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UPDATE: How Kobe Bryant, Daughter Was Killed In Helicopter Crash

dim, 2020-01-26 23:32


Retired United States basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday morning.

He was traveling with at least three other persons in his private helicopter when it went down. 

A fire broke out. Emergency personnel responded but nobody on board survived. 

His wife, Vanessa, was not among those on board.

Eyewitnesses said they heard the helicopter's engine sputtering before it went down. 

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Kobe has famously used the helicopter to travel for years -- dating back to when he played for the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Kobe has recently spotted out at NBA games with his daughter Gianna -- a rising star basketball player herself, according to TMZ Sports. 

International Sports News OBITUARY AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 

BREAKING: Basketball Star, Kobe Bryant, Killed In Helicopter Crash

dim, 2020-01-26 22:58




Kobe Bryant, United States basketball star, has died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday morning.   

The 41-year-old star died while traveling with four other people in his private helicopter when it crashed, killing everyone on board. 

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and their four daughters - Gianna, Natalia and Bianca and newborn, Capri. 
 

International Sports Breaking News News OBITUARY AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 

EFCC In Secret Moves To Arraign Shehu Sani In Court On Monday

dim, 2020-01-26 22:19




SaharaReporters has gathered that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has perfected plans to arraign Senator Shehu Sani before a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday over allegations of extorting money from owner of ASD Motors, Sani Dauda. 

A source in the know of things told our correspondent that the commission had filed charges against the lawmaker at Court 5 bordering on misrepresentation and obtaining money by false pretence.

It was gathered that the commission deliberately abandoned the charges it filed at the FCT High Court with a view to frustrating the application for rights enforcement filed by Sani so as to further detain him.

The detention order earlier obtained against the senator by the anti-graft agency will expire on Monday. 

After first obtaining a 14-day order to keep Sani, the EFCC secured an order to further keep him for extra five days while investigation into the matter continued. 

The court had slated Sani's rights enforcement application for Tuesday for hearing.

SaharaReporters also gathered that the legal team of the senator had not been served with any charge and proof of evidence till this moment. 

The senator had on January 16 filed the enforcement of his fundamental rights over his continued detention by the commission, which he described as illegal and a breach of section 35 (5) of the constitution.

SaharaReporters had reported that the EFCC was planning to arraign Sani before the expiration of the additional five days extension it obtained to further keep him. 
 

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

Buhari Shades TY Danjuma, Opens Up On Relationship With Vice, Osinbajo

dim, 2020-01-26 21:45




President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the opinion of General T.Y. Danjuma (retd) was not more important than that of millions of Nigerians, who voted for his re-election in 2019.

Buhari made the comment while speaking with The Interview on Saturday.

Asked if he was concerned about the vote of low confidence expressed by Danjuma during a recent book launch in Ibadan, Oyo State, Buhari said, “And what is the vote of confidence of Nigerians in me as expressed in the polls last year? That is what matters more, not the opinion of one man.”

Danjuma had said if he says what he knew about the happenings in government, Nigerians would lose sleep.

The comment was viewed in some quarters as an expression of lack of confidence in Buhari’s government, and a blow from a man widely believed to be a close ally of Nigeria’s President. 

Buhari however, said his re-election was a vindication of voters’ confidence in him and his government’s policies.

Shedding light into his relationship with Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, Buhari said things were “perfect” between them.

He said, “Perfect. Or has he complained to you?”
 

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

Explosion Rocks Borno Mosque, Boy Killed, Several Injured

dim, 2020-01-26 20:51


File photo

File photo


An improvised explosive device has gone off at a mosque in Gwoza, Borno State, killing a 12-year-old boy and leaving several others injured. 

A resident of the area, who identified himself only as Musa, told SaharaReporters that two suicide bombers strapped with IED forced their ways into the mosque during afternoon prayer before the explosion occurred. 

He said, "The bombing happened around Guduf Nagadiyo at Bulabaulin in Gwoza. A 12-year-old boy was killed, while others sustained injuries." 

Musa added that soldiers from 192 battalion of the Nigerian Army had been deployed to the spot to forestall against any further attack. 
 

Insurgency News AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 

Nigerian Government At War With Free Speech By Obinna Ezechukwu

dim, 2020-01-26 19:43


Ayoola Babalola

Ayoola Babalola

 

The shocking arrest and detention of Ayoola Babalola in Ibara Prison over his publications on a campus newspaper in which he is the editor, is only a testament to the obvious and audible fact that the Nigerian Government has declared war against freedom of expression and thought in Nigeria despite the fact that the constitution already empowers every citizen to express themselves freely.

With these kind of outcome, one need not ask to know that Nigeria do not have a government. We have people empowered to protect and safeguard Nigerians and the law but they go ultra vire that purpose and repress the voice of Nigerians.

Ayoola Babalola’s article only asked about the petition given to EFCC, if they would investigate Bola Tinubu for money laundering. Tinubu's house is not a bank, so why will he use two bullion vans to bring money home days to an election? It is embarrassing at a time that one of their spokespersons tried to cover it up by claiming that the bullion van may be carrying papers, and then we ask, when did we start using bullion vans to carry papers, and if the papers were classified as security sensitive.

None the less, the same Tinubu came out openly to tell Nigerians to mind their business, that it is his money and not theirs.  On this note, Ayoola Babalola asked if the EFCC will do their job and investigate the incident.

Babalola published other articles about how Muhammadu Buhari do not believe in Nigeria, which is evident in the way the old man prefers to go outside the country to treat himself. The same old man tells Nigerians to patronise domestic goods and services. Is there any further meaning to hypocrisy than this?

Babalola also published an article asking the University of Lagos to apologise to student activist, Femi Adeyeye, after he was suspended by the school for writing an article exposing many dirty dealings about the school management and lecturers. Years after he was expelled, many of the things he revealed in the article were found to be true. At such point, it is only honourable for a supposedly intellectual institution to apologise and recall the student but they have proved unapologetic and unrepentant in their action.

He further published an article about human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, and his unjust treatment by the Nigerian Government. After all this, he was called by the school management of Gateway Polytechnic, who told him that they don't like his attack on the All Progressives Congress because the school was loyal to the party.

On January 23, Babalola was reportedly beaten by some sponsored student cultists and arrested by the SSS, which showed a collaboration between the security agency and the attackers. He was charged to court where he was denied his representative and then remanded in prison.

These are tough times in Nigeria for every patriotic and innocent citizens. The case of Agba Jalingo and Joseph Odok also victims of repression still lingers only because they dared to expose corruption in governance and speak truth to power.

As it stands, Nigeria do not have a responsible government, what the country have are bunch of lawless power-drunk politicians, who pounce on any patriotic citizen calling them to order.

Like Omoyele Sowore said in 2000, “We will no longer live in fear".

We are sending this strong message to the Nigerian Government, "not the walls of prison, nor the sod of cemetery shall isolate us from the path of justice, truth and humanism".

If the Nigerian Government think by putting an innocent Ayoola Babalola in prison will silence us, on this we say, kolewerk.

Obinna Ezechukwu is the Media and Publicity Coordinator of Take It Back Campus Wing

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Obinna Ezechukwu Disable advertisements : 

JAMB Halts UniAbuja Admission Process Over Irregularities

dim, 2020-01-26 18:50


 

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has halted the ongoing admission of students at the University of Abuja due to irregularities.

In its latest investigation on the admission process of the university, JAMB found out that the new management under Vice Chancellor, Prof Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, had altered the situation.

Checks by Economic Confidential indicated that upon resumption of office few months ago, the new VC jettisoned the committee of the university and allegedly contracted the process out, which is alien to the institution.

The VC recently addressed a press conference to announce that the process was suspended by the university management for irregularities when in fact it was an instruction from JAMB.

The development caught the attention of JAMB, who in turn informed the university to halt the 2019/2020 admission process which did not meet up with its guidelines of uploading all admissions on the Central Admission Processing System.

Further investigations revealed that university regulations on admission provided that admissions of students should be handled by the committee on admission headed by a chairman.

Further checks also showed that admission acceptance fee of newly admitted students, which was N4,500 before was now N30, 000.

The institution, which never charged fees for the collection of original certificates after graduation now charged N30, 000 per person for such.

The university management under the new leadership also allegedly reversed the existing Senate decision on examination results.

The rule was that results from departments were brought to the Senate through the Senate Business Committee within six weeks after semester examinations.

The current rule, which has not been ratified by the Senate, orders lecturers to turn in results 10 days at the end of each semester examinations – an order academic staff have said won’t be complied with.

The Office of the VC is said to have also taken over the issuance of coupons for the about 6000 bed spaces in student hostels.

The student affairs office responsible for the issuance of coupons for students’ accommodation had been side-lined. 

Efforts to contact the Vice Chancellor through phone calls and text messages failed but the university’s spokesperson, Habib Yakoob, said that the allegations were unfounded, adding that those making the claims had things to hide.

He said, “I am not aware of any memo from JAMB suspending our admission process because of irregularities, but I can assure you that those who volunteered information to you are afraid of the new order because they are unarguably beneficiaries of the old order.”

Head, Media and Information of JAMB, Dr Fabian Benjamin, confirmed the development, stating that the organisation had the mandate to correct any lapses detected in any admission process of any university.

He said, “This is a directive from the Minister of Education that any irregularity on admission process must be reversed and that the University of Abuja is not an exception.”

 

Education News AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 

Rights Group Demands Justice For Slain Journalist, To File Petition Against Police

dim, 2020-01-26 18:47


 

A coalition of civil society organisations and human rights activists will on Monday hold a press conference and submit a petition against the killing of a journalist, Alex Ogbu.

The journalist was killed by the police during a peaceful protest by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria last Tuesday in Abuja.

The petition will be formally presented to Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.

The rights group expressed worry at the rate at, which government was becoming intolerant by shrinking the media and civic space and criminalising opposing views.

A statement by the coalition jointly signed by leaders of the group said that President Muhammadu Buhari's regime cannot continue to detain dissidents and activists illegally for speaking against his government.

The group noted that Publisher of CrossRiverWatch, Agba Jalingo, was still being detained in Calabar prison for allegedly criticising Governor Ben Ayade.

The statement added that the group would also be demanding from the government to release and drop all charges against all political prisoners across the country including Jalingo, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare.

The coalition includes Committee for Defence of Human Rights, Coalition for Revolution, United Action for Democracy, Take It Back Movement, and Coalition for Real Change.

Others are Coalition for Revolution, Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association, Nigeria Humanitarian Action, and Generation for Change Africa Initiatives.

 

Journalism Police News AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 

Abducted University Of Maiduguri Female Student Still In Boko Haram Captivity

dim, 2020-01-26 17:49


 

A 100-level student of Zoology of the University of Maiduguri, Borno State, Lillian Daniel Gyang, who was abducted alongside others two weeks ago, is still in the custody of Boko Haram terrorists, Intelligence sources have confirmed.

PRNigeria gathered that efforts are being made by relevant agencies and stakeholders towards the safe release of the captives.

Gyang, 20, hails from Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State.

She was abducted on January 9, 2020, on her way to Maiduguri alongside Mr Ropvil Dalep, a Biology student at UNIMAID, who was later killed in a video released by Boko Haram.

Both undergraduates were returning to the university after the Christmas and New Year holidays.

 

Boko Haram Education Insurgency News AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 

Amotekun: Matters Arising By Ozodinukwe Okenwa

dim, 2020-01-26 15:09


SOC Okenwa

SOC Okenwa

 

Sustained controversy has trailed the establishment of the Western Nigeria Security Network, code-named Operation Amotekun by some South-Western states. Amotekun is grabbing national news headlines because it is novel, daring and decisive a strategy towards dealing with the ubiquitous insecurity across the federation for which the incompetent Nigerian federal police force are demonstratively incapable of solving or resolving.

Amotekun may be seen in some quarters as state police dressed or disguised as vigilante or para-military security outfit but the determination of the originators and proponents of the idea behind it all in the face of criticisms or condemnations from certain quarters up north remains commendable.

The formation of Amotekun is an internal security masterstroke destined to send a deafening defense message across. The process of de-marketing of the regional security outfit aimed at addressing the daunting security challenges in the South-West in particular is unfortunate. Yet nothing less should have been expected in an atmosphere of 'born-to-rule' mentality!

Expectedly the Federal Government through the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, had declared the security outfit an illegality, saying his office was not consulted before its formation. And the Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, speaking from Sokoto, backed the position of the AGF. For him: "If Operation Amotekun differs from the support being rendered by state governments to the Federal Government on security matters, then it is unconstitutional."

The former radical Governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, added his disagreeing voice to the Amotekun national controversy. In an exclusive interview he granted the 'Sunday-Sun' newspaper penultimate weekend he had argued strongly against the security outfit warning Nigerians surprisingly to be wary of the intentions behind the establishment.

Declaring the project a "distrustful one", he said "it was a ploy to secure Yoruba-land and a prelude to the declaration of Oduduwa Republic". Strong words but strong reactions had followed almost immediately. From the Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka to Gani Adams, Femi Falana to Olisa Agbakoba the reactions in support of Amotekun were as hard as they could come.

The old Musa was spot on when he acknowledged that the Buhari presidency's incompetence had led to the formation of Amotekun. But he goofed when he called for its resistance on the ground that it would definitely lead to the declaration of the Oduduwa Republic. What oracle did Musa consult before coming to such conclusion?

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association otherwise known as Fulani herdsmen terrorists had added their antagonistic voice to the raging national debate over Amotekun. The National Secretary of the group, Saleh Alhassan, had last Tuesday while featuring on Channels Television’s programme Sunrise Daily, described Amotekun as a "monster and threat to democracy". "We are afraid because if they don’t tame this monster at the early stage, it is going to be a serious disaster for the country" he had reasoned alarmingly.

Few weeks ago Ooni of Ife Ob Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and Prof Wole Soyinka, had met and asked Nigerians to rise up and defend their ancestral lands since the Muhammadu Buhari-led government was idling in protecting the lives of citizens.

 

The point to be made here is that the Nigerian state has since collapsed! And we are just deceiving ourselves that things are still working. Nothing is working anymore anywhere! When the ill-equipped and ill-trained federal police force are not up to their duties and when the Buhari-led federal government has manifestly failed to secure lives and properties across the board then Amotekun is called for.

The Federal Government, boxed to the corner, had recently, albeit belatedly, accepted the Amotekun security outfit. The Governors of the Yoruba-speaking states had met with the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, in Abuja where the government pronounced its volte face on the issue.

For us Amotekun is a welcome development in a nation without security. The primary objective of any government is to protect lives and properties of the citizenry. And since the Buhari-led administration has failed to secure lives and properties of Nigerians then more Amotekuns should be encouraged to follow suit!

Amotekun is, therefore, here to stay and the Governors of the South-west states deserve commendation for the revolutionary initiative. Let other geo-political regions or zones – South-East, Niger Delta, Middle Belt – create their own Amotekuns. The nay-sayers must give us a break and let them be.

As Igboland, besieged militarily with scores of checkpoints from Enugu to Umuahia, recently marked fifty years of Biafra, a muted jubilee from all indications, the Amotekun phenomenon has paid an indirect posthumous tribute to the late Ikemba-Nnewi, Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, who had seen prophetically and radically pointed out the dysfunctional ingredients of the Nigerian federalism as presently constituted and practised.

As it was then, decades ago, so it is now if not worse!

The day Nigeria would break up would definitely mark a befitting milestone in Ojukwism. In the event of disintegration happening in this generation then Ojukwu's leadership vision and sagacity would have triumphed at long last!

SOC Okenwa

soco_abj_2006_rci@hotmail.fr

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Ozodinukwe Okenwa Disable advertisements : 

UPDATE: Salkida Confirms SaharaReporters’ Story On Leah Sharibu, Attests Abducted Teenager Now A Mother

dim, 2020-01-26 14:22


 

Ahmad Salkida, a journalist with access to terror group – Boko Haram – on Sunday disclosed that indeed Leah Sharibu was now a mother, confirming SaharaReporters’ story in the process.

On Saturday, SaharaReporters had broken the news of Sharibu’s delivery of a baby boy to a top commander of Boko Haram.

A source close to the group had told our correspondent that the Christian teenager, who was among 112 students of Girls Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, seized by the terror sect on February 19, 2018, had given birth to a baby boy after being forced to convert to Islam and forcefully married to the unnamed Boko Haram commander.  See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Leah Sheribu Gives Birth To Baby Boy For Boko Haram Commander After Being Forced To Convert To Islam 0 Comments 1 Day Ago

Further confirming SaharaReporters’ story, Salkida in a post on Twitter on Sunday, said, “Why, I wonder, do we pretend that leaving Leah behind won’t result in pregnancy? 

“Since the terror group announced condemning her to slavery, is there any step or collective focus on preventing similar occurrences? She’s a mother, but I don’t know about the gender of the baby.” 

Why, I wonder, do we pretend that leaving Leah behind won't result in pregnancy? Since the terror group announced condemning her to slavery, is there any step or collective focus on preventing similar occurrences? She's a mother, but I don't know about the gender of the baby.

— Ahmad Salkida (@A_Salkida) January 26, 2020

However, describing the latest news on the teenager as mere rumour, a senior lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Jos, Dr Gloria Puldu, who speaks for the family, told Sunday PUNCH that all they wanted was to have Leah home alive, with or without a baby.

She said, “I have seen reports that Leah had a baby boy.

“What we even desire is to see a proof of life so that we see Leah by ourselves. If they are able to have Leah safe, we will understand.

“The most important thing is that we want her to be alive. And if she is alive, we will praise God for that. They should release her, despite whatever condition she is in. That is all; it doesn’t matter whether she is pregnant or with a baby.”

Recall that while almost all the captured girls were released by Boko Haram not too long after their kidnap, Sharibu was kept in captivity for refusing to renounce Christianity for Islam.

Despite promises by President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime to secure the teenager’s release, she remains with the terrorists till this day.

Boko Haram Insurgency Terrorism News AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 

Lassa Fever: Case Management And Challenges By Martin White-Ufuah

dim, 2020-01-26 14:10


Lassa Fever

Lassa Fever

 

On January 24, 2020, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control had its management debriefing with its technical working committee to review its responses to the increasing threats of outbreaks of infectious diseases and other public health emergencies.

The focus of the meeting was an update on the centre’s Lassa Fever surveillance mechanism. The meeting highlighted some successes as much as the challenges in early detection and urgent responses to Lassa Fever outbreak. One of the successes is the drop in the index on suspicion. But the centre’s challenges revolve around its collaboration, prevention mechanism, surveillance and coordination of the available public health laboratory networks in Nigeria.

During its surveillance pillar update on Lassa Fever, some of the centre’s challenges highlighted in two different PowerPoint presentations by team members are: inadequate treatment centres, poor reporting lines with its state and LGA’s liaison officers, unprofessional conduct by some health workers, ineffective logistics and poor interaction with the media.

Even though the NCDC was established to strengthen its focus on prevention and preparedness for outbreaks across Nigeria, its coverage of the country’s landscape isn’t yet effective. In most states of the federation, its LGAs liaison officers are still not familiar with SORMAS – a real-time software for outbreak and epidemic surveillance.

The centre’s management meeting with its technical working committee highlighted the need to train its LGAs representatives on the use of the Surveillance Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System – SORMAS.

SORMAS is an open source mobile ehealth system that processes disease control and outbreak management procedures in addition to surveillance and early detection of outbreaks through real-time digital surveillance including peripheral health care facilities and laboratories.

Also, another challenge highlighted at the meeting was the unprofessional conduct by some health practitioners treating patients of Lassa Fever. It was reported during the meeting that a pregnant woman, a dentist in Ebonyi State, died of the disease because doctors, who were supposed to attend to her ran away because of the stigma that the disease was a highly contagious virus. Another challenge here is the lack of precautionary measures by physicians while treating patients. Some were reported to quarantine patients without gloves.

Overstretched health workers and limited treatment centres were also some of the centre’s challenges. With 36 states and a Federal Capital Territory, there are only 21 treatment centres across 17 states of the Federation. This is alarmingly ridiculous for a centre established to stockpile and preposition for outbreak response across the country.

NCDC might not be successful in its development of guidelines and checklists for emergency preparedness and increasing roles to the country if it is limited in emergency operations centre during outbreaks. From the presentations, it was clear that the centre’s restrained efforts occasioned by different factors might affect its capacity to coordinate and bring together the various pillars of outbreak response in a command and control structure.

Another impeding factor to the centre’s efforts, as highlighted in the course of the meeting is the refusal of airlines to convey samples. Ibom Airline was specifically reported to reject conveying samples from Uyo; hence, they were conveyed by road to Port Harcourt, Rivers State. With limited public health laboratories in the centre’s networks, logistics is a challenge as it battles threats of outbreaks of infectious diseases and other public health emergencies.

Weak reporting lines between laboratories and physicians and poor data management between public health practitioners and the Incident Coordination Centre tasked with daily intelligence gathering are other serious challenges the centre is facing. These challenges are without the centre’s poor interaction with the media in its operations and development.

On Monday, it was widely reported in the media that a corps member serving in Delta State died from Lassa Fever. But during the debriefing, the centre repudiated the report and stated that the corps member was transferred on Monday to Irrua Specialist Hospital in Edo State where he was tested and treated of Lassa Fever. He was since confirmed to be free of the virus and alive too. But the centre didn’t deem it necessary to brief the media in order to correct the misinformation. The lack in harmonious functioning of the centre with critical stakeholders, states and LGAs liaison officers and all public health institutes further compounds its readiness and efficiency in detecting and responding to infectious disease outbreaks in the country.

These are the major challenges of the centre given the size and complexity of Nigeria. Several large infectious disease outbreaks have been reported in Nigeria, including the yellow fever outbreak, the Ebola outbreaks, cholera outbreaks, Lassa Fever, and more recently, the meningitis outbreak.

Nigeria’s public health challenges continue to grow—rapid population growth, increasing movement of people and destruction of infrastructure in North-East of Nigeria following the ‘Boko Haram’ insurgency and outbreaks from new and re-emerging pathogens. The year 2017 saw an increase in the rate of infectious diseases like Lassa Fever, 11 Yellow Fever, Monkey Pox, Cholera and new strains/subtypes/serotypes of existing pathogens like Neisseria meningitis serogroup C in Nigeria.

If the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, which was conceived to effectively mobilise its resources to respond to these outbreaks and other public health emergencies is limited in capacity and functions, addressing outbreaks will remain a huge task.

Nigeria and several other African countries have been battling with public health challenges for decades. These challenges came to fore during the Ebola virus disease crisis that affected many countries in the West African region including Nigeria.

As a result, many African countries have established their National Public Health Institutes as a focal point to prevent, detect and respond to diseases of public health importance but currently, only nine of the 15 countries in West Africa have a designated national public health institute.

Even at that, the nine West African countries with designated national public health institutes are still below expectation in addressing outbreaks of infectious diseases and other public health emergencies.

 

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Martin White-Ufuah Disable advertisements : 

The (Un)Critical Disconnect By Dele Farotimi

dim, 2020-01-26 13:32


 

I have been fascinated by a phenomenon that I have observed in Nigeria since my childhood days. I was nine years old when I saw it for the first time but I did not fully comprehend it until I was out of secondary school. I am dealing with the subject extensively in my upcoming book but I am provoked by recent events in the country, and will write as briefly as I can on the subject this Lord’s day.

The critical disconnect. I prefer to characterise the disconnect as being an uncritical one but in order to keep this simple, I will stick with the more conventional usage: the critical disconnect.

When a people are disconnected from the struggle for their freedom, those who seek to liberate the bound, labours but in vain, except the force that seeks to liberate the people, is a violent one, which is external to the people, and merely another tendency, within the oppressive class. A class war, fought on the back of the poor, who fights in proxy wars, for the profit and empowerment of the rich. To be pacifists, and to then seek the liberation of the disconnected, is akin to an attempt to rescue a drowning man, which is intent on fighting his rescuer.

The Nigerian peoples are disconnected from the struggle for their freedom. They have always looked on, as others have presumed to speak on their behalf, and I have witnessed their hens, electing foxes as wet nurses to nurture their young. I watched and heard the people grumbling as we manned barricades in my youth, in protest of the abrogation of human and economic rights, and as we railed against the evil empire we were witnessing installed. I saw them hating us for preventing them from going about the business of “surviving” with our “childishness”.

But as I have read this morning, of the brutal beating administered on the young campus journalist, Ayoola Babalola, and his delivery to the operatives of the DSS, by the executives of the NAPS in Gateway Polytechnic, Sapaade, I am forced to ask some questions that have agitated my mind for a few days now: are Nigerians truly victims, or are they better described as accomplices?

Yes, turn up your noses and moan about how you were not like them in your youth, and how lost the youth have become. But I ask you to ask yourselves, how different are you in truth? Okay, so you don’t go around helping the DSS to bag their prey but how many times have you spoken in defense of the state, when it had carried out its evil schemes? How many times have you helped to strengthen the chains of oppression with your sickening subjectivisation of the truth?

How related do you feel to the victims of the oppressive state? Are you aware that they are you? How have you shown your support for the ones that have been unjustly incarcerated in our prisons? How have you rationalised the endemic evil in our country? What got your tongue to be silent? Religion? Money? Fear? What disconnected you from the knowledge of what is in your own altruistic interest? How were you recruited into the army that is destroying the future, and dooming your own children to an uncertain future?

Are you a victim, or an accomplice?

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Dele Farotimi Disable advertisements : 

Bring Back Leah Sharibu By Tony Ademiluyi

dim, 2020-01-26 13:17


Leah Sharibu

Leah Sharibu TheCable

 

Leah Sharibu was abducted and taken into Boko Haram captivity well over a year ago with her abductors refusing to release her into liberty. She became world famous when she said that she won’t renounce her Christian faith and would prefer to die for it rather than being forced to be converted into Islam.

Her religious conviction endeared her greatly to the rest of the world as the cry for freedom which she encapsulates resonated greatly with them. Many celebrities from all over the globe took up her cause with the social media handles buzzing with her belief but tragically that didn’t lead to her release and we are yet to know if she is even dead or alive.

There have been conflicting reports of her current whereabouts. Some have opined that she was killed while some said that she is still alive. A recent report by SaharaReporters said that she had recently been delivered of a baby boy who she had for one of the top commanders of the dreaded boko haram after being forcefully made to convert to Islam.

One is at a loss on whom to believe with the plethora of fake news flying all around the place. There is hardly any fact checking done for the news among most of the Nigerian media houses and so most times the news consumers are at the mercy of the news purveyors.

Her parents have been crying day and night that all what they want is for their daughter to be brought back alive and it didn’t really matter if she had a child or not. One can feel deeply the anguish of her parents and their plight in not being able to communicate with their offspring for a long stretch of time.

The government has also not been pro-active in getting her released as there has been a conspiratorial silence on their part. It seems that her life and well-being doesn’t matter much to them as she isn’t a member of the elite or ruling class. It is an open secret that there are two classes of Nigerians who live in the nation – the elites and the rest of us who are worse than second class citizens.

We recall that one northern elite’s daughter had an issue with hard drugs being found in her possession in Saudi Arabia when she went for the lesser hajj. The Federal Government swung immediately into action when it was learnt that her father lobbied Buhari directly on her behalf and she was released. She was saved from the executioner’s sword because of her highly privileged background. Her fate will have been worse if she has been a Plebian. When last has any government official commented on the Sharibu case? The one year anniversary of her abduction went largely unnoticed with her parents being left to mourn alone.

In sane societies, the government would have done everything humanly possible to effect her release – drones would have been deployed and if push came to shove would have negotiated with the sect to ensure that she is returned hale and hearty to her beleaguered parents. Alas we live in a nation that has been turned into a haven worse than a banana republic.

Our celebrities should step in where the government has failed and use their star power to draw global attention to her cause and keep her in the minds of millions all over the planet earth. She has the right to freedom of religion and is one of the enshrined rights in the 1999 constitution and several human rights charters all over the world. That right which is inalienable shouldn’t be denied to her and this should be the nexus binding human rights activists together.

Sharibu is a heroine as she chose her freedom to worship her creator in her own way rather than agree to be ‘free’ and suppress something which is fundamental to her existence and well-being. It is tragic that not many religious houses especially the Christian ones have done much to celebrate her and mount pressure for her immediate release.

She was still in the secondary or high school when she was abducted and she has lost so much ground there as some of her mates will be in the university now. The insurgents have no respect for western education and the rights of the girl child. They view women as mere sexual objects or chattels to be used solely for procreation or to be sold and bought as merchandise.

We make a loud call on the Federal Government to do the needful in getting her released from captivity and for influencers in whatever walk of life to lend their voices for her release as she deserves freedom.

Little drops of water make the mighty ocean and this should apply to our collective efforts in making her taste Uhuru once more.

She is a huge symbol for freedom and it is imperative that we immortalise her ideals; hopefully she will still come out alive and we will celebrate the triumph of light over darkness.

Tony Ademiluyi writes from Lagos

 

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How Nigeria’s Attorney-General, Malami, Frustrated Malabu, Goje Corruption Cases –Transparency International

dim, 2020-01-26 13:13


 

Transparency International, the world’s foremost coalition against corruption, has said that Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), frustrated high-profiled cases since he assumed office in 2015 and has not been at the forefront of anti-corruption fight.

The organisation alleged that Malami had not prosecuted any corruption case in about five years he had been in office but had watered down cases that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was investigating or that were before the court.

TI’s representative in Nigeria, Mr Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, made the allegation in an interview with THISDAY while defending the 2019 Corruption Perception Index of the organisation, which measured corruption in 180 countries and territories.

The CPI, which the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, TI’s chapter in Nigeria, released on Thursday, revealed that Nigeria scored 26 out of 100 points in the 2019 CPI, falling back by one point when compared with the 2018 report.

In the country comparison, the CPI revealed that Nigeria “ranks 146 out of 180 countries – two places down compared to 2018 results. While the index does not show real incidences of corruption, it is a reliable indication of the perception of the Nigerian public and the international community about the state of corruption in the country.”

Disappointed at Nigeria’s rating on TI’s corruption index, Malami condemned the 2019 CPI that placed the country at 146 out of the 180 countries and territories globally, noting that there was no evidence to back the country’s rating.

In a statement by its acting spokesperson, Mr Tony Orilade, on Friday, the EFCC faulted Nigeria’s poor rating on the index, questioning the bogus and ambiguous criteria TI used to arrive at what it called “a jaundiced and illogical rating.”

But in a conversation with THISDAY, Rafsanjani challenged Malami to present one corruption case he had prosecuted since he assumed office in 2015, noting that the AGF in four years had not prosecuted any corruption case.

Rather, TI’s contact person alleged that the AGF watered down corruption cases that the EFCC had been investigating before Malami assumed office or the graft cases that had been filed at the court before he took over as the justice minister.

Citing different corruption cases the AGF allegedly frustrated, Rafsanjani explained how Malami prevailed on President Muhammadu Buhari to drop the Malabu oil scandal at the initial stage.

He said, “Malami misled the President that there was no case in the Malabu oil deal contrary to the position of the EFCC. That is why the case did not go on for a very long time. Until the EFCC insisted on prosecuting the case, the Malabu oil scandal has been swept under the carpet.”

He also explained how the AGF withdrew the corruption case against former Gombe State governor and a chieftain of All Progressives Congress, Danjuma Goje in 2019 after Goje stepped down to context the election of the President of the Senate.

He alleged that the AGF “applied for the withdrawal of the charges even though EFCC had filed N25bn corruption charges against Goje alongside a former Executive Chairman of Gombe State Universal Basic Education Board, Mr. Aliyu El-Nafaty.”

Rafsanjani, also, explained how Malami stopped the prosecution of former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki for allegedly forging the Senate rules to conduct the election of principal officers.

Since 2015 the attorney general had been in office, Rafsanjani claimed that he “has not gone to court to prosecute any corruption case. Rather, he has watered down corruption charges in courts or those under investigation at the EFCC.

“Rather than dismissing the TI’s corruption index, the federal government should review areas where we need to improve on the efforts of fighting corruption,” TI’s representative advised.

He, therefore, justified the corruption perception index on Nigeria, noting that it “is the perception of citizens in Nigeria. This has nothing to do with what EFCC or ICPC is doing.”

In Nigeria, Rafsanjani lamented that public offices “are abused and electoral processes at all level compromised. When they go to hospital, they encounter corruption. When they go to police either on the road or at the police station, they encounter corruption.

“When students are seeking placements in the tertiary institutions nationwide, they encounter corruption. When they go to process international passport or driver’s licence, they encounter corruption. This has nothing to do with what EFCC or ICPC is doing.”

Rafsanjani lamented that the critics of the 2019 CPI did not read the report, noting that in the same index, specifically, the ratings of Canada and the US dropped.

He therefore challenged critics of the 2019 CPI to come out and present facts that contradict the Corruption Perception Index on Nigeria.

He said, “In fact, government does not need Transparency International to know there is corruption in Nigeria.

“It is something that is happening on daily basis. If they are saying there is no corruption, let them come out and contradict the CPI with facts and figures. Any official that dismisses the CPI is actually the beneficiary of corruption. It is the perception of citizens in Nigeria.”

 

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Kaduna Government Confirms Lassa Fever Outbreak

dim, 2020-01-26 11:31


 

The Kaduna State Government has confirmed a case of Lassa Fever in Chukun Local Government Area of the state. 

According to a statement by Commissioner for Health in the state, Amina Mohammed-Baloni, the patient is being treated at the designated Infectious Disease Control Centre. 

The commissioner assured that the Ministry of Health had supplied the “infectious diseases control centre with the necessary commodities and our health personnel are ready to manage any cases that may arise. 

“The epidemiology unit is monitoring the situation closely, and all health facilities are on alert for prompt referral of suspected cases." 

The commissioner also reiterated the ministry’s earlier appeal to the public to maintain the highest standard of hygiene and report any suspected cases promptly to the nearest health facility. 

 

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Gunmen Kill 11, Kidnap Four Women In Niger State

dim, 2020-01-26 10:21


Gunmen, who invaded some communities in Niger State, have killed 11 people and also kidnapped four women.

The gunmen stormed Kudodo, Galapai, Dnakpala Makera and Dnalgwa communities in the early hours of Saturday.

The bandits were said to have moved from house to house to carry out their activities, The Nation newspaper reported.

Senator representing Niger-East Senatorial District, Alhaji Sani Musa, confirmed the latest attack, saying that the situation was getting out of hand.

The lawmaker lamented the incessant killings and called on the Federal Government and security agencies to up their strategies.

He said, “As the attacks continued, more villagers in my constituency are awaiting their fate as no sign of succour seems to be coming their way. 

“It is confirmed that the bandits are attacking all through the night to this afternoon

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FAAN Calls For Calm As Fire Is Detected On Lagos Airport Runway

dim, 2020-01-26 02:16


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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has urged members of the public not to panic after fire was detected on one of the runways of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The fire on 36L was however, put under control by fire service at the airport and did not affect operations at the Lagos airport.

General Manager, Corporate Affairs of FAAN, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, disclosed the incident in a statement.

She said, “FAAN wishes to inform airlines operators other airport users that a bush fire incident has been reported around the RESA of 36L, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

“Officers of the Air Rescue and Fire Fighting Services are on ground and fire fighting is in progress.

“However, the incident did not affect flight operations as normal flight operations continues unhindered."

 

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Can’t Buhari Stop Waffling On Boko Haram? By Festus Adedayo

dim, 2020-01-26 02:09


Even when its blood-sucking soldiers slash the throats of captured Nigerians in audacious video recordings that periodically go viral on the social media, the truth is that Boko Haram, that deadly terrorist group, has left the consciousness of many Nigerians, especially the political elite. For example, as that eight year-old boy insurgent horrendously gorged out the last pint of blood in the veins of Daciya Dalep, the Langtang student of the University of Maiduguri, who was abducted on January 9 as he returned to his school, President Muhammadu Buhari was apparently busy battling a mound of Tuwo Shinkafa, which he washed down his belly with a very cold fura. In other parts of Nigeria, we individually and collectively bantered away as if we had no care in the world. Dalep was executed last Tuesday and the video of his gruesome killing was circulated by Boko Haram’s side-kick, ISIS, through its Amaq News Agency. The eight-year old, who killed Dalep had been quoted in the ISIS-circulated video as saying that, “We won’t stop until we take revenge for all the blood that was spilled.” Almost about this time, Lawan Andimi, leader of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Michika council of Adamawa State, was also executed by this deadly terrorist group.

But not to worry, the Buhari government had sent its usual condolence message to the families of the murdered, an advertised reflated bravura, a pumped up and flexed muscle to mow down the insurgents in no  time and a message to Nigerians to continue to hold forte. This is a slight departure from government’s earlier peacock boastfulness. As the “Jingle Bell” rhythm percolated round the world in December, 2015, Buhari released his own good tidings to a distraught Nigerian world on December 24 of that year: Nigeria had "technically won the war" against these accursed Islamists, Buhari said to the BBC. This is because, in his words, the militant group could no longer mount "conventional attacks" against security forces or population centres. It had thus been reduced to fighting the war only with improvised explosives devices, with a fractured base located only in the heartland of Borno State, he said. "So I think technically we have won the war because people are going back into their neighbourhoods. Boko Haram as an organised fighting force, I assure you, that we have dealt with them," the president enthused in what has turned out an empty waffle.

Since December, 2015 when that Buhari’s prattle was circulated, Boko Haram has massacred thousands of Nigerians, prompting that highly cerebral traditional ruler, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, to ask an audience in Ibadan late last year what was technical in a defeat. Even warfare theorist, Carl von Clausewitz, would agree with the Alaafin that a war is either won or lost and the Buhari new and unorthodox classification of a middle-of-the-road stratification of a war was strange and unsupported by any thesis in the history of warfare.

Anyway, the deceit of defeat continued, making total mockery of Nigeria’s war preparedness. Unfortunately for Nigeria and her politicisation of the true state of the warfare, the western world, with sophisticated gadgets that get minute-by-minute mirror of the tragedy, is aware that Boko Haram and its sister bloodhound, Islamic State West Africa (ISWAP) are an epidemic. At a point, the Nigerian Army descended on NGOs offering humanitarian services in the North-East war zone. Aware that these NGOs give information to their home countries on the actual figures of casualties, the alarmingly high number of soldiers felled as a result of fossilised military hardware, the military authorities began a mini war to rid the NGOs from the war zone. And the cemeteries kept on receiving unprecedented traffic of the dead, while the spate of attacks received daily muscle.

Frustrated by the unceasing carnage, the European parliament, a legislative branch of the European Union, had to voice out its bottled concerns about the slide at the warfront last week. Among a long list of distressing manifestations, the EU Parliament said it “Deplores that progress has stalled in the fight against Boko Haram, ISWAP and the increased occurrence and severity of suicide attacks and direct attacks against military positions; recalls that Nigeria’s President Buhari was re-elected in 2019 on the promise of defeating the violent extremism promoted by Boko Haram and other terror groups, and urges the President to implement his campaign promises.” It was a diplomatic artillery fire on a Buhari who seldom knows what his governmental right and left hands were about.

Then the President came in with another waffle. On Friday, as he received European Union Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, at the State House, Abuja, Buhari lapsed into his usual boring riposte but this time, with a tinge of myopia laced with very poor logic. Because Nigeria fought and won a civil war, the 50th anniversary of which it just celebrated, said Buhari, the country will also win the Boko Haram war, no matter how long it takes. If Nigeria could go through the 30-month civil war, it would be atop the 10-year-old war of insurgency soonest.  “If we were capable to fight a 30-month civil war and reorganise our country, I wonder why people are thinking that Nigeria cannot do it,” he was quoted as saying.

Now, there are two unpardonable, even if laughable cants laced with that statement. One was the assumption or even hypocritical submission by the President that after the 30-month war, Nigeria got reorganized and second, his deployment of the civil war model as an apt corollary to the current Boko Haram insurgency. As an aside, Nigerians must collectively deploy the very strange and even obtuse media management model of Aso Rock where the Nigerian president is shrouded from scrutiny by the press. How come nobody hears first hand from the president but his thoughts are parcelled as press releases, when Villa correspondents who should cover visits of this hue are next door? Is the Buhari media apparatchik hiding a discernible limitation of the president from the scrutiny of the world, through decreeing out live coverage of the president by the press?

Anyway, on the first prong, Buhari erred very massively in stating that after the civil war, Nigeria had been reorganized. Reorganised into what? More than the pre-war era, Nigeria is today fractured into frightening fissiparous tendencies of tribe, religion and class. These tendencies got more pronounced under the Buhari government than any government in the history of Nigeria. The recent Amotekun hoopla and government, as well as its sidekicks – narrow-minded voices in the North  and Miyetti Allah’s frantic fear that Amotekun could be a hub for secession advertise the fear that Nigeria is soldered together by a tender wedge that could snap at any moment. For the president to anchor on this lie of Nigeria’s togetherness is one of the Donald Trump-like lies that have caked this administration and keep on defining it.

Second is Buhari’s reference to the Nigerian Civil War as a manifestation of Nigeria’s commitment or even assuredness of winning the Boko Haram war. Except for the fact that it sounds like an esoteric lapse into spiriticism, nothing links the two wars under reference apart from the ounces of bloodshed that they both advertise. More significantly, that statement seems to again advertise critics’ lampoon of Buhari for possessing pre-historic or Acheulian remedies to 21st century Nigerian situation. Yes, the Boko Haram war is fast sprinting to the finish line of over one million souls lost in the Nigerian civil war, but no, it wasn’t quelled by current Nigerian military establishment’s myopic understanding of warfare, World War 1-like quality of armaments against sophisticated weaponry of the insurgents and demoralized troops who cannot see Nigeria as the philosophy behind their fighting at the war front.

First is the Commander-in-Chief’s warped understanding of the concept of security itself. Surrounded by security chiefs whose expiry in service is benumbing and who the President stubbornly retains, Buhari has deafened his ears to the cascading demoralization of troops that comes with expiration of tenure of service chiefs, some of whom have overstayed by as long as six years. Second is Nigerians’ haunch that if Buhari deploys remedies he used as military Head of State in 1984 to 2020 matters of state, he is more likely deploying same strategies against this long-winding insurgency. Third is that the civil war that he inflates his feathers as having won was disposed of in 30 months while the current interminable war has lasted over a decade. With the politicisation of the Boko Haram war, Nigerians, except the merchants in Aso Rock, don’t see an end to the bloodletting of the war.

If those Nigerian soldiers killed daily like chickens and who are buried at nocturnes were children or relatives of villa tenants, they probably would be minded to deploy 21st century remedies towards ending the war. This is why, rather than be sober at the gruesome killings and the recent horrendous murder of Andimi, leader of CAN, the presidency could go on a roller-coaster of harangue of Christian leaders, rather than face the gory fact that, apart from the civil war, no Nigerian Head of State has harvested as much Nigerian blood as Buhari has in five years or so. It is apt ingenuity to call this administration a government by condolences.

As a people, we seem unconcerned by the peremptory handling of the Boko Haram crisis by the Buhari government and externalize its consequences because none of the casualties is our relative. Families who daily lose loved ones to this tepid fight by Nigeria are the ones who know where the shoe pinches. Otherwise, we would all in unison howl at Buhari to go back to Daura if our people are slaughtered mindlessly in hundreds like this while he surfeits us with sophistries. Comparing Boko Haram with the Nigerian civil war is the unkindest cut of them all, even worse than his technical defeat gibbering.

Nigeria and the impending Wahum Coronavirus

The world is literally laying eggs at the moment, worried at the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China. As at the time of writing this, China has reported 41 deaths and 1369 cases in Mainland China. America has ordered all its workers at the U.S. Consulate in Wuhan to vacate the city. Hong Kong has declared state emergency as it shuts down the city while China, where the disease originated, is quoted to have begun the building of two hospitals with which it planned to combat the outbreak said to have likely been contracted from the saliva of snakes. The hospitals’ period of completion time is slated for between 10 and 15 days.

Nigeria has a huge share of Chinese inflow. A report claimed that an estimated 120,000 Chinese come into Nigeria annually and workers who litter several construction spots in Nigeria who travelled to China for the holiday are expected back to Nigeria next week.

There is no doubt that it is at moments of emergencies as this and countries’ responses to them that you identify the state elements in assemblages that purport to be states. States with balls swivelling between their legs have risen to this emergency while ones that merely advertise a pretention to same are absent on the radar. What plans are being made to ensure that many of the China returnees are screened appropriately at air and seaports? As against the vacuous prayers often offered by our nationals against disasters, what are Nigeria’s proactive health plans in case the Coronavirus sidles into the country?

 

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Festus Adedayo Disable advertisements : 

BREAKING: Leah Sheribu Gives Birth To Baby Boy For Boko Haram Commander After Being Forced To Convert To Islam

sam, 2020-01-25 22:41




Leah Sheribu, a Christian girl kidnapped and held in Boko Haram captivity for over one year, has given birth to a baby boy. 

Leah was delivered of the baby a few weeks ago following her forceful marriage to a top Boko Haram commander, according to a reliable source close to the terror group. 

The source said Leah, who refused to renounce her Christian faith, was forced to accept Islam before being married to a top commander of the terror group. 

Leah was among dozens of girls seized from a school in Yobe State by Boko Haram fighters two years ago.

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