC), as the winner of the poll.

His suit comes after the Appeal Court had on May 9, 2019, set aside the judgement of the Governorship Election Tribunal which nullified the victory of Governor Gboyega Oyetola because of its ‘faulty composition’.

Earlier, the Osun state Election Petition Tribunal had ruled that Senator Adeleke was the rightful winner of the 2018 governorship election, having satisfied the constitutional requirements of majority votes and spread across local government of the state

The tribunal also nullified the rerun election of September 27, 2018.

However, the Appeal Court overturned the ruling and set aside the decision of the tribunal and reinstated Gboyega Oyetola as the winner of the election.

The Senator representing Osun- west senatorial district, not satisfied with the ruling of the court of appeal, has filed a notice of appeal at the apex court to reclaim his 'purported' mandate.

This will be the last lap in what has turned out to be a legal marathon between him and Oyetola as the Supreme court has the definitive verdict.

A statement  detailing Adeleke's prayers in the suit released by Niyi Owolade, Legal Director, Adeleke Campaign Organisation, the Senator wants the Supreme court to set aside the ruling of the appeal court and uphold that of the election tribunal.

The statement said six Senior Advocates of Nigeria, led by Dr Onyeachi Ikpeazu, as well as, 17 other senior lawyers, filed four appeals against each of the four majority judgements of the Appeal Court.

Other Senior Advocates of Nigeria that will appear with Ikpeazu include; Chief N.O.O Oke, SAN; Dr Paul Ananaba, SAN; Emeka Etiaba, SAN; Emeka Okpoko, SAN; and Kehinde Ogunwuminju, SAN.

Other senior lawyers in the team are Niyi Owolade, L.N.Iheanacho, Edmund Biriomoni, Wole Jimi-Bada and 13 others.

The statement reads, “The appeals were against majority judgement in favour of Gboyega Oyetola, All Progressives Congress, the Independent National Electoral Commission and the striking out of the cross appeals of Senator Adeleke.

“The first Appeal was against the majority lead judgement delivered by Justice J.H.Sankey, it is premised on 13 grounds. Senator Adeleke is seeking the following reliefs from the Supreme court; To allow the appeal, set aside the judgement of the Appeal Court delivered in favour of Oyetola, and dismiss Oyetola’s appeal against the decision of the Tribunal.

“The second appeal is against the judgement delivered in favour of the APC, is premised on 31 grounds of appeal. Senator Adeleke listed particulars of errors committed by the Appeal Court and sought the following reliefs from the Supreme Court: To allow this appeal, set aside the decision of the Appeal Court and dismiss the appeal of the respondent against the judgement of the tribunal.

“The third judgement appealed against was the ruling in favour of INEC, it is based on 17 grounds Senator Adeleke listed particulars of errors committed by the judges of Appeal Court and sought the following: An order of the Supreme Court allowing his appeal,
an order of Supreme Court setting aside judgement of Court of Appeal and restoring the judgement of tribunal delivered on the 22nd of March.

The fourth judgement appealed against was that against the cross appeal based on 13 grounds.

While listing particulars of errors committed by the Appeal Court, Senator Adeleke seeks the following reliefs from the Supreme Court namely; an order allowing this appeal and setting aside decision of lower court which dismissed the appeal; an order granting reliefs sought in appellate case in the cross appeal, an order restoring the paragraphs struck out from appellate replies to the 2 and 3 respondents replies; a declaration that the appellant won the election in issue by a wider margin than what was found by the lower tribunal in view of the substantial non compliance with the electoral act 2010 as amended; and a declaration that the rerun of 27th was null and void and of no effect as the appellant had already won the election in issue upon conclusion of the 22nd September election.

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SPOKEN WORD: 'Ya Allah, My Du’a Is For Drug Abuse To Stop!', By Hannatu Musawa

Sat, 2019-05-18 17:03


Drug addiction in Nigeria is a disease that is branded and disregarded. And as long as society, government and the medical community continue to ignore it and fail to identify it for what it is, it will continue to be an epidemic that is on the increase.

Notwithstanding the fact that this epidemic is essentially a disease, the victims are stigmatized and criminalized by the court of public opinion and there is no public policy in place for treating it or halting the spread of this disease. Unfortunately, our reaction to drug abuse is fraught by our failure to recognize addiction as a disease that needs wide-ranging health solutions.  It is completely misunderstood by the public, who see it as a personal or moral weakness of those who suffer from it. Those afflicted with this illness continue to be victimized by the shame against the disease, a stigma that stems from misinformation.

The epidemic has become so widespread in Nigeria and the unyielding destruction it leaves in its wake, is felt by so many families and communities. Because there is no set of authenticated rules accessible for outlining how to manage this all-consuming crisis, families become overwhelmed when drug addiction exists in their lives. Those living with people that are tormented with this disease do not really know how to act or what to do.

Research tells us that drug addiction is an intergenerational disease, just as rampant in the family tree as cancer or diabetes. It doesn’t discriminate when it comes to age limits, geographic location or socioeconomic placing. It is a serious brain disease that can strike anyone. When drug addiction happens, it takes over the key functions of the brain, substituting our innate instincts with the urge for the drugs it has become dependent on.It captures the very parts of the brain that is in charge of reason, the part that gives the human being motivation. It completely devours a sufferer. 

The problem in Nigeria is made worse because we have few drug treatment facilities and programs and the existing ones we have are not properly structured and regulated. The difficulty here is that those who are providing treatment that is not consistent with medical standards and proven treatment practices are not held accountable. This could invariably lead to a slippery slope.

It is a fact that the majority of those who are giving treatment to drug addicts in Nigeria are not medical professionals with the training, knowledge or skills to implement evidence-based services. This results in a situation where addicts seeking treatment are left to rely on a number of physicians who may not have the required medical standards needed for drug rehabilitation.

In spite of the considerable data authenticating that drug addiction is a reversible, treatable and controllable illness through prevention and treatment techniques, we still somehow seem to turn a blind eye. Meanwhile, substance abuse continues to cause illness, injury, death and crime, it continues to savage our children, overwhelm our societies and impede education. We must adjust our reasoning and convert new ideas on drug addiction into transformative actions. We must wake up and truly attend to fighting the scourge of drug addiction before it spreads even further.

Unless we overhaul the whole drug treatment facilities and programs in Nigeria while supporting the few authentic treatment centers we have, most of the medical professionals who are currently being used to give treatment and manage drug addiction remain insufficiently trained and inexperienced to diagnose or treat the illness. 

Just like drug addiction itself, our medical community needs to be rehabilitated in a way that the immediate life-threatening situation of addiction is treated at the same time as steps to prevent its recurrence is taken.

The wonder of modern medicine has produced new antidotes to manage and treat drug addiction and new machineries to help recovery. As a nation, we need to utilize these in a comprehensive attempt to address how we treat this disease, focusing on an international medical model of care for addicts that tackle their long term needs to assist them in realizing and sustaining recovery.

We need to educate ourselves more about drug abuse because the shame that society imparts on it results in our inability to eradicate the disease. The stigma of drug abuse creates ingredients of discrimination. This in turn obstructs recovery because it leaves sufferers with feelings of guilt, shame, rejection, and leaves them feeling excluded by society, destroying their self-esteem.

We need to embrace the stories of the families living with this disease as much as the experts in the field. That way, we can establish our very own localized tools and identified resources that will make an impact in addressing substance disorders. In order to help the millions of Nigerians suffering from this affliction and end Nigeria’s critical trajectory, these efforts need to be expanded.

To have any real impact on reducing addiction in Nigeria, our government must pump more resources towards prevention and treatment channels. Authentic public and private rehabilitation centers should be supported and those that are run down should be restored. The provision of capital for treating addiction is needed to ensure that the medical profession's ongoing inadequacy of providing sufficient education and training is corrected.

Unless we devote a considerable amount of funds to treat drug addiction, improving addiction medicine education for doctors and correcting societal stigmas toward the sufferers, this disease will continue to destroy millions of people and communities in this country.

Furthermore, to end the drug crisis, we need to educate ourselves about the dangers of drugs, encourage drug users to seek medical treatment and vehemently prosecute the traffickers who are providing the drugs. Public drug treatment facilities should be funded by the government, so that they are accessible to every Nigerian who may need to utilize them. The few authentic private drug rehabilitation centers in Nigeria such as Cognition Rehabilitation Center in Abuja ran by Dr Dramola needs to be supported. 

Our youth make foremost health choices at a young age. These decisions could be whether to smoke or to use drugs. In order to get in front of this, information on drugs must be given to them early and effectively by using well-informed mentors that understand the slide that may drag experimentation to dependence. We have to provide more drug education in our schools and train all teachers on how to emphasize the relevant information and statistics.

Our children watch hours of TV and have access to the Internet before graduating from school. A lot of the content from these sources ensures that drugs pervade into our homes. Communications firms broadcasting on our airwaves should take some measure of responsibility where the entertainment provided is coherent with health and research information. For the reduction of drug abuse to be maintained, parents, schools, government, industry, courts and television must work in conjunction. 

When enough Nigerians care to adjust what is seeping into our living rooms, schools and offices, what we watch on TV and what we tolerate in our communities, a reliable and intense obligation will take hold, and our children and this country's future will be the better for it.

When the Ebola pandemic broke out in this country some years ago, the nation effectively organized itself, contained the outbreak and successfully treated the sick. With the Flu pandemic, new vaccinations were developed, public health protocols were put in place, physician education and awareness was raised on how to prevent the disease. I truly believe that we need to take the same approach with drug addiction. We need the same kind of medical urgency in tackling addiction as we have for any other illness that we have mobilized a national response to. 

From the science and interventions point of view, we have at our disposal the tools required to treat drug use disorders. There is no time like the present for us to advance with resolve to apply them.

This is a medical emergency practically without precedent in our country and it must to be attended to appropriately, from the doctor’s exam room to the legislature. Laws can be passed that regulate drug treatment facilities and support sufferers. We can save millions of Nigerian lives if we respond to drug addiction as a medical conundrum that is as deserving of compassion and care as any other illness.

Those suffering from drug addiction need all the help they can get; new research and more support from our local communities, the medical community, the legislature, the executive and the judiciary backed by citizens because the data on the matter is clear- it is not some stranger at risk of addiction, it’s the children in our homes. We must be updated on the most feasible alternatives for understanding and treating addicts.

“Ya Allah, My Du’a is for Drug abuse to stop!”

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'We'll Be Back Soon', Says MTN on IPO

Sat, 2019-05-18 17:01


After three years of trying to enter  the Nigerian Stock Exchange in fulfilment of a 2016 fine reduction settlement with the federal government of Nigeria, Pascal Dozie, Chairman MTN Nigeria, was cryptic on when the firm will carryout its Initial Public Offering.

The South African based telecommunication multinational listed its shares on a crowded Nigeria Stock Exchange trade floor at the close of trading Thursday.

Speaking to brokers and the media amidst congrats and cheers, Dozie said: We were to have an Initial Public Offering (IPO) today but due to unforeseen circumstances we could not. However half bread is better than none,”.

The firm, which is now MTN Nigeria PLC, put 20.33 billion ordinary shares up for purchase on the secondary floor of the NSE at a value of N90 per share. Th is puts the value of the Nigerian arm of the company at $5 billion or N1.8 trillion- second to Dangote cement PLC.. The NSE listed the telecommunication’s shares on its premium board, bringing the total number of premium companies in the NSE to six.

After two years of delay, caused by the recession of  the Nigerian economy, a year of tax and illegal forex repatriation battles, a court settlement was reached with the Nigerian government in January 2019, paving the way for the listing.

It is hoped that MTN Nigeria PLC’s forced listing on the floor will attract more International Oil Companies (IOC’s and the other two telecommunication firms- Airtel and Globacom into the NSE. By listing its shares and not doing an IPO, Nigerians can only purchase the firm’s shares from private owners of the company’s stock.

Analysts say a unit of MTN Nigeria PLC’s shares will trade for as high as N150 when an offer is made to the public.

Meanwhile, a day after the listing, MTN shares is trading at N18 higher than the start price of N90 which brings the company's  valuation to N2.21trillion.

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'Forget 2023 Presidency', Amaechi Tells South-East

Sat, 2019-05-18 16:37

Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, has said the people must not demand the presidency slot in 2023 for refusing to back the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Nigeria which has three major ethnic groups has not produced a President of Igbo extractions since 1999.

Ameachi while speaking in an interview with The Sun, attributed this to the fact that the Igbo have nothing to bring to the table in 2023.

He said: “I don’t know what they will do now for voting against the APC.

“For refusing to support the APC, they cannot come to the table to demand the presidency slot.

“For people like us in the APC, if the Igbo had come and voted Buhari, they would boldly tell Mr President and the National Chairman of the party that presidency should go the Southeast since the South-south; South-west and North-west have produced president. What argument would the Southeast come up with now to convince anybody that they deserve the slot for 2023 president?”

He said only possible way for an Igbo President to emerge is if a pressure political group that will reach the grass roots is formed.

“They need to bring caucus together, set up structures at the states and local government levels that will be meeting regularly.

“They also need to fund those structures. If these things happen, APC will continue to rule the country but I have a problem with the fact that everybody is not completely involved. When I say that everybody is not completely involved, it is not that because people are holding meetings, there are not anywhere people are holding meetings more than the other, but just that we need to play more party politics.”

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Federal Inland Revenue Service Generated N1.5tn In First Quarter, Says Fowler

Sat, 2019-05-18 15:46

Babatunde Fowler, the chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, has said it generated N1.5 trillion revenue in the first quarter (Q1).

Mr. Fowler made the announcement while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York at the weekend.

He said: “In the first quarter (of 2019), what I will say is that in the non-oil sector, we generated 11 percent higher than what we generated in 2018.

“Basically, we have generated about N1.5 trillion,” Fowler told NAN on the sidelines of a high-level meeting on illicit financial flows hosted by the United Nations General Assembly.

NAN reports that the Q1 figure also represents 18.7 percent of the agency’s total revenue target of N8 trillion for 2019. Fowler said the target, described by economy watchers as quite ambitious, was realistic with the cooperation of tax payers, among other factors. 

He said, “It is quite realistic as long as we have the cooperation of tax payers in addition to deployment of technology. 

“We have already started the enforcement of over 50,000 accounts that have banking turnover of 100 billion and above that have not filed their returns.” 

Fowler also spoke of plans by the agency to surpass the over N1 trillion it realized from Valued Added Tax (VAT) in 2018.

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Police Bust 'Laboratory', Cart Away 303 Cartons Of Tramadol In Kano

Sat, 2019-05-18 15:44


The police in Kano State has intercepted 303 cartons of hard drugs in form of Tramadol tablets.

Mr. Mohammed Wakili, the Commissioner of Police, disclosed this to journalists in Kano on Friday.

He said the interception was in continuation of the command’s effort to rid the state of all forms of crimes especially, the consumption of hard drugs (Kwaya) and intoxicating substances.

Wakili said on May 17, based on a tip-off, a raid was conducted at No 157 Miller Road Bompai, Nasarawa Local Government Area Kano where a laboratory was located.

He said that one Chris Metuh was arrested at the location named: Ugo Lab Manufacturing Company, with 303 cartons of tramadol tablets.

On the same date, he said the command also arrested four suspected hard drugs dealers for allegedly dealing in drugs.

Wakili said the suspects were arrested with one rubber of “suck and die,” two matchetes, a breaking implement and large quantities of hard drugs.

He said the suspects are: Aliyu Khalid, Ibrahim Alasan, Mohammad Ahmad, and Chukwu Felix.

According to him, the investigation is ongoing, and the suspects would be charged to court

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DSS Warns 'Coup Plotters' Ahead Of Presidential Inauguration

Sat, 2019-05-18 15:25

The Department of State Services (DSS) has issued a warning to those it said are calling for a change in power under the banner of the Nigeria Continuity and Progress (NCP).

The warning is coming few days after the Nigerian Army distanced itself from a coup plot.

The DSS in a statement on Friday said: “It is evident that the misguided group and its cohorts have also planned to instigate widespread violence against the government in order to actualize their infamous agenda of forceful change of regime.

“The DSS not only supports the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria, but will leave no stone unturned in rooting out persons or groups desirous of truncating the process or undermining the country’s peace and corporate existence.

“The service will, therefore, not condone any form of extra-judicial activities or methods designed or adopted by persons or groups to subvert constituted authorities.

“Instructively, defaulting persons will surely be brought to book".

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Another Ondo Varsity Shut Down To Forstall Students' Protest, 'After Closing Down AAUA'

Sat, 2019-05-18 14:34

Barely two days after the Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko (AAUA) was shut down, the Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH) Okitipupa has also been 'closed down'.

The state-owned institution, Ondo State University of Science and Technology was shut down on Friday an internal memo obtained by Sahara Reporters in Akure confirms this.

Felix Akinnusi, the Registrar of the OSUSTECT signed the memo and noted that the resumption date for the students have been shifted till further notice. 

Mr. Akinnusi said the decision to postpone the resumption was reached at the 31st regular meeting of the institution's Senate. 

"This is to inform all students and the entire University Community that Senate at its 31st regular meeting directed that the resumption of students from the mid-semester break earlier fixed for Monday 20th May, 2019 be further postponed.

"A new resumption date will be announced later.

" On behalf of the Vice Chancellor, Senate and management of the university, I wish all students a happy mid-semester break," the memo read.

Last month, the school had directed the students to immediately vacate the campus for a mid-semester break following the students demonstration which distrupted academic and economic activities in the community.

Our correspodent had reported how students of the institution went beserke and protested  the hike in their tuition.

It was learned that the students who were supposed to resume to campus on May 20, 2019, had been attacking the management mostly on social media with a threat to protest if the school fee was not reduced.

However, sources claimed that the "threat" forced the management to extend the mid-semester break for the students at an 'expanded' meeting of its Senate.

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'Anybody Who Fails To Sit-At-Home Deserves To Be Stoned', Says Nnamdi Kanu

Sat, 2019-05-18 02:23

Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has declared that anyone who refuses to sit at home on May 30th deserves to be stoned to death.

Nnamdi Kanu expressed his grievances that the Nigerian Government passed a bill recognizing June 12 as Democracy Day in honour of MKO Abiola but turned against the remembrance of millions of Igbo killed during the war.

According to him, Biafrans are going to sit at home on 30th May to remember and honour over 3.5m Biafrans killed by Britain through Nigeria.

Nnamdi Kanu revealed this in a live broadcast from London, on Thursday, saying: “They passed a bill today to recognise and honour June 12 because of one man, then turn against IPOB for honouring 6 million victims of genocide and those that fought to save those of us who are alive today.

“They must be mad and insane. Anybody who fails to sit at home on May 30th deserves to be stoned to death.

“Now the same band of God forsaken Fulani slaves in our midst is telling us not to honour over 3.5 million victims of genocide and the brave men that fought to keep us alive.

“What a bunch of soulless evil men? They are telling us not to honour our own people because an Igbo man or any Biafra for that matter is not worthy to be honoured in Nigeria.

“These are the same people whose politics of acquisance and compromise put us in the mess IPOB is trying to fix today. We must send a clear, unambiguous message to these Fulani slaves in our land that we must honour our brave fathers and mothers that fought for us.

“We are going to sit at home on 30th May to remember and honour over 3.5m Biafrans killed by Britain through Nigeria”.

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'You Cannot Redefine Our Traditional Boundaries', Gbong Gwom Jos Cautions Gov. Lalong

Sat, 2019-05-18 01:55

The Gbong Gwom of Jos and Chairman of the Plateau Council of Chiefs, Jacob Buba Gyang, has said on Friday that the state governors do not have the authority to redefine traditional boundaries.

According to Jacob: “I am not aware of any authority by a governor to redefine traditional boundaries. Government cannot redefine boundaries where there is no problem”.

The Chief, who spoke at the “Nzem Berom 2019”, an annual cultural festival of the Berom ethnic group of Plateau, was reacting to a Thursday circular in which the state government established two traditional councils out of the Jos Traditional Council.

The establishment of the two traditional councils – Jos North and Riyom – has effectively whittled down the powers of the paramount ruler who superintends traditional rulers in the four local governments that make up the Jos Joint Traditional Council.

With the split, the Gbong Gwom is left with only two local governments – Jos South and Barkin-Ladi.

According to the circular, the Attah Aten of Ganawuri will chair the Riyom Traditional Council, while the Chiefs of Anaguta and Afizere would be in charge of the two traditional stools in Jos North.

Jacob continued by saying: “There has been government pronouncement and actions to do with the traditional institution even when there was no problem. We have no problem with our neighbours and we have been in peace with one another.

“The traditional boundaries existed even before the existence of Nigeria as a country and every tribe on the Plateau has a defined territory.

“We want to appeal to politicians to respect these territories,” Mr. Buba stated.

The chief further said the country had a Land Use Act with the customary rights of land ownership embedded in it.

Speaking further: “All over Nigeria, land belongs to communities, families, and individuals. We want to appeal that government must not take actions that will bring security challenges to Plateau.

“Yesterday night, I had to appeal to the Berom nation and its vibrant youths to please calm down.

“I told them that as sensitive as the issue is perceived, it has not gone beyond the Berom traditional institution, the elders and the Berom organisations.

“We will sit with government and educate government about what it is; we hope we will have the listening ear of the governor to make amends where they have made errors.

“There is no human being that is perfect, we all make mistakes.

“We appeal to the Berom nation to please calm down. We will follow due process, and we are absolutely sure that God will not forsake us,” Jacob added.

Jacob pointed out that people were craving for peace because there would be no development without it.

He said he had the cause to write to the state government reminding it of reports of three judicial commissions of inquiry between 1994 and 2009.

“All the judicial commissions of inquiry agreed with the position that Jos belongs to the Afizere, Anaguta and the Berom.

“I wrote a letter last year reminding the governor of this and requesting him to allow traditional rulers of these tribes to sit with the state boundary commission to determine everybody’s boundary.

“I am still appealing to government to look into this.

“We don’t want a situation where government policy will bring chaos between neighbors, brothers and sisters that have lived together in peace over the ages,” Jacob said.

Jafaru Wuyep, the Commissioner for Water Resources and Energy, who represented the Governor of Plateau State, in his remarks, promised to convey the message.

The Commissioner for Water Resources and Energy acknowledged that the cultural festival was a unifying force that also promotes peaceful coexistence, adding that it was an avenue to project the Berom cultural identity, attract tourists and promote socio-economic activities.

The cultural festival entails many cultural activities by different groups and tribes, as well as the exhibition of Berom technology.

Awards were given to two Berom personalities that had distinguished themselves and contributed to the development of the people.

The awardees included Barnabas Dusu, now late, who received a posthumous award for being instrumental to the translation of the Holy Bible into Berom language.

The other recipient of the award was Marie Nyam, who is famed as a major contributor to the educational development of many sons and daughters of Berom land.

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EFCC Nabs Herbalist Who Promised South Korean NNPC License

Sat, 2019-05-18 01:50

A 31-year-old herbalist has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),  for allegedly impersonating Maikanti Baru, group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC).

According to a spokesman of the commission, Tony Orilade, the suspect also impersonated Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity.

Tony said the suspect with others at large, used the names of the senior government officials to defraud Keun Sig Kim, a South Korean national.

According to Tony: “This is under the pretence of getting him an NNPC license that would enable him purchase a company.

“The petitioner paid over N30 million into the suspect’s account as fee to get the license”.

Quoting Kim: “I transferred 4.2 million dollars to a United Bank of Africa, account number 2107575870 in the name of one Jamiu Isiaka, an associate of Mr. Shola Adeshina.

“It is noteworthy that this account particulars have been provided severally for me to make transfer to.”

Tony said during interrogation, the suspect said he used the money to perform a sacrifice on behalf of the petitioner.

The spokesperson alleged that the suspect claimed that he bought a vulture, elephant’s skin, elephant’s intestine, skull of a lion, liver of gorilla, among others.

“The suspect will soon be arraigned in court while efforts are ongoing to nab the accomplices at larger,” Tony concluded.

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'Stop The Violence, You Cannot Wipe Out An Ethnic Group', Says Dogara

Sat, 2019-05-18 00:41

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said that Nigeria must win the war against insurgency in order to reach full civilisation level.

The Speaker stated this at the annual cultural festival of Berom people of Plateau, Jos, on Friday.

The festival also known as the Nzem Berom which is marked between the month of August and April is celebrated to usher in the planting season.

The Speaker, was the made chairman of the event, and he said the violence confronting the country must be stopped at all means.

According to Dogara: “I have said it many times, we cannot afford to lose the fight against violence and still keep our civilisation.

“Any nation that has lost the fight against violence has always lost its civilisation.

“Take the situation with the Northeast where I come from, as an example, there are communities where you can’t find anything as representatives of the government.

“Police stations are gone. Roads, buildings, hospitals and schools have all been destroyed.

“How long is it going to take us before we even get back to the position where we were prior to the breakout of violence?”

Dogara highlighted that he had observed the issues pertaining to the violence in the country for long, and found out that most Nigerians dwell on mistakes, which serve as the chathe for violence.

Dogara said that, for instance, there was an error that tells us that a whole ethnic group could just be wiped out.

According to Dogara, any person who utilises his senses should know that it is highly impossible to talk of just wiping out an ethnic group, except the God that created them decides to wipe them out Himself.

He said: “I have also heard of the error that stipulates that violence can be cured by more violence.

“There has never been a conflict in the world, not even where the best of the war machines are used, that the weapons of war were thought to have resolved and brought peace.

“Peace has always been obtained at the table of brotherhood. So, we can defeat violence in Nigeria if we are determined to do so and we have the leaders who are willing to do so.

“It is also an error to say that some people are being killed because of cattle rustling,” he concluded.

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LIVE: CBN’s Explanation On N500 Billion Scandal Calls For Extensive Investigation - Economist

Fri, 2019-05-17 23:20

Dr. Ganiyu Oladapo, an economist, has weighed in on the audio released by SaharaReporters exposing plans by Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria and some top officials at the apex bank to cover up stolen N500 billion from the bank.

He called for an extensive investigation into the activities of the bank and other ministries and agencies mentioned in the audio.

Corruption Economy Money Money Laundering Politics Scandal Breaking News News AddThis :  Featured Image :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 

The Federal Government Is Shutting Down Enugu Airport For 'Security Reasons'

Fri, 2019-05-17 23:07

The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced plans to shut down the Akanu Ibiam International Airport due to security reasons.

Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation, said on Friday that reasons for the closure include bad runway, proximity to a market and the wrong location of the state radio mast.

More to come.

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Is Yahaya Bello A Hard Choice For President Buhari? By George Oyedepo

Fri, 2019-05-17 22:04

For anyone who cares to listen, the Governor of Kogi state Yahaya Bello will proudly thump his chest and say he is the godson of the president, Muhammadu Buhari. Since he assumed office, Bello made his subservient ways to please the president very overt. He is not ashamed to be at the beck-and-call of the president even when his duties are not needed. Bello somehow manages to worm his way through, positioning himself as the true son of the president. His frequent visits to Aso Villa was once seen as a political move to seek the hand of the president's daughter in marriage. As a Muslim who is already married, his intentions are by no means illegal.

If anything, it will only be seen as a strategy by the governor to stamp his foot in the corridors of power. So far, that has not been the case. Yet, Bello’s visits didn't dwindle. Instead, he has taken the onus upon himself to declare himself the one who has the president's ears. After all, it was due to his intervention that the president considered bidding for a re-election. His victory in the last election is a celebrated feat for Bello who again blows his trumpet that he indeed delivered Kogi state to the president.

A blatant lie that his detractors, even those who work with him make mockery of behind his back. But Bello is full of himself that he is only focused on those who dared to challenge him publicly, particularly from the state party. More recently, he bragged that the National Leader of his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu respects him because he is known as the son of the president.

On more than one occasion, the president has demonstrated his viral slogan that he belongs to no one in his four-year tenure. His stance in supporting the people's interest over the interest of friends and allies are evident in the recent sagas in Ogun, Imo and Kano states.

For a president whose best credential is not only that he does not like corruption but clearly detests it as shown in the body language and confusion of Gandollar or Gandujegate issue. On national TV, the president was reluctant to raise Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s hand even when he knew he will secure votes for him. His refusal to support Ganduje's after the bribery allegations cost him an almost defeat in the state. 

Likewise, in Ogun, he refused to assist his former best friend from the Southwest to pervert the will of the people.  When the outgoing governor Ibikunle Amosun hosted at the rally and tried to pressure the president to support his own candidate, the people’s president raised the hand of the APC candidate, but told the people to vote who they think will be best for them.  President Buhari refused to bow to the vested interests of the party, or the vested interest of Governor Amosun.

His former best and only political ally in South-east, the very Hausa-speaking Governor Rochas Okorocha ran to Abuja many times looking for presidential salvation against the party. The people’s president did not interfere.

Similarly, in Oyo state, the president did not spare his longtime close friend and political ally since the days of his former party, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Abdul-Raheem Adebayo Shittu. Shittu was also a former governorship aspirant of the party in Oyo before he was appointed Minister of Communication in Nigeria. From the first day, he gave the governor trouble, but because of his closeness to president, the president showed his usual character of being steadfast to his friends and kept him as a minister.

Soon allegation of financial impropriety and lack of paying his assistants their salaries which is what this president has worked against in the states were made. President Buhari still stood with his friend after he confessed that he did not carry out his National Youth Service Corps obligation. Unlike the former Minister of Finance of Kemi Adeosun who was asked to vacate her office, Shittu was not sacked because the president does not bow to vested interest.  

When the primaries for Oyo state came, Shittu was denied access. Those who were present at the screening said he didn't qualify. The president didn’t come to his aid; he allowed the will and interest of the people. Now the APC has lost Oyo state because the president said the interest of the people should prevail.

Thus, it is quite alarming that the president refused to call to order Bello's flagrant disregard of the will of the people. How come the president is not querying Bello on his inability to pay workers’ salaries for years or the squalor he has pushed most Kogites into due to the lack of development in the state? How come the president is not concerned about the untold hardship Bello has inflicted on the people? Is it that in Kogi the President chose politics over people? Is it that the cries and sickness from non-payment of salaries don’t get to the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja? 

As the primaries draw near, Bello in his bloated ego is walking down the streets of Kogi, drumming support from those who are too scared to call him a fraud. He is raising his chest up and breathing confidently that he will return to power at the November 2 scheduled governorship elections. Needless to say the tactics he will employ to achieve his goal. 

The Buhari we know will not allow Bello to even contest primaries in Kogi.  He will not be permitted. President Buhari said “he does not know how governors go to sleep without paying salaries”, but Bello his ‘son’ is sleeping well under President Buhari’s protection without paying salaries. Is it because in Kogi, for the president, it is politics, not people? Or vested Yahaya Bello interest not people interest?  Has the President given up the burden of the father of the nation in Kogi to make a choice to be father of Yahaya Bello? Is it that everywhere he is for all and belongs to no one, but in Kogi, he is for Bello and belongs to Bello?

So why is he supporting Bello when all are crying and begging him to save and rescue them from Bello?  

The president has a good opportunity to show example by denying Yahaya Bello and telling him the truth. If he is truly a son, he will not disgrace and spoil his father’s name and so he should not contest.  He should not contest not because there is fear he can win, but because there is fear presidency is behind him. There is concern that his violent antecedents will come during elections and his do or die attitude will be on ground.  He should not contest not because he can win because he can never win. If only ten people vote, Bello will still lose elections. He should not contest so that there will be no loss of life in Kogi.

Openly condemning what Yahaya Bello has done and plans, denying him the ticket is the only message from the presidency and APC that can be loud in Kogi. It's the only message that cannot be misinterpreted by Bello’s militia.  It is the only message that can assuage the pain of many. It is the only message that can assuage the pain of the sick, and workers who have not been paid, some of them for years; the pain of children who have not been to school because teachers have not been paid and parents have not been paid so no school fees for private school; to assuage the pains and sorrow across Kogi from East to Central to West; all over Kogi.  The president should prove that like in Katsina, the interest of the people in Kogi is paramount and above the vested interest of Bello.

Oyedepo writes from Lokoja, Kogi State

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Open Letter to Federal Minister of Power, Works & Housing of Nigeria By Taiwo Tope Adetiloye

Fri, 2019-05-17 22:02

His Excellency,

Hon. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN)

The Honourable Minister of Power, Works & Housing,

Federal Government of Nigeria, Abuja

I am a Nigerian who has been following the Dangote development plan in Africa over a long time. I must commend the Dangote Group for their consistency and hard work. The group over the years has provided employment for quite a number of the teaming population of Nigeria and other African countries.

However, I will like to bring to the attention of the Federal Government of Nigeria one of the reasons why Nigerian roads do not last long and how corporations such as Dangote and the oil and gas industry should be held accountable for their contributions to the rapid damage of our roads. This has taken a toll on infrastructural development in the country as a whole. Manufacturing companies operate heavy duty trucks laden with materials and goods thereby causing devastating impacts on our roads which include but not limited to traffic congestion, accidents, road deterioration, and disruption of the aesthetic beauty of cities.

Having had the opportunity to live and study abroad, I have some humble suggestions to help solve the problem. My solution is cost-effective in the long run as it helps save our roads and enhance durability. Nigeria needs to scale up investments in rail infrastructure by all means. Advanced countries like Canada rely extensively on rail transport to move goods and services from province to province.

Here are some of the benefits of conveying cargos via rail:

Investment in cargo rails will improve lives and make movement of goods and services more efficient. It will lead to less heavy duty truck accidents on Nigerian highways which over the years have contributed to high casualties and mortality rate of our young population. Safety measures should be top most priority to ensure lives and properties are well catered for.

There is no doubt that cargo rails are cost effective in terms of hiring truck drivers and also cost of maintaining and running chains of trailers. In addition, they provide better ways of managing logistics and the Federal Government can mandate stakeholders in the manufacturing industry to convey a large percentage of their services via rail. Furthermore, when heavy duty vehicles are reduced, it mitigates the rate of road damages as a result of weight and pressure which ultimately contribute to road compression and collapse. It is quite smart to generate revenue and increase returns on investment (ROI) by focusing on cargo rails.

The benefits of investing in the rail industry can easily be achieved by compelling private investors to contribute their quotas in this area. A typical case study of successful private investments is seen in the telecommunication industry in Nigeria. Over time, more investors can come into the country when commodities are easily conveyed from source to destination. An efficient rail system will steer Nigeria in the right direction of growth in terms of GDP and make us join the league of fast growing economies of the world.

The importance of using cargo rails cannot be overemphasized since the Dangote group is investing in oil and gas sector at the moment. Trucks in Nigeria are known to contribute to a high death rate because of the volatile content they carry and the devastating impacts they have when they are involved in accidents.

Lastly, modern researches in creating durable and sustainableroads with cements, waste product, etc. should be evaluated and appropriated in order to provide alternatives to asphalt and bituminous components for road construction.

More police patrols and road cameras are needed at major intersections to ensure heavy duty trucks comply to rules and regulations and they should be made to move at night to reduce traffic, accidents and high rate of casualties. The government should be actively involved as they bear the brunt of road maintenance and repairs.

For more on my work, please see my videos on YouTube on how to help solve the problems of herdsmen attacks in Nigeria and other related ways of developing Nigeria. I also touched on resolving the political crises in Cameroon.

Best regards,

Taiwo Tope Adetiloye

B.A. Sociology and Political Science (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada)

Project Manager

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The Problems And The Solutions To The Nigerian Power Sector By Ettu Mohammed

Fri, 2019-05-17 21:45

The Transmission Company of Nigeria is 100 % owned and managed by the Federal Government of Nigeria and it is the weakest in the Nigerian Electricity Network.

TCN is the heart of the Generating and Disco Company that was privatized in 2013.

Hence technically the FG owns the Disco and Gencos. Moreover The FG still owns 40% of  the privatized Genco and Disco.

When the heart is not working it means you are dead no matter what you do with the body. 

The TCN is morribund and can't push more the more than 5000MW over 24hrs as it has never since inception it will never happen. 

We have over 12500MW Electricity Generating Plants  installed in Nigeria but the absence of necessary Gas network to the plants left most of them idle. Many were built during the PDP era apart from the biggest IPP in Edo which started in 2014 kitted with Siemens gas engine. 

It was situated 1km to a gas network. 

Government is saddled with the responsibility to build a robust gas network but they ain't doing same.

The Same Federal Government of Nigeria via NERC and NBET controls the tariff and everything in the Power Sector is technically managed by Government. 

All the agencies that drive the power sector are controlled by the Nigerian Government hence they should  never attempt to abdicate power responsibility.

Every equipment used in the power sector is import dependent and when Nigerian government  devalued her currency  in 2016 , energy was sold at N30/kWh averagely circa 2016  that was 15.2¢ after devaluation it dropped to  8.3¢ today that is 45% loss in tariff.
We should not forget the Discos and Gencos  borrowed in USD and they will pay back in dollars. With devaluation they owe 132% extra on the borrowed funds because they earn in Naira.

It is simply you borrowed $1m in 2013 that is N155m without interest rate and you want to pay back in 2019 that is N360 million=$1m without interest rates. 

It means this companies are indebted to the tune of N205m extra because they will earn in Naira and pay in Dollar and your currency has been devalued.

How will they survive with this mess? 

This does NOT also exonorate the Discos from the mess the power sector is saddled with. Majority of the Disco owners have no business running a power utility firm but this is Nigeria where anything goes. 

To make the power Sector work we have to rejig the Power sector Policy.

It is whacked and will never work.

A comprehensive Power policy should address as opined by Mr Adekunle Shotubo who is also versed in the power sector and I agree 100%.

1. Pricing of gas 
2. Payment systems at end user and across value chain 
3. Ownership of gas pipelines 
4. Location of power generating  stations 5. Grid flexibility 
6. Entry requirements for diverse power generating sources 
7. Extent of government involvement 
8. Gas exploration, production and distribution 
9. Power and all energy should be under one ministry and not a separate one for petroleum and gas 
10. A real professional either in governance, discipline or commercial space in power, oil and gas sector should head the ministry 
11. Transparent governance structures 
12. All power facilities (from gas to home) should be covered by the national treasures act (I hope we even have one) is the practice in Ghana and SA.

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The Yoruba Deserve 2023 Presidency, The Igbo Are Not A Serious People By Fredrick Nwabufo

Fri, 2019-05-17 20:26

Fredrick Nwabufo

Fredrick Nwabufo

There is nothing as fatal as a blow from a “consanguineal fist”.  A cut from a “sibling” hurts deeper than that from a stranger. I have been inflicted severe cuts – caustic verbal attacks - by some Igbo persons for advocating a president of Igbo extraction in 2023. While some of them are irritated by the attention that I have been able to generate for the cause, a few others see the “advocacy” as a means of cutting deals for filthy lucre.

The fiercest opposition to the cause, “president of Igbo extraction in 2023”, has been the people for which it is championed – the Igbo.  While some of my kinsmen argued that they want restructuring and not the presidency, a great number of them say that they only want to “secure Igbo-land economically, politically and security-wise.” But when you ask them, how they intend to actualise these “dreams”, they just let off inchoate pieces of babble. As a matter of fact, most of these objurgators are just fortune seekers pinning and angling to benefit from “anything Igbo.”

I recall when Ifeanyi Uba, senator-elect, Anambra South, was trying to make an inroad into the fold of the dominant party at the national assembly, he was brutally hacked down with vicious criticisms by his own people. I have reflected pensively on what the Igbo political agenda could be, but at every point I become sectioned with a brain fag.  What do the Igbo really want?

I have written a couple of essays, expounding the reasons the Igbo deserve the 2023 presidency and why all Nigerians of dispassionate interest and untainted conscience must support the group in actualising this noble goal. I still believe, for the sake national cohesion, the southeast region deserves a shot at the presidency. But it appears they are not ready for it.

In my essay, ‘With Buhari’s 4+4, Igbo presidency in 2023 is now non-negotiable’, I wrote: “I believe healing will begin for Nigerians when political justice is seen to have been done to all. At that point we can build a country defiant to disunity. But political justice must be done to all to get to this stage.”

However, I failed to add: “Political justice must be demanded when it is not given”. How can justice be done to a people who have resigned to hopeless fate? How can a people who are stuck in political stasis be called to the table for negotiations? How can a people who are on the path of no certain destination be taken seriously?

Really, I was surprised at the reactions to the essay by most Nigerians from the north and the south-west. I have messages from reputable Nigerians across ethnic divides in my phone log, telling me that it will be grave injustice if the Igbo are schemed out of the 2023 presidential race. I remember one retired general asked at the end of his message to me, “But what is the southeast doing about the 2023 presidency?” I only responded with a “smiley OMG”. But the answer to that is, “nothing; just whining, blowing hot air, fantasising about restructuring and mouthing off about Biafra”.

Luck is when opportunity meets preparation. I can see the southwest positioning itself strategically and making the necessary noise and calculated connections for a 2023 presidential bid. I cannot begrudge a people who are resolute about what they want, and who are, most importantly, feisty about their destiny.  The cake will certainly be taken by a fiercer cat; it will not be handed to a gutless kitten.

You can demand political justice when it is not given; injustice only persists because you allow it.

Fredrick is a media personality.

Twitter: @FredrickNwabufo

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How Captain Iniobong Ekong, Special Aide to Akwa Ibom State Governor Tried To Conceal Love Affair By Jailing Mistress

Fri, 2019-05-17 19:57

Captain Iniobong Ekong, the Senior Special Adviser on security matters to the Akwa Ibom state governor, has been reported to be  involved in a love affair that went awry.

It was gathered that he had the love affair with one Adiaesup Etukudoh and the affair resulted in pregnancy. 

The pregnancy, however, was said to be 'cryptic'  and hence could not be detected by scans.The result of her pregnancy thus proved to be negative.

She gave birth on the 15th of November 2017.

According to the Etukudoh, the captain was in the know of everything and had given her four hundred thousand naira (N400,000) to buy things in preparation for the arrival of the kids. When the kids finally arrived, a set of twins, she had called him to come and see the kids but he refused and made no more attempts to cater for their upkeep. 

Frustrated by the burden of raising the kids alone, Etukudoh, decided to pay Ekong a visit but was prevented from entering the house and therefore resorted to causing a scene.

Captain Iniobong Ekong, who was out of the country when this happened, decided to file a petition upon hearing about her public outburst.

Ekong then had his lawyer, Bar. Mfon Udeme, put a call through to Etukudoh on the 6th of May 2019 stating that he was interested in opening an account for the kids and she should meet him at Zenith Bank. It however turned out to be a ploy by the captain to have her arrested.

Etukudoh was taken to the state police headquarters at Ikot Akpan Abia and was kept there from morning to evening. She was asked to call someone to bail her but she felt it was another ploy in the captain's grand 'script' of getting her jailed . Sensing how serious the matter was, she later considered contacting her mother by 6 pm in the evening which by then was too late for a bail.

There was a twist to the story the next day when she was asked to provide the children for a DNA test before she could be granted bail.

Etukudoh however refused to provide the kids deducing the influence of Captain to have the DNA results doctored in his favour.

She was held behind bars till Monday, 13th of May 2019 and was eventually charged to court without the knowledge of her lawyer, Barr. Ekanem. In court, the magistrate asked that she be remanded in the prison pending the sitting on Wednesday.

After a magistrate sitting on the 15th May, the trial judge said the case was not in his jurisdiction and therefore Etukudoh could not be granted bail. The case has however been transferred to the Director of Public Prosecutions to file charges at the High Court in the state.

Meanwhile, all efforts to contact Captain Iniobong Ekong and his lawyer, Barr. Mfon Udeme, through calls and text messages proved abortive.

Politics Scandal News AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements :