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CSOs Tackle DSS Over Plans To Incriminate Sowore

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 17:00


A coalition of Civil Society Organisations has kicked against the latest plan by the Department of State Services to incriminate the convener of #RevolutionNow movement, Omoyele Sowore.

The group disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja in a statement jointly signed Deji Adeyanju of Concerned Nigerians, Adebayo Raphael of Free Nigeria Movement and Ariyo Dare-Atoye of Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy.

The statement said that the DSS was bent on whipping up anti-Sowore sentiments by fabricating non-existent collusion between him and some foreign countries and wielding sheer disinformation to mislead the Nigerian people and judiciary.

The activists said that the fabricated exhibit contained in the affidavits filed before the Federal High Court was aimed at extending Sowore’s detention and enforcing his pre-planned persecution by President Muhammadu Buhari-led regime. 

The statement read, “The relentless efforts by the Department of State Services and President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime to incriminate Omoyele Sowore with malicious falsehood and blatant lies have now reached an alarming crescendo where it must be vehemently questioned and quashed. 

“We must state unambiguously at this juncture that the above-mentioned stratagem by the DSS is simply dead on arrival. 

“And this is so because it is obvious to every progressive Nigerian yearning for better living conditions that the baseless accusations against Omoyele Sowore by the DSS are central to the institution’s agenda of perpetuating the undemocratic, politically rudderless, socially decrepit and economically stagnant regime of Buhari. 

“It is also very obvious to students of history that this is a well-known stratagem which has been rendered trite as a result of Nigeria’s journey through the military juntas of vicious military dictators. 

“Freedom-fighters like the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Gani Fawehinmi among others, were accused several times albeit falsely by different military regimes to smear their character and respective agitations for the liberation of Nigerians.

“To be clear, the purpose of the #RevolutionNowMovement, which Sowore has selflessly dedicated himself to is plainly and simply social, economic, and political change. 

“It has never been and would never be about collusion with foreign countries to carry out a coup in Nigeria.

“Sowore has repeatedly said ‘Nigerians do not want war,’ neither do we want a coup. What Nigerians are demanding through the RevolutionNowMovement is better living conditions

“Bearing in mind that it is the last hope of the common man, the judiciary must remain committed to the ideal of justice for which it was established and which Sowore is presently being denied. 

“The Nigerian people, who are fearlessly calling for #RevolutionNow, must also remain steadfast in their fight for better living conditions and a united, progressive, secure and better Nigeria.”

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Abia: Nigerian Army Dismisses Killer Soldier, To Prosecute Him

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 16:46


Army detains suspected Abia killer soldier

Army detains suspected Abia killer soldier PM News

The 82 Division of the Nigerian Army has dismissed Lance Cpl. Ajayi Johnson, who allegedly killed a commercial motorcyclist, Chimaobi Nwogu, at Umoukereke Ngwa in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia.

The Deputy Director, Public Relations of the division, Col. Aliyu Yusuf, announced this in a statement issued in Enugu on Wednesday.

Yusuf stated that Johnson had been handed over to the police command in Abia for prosecution.

It would be recalled that the suspect had on August 7, 2019 allegedly shot Nwaogu for reportedly failing to drop N100 at a military checkpoint, killing him on the spot.

The army later arrested him and, according to Yusuf, he was tried in accordance with extant rules and regulations of the Nigerian Army.

Yusuf said that Johnson had been dully charged, tried and reduced to the rank of a private and subsequently dismissed from service.

He said, “He is, hereby, formally handed over to the Nigerian Police Force, Abia State Command today Wednesday August 21, 2019, for further necessary action.

“The 82 Division will not condone any act of lawlessness and unprofessional conduct from any of its personnel, and wherever that happens, decisive action will surely be taken against erring personnel.”

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Delta: Sacked Workers Demand Reinstatement

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 16:20


About 3,000 Delta State civil servants sacked in 2015 by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa have embarked on a protest against the governor, calling for their reinstatement as promised by him before winning his election for a second term in office.

The protesters stormed the premises of the Ministry of Information, Asaba, the capital, on Wednesday demanding for their reinstatement.

Leader of the protesters, Obukohwo Regha, told the Commissioner for Information in the state, Charles Aniagwu, to prevail on his boss to order their reinstatement.

Addressing the protesters, Aniagwu assured the sacked workers that the state government had not jettisoned the report of a committee set up to review the process.

He explained that ongoing recruitment in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources was for specialised areas and that every qualified persons were free to apply.

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Man In Court For Allegedly Raping Minor In Lagos

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 16:19


A 33 year- old man, Suleiman Mohammed, has appeared before a Badagry Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos State on Wednesday for allegedly raping a 10-year-old girl.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Mohammed is facing a two-count charge by the Chief Magistrate, Mr Patrick Adekomiya, which includes rape and threat to life.

The prosecution counsel, ASP Akpan Nkem, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on April 27 and August 11 at Awolola Street, Adele Era, Ijanikin area of Lagos.

According to Nkem, Mohammed defiled the young girl and also threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

He added that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 168 and 56 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

However, Adekomiya admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N300,000 with two sureties in like sum.

The case was adjourned until September 16 for hearing.

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FULL LIST: Buhari Assigns Portfolios To Ministers

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 16:18


President Muhammadu Buhari has assigned portfolios to designated ministers, who would work with him for his second term in office.

The list was unveiled at the end of the ministerial retreat in Abuja on Wednesday.

FULL LIST

1) Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah – Abia, Mines and Steel Development, State

2) Muhammed Musa Bello – Adamawa, FCT

3) Sen. Godswill Obot Akpabio – Akwa Ibom, Niger Delta

4) Chris Ngige – Anambra, Labour & Employment

5) Sharon Ikeazor – Anambra, Environment, State

6) Adamu Adamu – Bauchi, Education

7) Amb Maryam Katagum – Bauchi, Industry, Trade and Investment, State

8) Timipre Silva – Bayelsa, Petroleum, State

9) Sen. George Akume – Benue, Special Duties

10) Mustapha Baba Shehuri – Borno, Agriculture, State

11) Godwin Jedi-Agba – Cross River, Power, State

12) Festus Keyamo – Delta, Niger Delta, State

13) Ogbonnaya Onu – Ebonyi, Science and Technology

14) Dr. Osagie Ehanire – Edo, Health

15) Clement Ikanade Agba – Edo, Budget and National Planning, State

16) Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo – Ekiti, Industry, Trade and Investment

17) Geoffrey Onyeama – Enugu, Foreign Affairs

18)Dr. Ali Isa Pantami – Gombe, Communication

19) Emeka Nwajuba – Imo, Education, State

20) Suleiman Adamu – Jigawa, Water Resources

21) Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed – Kaduna, Finance, Budget and National Planning

22) Dr. Mohammad Mahmoud – Kaduna, Environment

23) Mohammed Sabo Nanono – Kano, Agriculture

24) Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd) – Kano, Defence

25) Hadi Sirika – Katsina, Aviation

 

26) Abubakar Malami – Kebbi, HAGF and Minister of Justice

27) Ramatu Tijani Aliyu – Kogi, FCT, State

28) Lai Mohammed – Kwara, Information and Culture

29) Gbemisola Saraki – Kwara, Transportation, State

30) Babatunde Raji Fashola – Lagos, Works and Housing

31) Adeleke Mamora – Lagos, Health, State

32) Mohammed A. Abdullahi – Nasarawa, Science & Tech, State

33) Amb. Zubairu Dada – Niger, Foreign Affairs, State

34) Olamilekan Adegbite – Ogun, Mines & Steel Devpt

35) Sen. Omotayo Alasuadura – Ondo, Labour, State

36) Rauf Aregbesola – Osun, Interior

37) Sunday Dare – Oyo, Youth and Sports

38) Dame Pauline Tallen – Plateau, Women Affairs

39) Rotimi Amaechi – Rivers, Transportation

40) Mohammed Maigari Dangyadi – Sokoto, Police Affairs

41) Engr. Sale Mamman – Taraba, Power

42) Abubakar D. Aliyu – Yobe, Works and Housing, State

43) Sadiya Umar Faruk – Zamfara, Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development

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Buhari Fails To Name Petroleum Minister

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 16:16


During the swearing-in of appointed ministers on Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari named ministers for every ministry except the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

Despite the fact that crude oil is Nigeria’s major resource, there are concerns that there may not be a substantive minister for the ministry for the second time under Buhari’s presidency.​

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Nigerian Women 'Burning Their Breasts' To Stay In Business

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 16:00





Shakira Abolore



Iya Bisi, as she asks to be addressed, sits by the junction of Brown street at Oshodi, a popular Lagos suburb known for the diversity of its market space. She sits with her wares, eating roasted corn as she calls out to potential customers. Iya Bisi is attractive, not for the head-turning beauty of a young African damsel but her breasts. Under the black, polo shirt she wears, one sees the frame of her breasts, as they dangle down, resting midway to her stomach, just by the tip of the tray on which she displays her goods. It is a spectacle and figurative for how many Nigerian women put out their breasts to eke a living.

The struggle for funds demands from Nigerian female petty traders their breasts— symbol of their pride. Access to loan facilities is restrictive for many market women. The scale of their business is hardly enough to secure a loan in any conventional banks. When the business is big enough, many of them are illiterate, unbanked and have no significant collateral.

"Ori omo ni ere run si," says Iya Bisi. She means her children are her investments and collateral. Most women operating in the informal sector of the economy spend a chunk of their meager profit on upkeep and family expenses, hardly able or even considering long term investments. And until banks could accept mothers' dream for her children as collateral, women like Iya Bisi have no chance in any conventional bank.

Nigeria's economy is mostly informal. The informal sector accounted for 65% of the country's entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017, says Nigeria's Bank of Industry (BoI). In the same vein, the sector accounts for 70% of industrial employment but, significantly, women hugely populate the industry. The International Labour Organization report finds that women dominate 46% of the informal sector in urban Nigeria. These women are in different market clusters across the country.

The pains of breasts on kindle

Shakira Abolore

The advent of Microfinance Banks in Nigeria provides petty traders the possibility of small-scale loans to support their businesses. These banks target poor, often, illiterate market women. The traders can access N20,000 loans and grow it to N300,000 through the banks. The loan facility can potentially boost the business and increase profit over time for Iya Bisi, whose entire wares are less than N20,000.

However, the scheme is not without its shortfalls. The crude means by which banks recoup loans leave some of the women physically and emotionally bruised. The frustration and, sometimes, the humiliation that comes with repayment earn the financial scheme the Yoruba coinage; 'komu le lantern' (put your breasts on a burning lantern).

Shakira Abolore is unable to hold back hot tears as they roll down her cheeks. Her eyeballs red from memory she is about to share. She is completely overwhelmed by mixed emotions— mostly sadness and regrets. She weeps at the open market not minding the uninvited audience that now gathers around her as she retells the humiliation that sends her out of her childhood community.

The 35-year-old woman lived at Kosofe area of Lagos. She grew up there and moved in with her husband in the same neighborhood when she got married. Now, she hawks walnut at Berger market. Her small tray is filled with N100 packs of walnut tied in transparent plastics. It is her last resort following the crash of her oil business.

"It breaks my heart as I am telling you this," Shakira says, struggling to control the tears. "I was a housegirl for a year, to raise money to start my own business. I went back to where I did an apprenticeship, learning how to make palm oil. After my freedom, I opened my shop. I was making palm oil and selling."

Some months in, marketers of Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO), one of the first and, perhaps, the most popular microfinance banks, approached her for a loan. She would later take a N50,000 loan which became laborious to repay.

"I was paying N3,500 every week, but when I could not meet up the first week, they came to lock up my husband's house. In the second week, I got money from my sister to pay for the weeks. By the time I got to the 10th week, I had totally lost all investment, the money I had borrowed and my own. There was nothing left in my shop.

"Once I remove the loan payment for the week, I hardly have enough to buy material for my business. The money gradually evaporates from my hands."

By the 11th week, Shakirat says she could no longer meet up. Already, her stocks were gone at this point. That was when she decided to come into Berger to begin hawking, in other to meet her weekly payment. By the 12th week, she had defaulted for two consecutive weeks.

"I was here when my sister's husband called that my sister had been arrested. I had gathered funds for two weeks; I sent to my brother-in-law to pay so they would let my sister go. I could not go back to my area. The shame was too much. They had locked my husband's house and then lock up my sister. I stayed back here to hawk so I can pay back the loan."

Eventually, she repaid the loan with the profit from her walnut sales with swear and sweat. Her savings with the bank was liquidated to augment payment, she says.

"Because of the incident," she explains, breaking into fresh tears." Ihad to put my two children in custody of different relatives. My first child is about to write WAEC; I have not been able to pay. I thought to get the loan so I could, but I was advised against it. I might have to put her where she would learn some vocation."

The love-hate relationship

The tales of loss, humiliation, and frustrations lace experiences of these women as they struggle to secure funds to boost their small businesses. Across various markets in Lagos State, Komu le lantern has a love-hate reputation. It is that friend one misses but becomes troublesome when around.

Mummy Olamide says she has palpitations and fear of possible embarrassments when she takes the Microfinance loans. But she continues to take up multiple loans, and from different banks, too. She takes loans from LAPO, Grooming Microfinance, and Eagle Eye.

"What can I do?" she asks. "I don't have any helper, and I have no one to give me money for this small thing I am selling."

Mummy Olamide is a dark, friendly woman. Unlike Shakira, she is lettered. She says she serves as secretary of three different women's groups. LAPO requires the petty traders to form a small group through which they access loans. Mummy Olamide says she has taken loans from all these groups. Surprisingly, her snack business is diminishing. The transparent rectangular plastic she keeps eggroll and doughnuts has less than 30 pieces of the varieties. Yet, mummy Olamide has taken four different loans to scale up the business.

"I have taken two N50,000 loans, N100,000, the last one I am paying is N250,000," she reveals. "But I cannot see the difference. By the time I finish paying, my wares have gone back to how I started".

She claims she always meets up payment hence escapes humiliation, but not everyone is as lucky.

"We've seen instances where they would put a signboard saying they are debtors around their necks and ask them to beg about the market. They could also bring a small crowd to your shop. The crowd would be shouting and singing insulting songs. They've locked people in public toilets. All the microfinance banks do it," she says.

In another instance, the strokes are different for Stephany Okoli, or maybe she chooses to see the good. She sells baby clothes by the roadside. She used to own a shop, but her shop was demolished. She now puts her wares on a tarpaulin spread so she can quickly fold and run to safety when law enforcement officials violently disperse roadside hawkers.

When Stephany got married in 2015, she needed money to start up a business. She had only LAPO to turn to. The 38-year-old, bubbly lady got on her feet with the help of her first loan. She managed well until the Lagos State Government demolished her stall.

"See, the loan is good so long as you do not default. When my shop got demolished, and I could not meet up payment. The officer came and wanted to start talking to me anyhow. I told her to take me to her manager.

"When the manager saw my books, he was surprised. I have never defaulted, I explained to him, and he understood. They gave me another plan for repaying. It has been good. I paid back and got another one."

The opportunity cost of faulty government's Frameworks

The Nigerian government has initiatives that could provide a more convenient credit facility for those in the informal sector and protect those who choose to engage the services of the commercial banks. But for lack of proper implementation, the industry suffers, and these helpless women become the opportunity cost.

A government scheme that could potentially provide credit facilities to small businesses is the TraderMoni interest-free loan. TraderMoni is a cash-based payment meant for traders like Iya Bisi and Mummy Olamide. It is positioned as a scheme to put money into the informal sector. The aim, as propagated by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, is to provide small loans for petty traders like the microfinance banks, but even better because it adds no interest.

"The TraderMoni, if properly scrutinized and well-implemented, can build our small and medium scale entrepreneurs and enterprises in Nigeria," says Lanre Suraj, the Executive Director of Human and Development Agenda (HEDA).

However, the implementation of the scheme has limited its intended impact. The process of disbursement was politicized; hence, those who should benefit could not access it. In an interview with SaharaReporters in January, Awwal Rafsanjani, Chairman of Transparency International in Nigeria, says the scheme is merely to score political points.

Rafsanjani re-echoes this position when he dubs TraderMoni as voters’ inducement hence its failure to achieve set objectives.

Also, one of the key performance indicators of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy of the Central Bank of Nigeria is consumer protection. The strategy says, "financial institutions are to provide financial services that are accessible, affordable, meet consumer needs and align with established consumer protection principles." The CBN says it is to prevent exploitation by service providers.

There is also the Consumer Protection Framework (CPF) to protect end-users of financial services. The CBN says that "CPF stipulates that consumers should be proactively engaged and given early notice of outstanding obligations before the commencement of debt collection actions.

"Where consumers are, however, unable to meet their financial obligations, financial institutions are to adopt fair and ethical debt recovery practices."

These guidelines are being neglected as microfinance banks continue to deploy crude means in recovering their investments.

The services of these microfinance banks are important, as they remain the only viable source of credit facility for these traders. Nonetheless, the banks must also ensure that the rights of their customers are not infringed on in any way.

But denying that they use crude methods to recover loans from clients, Acting Head, Corporate Communications of LAPO, Blessing Utoware, said that operations was to support customers in the best ways possible and not to make life difficult for them.

She said, “We understand that LAPO has become a household name in the industry thus bearing the brunt of other microfinance banks unethical practices.

“LAPO MfB is a development-focused bank with set rules and policies that guide our debt recovery procedures in the event of default.

“LAPO is a client protection principle certified institution with a wide range of products and services tailored to improve lives and lift people out of poverty.

“Our expansive network of over 490 branches are solely established to serve the needs and interests of over three million small, micro and medium entrepreneurs in Nigeria.”

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Ministerial Appointments: Experts Speak On Capable Choices For Petroleum, Power, And Finance Ministries

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 15:42


As Nigerians await the assigning of portfolios to President Muhammadu Buhari's ministers-designate, experts have expressed their views to SaharaReporters on who they feel will be best positioned to handle the "power, petroleum and finance" ministries.

About 81 days after Buhari was sworn into office as the fourth President of Nigeria in the fourth republic, its citizens are yet to know who the persons that will do the bidding of the Presidency across various sectors of the economy are. The wait could end today. It is expected that each of the appointees will be capable of steering the economy, which is still within the throws of the 2016 recession and staring another in the eye, due to plummeting oil prices, towards sustainability.

The Ministry of Petroleum Resources

Ibe Kachikwu, a private sector veteran in the oil and gas sector, was deemed not to be good enough by PMB to return as the Minister of State for Petroleum. It is unclear if PMB will choose to hold on to the office Minister of Petroleum Resources but Abel Akeni, head of Extractives at public finance advocacy firm BudgIt, believes Uchechukwu Ogah’s years of investing in the oil and gas sector could make him a candidate to replace Kachikwu.

“He is sound, he is coming from the private sector,” Akeni said.’ Ogah, who contested for the governorship sit in Abia state in the March 2019 polls under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is a private investor that has built assets in the oil and gas industry. He owns an energy firm, Master Energy Group and has years of experience in the banking industry.

The choice of a minister or minister of state for the ministry which oversees Nigeria’s life support oil and gas will be between Ogah and Godwin Jedy-Agba, former Group General Manager Crude Oil Marketing Division in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Power 

The power industry in Nigeria is burdened by huge liquidity concerns. Yet, German firm Siemens feels it can improve power generation, transmission and distribution in the country to 25,000mw at over N1.15tn in costs.  This sector was merged with works and housing during PMB’s first term in office and headed by Babatunde Raji Fashola. Kunle Olubiyo, the convener of the Nigeria Consumer Protection Network, says Fashola will most likely get the nod to handle the power sector In order to continue the policies of the government.

He, however, feels that the ministers are simply figureheads doing the bidding of the president. He believes bureaucrats such as the permanent secretaries, are best positioned to move the various ministries forward.

“The ministers do not really play the role, it is the bureaucrats… the accountable officer is the perm sec. whatever direction that they pick they will just give the minister and the SA – special adviser and the minister will roll along. He, however, said the presidency and whoever it chooses to head the ministry of power should ensure the mid-term review scheduled with electricity distribution companies in the 2013 privatization of power assets, is duly organised.

Finance

The Nigerian economy is facing another slump as oil prices trend below $60. The expectation that low oil prices could become structurally etched in stone draws near and Atiku Samuel, a policy analyst, believes none of the persons in the list of ministerial nominees is prepared or capable of dealing with the complex situation the country’s economy is facing.

Mr. Atiku says the ministry of finance is saddled with increasing Nigeria’s revenue generation and the distribution of the country’s
‘very thin resources'.

“We are in a very critical stage if you look globally, people are exiting from fossil fuel which is the backbone that holds everything together in Nigeria,” Atiku said.

He said whoever gets the nod needs to improve the country’s revenue collection and resource distribution.

“The minister needs to look at how to increase revenue collection, how to widen the tax net. Nigeria has one of the largest Company Income Tax in the world, the minister needs to look at that, how to capture all the companies in the tax bracket.

“A list of about 19,000 organizations were published recently, that they’ve been evading tax, the Minister of finance will have to know why they are evading tax, how they are evading these taxes so that they can plug those holes.”

He also said the new minister will have to think out an effective way of implementing PMB’s policy of halting the use of the country’s foreign exchange reserve for food import.

He, however, thinks that Zainab Ahmed will return as minister of finance, thanks to her connection with Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State.

Where the economy is in four years will speak to the success of these ministers and Buhari’s presidency. Some of his protectionist policies such as import restrictions are however bound to clash with the country’s signing of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement and experts like Atiku, say there is little margin for error in the next four years.
 

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Proposed Portfolios For President Buhari's Ministers: PART 2

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 15:22


President Muhammadu Buhari 54 days after he was sworn in for a second term in office sent a list of ministerial nominees to the Nigerian Senate for screening. The list had 43 nominees, comprising seven (7) women and thirty-six (36) men, drawn from all the 36 states of the federation to fulfil constitutional stipulation.

The Nigerian Constitutional stipulates—to ensure equal representation— the country’s 36 states must be represented in the cabinet.

Prior to the announcement of the ministerial nominees, on July 19, to be precise, Buhari had said that most of the members of his cabinet in his first term in office were foisted on him.

He promised something different in his second term. In fact, while addressing the leadership of the legislature, the president promised he would appoint only those he knew. However, when the announcement was eventually made there was a difference, but not a radical one, from the composition of his first-time list.

Names of 19 ministers who served in Buhari’s first time in office were dropped and replaced with new nominees. The names transmitted to the senate were not assigned with portfolios which made speculations so rife in the polity concerning who will have what portfolio.

After a series of orientations for the ministers, the portfolios of the ministers will be announced today.

Here are likely portfolios for 10 ministers-designate; five returning ministers and five ‘new faces’ made the cut of those considered.

Also factored into the analysis are their strengths and flaws, in short, their antecedents, which may likely inform the president’s decision.

NEW FACES

Mariam Yalwaji Katgum: She is from Bauchi. She is a technocrat and an intellectual. She is Nigeria's representative to the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Strength: The expertise garnered over the years will serve her in good stead either as a minister of education or culture.
Proposed Portfolio: Minister of Education or Culture.

Sunday Dare:  A veteran journalist who has worked in diverse aspects of the media in broadcasting (TV and radio)and print journalism. He is currently the executive commissioner (stakeholder management) of the
Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Strength: He has formidable credentials as a technocrat. He once served as a media adviser and chief of staff to a former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu.

Proposed Portfolio: Since Adebayo Shittu is not returning as Minister of Communication and they are both from Oyo State.

Sunday Dare is a perfect replacement for Shittu as Minister of communication.

Rauf Aregebesola: Former governor of Osun State.

Strength: His frugal and penny-pinching approach to governance may make the president put him in a crucial ministry. Having served as commissioner of works in Lagos before the experience may serve him in good stead.

Flaw: He left a backlog of unpaid salaries as governor of Osun state. Proposed Portfolio: Minister of Budget and Planning.

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Proposed Portfolios For President Buhari's Ministers: PART 1

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 15:17


President Muhammadu Buhari 54 days after he was sworn in for a second term in office sent a list of ministerial nominees to the Nigerian Senate for screening. The list had 43 nominees, comprising seven (7) women and thirty-six (36) men, drawn from all the 36 states of the federation to fulfil constitutional stipulation. 

The Nigerian Constitutional stipulates—to ensure equal representation— the country’s 36 states must be represented in the cabinet.

Prior to the announcement of the ministerial nominees, on July 19, to be precise, Buhari had said that most of the members of his cabinet in his first term in office were foisted on him. 

He promised something different in his second term. In fact, while addressing the leadership of the legislature, the president promised he would appoint only those he knew.

However, when the announcement was eventually made there was a difference, but not a radical one, from the composition of his first-time list.  

Names of 19 ministers who served in Buhari’s first time in office were dropped and replaced with new nominees. The names transmitted to the senate were not assigned with portfolios which made speculations so rife in the polity concerning who will have what portfolio.

After a series of orientations for the ministers, the portfolios of the ministers will be announced today. 

Here are likely portfolios for 10 ministers-designate; five returning ministers and five ‘new faces’ made the cut of those considered.

Also factored into the analysis are their strengths and flaws, in short, their antecedents, which may likely inform the president’s decision.

Returning Ministers

Babatunde Raji Fashola: A lawyer and veteran politician in his own right. He served as chief of staff during Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s tenure as governor of Lagos State. He eventually succeeded Tinubu and became the governor of Lagos State in 2007. PresidentMuhammadu Buhari appointed him as Minister of Power, Works, and Housing in his first term in office.

Strength
He is reputed to be a workaholic and conscientious reformist. His
track record of achievements during his time as governor of Lagos State earned him ‘super minister’ portfolio where three ministries (Power, Works, and Housing) were literally subsumed into one and placed under his watch.

Flaw: From the evidence of what happened during his four years as a minister it is now clear that Fashola doesn’t have the otherworldly competence required to handle three ministries. He seems to be high on ideas but low on implementation. Buhari will definitely strip him of the ‘super minister’ status.

Proposed Portfolio: POWER

Lai Mohammed: Former National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress and is from Oro in Kwara State and a lawyer.
Strength: He has a keen and incisive mind which makes him capable of thinking right on his feet. He can defend the seemingly indefensible. This quality became evident during his time as the megaphone of his party when the party was the main opposition party. He was a thorn in the flesh of the ruling People’s Democratic Party(PDP) and a niggling pain in the necks of the party’s political apparatchiks. While his time lasted in the office he was a paradox of sort, he could confuse and convince at the same time.  This quality must have endeared him to Buhari who made him his ‘Minister of Information’ in his first time
in office.

Flaw: He performed below par during Buhari’s first tenure. Even his facility for propaganda seems to  have deserted him. It’s like Lai has run out of steam and may not be suitable for Ministry again. Lai, it can be said, is just one of the beneficiaries of political patronage this time round. Buhari may find a replacement in someone who is more adept at ‘polishing’ the image of his administration as he begins his second term in office.

Proposed Portfolio: Minister of Environment

Chris Ngige: Former governor of  Anambra State and one of President Muhammadu Buhari's loyalists from the South-East. Ngige served as Buhari’s Minister of Labour and Productivity in Buhari’s first tenure.

Strength: He is a denizen in Nigeria’s political space. In fact, he is one of the few politicians that have been jostling for political space ever since the beginning of the fourth republic.

Flaw: He loses his cool easily. He is also given to making tactless statements when diplomacy and tact are required of him. Despite the deepening crisis in public health, Ngige remarked that talent-strapped Nigeria had medical doctors in surfeit and that medical professionals should feel free to seek opportunities abroad. Though he later ate his words; many believed the statement was unbecoming of a man who is a doctor by training too.

Proposed Portfolio:  Labour/ Education

Ogbonnaya Onu: The immediate past Minister of Science Technology and the first civilian governor of  Abia State.
Strength: He is a politician and engineer.

Flaw: During his time as Minister of Science Technology  he made a comical outburst by saying by talking about local manufacturing of pencils in this time and age.

Proposed Portfolio: Minister of Solid Minerals

Note: Buhari is very likely to replace Onu with Ali Isa Ibrahim

Pantami from Gombe State as  Minister of Science and Technology.
Pantami is a world-class technology expert who has led the National Information Technology Development since 2016.
 

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Shock, Outrage As Nigerians React To Viral Video Of Policemen Who Allegedly Murdered Suspected Phone Thieves

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 15:01


Nigerians are reacting to a viral video which revealed the moment operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigerian Police Force shot dead two suspected phone thieves in Lagos.

The video showed two of the suspects handcuffed to each other as an officer approached with a third suspect.

The officer who filmed the video could be heard cheering his colleagues as they shot the unarmed men.

Expressing shock at the incident, @ayemojubar on Twitter said, "While I am not justifying the act of robbery but was surprised that there was no even a trace of human feelings again all because you are now licensed to kill. This is heart-sinking. Life knows how to balance its equations."

@olaoluwajagaban in his tweet wondered why the police me did not allow the law to take its course." I feel so ashamed now, broad daylight, this happened with so much joy in them, one saying oga make I give, he goes collect. I agree they were seen with guns but let it be done until proven guilty. I don't justify them having a gun since they are not officials of the force."

@Domido012, "I can’t even watch this twice; how can SARS execute people on the streets like this; even if they are criminals, why not arrest them and make them face the law. Why have things fallen so apart in our dear country; even to come back to Nigeria is so scary."

@onos_147, "Anyone could have been framed up as armed robber & executed in this manner. This is so wrong! Those Police officers should be fished out by @PoliceNG and prosecuted.#EndSARS have done enough. It’s high time the courtrooms are opened for trials of trigger happy Policemen."

@enobong_VII, tweets, "@PoliceNG_CRU @PoliceNG now you wouldn't call the world to ask army questions. You wouldn't do a press release on this one. People that were handcuffed. What info did they have that they had to be silenced this way? Broad daylight. You guys can't be human beings."

Recounting his experience, @Daybor said, "Last week! I was robbed, the robbers collected everything I had, my phone, money, my bag. I felt really really bad! Yet! Personally, I believe this is nonsense, Nigerian SARS are wicked."

@bash_Yahaya, "I am not justifying the killings but our judiciary are not making it any easy they use these criminals as atm and set them free. A kidnapper was caught the other day and the court granted him bail and now he has escaped into the unknown."

@atsen_ tweets, "Tomorrow they'll be crying that somebody should answer some questions because the same was done to their officers, and they'll wonder why civilians aren't supporting them. Why do we have courts, laws and prosecutors???"

@Chukyjunior, said, "Guy, for you to talk about arresting robbers and sending them to court means you actually might know nothing about the system you live in OR are already on your way out of the country so no worries. You are in a jungle. You do not negotiate with a tiger to survive."

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2023 And Women’s Emergence In Political Positions – The Journey Begins Now

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 12:21



Data showing the gender parity of winners during the 2019 general elections


Data showing female candidates in 2015 compared to 2019

Finances. Fear. Party structures. These are the three main reasons why very few women managed to get elected into the Senate, House of Representatives and other levels of government in Nigeria during this year’s 2019 general elections.

These same reasons have been given by many female candidates who presented themselves for elective office across the country. And unless these issues are addressed, there is a likelihood that the gender gap in Nigerian politics will continue to widen.

“The reasons for the decline in representation of women in politics are—Finance, Fear and Party structure. As long as money politics is still the practice in Nigeria, many women will be disenfranchised further,” Bolanle Sarunmi Aluyi, who contested the Oyo State gubernatorial seat as a candidate of the National Interest Party, said.

Bolanle Sarunmi Aliyu first sought to run for office as the candidate for the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP). She said she had to defect to National Interest party because of irregularities perpetrated by the party leaders during the primary elections. The leaders ignored the party’s written principles and her supporters were not accredited to suit the candidate favoured by the party hierarchy.

In a letter to the party leaders to protest their interference in the nomination process, Aliyu said: “The written principles I believe ANRP was laid on did not playout at the primary election claimed to have been conducted on the 15th of September 2018 at Jogor Center, Ibadan Oyo State, Nigeria where more than 500 financial members and 8 other State Assembly Aspirants of the party who were my supporters were disenfranchised from the process hence I and my supporters boycotted the election at around 3 pm. It was clearly evident that the entire process was flawed.”

She explained how the state executives had been supporting one candidate adding, “I have previously expressed my dissatisfaction on several occasions with the biased attitude and actions of most of the Oyo State Executives, some still demonstrated these even at the venue of the Primary Elections where some State Excos’ who were part of the accreditation process wore branded T-Shirts of Mr. Ayorinde (the second gubernatorial aspirant), his Badges and some [were] even seen canvassing my supporters secretly outside the venue to switch sides with promised monies. Despite some actions of members of the National Electoral College present to correct some of these bias demonstrated, it was rather too late.

“My intention was clear from inception to having a healthy competition but I faced challenges and even at that, I stood resolute and promoted ANRP on every available media, gatherings and event across Oyo State and the country as a whole. After due consultation with my God, my family, my team and supporters, I Bolanle Ashabi Sarumi Aliyu “BASA”, hereby tender my resignation from the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party ANRP while I take time to ponder my future. I am greatly saddened by this because I feel cheated but like I always say to my supporters, ‘It is only God Almighty that can give and take power’.”

After Aliyu resigned from ANRP, she joined National Interest Party where she emerged as the party’s gubernatorial candidate. Not many women would have proceeded in their quest, some would have been frustrated by the irregularities and partisanship so openly displayed by the party leadership.

Despite the huge number of female candidates who contested the various elective positions, no woman candidate emerged victorious in the 29 states where gubernatorial elections were held. Among 469 members of the National Assembly, only 18 women were elected to the National Assembly elections. Women senators elected were only 7 out of the 109 seats and only 11 women managed to get elected to the 360-member House of Representatives.

Data showing the gender parity of winners during the 2019 general elections

The disparity continues at the cabinet-level where only seven (7) out of a Cabinet of 43 are women while the rest are men. This is despite the high expectations raised by President Buhari who during the electioneering campaigns promised to implement the 35% affirmative action policy for women.

According to the World Bank report in 2016, women constitute 49.34% of the Nigeria population, which is almost half of the population. However, this does not reflect in the number of women who have been elected or appointed into political positions.

Mufuliat Fijabi, Executive Director Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NTWF), speaking during a strategy meeting held for female politicians to share their experiences during the 2019 general elections, said the low number of women presenting themselves for elective politics was “alarming and disturbing because it hampers women from contributing their quota to the development of the country".

Fijabi added, “Currently Nigeria is at the lowest level in terms of countries with a good percentage of women in governance. It ranks 139 on the Global Gender Gap report out of 149, far lower than most countries in Africa. The governance that doesn’t make it easy through different structural barriers, electoral violence, and voter inducement, makes it difficult for women to win elections and also automatically excludes women from the governance process.

“I hope that the entire process will be put under the spotlight. The fact that women are not very represented in Nigeria’s governing process, whether as appointed representatives or elective representatives, means something needs to be done.” 

Research has shown that women in elective positions are hardworking and firm in their decision, and this is a major reason women should be involved in politics.

The low number of women elected into office during the last elections is, however, a slight improvement over the past years. And compared to past elections, there were also more women candidates. In 2015, only
632 women contested for various positions ranging from Presidential, National Assembly and States Houses of Assembly seats. There was a slight improvement during this year’s elections as 853 women, excluding those who ran for the State Assemblies. Internal party politics, finance and the patriarchal nature of the Nigeria politics have continued to be the major determinants of those who emerge into political leadership positions. 

Data showing female candidates in 2015 compared to 2019

Party Structures And Intrigues

Abiodun Essiet, an aspiring councillor for the Ozoro Ward lost her All Progressives Party nomination during the primaries through irregularities which included manipulation of the results to suit a preferred candidate.

Essiet pointed out that internal party ‘democracy’ was the main reason for failing to get the nomination.

“First, the election was supposed to be declared null and void but the returning officer declared it inconclusive to give the electoral committee some power to decide on the election. Secondly, our party’s elections guidelines state that when a vote counted is more than the number of delegates present, such an election should be declared null and void and another election should be conducted. But the electoral committee supervising my council election decided not to do a repeat election but used their veto power to select a candidate for the ward.

“Thirdly, the decision of the electoral committee was influenced by money, ‘godfatherism’, gender, ethnicity, and religion. Finally, the party leaders were concerned about winning the general elections and wanted to anoint the candidate who suited their own criteria rather than the candidate who would deliver the dividends of democracy to the community,” she explained.

No Money, No Votes

For Zainab Umar, who unsuccessfully ran for the Kumbotso Constituency of the Kano State Assembly, lack of money was and is still a huge stumbling block for her and other women who run for elective positions.

“Women candidates do not have the financial muscle like the men. During the last elections, there were also incidents of violence across the country. Violence or violent confrontations during campaigns prevents many women from seeking election,” she says.

Lack of access to campaign funds is a huge stumbling block in a country that has a huge gender pay gap. The Global Gender Gap report 2018 has ranked Nigeria at 133 out of 149 globally with the gap between men and women in all aspects of society being far below the global average.

Meaning that women may not have access to financial systems that would allow them to run effective campaigns, and alternative means of achieving their goals must be sought.

Paralyzing Fear

Phina Kanu, a candidate for the Umuahia South Constituency in the Abia State House of Assembly while speaking during a strategy meeting for female politicians to relieve their experiences during the 2019 general elections which were organized by the National Women Trust Fund, NTWF, explained her ordeal during the electioneering campaign.

“At some point during this last election, I became highly discouraged because threats were coming from everywhere. Violence was everywhere, I was intimidated. We had to run to hide because our rival candidate felt he was more powerful and this discouraged a lot of my supporters,” Kanu noted.

For many women candidates, the threat of violence, to themselves or families, intimidation and sometimes, outright attacks, gives them no alternative but to opt out of the race for political office.

Way Forward

With less than four years to go before the next general elections, it is not too early to begin to take measures to help increase the number of women aspirants and ensure their success in elective politics. These measures range from ramping up the ongoing efforts to open up the space for women’s participation in politics and decision-making being conducted by groups such as Women Advocates and Research Documentation Centre, WARD C; Nigerian Women Trust Fund, NTWF; Women Radio, Women in Politics Forum amongst others, which focus on skills training to robust campaigns to push for the enactment of laws that will compel political parties to ensure they observe gender quotas in their nominations.

Giving recommendations on what to be done to increase women participation in elective politics, a disability-inclusion expert and development practitioner, Dr. Bukola Adebayo urged women candidates to “take extraordinary measures” to try and change the patriarchal nature of the Nigerian politics.

“Women should try as much as possible to engage in pre-election mobilization, marginalized and vulnerable groups including women, people living with disabilities and the youth should start engaging with their
communities before the election.

“Mobilization doesn’t stop with meetings but identifying with the people’s problems and providing leadership to find solutions to these problems. The electorate should not perceive that you’re only interested in their votes. Once they see your capacity before the elections, they gain confidence in you and when you’re running for office, they can easily vote for you," Adebayo explains.

Adebayo added that in a political setting that is largely driven by money which is also parochial, women need to take extraordinary actions to emerge as winners.

He also noted that political parties have a major role to play in the emergence of winners into political positions and urged women to join existing, robust political parties adding that they should carve a niche for themselves within the party structures.

Akinwale Akinrinade called for the deliberate appointment of women into positions of leadership in the political parties but also other spheres of power. “Political power is not limited to elective but also appointive,” Akinrinade said, adding that the enactment of the Affirmative Action Bill would give the opportunity for more women to be involved in governance.

To build on the momentum created during the just-ended elections, there is an urgent need to change the narrative and actively remove the hurdles that contribute to the gender disparity in Nigeria’s politics Changing the power paradigm—perceptions and structures that reinforce power as only belonging to men— will not be easy. Appointing more women into office, reorganizing party structures to ensure that at least a third of party nominations are women, providing financial and skills support for women candidates is just a few steps to increase women’s participation in elective politics.

Having more women candidates taking up political positions will not only help in advancing gender equality but will influence the kind of policies and solutions to problems that impact the whole society.

 

This story was produced with support from the Code for Nigeria via its WanaData programme

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Wike Calls For Arrest Of SARS Operatives Who Killed Suspected Phone Thieves

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 12:20


Governor Nyesom Wike has called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) that shot and killed suspected phone thieves in Lagos.

The SARS operatives were depicted in a viral video on social media as shooting and killing two individuals.

Reacting to the killing, Wike on his official Twitter handle, @NyesomWlKE, called on the Nigeria Police Force to identify the cops and prosecute them for murder.

The governor wrote, “This disturbing video showing extrajudicial killings of two men who have already been “disarmed” is beyond barbaric.

“The @PoliceNG MUST as a matter of urgency see that the devils who committed this murder are brought to book. WE ARE TIRED #EndSARS”

This disturbing video showing extrajudicial killings of two men who have already been “disarmed” is beyond barbaric. The @PoliceNG MUST as a matter of urgency see that the devils who committed this murder are brought to book. WE ARE TIRED #EndSARS pic.twitter.com/InaF4QCBez

— Governor Wike (@NyesomWlKE) August 21, 2019

See Also Sahara Reporters Disturbing Video Of How Nigerian Policemen Allegedly Killed Unarmed Suspected Phone Thieves 0 Comments 4 Days Ago

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Nigerian Woman, Children Suffer Acid Attack, Estranged Husband Accused

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 11:13


Punchng

 

A woman and her two children have been attacked with acid in the Layin Shehii Quarter, Dandume, Katsina State.

The victims are Rabi Ado, and her two children, Yahaya, and Zainab Ismail.

The attackers reportedly poured acid on the victims through a window while they were asleep.

They were rushed to the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital having suffered burns.

Punch reports that cries of agony by the victims forced their neighbours awake.

One of the neighbours said, “Their cries woke us up and by the time we forced the door of their room open, the woman and her children were in serious pain.

“We then mobilised and took them to a nearby hospital, from where they were transferred to the teaching hospital at Zika, because of the extent of the injuries.”

Rabi, it was gathered, was estranged from her husband.

The spokesman for the Katsina State Police Command, ASP Anaz Gizewa, told the newspaper, “One Rabi Ado, wife to one Ismail Gilima of Layin Shehi Quarter, Dandume, was assaulted by (an unknown person(s), who threw some liquid substances suspected to be acidic on her and her children through the window while they were asleep.

“As a result, she sustained some burns and scalds on her back and shoulder. Her children, Yahaya Ismail, and Zainab Ismail were also affected.

“They are currently receiving treatment at the ABU Teaching Hospital, Shika, Zaria. The family of the victims were contacted and they confirmed the incident. They further stated that they were strongly suspecting the husband, Ismail, for being responsible for the attack
due to the fact that he and the wife had a case in court.

“The wife is seeking a divorce from him. He was informed of the incident via the phone, but up until now, he has refused to show up.

“However, we have already liaised with the victim’s family to trace him and get him arrested.”

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Obasanjo: Nigeria's Situation Bad But There's Light Beyond The Tunnel

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 11:06


 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says Nigeria's
socio-economic-political situation of Nigeria is bad but expressed optimism that things would be good again.

Obasanjo stated this while addressing a gathering at a youth programme organised by the Youth Development Centre, an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, in Abeokuta on Tuesday.

The ex-president said, “I have tremendous hope in Nigeria; I am an incurable optimist about Nigeria.

“Having run the affairs of Nigeria as a military head of state when some people felt there was virtually no hope, we turned it around.

“During the Murtala Muhammed government and my government soldiers who were working in Lagos and who had to go to the office in public transport did not wear their uniforms,  they were ashamed.

"But within the space of six months, they were proudly wearing their uniforms. So, it can be done.

“Don’t lose hope. The current situation is bad. I don’t need to tell you that, but I can see the light beyond the tunnel. There is light beyond the tunnel."

He added, “There should be no Nigerian child that should be out of school for any reason.

“You have already got your Boko Haram in the next 15 years if you don’t do anything about that. So, whatever you are talking about, unless you take care of inclusivity, you will not get there. Quality is important, but inclusivity is much better.”

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Disturbing Video Of How Nigerian Policemen Allegedly Killed Unarmed Suspected Phone Thieves

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 11:02


Nigeria Police Force's Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)

Nigeria Police Force's Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)

“Leave am, make I kill am,” a policeman said.

“Kunle, commot there make dem kill the idiot,” said, another policeman.

Two gunshots were heard.

“God punish you! We no dey waste time,” one of the policemen added.

This is not a Nollywood movie scene but a video posted on the social media depicting how operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) shot dead two suspected phone thieves in Lagos.

In the video, two individuals were handcuffed and a voice (suspected to be that of the person filming the incident) said, “You go collect, you go collect.” 

Is extrajudicial killing now justified in Nigeria?
Why kill unarmed suspected robbers? @PoliceNG @ProfOsinbajo @MBuhari #EndSARS pic.twitter.com/ssLSQia538

— EiE Nigeria (@EiENigeria) August 20, 2019

Then, a gunshot boomed.

The video also revealed a third individual arrested by the cops on the floor of a yellow minibus.

The three individuals were ordered to get out of the bus.

“Come down! Come down!” the policemen screamed and thereafter their victims were shot and killed.

One of the cops explained why their victims were subjected to extrajudicial killing, “They post on Jiji that they buy phones. Then, they will call you and price your phone at a higher price.

“After calling you, they will collect your phone at gunpoint. This happens at Igando. So, they collected my friend’s phone. My friend then changed his number on Jiji and posted another phone for sale.

“They called him again and he decided to go there with anti-robbery operatives to arrest them so that he could get his phone back.

“The anti-robbery team got there, caught them and shot them."

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police Force has yet to comment on the incident.

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Gang-raped, Nigerian Woman's Decomposing Body Found Inside Hotel Room

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 10:54


 

A young woman, whose identity is unknown has been discovered dead three days after she was allegedly gang-raped by some men in a hotel room in the Amukpe community, in the Sapele Local Government Area of
Delta State.

The woman’s corpse was already decomposing when it was found under the bed on Monday, August 19, 2019.

Punch reports that the deceased was ganged-raped by some men, who brought her to the hotel three days before she was found dead.

The men reportedly hid her remains under the bed and checked out of the hotel.

The offensive odour coming from the room attracted the hotel management, who eventually called in the police.

The police swung into action and evacuated the body. Her corpse was deposited in a morgue and the hotel was shut down.

When contacted for comments, the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Adeyinka Adeleke, told the newspaper, “It is true that a woman died in a hotel in Sapele. I don’t know what killed her and how she died.”

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Kano Governor Ganduje Opens Defence Against Opponent

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 10:31


 

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, is expected to open defence on the case challenging his victory at the last governorship election in the state.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is challenging Ganduje's victory at the governorship election petitions tribunal.

The governor will now have his time to defend himself following the argument of the PDP

Offiong Offiong (SAN), who is representing Ganduje, had earlier hinted that the governor would be calling no fewer than 203 witnesses in defence of his electoral victory.

At the Tuesday’s proceedings, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which was listed as the first respondent, announced through its counsel, Adedayo Adedeji, the closure of its defence.

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Governorship Elections: INEC Fixes September For PVC Collection In Bayelsa, Kogi

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 09:58


 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will begin the distribution of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) on September 2 in Bayelsa and Kogi States.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, announced this in a statement on Tuesday.

He explained that the commission held a meeting and reviewed its preparations for the conduct of the governorship election scheduled to hold in both states on November 16, 2019.

Okoye said PVCs would be available for collection at the registration areas and wards across the local government areas in the states.

He noted that the exercise, which would take place between 9 am and 3 pm from Monday to Friday, would last till September 30.

According to the national commissioner, the total number of uncollected PVCs in Kogi and Bayelsa states are 170,644 and 49,291 respectively.

INEC urged all registered voters that had yet to collect their PVCs to do so in order to vote for their preferred candidates in the polls.

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Buhari To New Ministers: Go Through Abba Kyari If You Want To See Me

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 09:54


 

The President has directed the incoming ministers to channel all requests for meetings with him through his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari.

President Muhammadu Buhari gave the directive on Tuesday at the end of a presidential retreat for ministers-designate, presidential aides and other top government functionaries at the State House in Abuja.

“In terms of coordination, kindly ensure that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channelled through the Chief of Staff, while all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF),”
Buhari said.

FULL TEXT OF HIS SPEECH

CLOSING CHARGE BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE PRESIDENTIAL RETREAT FOR MINISTERS – DESIGNATE, PRESIDENTIAL AIDES AND OTHER TOP GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONARIES, HELD AT THE STATE HOUSE, ABUJA, TUESDAY, 20TH AUGUST
2019

Protocols

After two days, we have come to the end of a successful retreat.

However, you will agree that our work is just beginning.

These last two days have been very instructive for me personally, because I have had the opportunity to know many of you new ministers-designate better. I was also pleased to see that you have all equally enjoyed debating and deliberating on the various challenges before us over the next four years.

Ladies and gentlemen, majority of our people are poor and are anxiously hoping for a better life. A Nigeria in which they do not have to worry about what they will eat, where they will live or if they can afford to pay for their children’s education or healthcare.

Our responsibility as leaders of this great country is to meet these basic needs for our people. As I mentioned yesterday, this dministration inherited many challenges from our predecessors to mention a few:

A country in which 18 local governments in the Northeast were under the control of Boko Haram; Decayed infrastructure in which our rail lines and roads had severely deteriorated; A rent-seeking economy that depended largely on oil revenues and imports; Significant unpaid pensions, subsidy debts, legacy contractor debts. I
can go on and on.

In our first term, we laid the foundation to rebuild our country. We recaptured those 18 Local Governments previously held by Boko Haram, whose activities are now limited to sporadic attacks against soft targets.

Our investments in road and rail infrastructure are without precedent, and many of you can attest to this. We also focused on diversifying the economy from oil towards agriculture and industrialisation.

Despite reduced revenues from oil and gas compared to past governments, we have broadly addressed many of the legacy debts they left behind.

Whilst we have obvious successes to celebrate, the cdays.

Nevertheless, from the quality of the deliberations, it is clear that solutions to our problems are well researched and have been well articulated.

We have discussed solutions relating to addressing insecurity; macroeconomic stability; agriculture and food security; energy security for petroleum products and electricity; transportation and critical infrastructure; industrialisation and SME development; human
capital development; social inclusion; anti-corruption; housing financing and consumer credit.

Public service is not easy work, and at times it can be thankless. I am, therefore, charging you all to see this opportunity to serve as an honour, to give your best to deliver on this mandate, for a more prosperous Nigeria, not for some, but for all Nigerians.

You will find that working collaboratively and purposefully will enable us to achieve quicker results, recognising that four years is not a very long time.

For the new ministers, make sure you engage and benefit from the experience of the older ministers and former governors in the cabinet.

In terms of coordination, kindly ensure that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channelled through the Chief of Staff, while all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

I would like to thank the Office of the SGF for coordinating this successful Presidential Retreat. I would also like to thank the National Assembly leadership, the party chairman, chairman of the Governors’ Forum, and resource firms, for the active engagements and
contributions.

Once again, the challenges that lie ahead of us as a country are significant. But I have no doubt in your individual capacities and our collective patriotic commitment to deliver a better Nigeria for us, our children and a brighter future for all.

Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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