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UPDATE: NAPTIP To 'Look Into' Video Of Ladies Trafficked To Lebanon Begging Nigerian Embassy To Repatriate Them

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 01:19


Julie Oka-Donli

Julie Oka-Donli SaharaReporters Media


The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons has promised to look into a video showing Nigerian ladies trafficked to Lebanon pleading to return home.

Director General of NAPTIP, Dame Julie Oka-Donli, revealed to SaharaReporters that the agency will look into it.

In a chat with our correspondent, she said the agency was not aware of the incident at the Nigerian Embassy in Lebanon.  See Also Sahara Reporters Ladies Trafficked To Lebanon Begs To Return Home After Nigerian Embassy Rejects Them 0 Comments 4 Days Ago

She stated that the agency was working to return all Nigerians trafficked from the country.

She said, "I have not seen the video in question, all I know is that we have rescued two victims from Lebanon.

"One is now with us and the one whose video went viral is expected back in a day or two." 

SaharaReporters had published a report of some Nigerian ladies trafficked to Lebanon for sex work begging the Nigerian Government to help return them back to the country.

The ladies in the video alleged that they escaped from their homes and went to the Nigerian Embassy in Lebanon but Nigerians working at the embassy sent them out

The ladies said they were taken to the Arabian country and made to work as slaves and prostitutes.

They cried out after they got information that the Nigerian Government helped a lady escape Lebanon and reunited her with her family in Nigeria.

According to Chief Executive Officer of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Nigerian Embassy in Lebanon has since taken up the care of the affected ladies. 
 

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Government Has Stopped Investigation To Find My Daughter's Killers, Says Fasoranti

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 01:07


Pa Rebuen Fasoranti

Pa Rebuen Fasoranti


Reuben Fasoranti, leader of Afenifere, has accused the Nigerian Government of abandoning the case of the killing of his daughter, Mrs Funke Olakunrin. 

Olakunrin, 58, was killed in July 2019 by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen while trying to escape kidnap on the Benin-Ore Expressway on her way to Lagos. 

Pa Fasoranti explained that the investigation to unravel the killers of his daughter in order to bring the perpetrators to book has been deliberately halted by the Presidency. 

He expressed his feelings while speaking with journalists in Akure, Ondo State, on Thursday. 

According to him, security agencies have been informing the family that "authorities" from above have asked them to stop further investigation into the case till another notice. 

He said, “The case of my daughter, they normally should have done something very quickly, but the police said they were asked not to do it.

“We were very enthusiastic that the police would do something about it, we asked the police to do something about it but they came back to tell us they were asked not to do it. They told us they were asked to stop.

“Nigerian Government said the investigation should not be done. I wouldn’t know why they said that but I was very  disappointed and embarrassed myself.

"As family members, we feel very bad and hopeless because there is nothing we can do and I got in touch with the Presidency but got a definite no; that is very disturbing.

“If a Head of State can say a thing like that, knowing fully well that the lady was killed without any defence, he should know our feeling about it."

Spokesperson for the police in Ondo, Femi Joseph, could not be reached for comments on the issue when contacted by our correspondent as his telephone numbers failed to connect. 

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Ladies Trafficked To Lebanon Begs To Return Home After Nigerian Embassy Rejects Them

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 00:18


Some Nigerian ladies trafficked to Lebanon for slavery have urged the Nigerian Government to help return them back to Nigeria.

The ladies in a video alleged that they escaped from their homes and went to the Nigerian Embassy in Lebanon but Nigerians working at the embassy sent them out.

The ladies said they were taken to the Arabian country and made to work as slaves.

The ladies cried out after they got information that the Nigerian Government helped a lady escape Lebanon and reunited her with her family in Nigeria.

The ladies are pleading to the government to free them from their paymasters (agents) and repatriate them to Nigeria.

In videos sighted by SaharaReporters, the ladies were talking to a top official of the country’s embassy in Lebanon and pleading with him to allow them stay in the embassy but their pleas were ignored.

One of the ladies said she had been homeless since December 15, 2019 when she ran away from her master.

The ladies narrated that they were condemned to constant flogging.

“I have nowhere to go, maybe we can sleep here (pointing to the floor),” one of the ladies said.

“I have money with my agent and my phone is with him. They used to collect our salaries and phone.

“Sir, we all have proofs, the place cannot be easy for us and we will leave. Now that the embassy has asked us to leave, we don’t know where to go to and we don’t have anywhere to go,” another lady said pleading with a top official at the embassy.

Stranded with no hope of accommodation in the country, the ladies pleaded to all Nigerians and President Muhammadu Buhari to help them leave Lebanon.

"Dear Nigerians, we need your help, we need your assistance. We are facing a lot of things in Lebanon and we tried to rescue ourselves. 

“We ran to Nigerian Embassy for assistance but unfortunately they said we should go out. 

“This is our representative in Lebanon, they said there is no way we can stay that we should go out.

"There is nowhere we are going; we don’t have anywhere to stay. There is no food, there is nothing; please help and assist.

"We are begging everybody, most especially President Buhari, please help us, we need your help, we are stranded here in Nigerian Embassy in Lebanon,” the ladies pleaded.

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Amotekun Is Illegal, Will Ruin South-West 2023 Presidency Chances –Miyetti Allah

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2020-01-16 20:38


Miyetti Allah group

Miyetti Allah group

 

Miyetti Allah Kaute Hore, the Fulani socio-cultural organisation, has said that governors in Nigeria's South-West must give up the new community security outfit if it must clinch the presidency in 2023.

The group said the new outfit aimed at curbing insecurity in the South-Western region was illegal.

Alhassan Saleh, National Secretary of the group, made the disclosure in an interview with PUNCH.

He said, “This Amotekun scheme is political and is not the solution to the problem of insecurity.

“What South-West governors should have done is to continue to push for state police. Where did they expect to get the funding from at a time some of them are struggling to pay salaries?

“It is best they give up on this idea because it may affect the chances of the South-West to produce the president in 2023.

“The thinking is that if the South-West, a major stakeholder in this government, can be toying with this idea now, they may do worse when they get to power.

“We are in agreement with the AGF that Amotekun is illegal. In fact, we are unhappy that it took the AGF this long to react.”

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Nigeria, Five Other West African Countries Condemn Renaming Of CFA Franc To ECO

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2020-01-16 20:38


 

Nigeria and five other English-speaking West African countries have condemned the decision of their French-speaking neighbours to rename the CFA Franc as ECO.

The condemnation was issued at the end of a West African Monetary Zone meeting of ministers of finance and governors of central banks on Thursday in Abuja.

The countries that participated in the meeting are Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

The statement reads, “WAMZ Convergence Council wishes to emphasise that this action is inconsistent with the decision of the Authority of the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS for the adoption of the ECO as the name of an independent ECOWAS single currency

“WAMZ Convergence Council wishes to reiterate the need for all ECOWAS member countries to implement the decision of the Authority of the Heads of State and Government towards the implementation of the revised roadmap of the ECOWAS single currency programme.

“WAMZ Convergence Council would be recommending an extraordinary summit of the Authority of the Heads of State and Government of the WAMZ member states will be convened soon to discuss this matter and other related issues."

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Nigeria's Ex-Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Accuses Former Gotel CEO Of Stealing Salaries Of Expatriate Staff After SaharaReporters’ Story

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2020-01-16 20:11


 

A former Vice-President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has blamed a man named John Chiaiheman for the unpaid salaries of foreign staff hired as consultants for his media outfit, Gotel.

Atiku’s position followed an exclusive report by SaharaReporters on January 9, 2020 exposing how Gotel failed to expatriate workers for several months in breach of their contract.

The affected workers are international broadcast journalists drawn from CNN, NPR, CNBC and other reputable networks, according to the report.

The workers revealed that they left Nigeria hapless and with only promissory notes instead of monies owed them by Gotel.

The affected persons include David Guinan, Ebong Udoma, William Chu, Devon Petley, Susie Iliyan, Teddy Vuong, Hannington Osodo, Kostas Sergiadis and Richard Spiropoulos.

They were all hired between late 2014 and early 2015 by Atiku's company based in Yola, Adamawa State, SaharaReporters’ story revealed.

But in a statement through his media team, Atiku blamed Chiaiheman for the non-payment of the expatriate workers.

The statement reads, “For the avoidance of doubt, the funds dedicated to the payment of salaries of staff, both local and expatriates that were engaged by Chiamehen himself were made available to him. All those concerned are advised to contact Mr Chiamehen accordingly.

“To retool its operations, Gotel had in 2013 hired one Mr John Chiahemen to lead the planning, design, build-out and rollout of TV Gotel Africa to be based in Abuja.

“To this end, Chiamehen was given a free hand by the founder and board of the company to run the affairs of Gotel.

“Requisite resources as requested by Chiamehen were made available. On his own part, Chiamehen had committed to a revenue profile of N150m, among others.

“But by 2016, there were concerns that the Chiamehen management was only long in promises and short in performance, prompting the then board to empanel an ad-hoc visitation committee to examine the state of the company. The findings of that committee were damning.

“Consequently, the committee recommended the need for a comprehensive audit of the company. The audit revealed serious fiduciary infractions by the Chiamehen led management.

“Further to the audit report, a board meeting was convened to consider the auditor’s report.

“However, before that meeting, Mr John Chiamehen bolted and has refused to make himself available to account for the huge resources put in his charge.

“On December 14, 2016, a formal petition on alleged breach of trust, fraud and misappropriation of funds against the former managing director was filed at the FCIID (Interpol) for investigation.

“Mr Chiamehen is encouraged to make himself available to give account of all monies put in his charge during his tenure as MD/CEO of Gotel.”

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Nigerian Students Demand Reversal Of Tuition Fee Increment In Tertiary Institutions

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2020-01-16 20:10


 

Students under the auspices of the National Association of Nigerian Students, South-West (Zone D), have called on the federal and state governments to reverse the increase in tuition fee of some tertiary institutions in the country.

The students, who lamented recent increment in fees at Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo State, and Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, posited that state governments were trying to price education out of the reach of the common man.

In the statement jointly signed by Kowe Odunayo Amos, Coordinator, NANS Zone D; Giwa Yisa Temitope, Secretary-General, and Kazeem Olalekan Israel, PRO, the students held that the excuse given by the institutions that students had to pay more to fund the institution was untenable and cannot stand the test of logic.

The statement reads, “The increment, especially in Ekiti State University, mean that some students will be paying over N200,000 as fees. This is sheer show of insensitivity to the plight of the Nigerian masses.

“Over the years, many workers have had to experience months of non-payment of salaries and in some cases paltry payment has been the order. How then do they expect students to afford such fees?

“This unjust increment is coming at a critical point where all indexes are in the negative; all statistics to measure the social and economic growth are not indicating anything good.

“If we are to go by the new N30,000 minimum wage, how many months’ earning can meet the outrageous fees the administrators of EKSU and ACE, Ondo, intend to force down the throat of innocent students.

“We hereby demand the immediate reversal of these callous increment.

“We charge Nigerian students, civil society organisations, the labour movement, the entire NANS structures and the masses to join us as we struggle to ensure the reversal of the increment in Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti and Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo.

“We must make it known that we stand firmly on the traditional demand of NANS for free and quality education at all levels.

“Any government that cannot ensure the provision of free and quality and other social benefits, does not deserve to be a government because government exist for the state and not the state for government.”

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President Buhari Appoints Kingsley Obiora As Central Bank Deputy Governor

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2020-01-16 20:10


Pulseng

 

Nigeria's President, Muhammadu Buhari, has nominated Dr Kingsley Obiora as deputy governor of Central Bank of Nigeria.

In a statement, Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, on Thursday said the nominee’s name had already been forwarded to the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, for confirmation by the upper legislative chamber.

It reads, “President Muhammadu Buhari has sent the name of Dr Kingsley Obiora to the Senate for confirmation as deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“In a letter to President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, President Buhari said the nomination was in accordance with the provision of Section 8(1) (2) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act 2007.

“Dr Obiora, upon confirmation by the Senate, replaces Dr Joseph Nnanna, who retires on February 2, 2020.”

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Bandits Attack Polio Vaccination Centre, Kill Two Health Workers In Zamfara

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2020-01-16 19:50


 

Bandits in Zamfara have killed two health workers supervising a polio vaccination round in the state, according to a report by PUNCH.

The attack is said to have happened in Makosa Village, a precinct of Zurmi Local Government Area.

An eye witness said the bandits stormed the village at noon and went straight to the primary health care centre, where the vaccination was going on.

“They asked everyone to submit their belongings but the health workers, Lawali Suleiman and Liyu Mohammed, were shot for failing to comply.

“After robbing the people of their belongings, the bandits also carted away their animals,” the source said.

The police spokesperson in Zamfara confirmed the killing saying, “Those who launched the attack are part of the recalcitrant bandits who stormed the village with the intention of committing robbery.

“The information we received was that the two health workers lost their lives because they didn’t surrender their handsets to the hoodlums who in turn became angry and killed them.”

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Bauchi Students March In Honour Of Tafawa Balewa, Ask Buhari To Immortalise Him

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2020-01-16 19:26


 

Students in Bauchi State embarked on a march to remember the life and values of late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.

The students held that Balewa, who was the first Prime Minister of Nigeria, rendered a selfless service to the country and deserved to be recognised and immortalised.

They asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare January 15 the day he died as a public holiday.

The march held in his honour kicked-off from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium down to his residence.

The students also visited his tomb where a wreath was laid in his honour.

“We march on the street of Bauchi to remember and mourn with the families of late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.

“We observed prayers for the legend and also called upon the attention of all Nigerian leaders to emulate from his good legacies.

“We are requesting the Federal Government to declare January 15 a public holiday in honour of the legacies he left.

“We want all stakeholders in Bauchi State, North-East and the country at large to Support Education Under the new initiative of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Memorial Students’ Trust Fund (ATBMSTF),” said National President of National Union of Bauchi State Students, Adamu Musa Kaloma.

Kaloma explained that the trust fund is aimed at helping those from underprivileged families in Bauchi State.

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Court Fixes Date To Determine Zenith Bank’s Testimony In Fayose’s N2.2bn Fraud

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2020-01-16 19:25


 

The Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed February 17 to rule on whether or not the Head of Operations, Zenith Bank, Ado-Ekiti branch, Mr Johnson Abidakun, can testify as a prosecution witness in the ongoing N2.2bn fraud trial of a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, and a firm, Spotless Investment Limited.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had brought Abidakun in to replace a bullion van driver with Zenith Bank, Ado-Ekiti branch, Adewale Aladegbola, who had earlier testified in the case.

Prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), alleged that the testimony given by the bullion van driver was different from the statement he wrote at the EFCC’s office during the investigation of the case.

Jacobs alleged that Fayose had gone behind to compromise the witness by threatening him.

He explained that this was the reason the EFCC sought to replace Aladegbola with Abidakun.

The prosecutor said the EFCC was at liberty to replace Aladegbola with Abidakun since the case was starting afresh before Justice C.J. Aneke, after it was transferred from Justice Mojisola Olatoregun (retd.), before whom Aladegbola testified.

But the defence counsel, Ola Olanipekun (SAN), and Olalekan Ojo (SAN), opposed the prosecution’s move, describing it as an abuse of court processes.

Moving an interlocutory application on Thursday in opposition, Ojo described the prosecution’s move as “unfair, oppressive and unconscionable.”

He said, “A prosecuting agency anywhere in the world should not be playing hide and seek.

“One witness has come to testify and because you are not pleased with what he said, you want to replace him. It is an abuse of court processes.”

But Mr Adebisi Adeniyi, who appeared in place of the lead prosecuting counsel, Jacobs, described the application by the defence as a ploy to waste the time of court.

He urged Justice Aneke to dismiss the application and award substantial cost against the defence.

Adeniyi said since the case was starting afresh before Justice Aneke, everything that happened before Justice Olatoregun including the testimony of the bullion van driver, had become useless.

After hearing both sides, Justice Aneke adjourned until February 17 to rule on whether or not Abidakun can testify.

In the charges, the EFCC alleged among other things that Fayose on June 17, 2014, “took possession of the sum of N1, 219, 000,000 to fund your 2014 gubernatorial campaign in Ekiti State, which you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: criminal breach of trust/stealing.”

The ex-governor was also alleged to have on the same day “received a cash payment of $5,000,000 from Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, the then Minister of State for Defence, which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 1 and 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.”

Fayose and Spotless Investment Limited pleaded not guilty.

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After SaharaReporters Story, Ogun Governor Orders Appointees To Produce Certificates

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2020-01-16 19:11


 

Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, has ordered all political appointees in his administration to submit their academic qualifications and curriculum vitae.

The announcement contained in a circular with reference number SSG/ADM. 22/251 and signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Tokunbo Talabi, follows a SaharaReporters story revealing a move by disgraced university don, Sidi Osho's desperate move to doctor her records in order to be appointed commissioner in the state.

Osho was sacked by the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, over alleged misconduct.

The statement reads in part, “Kindly note that all political appointees are required to submit copies of their academic qualifications along with an updated copy of their curriculum vitae.

“These documents should be collated and submitted to the office of the Secretary to the State Government.”

The governing council of Olabisi Onabanjo University on Tuesday unanimously dismissed Osho’s appeal to convert her dismissal from the university to retirement or withdrawal from service.

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Taxing Poor For Buhari Daughter's Enjoyment By Erasmus Ikhide

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2020-01-16 18:55


Erasmus Ikhide

Erasmus Ikhide

 

Since Major General Muhammadu Buhari frauded his way into power with the integrity mantra, some of us, who supported him initially have been stoically beating integrity into his integrity-challenged head and government. Regrettably, all such laudable efforts, setting the agenda for his ethnically-induced regime fall into deaf ears.

Buhari's failure to address the malady in this regard has nothing to do with his personal deafness or his delicately impaired hearing challenge for which has been roundly treated in the United Kingdom, but his deliberate obsession for impunity, banality, ethnocentrism and corruption. This is the third time I would be broadly addressing his presidential air fleets heist that signposted the country as a nation of jesters.

Without mincing words, Buhari has become the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. That's the way of all tyrants who seek to control everything but themselves, at the expense of the downtrodden masses. Bruce Coville had the like of Major General Muhammadu Buhari in mind when he said: "Withholding information is the essence of tyranny. Control of the flow of information is the tool of dictatorship".

In 2015, Mr Buhari deceptively manipulated the people's minds and votes by deriding President Goodluck Jonathan's fraudulent acts of profligacy by keeping a dozen of aircrafts in the presidential air fleets while the masses are having their brains scoop on federal government death trap roads. But his minders wouldn't agree that the president is the worst example of how not to be pretentiously corrupt. Ms Hanan Buhari's use of one of the aircrafts for his personal engagement further reveals the poverty of his regime and his corruption plagued government that has been masquerading the Next Level of fraud.

A cursory check at the budgetary allocations since Buhari came to power revealed that a humongous some of N5.19b was budgeted for the maintenance of the presidential air fleets in 2015; while the of N3.6 was budgeted in 2016, as N4.37bn disappeared in 2017, N7.26bn vanished in 2018, N7.29bn misappropriated in 2019 and N8.51bn would go the same way in 2020 budget.

Outside the fact that the president's daughter has been overreaching herself with entitlements outside her constitutional rights, what explanations can Buhari's sanctimonious regime offer for allowing Hanan to fly presidential jet paid for with tax payers' money while millions of Nigerians students can't be given similar treatment?

Aside that, what moral justification does Mr Buhari have for keeping nearly a dozen aircrafts while virtually all federal roads are not motorable? Why budget nearly N40bn in the maintenance of Presidential Jets when hospitals are in decrepit state and millions of Hausa Fulani kids are begging militantly in the streets of Buhari's Katsina home state and all over Northern part of the country without basic education?

The most debasing aspect of the whole presidential jet impunity didn't come from the president image makers' in-your-face preposterous statement that it's Hanan's rights to use the presidential jet, but Hanan reckless and impulsive tweets that she's looking forward to using the same aircraft when necessary! Available records have shown that Hanan had actually used two presidential jets in the past to visit Kebbi State for her BA project on the Gwandu emirate. That's how Buhari's family has mindlessly 'Moluerized' and ‘Okadarized’ the country's presidential jets as an emperor with a fiefdom.

If Hanan could use the Department of State Services' attack dogs to visit terror on Anthony Okolie, a law-abiding citizen of Nigeria for using her old SIM card legitimately sold to him by MTN, then Nigerians should prepare for more presidential brigandage and banality such as replete in animal kingdom.

That's what you get when a narrow minded clicks and oligarchs, who never thought of amounting to anything in life found themselves in power, gloating and floating with oil wealth of another region, trusted upon them to fritter away for their vanity and destruction.

Email: ikhideerasmus@gmail.com

Follow me on Twitter @ikhide_erasmus1

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Trump’s Trial: Congress Submits Articles Of Impeachment To Senate

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2020-01-16 18:54


 

The House of Representatives in the United States of America has submitted two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate.

The Democrat-led congress are accusing the president of abusing power and obstructing justice by trying to co-opt the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zilensky, to investigate Hunter Biden – son of Trump’s potential rival in this year’s elections, Joe Biden.

“This is a difficult time for our country, but this is precisely the kind of time for which the framers created the Senate,” Senate leader, Mich McConnell said.

The upper chamber, which is dominated by Republicans, will today read out the charges against Trump on the floor.

The chief justice of the country, John Roberts, will be sworn in afterward.

He will proceed to swear members of the Senate, who will serve as jury.

The House of Representatives are expected to send in members as well, they will act as prosecutors and will have the task of convincing an already biased jury that Trump should be convicted.

“So sad, so tragic for our country, that the actions taken by the president to undermine our national security, to violate his oath of office and to jeopardise the security of our elections, has taken us to this place,” speaker of the lower chamber, Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said on Wednesday.

“This president will be held accountable,” she said, adding: “No one is above the law.”

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Masari And Child Bandits In Katsina Forest By Olabisi Deji-Folutile

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2020-01-16 18:51


Olabisi Deji-Folutile

Olabisi Deji-Folutile google

 

Finally, the chickens have come home to roost! The misdeeds of Nigeria’s leaders are coming back to haunt them. Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State painted a vivid picture of this during the week when he spoke about the horrors locked in the Northern forest, where anyone could get hundreds of armed men almost for free. He said that the children abandoned in the forest across the North were now coming back to fight the society as bandits. He didn’t stop there. He warned that unless the education of children in this region is addressed, the situation might become worse in future as the level of insecurity in the country today would be child’s play compared with what is likely to happen in another two decades from now. In the governor’s words: “We have problems now with the forest people because they have no education of any kind. They do not have Islamic education and they do not have western education because they have been abandoned in the forest and forgotten. So these are the kind of children who have come up today, fighting us, fighting the society.... since the children are not educated, they only know one pleasure-the pleasure of the flesh, so they keep on producing children in large numbers.”

In August last year, I wrote an article on Nigeria breeding children of anger every day. In that article, I emphasised that as long as the law of sowing and reaping subsisted, what we were currently witnessing in the country today in terms of security challenges would be child’s play when compared with what would happen in future if we continued to breed these children of anger. I also noted that the only escape route was for Nigerian leaders to sit up and invest in these children as being done in other progressive societies. This is still my stand today. We can talk about the problem from now till eternity, but nothing will change until we begin to take appropriate actions. Unfortunately, Nigeria is still reluctant to own its problems. It thinks solutions to them will one day drop from the sky.  One of its governors is even asking world bodies to come and resolve the country’s educational crisis. I am referring to Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu, who recently asked the United Nations and the World Bank to give Nigeria bailout to solve its education problem. This was his response to the World Bank’s recommendation that developing countries should spend $700 per pupil, at least for the proper running of their primary schools. The governor, who thinks this is not achievable in a country like Nigeria, argues that  institutions like the World Bank and the UN were set up to share global prosperity and since Nigeria has paid its dues by contributing to global peace, it should be helped to bridge the gap in its education sector.   Imagine that sense of entitlement! Should a country rich enough to provide a presidential jet for its President’s daughter to go on a private photo shoot complain of being unable to budget ordinary N250, 000 on a child to run a proper primary school?

People like Bagudu have become so used to freebies that they have lost their sense of decorum. They don’t know that the fact that Nigerian leaders engage in certain abnormalities and get away with them does not mean that such behaviours are accepted as global best practices. That the Federal Government gives states bailout to pay their workers’ salaries  even when such states complaining of lack of money have more than enough to  spend on their former governors and their deputies, does not mean that reasonable international agencies will engage in such weird practice.

Of course, we know that Nigeria has become a burden to the world, especially in the area of child welfare. These world bodies are the ones championing the fight against killer childhood diseases in the country. Nigeria has the likes of Belinda and Bill Gates to thank for its successful fight against polio, otherwise, many more children would have become crippled. In the area of education, particularly in the Northern part of Nigeria, the country owes lots of gratitude to organisations like the UNICEF for their efforts.  Some people probably do not know that UNICEF pays some parents in the North to send their children to schools. The Qatar Foundation through UNICEF pays mothers to send their children to school in Zamfara. UK’s Department of International Development (DFID) is currently working towards improving enrolment in the north through its cash transfer programme. Outsiders are more concerned about our problems than we are about them.  Just recently, UNICEF promised to mop out over 500,000 out-of school children in four northern states namely Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara states by 2020 in its Educate a Child (EAC) programme. It is currently paying to educate 31,000 pupils in Kebbi State alone where parents are getting N8, 000 on each child per term to encourage them to be in school.  These world bodies are making these investments, because they know that for the world to enjoy peace, the army of burgeoning out-of-school children in Nigeria must be well taken care of.  If not, these children will grow to become a terror to the whole world.  Meanwhile a state like Zamfara that cannot invest in its children’s education, can conveniently budget N7bn for construction of a new government house. Talk of misplaced priorities. Many former governors in the north are still unashamedly feeding   fat on their states in spite of these states’ claim of lacking fund to educate a child.

Perhaps, these governors should be reminded that part of the money being spent by UNICEF and the rest of the world in Nigeria are donations from many poor people abroad. These people pledge their dollars to eradicating certain diseases in Africa; they are not doing this because they are rich, rather they are doing it because they want to be part of reducing the world’s problems. Sadly, the only language some of our leaders understand is give me give me. They need to change this mindset. Leadership is about responsibility. One of the reasons why developed countries do proper census is to enhance planning, not for political manipulation. When state governments know the population of their states, it helps in planning towards effective distribution of resources. Our leaders should move pass the era of encouraging population explosion for electoral gain. The repercussion of such manipulation is too costly on the entire system. 

Right now, the statistics on Nigerian children is discouraging. One out of every three Nigerians lives below the poverty line, this proportion surges to 75 per cent among children, according to UNICEF. Similarly, reports by Muffled Voices say 60 per cent of internally displaced persons in Africa are children. These children were forced to flee from their homes due to Boko Haram and herdsmen attacks.  Of   the over 1.78 million IDPs in Nigeria as of   February 2018, children and women constituted 79 per cent of the population, with 28 per cent of them under five, according to the World Food Programme.

All of this is happening in a nation so rich in human and natural resources. Nigeria has earned trillions of Naira from its oil deposit alone not to talk of earnings from its other rich natural resources. This country is not poor by any standard. The problem is the mismanagement of the nation’s resources by its half-baked leaders who lack the capacity to mobilise natural and human resources for maximum growth and development. Sweden spends $ 11, 400 per student from primary to tertiary education and devotes 7.3% of its GDP to education. This funding goes to both public and private educational institutions. No wonder the country enjoys 81.5% employment rate for all levels of education. In 2014, Finland spent $13,865 per student in its lower secondary schools. The country’s Ministry of Education allocates additional funds for immigrant students,  low-income students,  students in single parent families and  those who have unemployed or undereducated parents. In the same vein, South Africa spent R246 billion or 16.7 per cent of total government resources on basic education programmes in 2018/19. Overall, the country spends more than 20 per cent of its resources on basic and higher education and its combined education spending is more than 6 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  How much is Nigeria devoting to educating its children? It made so much noise about allocating 6.7% of 2020 budget to the ministry of education. The bulk of that allocation will go into taking care of overheads, payment of pensions, travels and execution of capital projects without any direct impact on students.

Smart countries are making deliberate and intentional investments into their educational sector. This is what the Bagudus and the Masaris in Nigeria should be doing-not just talking about the problem or looking for someone else to solve the nation’s problems. It is high time Nigerian leaders started seeing leadership positions as means of discharging responsibilities and not a way of milking the nation dry.  They are not being fed and kept by the state for nothing, they are in government to think and proffer solutions. Enough of this their peculiar mess!

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

 

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2023: Only Sowore's AAC Can Stop APC By Towolawi Jamiu

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2020-01-16 18:50


 

As political parties in Nigeria begins preparation towards the 2023 general elections, the main political opposition party; the Peoples Democratic Party continue to show why it does not have what it takes to compete and unseat the ruling All Progressive Congress. Since the 2015 presidential elections that brought President Muhammadu Buhari to power, the ruling APC has never been pressurised in terms of mass demonstrations despite the huge outcry from Nigerians over the APC anti-people policies and nepotistic style of governance.

Prior to the 2015 general elections when the APC was the main political opposition party, it benefited immensely from several mass demonstrations and protests organised by the civil society organisations and NGO's against the neo-liberal and anti-people policies of the then PDP administration under Goodluck Jonathan. These protests such as the Occupy Nigeria and BringBackOurGirls to mention a few enjoyed massive support among Nigerians and drew a lot of spontaneous criticism from different sections of the country in which some of the prominent members of the APC later lend their voices and hijacked. It was this threshold of demonstrations that culminated to the removal of the Jonathan's PDP administration in 2015. The three major issues that led to mass rejection of the Jonathan government vis corruption, pump increase in price of fuel inform of subsidy removal and insecurity inform of boko haram attacks are still very much alive. In fact the Buhari APC went further by removing same subsidy they kicked against by increasing the pump price of fuel from N97 per litre to N145 per litre. Despite spending more on security, Boko haram attacks has increased, armed bandits and kidnapping has also been added to our current security crisis. The Buhari APC also toppled the Jonathan PDP by adding more of anti-people policies in form of increase in VAT from 5% to 7.5%, bank stamp duty, POS charges and other poverty enabling policies. In the face of all these attack on the masses, the PDP as a main political opposition party could not directly or indirectly influence, call, mobilise or work with the Civil Society Organizations and NGO's to resist the anti-people policies of the APC despite countless and unprecedented outcry from the Nigerian masses on daily basis.

It should be noted that no opposition party as ever attained power be it at the National or State level without tremendous support of Civil Society Organizations and in this regard, the PDP has failed woefully and continue to show why it does not have the attribute of a serious and genuine opposition party.

However, with the emergence of the Take It Back Movement and the African Action Congress, there is a signal that another political party led by Omoyele Sowore is fast becoming the new main political opposition party that can seriously challenge the ruling APC. The AAC unlike the PDP is very popular and enjoys massive support from CSOs and has a mass base of political activists in it fold that can radically engage the ruling APC in terms of debate and national policies that are capable of uplifting mass of Nigerians from the present abject and multidimensional poverty. The AAC also have the human resources to mobilise Nigerians to resist the anti-people policies of this present administration.

Conversely, since the Buhari administration came to power, the August 5, 2019 #RevolutionNow protest led by Sowore was the first time the ruling APC came under serious pressure from the masses and ever since then, it has been one nightmare or the other. The August 5, 2019 protest in which Sowore was abducted by the SSS before it began has reawakened mass consciousness and has even given life to the sleeping CSOs.

Finally, Nigerians should not expect anything from the PDP come 2023 because the ruling APC have a dossier of all it prominent members and their corrupt file could be opened at any time if they are perceived a political threat. If there is anyone Nigerians must rally round, it is no other person but Omoyele Sowore, as only Sowore's AAC can stop the APC if properly funded.

Towolawi Jamiu is a writer, social activist and a political commentator. He can be reached through jamiutowolawi@yahoo.com

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Àmòtékùn: Where Is Bola Ahmed Tinubu? By Remi Oyeyemi

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2020-01-16 18:49


 

"Òro se ni wò, ká lè m'eni tó fé ni." –Yorùbá aphorism

Translation: "Be afflicted and know those who love you."

"Ká rìn gèrè, ká f'esè ko, ká w'eni tí ó se 'ni pèlé." –Yorùbá aphorism

Translation: "You know your true friends in time of trial."

Time is a very powerful element in nature. Time derobes and robes. It disarms and arms. It convicts and acquits. Time exculpates and exonerates. Time vindicates and rehabilitates. It corroborates and extenuates. With time, assumptions are confirmed or thrown to the curb as baseless and vacuous. Time is never oblivious. Neither is it ever stagnant. It is ever conscious. It never sleeps.

In nature, there are legion of variables. These variables are centripetal to the definitive characteristic of nature. But there are very few tools of nature. Among the few tools is providence which some would understand or characterise as a sort of divine intervention. Providence intervenes at auspicious times, to salve, save, salvage or sink, sag or submerge.

The awesomeness of the ways of providence is why it is viewed as divine intervention by many. It is why it is viewed with amazement by not a few. This is because at the intervention of providence, all doubts are erased. All prevarications are vacated. All cavilling are crammed. All carping are cramped. The rain would be gone, completely. And the people would be able to see very clearly, crystally. Translucently.

As to the true identity of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, with every passing second, every passing minute, hour, days, weeks, months and years, we are finding out who he is and what he is about. With the manifestation of every important event in the trajectory of the Yorùbá Nation, we are finding out what he is about.

The Yorùbá nation in every hour if its need had found Bola Ahmed Tinubu wanting. It has found him absent. The Yorùbá Nation is earnestly searching for him in its hour of acridity. BAT has had several opportunities. He has had several chances of rebirth. He has missed them all and has continued to miss them.

When the Yorùbá were murdered in Ile-Ife, Bola Tinubu was nowhere to be found to defend the Yorùbá people. He was nowhere to be found in the defence of the people he claims to lead. The rest of Yorùbá sons, who escaped being murdered by the prowling Fulani territorial adventurists were rounded up and taken to Abuja to be tried, Tinubu had no courage to stand up for them. He could not be found.

When the Fulani went on rampage at Ketu in Lagos, burning and murdering the Yorùbá owners of the land, the self-acclaimed "Asíwájú" could not be found. He could not stand up for the Yorùbá victims of usurpers of the Oòduà land. He was silent deafeningly. He was not willing to offend his Fulani masters to whom he has sold the Yorùbá race, the Yorùbá nation. The Yorùbá people who have offered him support when he needed it.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been found wanting when Yorùbá farms were being invaded, when our investments were being destroyed by Fulani herdsmen, when our sons and daughters were being murdered on their farms. Tinubu has repeatedly refused to stand up for Yorùbá sons and daughters, when they were being kidnapped, killed and extorted.

Not a word on record has he said unequivocally on record, in support of the Yorùbá sons and daughters across the aisle. He was silent when Chief Olu Falae was kidnapped and his farm invaded. He was silent when Chief Falae's guard was kidnapped and killed. When the daughter of Afenifere leader was murdered, Tinubu's way of commiserating was asking, "Where are the cows?"

Now, Àmòtékùn has become an issue, Bola Ahmed Tinubu is nowhere to be found again. The self-acclaimed "Asíwájú" has become an absentee one. At every turn when he is expected to stand up for the Yorùbá people, the Yorùbá Nation, the Yorùbá sons and daughters, Tinubu has always been found wanting.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu at every turn, at every opportunity, at every chance he gets or he has gotten, he has had no qualms, he has had no problems, throwing under the bus, the Yorùbá nation to please his Fulani masters. To Tinubu, it does not matter how many Yorùbá sons and daughters are murdered or maimed. It doesn't matter to him how much of the Oòduà land is appropriated by the Fulani aggressors and neo-colonialists.

To Bola Ahmed Tinubu, anything, everyone and everything is expendable. It does not matter how much gnashing of teeth is going on the streets of the Yorùbá Nation. It does not matter to him how much tears is being shed by the Yorùbá sons and daughters. It does not matter to him, how much suffering, agony and misery is inflicted on every corner and cranny of Yorùbá nation, on Oòduà land by his Fulani masters, as long as he is protected and his ambition is on course, he is perfectly alright.

The question now remains, how many sons and daughters of Oòduà have to lose their lives for Tinubu's ambition to be realised? How much more blood have to flow for his Fulani masters to be happy to be able to guarantee him the Presidency, if ever they would? How many more have to die needless deaths? How much more land do we have to give up? How much more have to be kidnapped and killed? How much more of have to be maimed and deprived? Obviously, "Tí ikú ilé ò bá pa ni, t'òde ò lè pa ni."

Bola Ahmed Tinubu has to understand that it was never enough to get himself the title of "Asíwájú." (thank God, it was the "Asíwájú of Eko Island" and not the "Asíwájú of the Yorùbá nation" as many of his paid sentries have always wanted to portray him). Was the purpose of his title to lead whoever follows him to the Golgotha to be slaughtered? Was that the purpose and or the objective?

The creation, launching and the continued subsistence of Àmòtékùn Project is an act of Providence. It is an act of Providence incubated by nature to identify the true enemies of the Yorùbá nation. The role of nature here is the affirmation of its very first law – self-preservation. In this trajectory, the ever conscious time has vindicated the characterisation of Tinubu's politics as mercantilist and not beneficial to and or in the interest of the Yorùbá nation.

Thus if you did not hear anything from Bola Ahmed Tinubu on this matter of Àmòtékùn, you now know why. But never the less, we must still ask this question:- ÀMÒTÉKÙN: Where is Bola Ahmed Tinubu?

"In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it.” – John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1960

 

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Remi Oyeyemi Disable advertisements : 

Another PDP Member Killed By Gunmen In Delta

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2020-01-16 18:45


 

Barely one week after gunmen suspected to be assassins killed the Olomu Ward 1 Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Paul Onomuakporkpo, in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, another member of the party in the Ethiope East Local Government Area of the state has been killed by suspected assassins.

SaharaReporters gathered that the victim whose name was given as Wisdom Ovie, was murdered at his residence in Abraka community on Wednesday at about 10:26pm while taking his bath.

It was however, alleged in some quarters that the deceased, who was a member of the social media team of the PDP in Ethiope East council, may have been murdered over some kind of disagreement with persons believed to be Internet fraudsters.

Meanwhile members of civil society organisations in the state as well as politicians in the area including the local government council chairperson, Faith Majemite, have condemned the gruesome murder of Wisdom.

According to the council chairperson, they were already working in synergy with the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the area to arrest those behind the heinous crime.

Calls put across to the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, over the matter were not responded to as at the time of filing in this story.

Wisdom, who is said to be in his early 30s, was married with two children.

 

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N22m Fraud: Ondo Civil Servants Dragged To Court For Allegedly Stealing Cooperative Funds

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2020-01-16 18:33


 

Three former executive members of the Ondo State Ministry of Culture and Tourism Cooperative, Thrift and Credit Society have been docked at the state’s High Court for allegedly committing fraud. 

The trio of Ehinola Mojisola, Olubo Mercy Kehinde and Alade Femi Augustina were dragged before Justice Samuel Bola of the High Court sitting in Akure.

The three defendants were arraigned by police on a nine-count charge bordering on conspiracy to commit felony, forging of documents and stealing. 

John Dada Joshua, prosecutor in case, told the court that the three suspects fraudulent tendered false statements of account of the ministry's cooperative society while serving as executive members between 2014 and 2019.

Joshua disclosed that the trio also forged the receipt of the Ondo State Civil Service Employee No (cs no.) and fraudulently converted to their own personal purse the sum of N11, 311, 605, 02 belonging to the members of the cooperative society.

According to the prosecutor, the defendants allegedly stole another sum of N3, 611, 144, 34 with additional N3, 896, 095, 34.

He revealed that the total money allegedly stolen by the three defendants from the cooperative society account totalled N22.6m.

But the defence counsel, Charles Titiloye, objected some of the allegations and noted that there were some grey areas that should have been amended in the case.

In his ruling, Justice Bola adjourned the case until February 6, 2020 for the amendment of processes and proper hearing.

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Insecurity: Katsina Governor Places 11-hour Curfew On Tricycles, Motorcycles

Sahara Reporters - Thu, 2020-01-16 17:29


Governor of Katsina state, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari

Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari, has signed an executive order that will halt the use of motorcycles and tricycles in the state between the hours of 7:00pm and 6:00am. 

The Motorcycle and Tricycle Restriction Movement 2020 order will take effect from January 20, the state’s Attorney-General, Ahmed El-Mazuq, revealed.

“Section 5, subsection 2 of the 1999 constitution as amended conferred on the governor power to sign the order.

“The order is Motorcycle and Tricycle Restriction Movement 2020. Under the order, he has prohibited the movement of motorcycles statewide from the hours of 7pm to 6am with effect from January 20 2020. 

“However, there are exceptions. The order shall not apply to the members of the armed forces, the police, other paramilitary agencies like the FRSC, civil defence, immigration, customs and other security agents. 

“Most of the kidnappings and other criminal activities are perpetrated within these hours using this means of transportation.

“People are not restricted to move, they can use motor vehicles.

“By the time the situation normalises, the order will be reviewed,” El-Mazuq said.

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