Presidential Debate: APC Shields Buhari’s Intellectual Laziness, Says Jonathan *Charges APC ‘Prove You’re a Party of Progressive Intellectuals At Debate’

The Presidential Campaign Organisation of President Goodluck Jonathan has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of stopping its presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari from participating in a presidential debate being organised by the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) as a means of shielding the intellectual laziness and inability of the former military dictator to constructively engage contemporary national issues in a live television and radio debate from Nigerians and the international audience.

Jonathan who spoke through the Director of Media and Publicity of his Campaign Organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, stated that the APC knows that General Buhari will flunk it if he is subjected to the rigours of debate on national issues relating to governance and development.

Jonathan’s Campaign body said it was aware that the APC had already expressed its concerns, when approached by an international news channel for a debate, about the intellectual acumen of General Buhari, and had assured the news channel that it was only comfortable with its vice presidential candidate, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who has capacity to feature brilliantly on the programme.

“We have just read a report in the media credited to the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation that the party would not allow its candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, to participate in the radio and television presidential debate organised by the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).

“The APC accused the organisers of the debate of unhidden bias and campaign of calumny by some key organisers of the programme against the corporate political interest of the party and its candidates.

“Whilst we will not bother ourselves with the many reasons adduced by the APC, we wish to state that we see the APC decision as an attempt to shield its presidential candidate from displaying his intellectual laziness and inability to constructively engage contemporary national issues in a live television and radio debate.

“We had envisaged that the APC would be reluctant to expose General Buhari to the rigours of a live television debate because the opposition party knows that its candidate will flunk it.

“If the APC truly believes that it is ‘a party of progressive intellectuals’, as it claims it should allow General Buhari to prove that at the debate.

“Should the APC fail to participate in the debate, it would also show the disdain both the party and its candidate have for the Nigerian people, denying them the opportunity to make informed choices on the basis of what each candidate will articulate as propositions on issues that will be raised.

“We are convinced that General Buhari does not have what it takes to sustain a coherent argument on germane issues of governance and development.

“We challenge General Buhari to a debate on any national and international medium of mass communication and our candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan will be ready to participate.

“On the other hand, President Jonathan’s running mate, Vice President Namadi Sambo, is also ready to participate in the debate and any other debate.

“Our presidential candidate and his running mate will not raise flimsy and escapist excuses such as “unhidden bias” and the like, since we believe that they are well-rounded intellectuals who have been prepared by their experience in office to answer any question under the sun on the governance of our nation.”, Jonathan Campaign group noted.

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#NigeriaDecides: Buhari is Clueless About How To Revive Economy, Can’t Remember His Phone Number, Says Jonathan

So Clueless? Can you imagine?

Pa Buhari can’t remember his phone number –Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday during a rally in Enugu said that the All Progressives Congress candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd), cannot remember his own mobile phone number.

Jonathan, whose unscripted address was mostly a response to previous statements made by Buhari, accused the APC presidential candidate of deceiving Nigerians by promising to revive the economy without explaining how he would achieve the feat.

The President wondered how Buhari would develop the country’s economy, a feat he could not achieve while he was in office as head of state between 1983 and 1985.

“Is it now that Buhari cannot even remember his own phone number that he can change the economy of the country.” Jonathan asked.

The Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate said that although he did not like to “go personal during campaigns,” “sometimes circumstances demand that certain things must be said.”

Jonathan said that Buhari belonged to the medieval age, adding that he (the APC candidate) intended to run the Federal Government as a medieval king.

He said, “We cannot run the government as if we are in the medieval age; we cannot run a government where somebody said he would throw people into jail.

“You are not a medieval king – a medieval king can throw you into jail but we have to follow the rule of law because we cannot go back to the old days.”

Jonathan, however, read the speech made by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd.) after overthrowing Buhari’s regime through a military coup on August 27, 1985 to justify his claim that the APC candidate does not keep his promises.

Babangida, in the portions of the address read by Jonathan, justified Buhari’s overthrow by pointing out that the latter did not live up to the promises he made to Nigerians when he ousted a democratically elected civilian government headed by Alhaji Shehu Shagari in a military coup.

Noting that Buhari “deceived Nigerians” from 1983 to 1985, Jonathan quoted Babangida as saying, “The initial objectives of Buhari’s intervention were betrayed as there was a general deterioration of standard of living in the country.”

The PDP candidate also pointed out that Babangida accused Buhari of being “too rigid in his attitude to national issues” and “became alienated from the people” in the course of his stay in power.

He, therefore, challenged Buhari to tell Nigerians how he intends to revive the economy.

Jonathan said, “They are telling young Nigerians that they are going to change the economy but they have not told us how they want to manage the economy more than us.

“If they say they want to change agriculture, they should tell us the weak links in the agriculture value chain and what they want to do about it.

“I said in Lagos that I want to work with young people, not to deceive people.

“I am not going to run the government based on my habits, I am going to run the government according to global best practices.”

Jonathan also insisted that he was committed to the campaign against corruption.

“There is no government that has fought corruption more than we do,” he said, noting that some previous administrations pretended to be fighting corruption while oppressing their enemies.

He recalled that Buhari jailed some prominent Igbo politicians while in office as head of state, including former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme and former governor of old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo.

Stressing that Buhari jailed politicians on trumped up charges, Jonathan said, “You can no longer carry people and put them in prison for 301 years.”

The President equally accused Buhari of having a wrong idea of corruption.

According to him, Buhari believes that every wealthy Nigerian is corrupt.

He said, “If a Nigerian businessman has a private jet, then you are corrupt but if a South African has a private jet then you commend him.

“If you have a good house, then you are corrupt, if you have a good car then you are corrupt – that is his definition of corruption.”

Jonathan accused his opponent of making spurious claims against him.

The President said, “They are saying that government is corrupt but they are not telling us what they are going to do to stop corruption. Let them go back to their consultants to coach them, then I will listen to them.

“They should tell us how they are going to manage the economy better than we do.

“They are saying we stole foreign reserves, nobody can steal foreign reserves – spurious allegations.”

He also reiterated his claim that Buhari did not equip the military while he was the head of state.

Jonathan said that he had done more than his predecessors to shore up the country’s defence.

“For 30 years, we had only one frigate, now we have four additional frigates,” he said.

In the same vein, he pointed out that Buhari did not find any woman worthy enough for appointment when he was the military head of state.

The President asked Nigerians to assess him and Buhari by looking at how they performed during their respective periods in office.

He said, “They have deceived us before and they want to deceive us again.

“Go and find out whether these people are deceiving you or are telling you the truth.

“People are assessing me because I have run this country for some years – they have run this country for two years.

“They came with promises but immediately they came in, what they did was to jail Jim Nwobodo for 201 years.”

PUNCH

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France Owns Military Hardware Aboard Chad-bound Russian Plane Detained in Nigeria – Ambassador

The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jacques Champagne de Labriolle, has issued a statement about the Chad-bound aircraft detained by Nigerian authorities at the Aminu Kano Airport in Kano.
Grounded-Chad-bound-plane
In the statement, the ambassador admitted his country chartered the Russian aircraft to help it convey some military hardware from Bangui (Central African Republic) to Ndjamena (Niger).

He, however, said there were no arms and ammunition aboard the plane, contrary to earlier reports on the matter.

The embassy said: “A Russian commercial plane carrying two light Gazelle helicopters belonging to the French Army has unexpectedly landed in Kano on Saturday December 6th, early in the afternoon.

The embassy explained that “On 6 December, the French armed forces had chartered a flight on the Russian commercial company “224 Flight Unit”, to ship 2 light helicopters from Bangui to Ndjamena. The shipment is organized as the size of the French military intervention in CAR is being reduced, as was earlier announced by the French Authorities.

“The cargo airplane, an Antonov 124, had a regular flight plan from Bangui to Ndjamena ; the flight was covered by a diplomatic clearance given by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The freight consisted of 2 ‘’Gazelle’’ helicopters (a 4 seater light liaison helicopter) with spare-parts and maintenance items. 2 French military non-commissioned officers escorted the equipment as passengers.

“As the Antonov was approaching Ndjamena, the air traffic conditions were too dense to authorize the landing of the aircraft ; and the Antonov had to divert to an alternate international airport. The closest airport facility being Kano, the Russian crew decided to fly there, to refuel, and to take off again to reach Ndjamena Airport.

“Due to the nationality of the aircraft, and the nature of the cargo, local airport Nigerian authorities in Kano have decided to check the flight plan, the clearance and the cargo manifest before authorizing the plane to leave. Official information has been supplied by the French Embassy in Nigeria.

“The Nigerian federal and airport authorities, being satisfied with the documents and the genuine character of the flight, have announced that the plane will be authorized to pursue its flight to Ndjamena.”

Contrary to some press reports, that former Governor of Borno State, Ali Modu-Sheriff was secretly negotiating for the release of the weapons in the grounded plane, there was absolutely no weapon, and no ammunition on board the aircraft.

The use of chartered flights of various nationalities for military cargo transport is a standard international practice : it is used by many nations, and is coherent with commercial competition to reduce the cost of such transport operations. The use of Russian companies to transport French military equipment is common practice.

As for the move of the helicopters between CAR and Chad, it is part of the French effort to support regional cooperation against terrorism, as agreed by the Heads of State of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon during the security Summit held in Paris in May, 2014.”

2015: Full Text of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Declaration Speech

PRESIDENT-GOODLUCK-JONATHAN-ADDRESSING-HIS-SUPPORTERS-DURING-THE-DECLARATION
Below is the full text of president Jonathan’s declaration speech today Nov. 11 at the Eagle’s Square

GEJ_Declaration
Dear Compatriots:

1. Four years ago, precisely September 18, 2010; I stood in this Eagle Square, to offer myself for election as the President of our beloved country on the platform of our great party; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

2. Seven months after that declaration, you elected me to lead this country with overwhelming support from all parts of our Nation. I remain grateful for the trust you reposed in me to lead our Nation through uncommon challenges in our march of progress as a united and democratic country.

3. Over the years, the Almighty God has made it possible for me to develop a bond with you and I am grateful for your support and understanding in the difficult periods we have journeyed through.

4. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, our stewardship has not been without challenges. We have had to deal with the wave of insurgency that has swept through some parts of our dear country. Only yesterday, Government Science Secondary School in YobeState was bombed by insurgents, killing our promising young children who were seeking education to build the country and support their parents. Many Nigerians have lost their lives and property to these mindless killings. Let me crave the indulgence of all present here to stand up to observe a minutes silence in honour of these young lads wholost their lives. Clearly, this has cast a dark cloud on our Nation but we will surely win the war against terror. A number of young men and women have been kidnapped by these criminal elements including our daughters from Chibok. We will free our daughters and defeat terrorism.

5. We are equipping the armed forces and deploying special forces to engage the terrorist and end this senseless war. We must protect our country. We must save our people. I will do everything humanly possible to end this criminal violence in our Nation.

6. To ensure the long term stability and development of the affected areas, government has launched three programmes: The Presidential Initiative for the North East, the Victim Support Fund and the Safe School Initiative. The Presidential Initiative for the Northeastis focused on improving infrastructure and economic growth in the region. The Safe School Initiative is centred on creating a safe environment to encourage our children in the communities to acquire education. The Victim Support Fund, a partnership with the Private Sector, has raised about 60 billion Naira, which will help to empower and rehabilitate victims of terror. I promise the victims of these dastardly acts that we will continue to stand with you.

7. I am grateful to all Nigerians for standing with me.

8. Let me also thank the leaders and elders of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, for the opportunity you have given to me to serve our country, Nigeria.

9. I am overwhelmed by the trust, confidence and support of the various organs of our party, the Board of Trustees, the National Caucus, the National Executive Committee, the National Working Committee, the PDP Governors Forum, members of the PDPCaucuses of the National Assembly, and others.

10. This day affords me the opportunity to continue the conversation of development we started together.

11. Infrastructure has been a major focus area of my administrationand so, we pursued the power sector reform to this point of irreversible progress. Nigeria has undertaken a most transparent and corruption free bidding process, attracting global commendation. The on-going 450MW Azura Power Plant in Edo State is a testimony to the success of this transformation.
12. We have also resumed development of our Hydro-Power potential, with the construction of the 700MW Zungeru Hydro-Power Plant, while construction work on the 3,050MW Mambilla Hydro-Power Plant is about to take off.

13. Our power generation and distribution companies have now been privatized. We are firmly on the road to guaranteed regular power supply in the months ahead. This our bold move, is paying off!

14. We are committed to environmental protection and conservation and reducing vulnerability to climate change. In this regard, we have embarked on a number of projects across the country. Of particular note is the AfricanGreat Green Wall Programmed, where we have released about 16 billionnaira for implementation. The project will create a green belt across 11 states from Kebbi to Borno.

15. In the past three and half years, the water sector has witnessed unprecedented improvement. Access to potable water is now 67%, up from 58% in 2010, while sanitation coverage is 41%, from 32% within the same period.

16. Major developments in water include the completion of 37 Dams and rehabilitation of 10, with several others on-going construction. The flagship Kashimbila Multipurpose Dam which is being built to contain flood from Lake Nyos, is now at 90% completion. We have also completed about 5,000 rural and semi urban water schemes.

17. We are reforming the National Urban Water supply programmes in 12 states, with 385 formal and informal irrigation projects, covering a total land area of 118000 ha, cultivated mostly by small holder farmers. This has yielded over 3 million metric tons of assorted grains and vegetables, with a market value of about 45billion naira.

18. Before the advent of this administration, the Railway system was practically dead. Today, we have revived the rail sector. The narrow gauge line from Lagos to Kano has been rehabilitated with improved coaches providing regular services. The rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt-Maidugurirail line is progressing with the Port Harcourt-Gombe segment as well as the branch line from Kafanchan to Kaduna expected to be completed and fully operational by December 2014.

19. Already, work on the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge rail line, is progressing. The tracks of the rail line will be completed by December this year 2014. Upon completion of the project in the first quarter of 2015, itwill be possible for Nigerians to live in Kaduna and work in Abuja. The Itape-Ajaokuta-Wari standard gauge line has attained an advanced stage, with the track completely laid. We hope to commence full operation before the end of 2015.

20. Other segments of the new standard gauge speed train network are planned with contract already awarded for the Lagos –Ibadan Segment. There will be more of such modern and faster rail connections in the coming years. Already, discussions are now at advanced stage, for the Coastal rail line that will traverse through 10 states, from Lagos through the South-Southand South-East, all the way to Calabar.

21. My administration has successfully completed the dredging of the lower River Niger from Baro in Niger State to Warriin in Delta State. The cheering news is that over 6.7 million passengers and over 1.6 million tonnes of cargo have been moved through this channel in less than three years.

22. I am happy to also report that our ports now operate 24 hour service, which has led to the reduction of clearing time and improved efficiency.

23. When I assumed office in 2010, out of the 35,000km of federal roads nationwide, only about 5,000km were motorable. Today, that number has increased to about 25,000km. We expect to complete the remaining 10,000kmin three years while initiating new ones.

24. I made a commitment to build two new major bridges across the River Niger and River Benue. Today, the new bridge over the River Benue, connecting Loko in Nassarawa State to Oweto in Benue State has reached an advance stage of completion, while work has commenced on the Second Niger Bridge.

25. Beyond these, my administration has concluded plans to re-commence the construction of Bodo-Bonny Road with three major bridges on the alignment that will link the Island of Bonny with Rivers mainland.

26. Preliminary works have started on my administration’s planned re-construction and expansion of the MurtalaMuhammed International Airport Road in Lagos to a world class entry point into our country. Only a few months ago, work started on the dualization of Kano-Katsina Road. While many Nigerians are celebrating the marked improvements on our roads, I want to assure that it will get even better as we move forward.

27. In the pursuit of an integrated transportation system, we embarked on the construction of five new Airport Terminal Buildings and Air-field facilities. We are alsore-constructing existing ones.The re-construction upon completion, will lead to improved passenger processing, increased cargo handling capacity and enhancedAir-field facilities that meet international standard and improves safety. These efforts have been met with global acknowledgement including the attainment and retention of the FAA Category One status.

28. In housing, we signed the National Housing Policy to kick-start the framework for providing more affordable homes for our people. We have also expanded the National Housing Fund to accommodate more Nigerians. We have started a revolution in the housing sector with the start of theNigerianMortgage and Refinanced Company(NMRC) a new initiative of my administration, that will enable more citizens in the lower income bracket to become first time home owners.

29. Our partners such as the World Bank group are supporting this with US300million dollars interest free credit, while my administration will back it with over 100billion naira in bonds. We are already processing 66,000 mortgage applications for our young people. We have amended the PENCOM Act to enable thepension funds invest inhousing sector bonds. This will create a boom in the housing sector.

30. In the Federal Capital Territory, we are rapidly building a befitting National Capital by expanding and providing new infrastructure, developing ten new districts and Satellite Towns to cater for the ever increasing population. In no distant future, you will be able to arrive at the NnamdiAzikiwe International Airport and proceed to the city using the Abuja Light Rail. In addition to providing durable health, educational and transportation services, we are also collaborating with Organized Labour to build functional, affordable and social housing in Abuja.

31. Other critical capital developments that are being packaged by this Administration include the development of the Ultra-Modern World Trade Centre, the Abuja Town Centre, the Jabi Lake Comprehensive Centre, the Centenary City and the Land Swap Districts. This private sector driven infrastructural development will positively change the skyline of the city and provide the required office and residential accommodation, shopping and recreation as well as tourism and entertainment facilities of the FCT.

32. In our determination to encourage much greater participation of Nigerians in the oil and gas industry, one of the first actions I took, was the enactmentof the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act. As a result of this law, indigenous Nigerian participation levels, in upstream and downstream activities of the oil and gas industry have increased by over 45%, thereby increasing employment opportunities for our youth.

33. We have also succeeded in eliminating the long queues that previously characterisedour filling stations, through regular and sustained product supply.

34. Gas infrastructure to ensure adequate Gas to Power and Gas to Industry, is being aggressively put in place.Over 450km of gas pipelines have been installed over the last 3years. Another 2,000km is planned over the next 4years. Critical petrochemical andfertilizerfacilities have commenced including thegas industrial park in Delta State, for which I am scheduled to perform the ground-breaking this Friday. This will create millionsof jobs and make Nigeria a regional hub.

35. In addition, as a result of government favourable policies the private sector is investing over 12 billion dollars in the petrochemical sector, over the next 4years. This will surely create millions of jobs for our people.

36. In terms of gas supply, we have grown from less than500million cubic feet per day, 4years ago, to about1.5 billion cubic feet per day currently. Our goal is to attain 4 billion cubic feet per day, over the next 4years.

37. We have changed the face of agriculture. We moved agriculture away from a development Programme to agriculture as a business. My vision is to create wealth for our people through agriculture.

38. We have focused on encouraging the private sector to boost investments in the agricultural sector. As a result, the number of seed companies rose from five to eighty in the past three years. Private sector investment in the agricultural sector expanded by $ US 5.6 billion across the Agricultural value chain.

39. We ended decades of corruption in the fertilizer and seed sectors. We developed a transparent and efficient system of reaching farmers directly with subsidized farm inputs. Before our reforms, fertilizer procurement and distribution took from the needy and gave to the greedy. We restored dignity back to farmers. Today, 14 million farmers, of which 2 million are women, access fertilizers with their mobile phones, through an e-wallet system. Nigeria is the first country in the world to develop an e-wallet system to reach farmers with subsidized farm inputs on their mobile phones. Several African countries are now borrowing this transparent and efficient e-wallet system for their own countries.

40. Our national food production expanded by an additional 21 million metric tons between 2011 and 2014, a record, exceeding our set target of 20 million metric tons set for 2015.The Dangote Group, has committed to invest $US 1 billion in commercial rice production and processing. With all these developments, we are expected to be an exporter of rice in the next five years. This will be a new dawn!

41. The benefits are showing on our food imports. Our food import bill has declined from 1.1 trillion Naira in 2009 to 684 billion Naira by December 2013, even with our increasing population, a reduction of 40%.

42. Nigeria met its Millennium Development Goal One on reducing hunger and extreme poverty, two years ahead of 2015 target set by the United Nations, and was given an award by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

43. To sustain this trend, we are encouraging young graduates through the Nagropreneurs Programme to go into commercial Agriculture. We are also encouraging our students in Post Primary Schools to embrace commercial Agriculture through the National School Agriculture Programme.

44. My dear people, corruption remains a big challenge in our national life. It corrodes our efforts at development and at motivating competence in critical sectors of our national growth. We have eradicated it in the agricultural sector and we will surely eradicate it in other sectors of our economy.

45. Going forward, my focus is to continue to reinforce institutions, systems, and processes to tackle corruption, and also to bring to justice those that perpetrate corruption. Through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System(IPPIS), we have weeded out 56,000 ghost workers from the Federal Civil Service, saving 162 billion naira.

46. I have directed ICPC to bring the perpetrators of this criminal act to book. Let this be very clear, public officers must live by example, fully accounting for the national trust and resources in their care.

47. In our journey to progress, knowledge is indispensable. Knowledge is power! This is why my administration established 14 new Universities out of which 12 are conventional and two are specializedPolice and Maritime Universities. Under my watch, every state in Nigeria, now has a Federal University.

48. In addition, over 500billion naira have been spent, through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and the special NEEDS assessment fund on various projects to increase access and improve the quality of infrastructure at the tertiary level of our education system.

49. To provide equal access and opportunities in education and ensure that no Nigerian child is left behind, we have established and equipped 150 Almajiri Schools across the Northern states and the Out-of-School-Children Programme including Specialized Boys and Girls Schools across the country.

50. Fellow Nigerians, our country was faced with a major National security, humanitarian, and economic threat in the form of the Ebola Virus Disease, which arrived in the country on July 20, 2014, by way of a foreign national, Mr Patrick Sawyer.

51. Realizing the imminent threat, I declared a national emergency, pulling states, local and federal government into action as well as individual Nigerians to combat this disease. Without the quick action of patriotic Nigerians in the First Consultant Hospital, as well as the co-operation of Lagos and Rivers State, where the disease occurred, working with the Federal Ministry of Health and the co-operation of all Nigerians we could not have succeeded in overcoming this deadly disease. Fellow Nigerians we stopped Ebola together.

52. Just as we stopped Ebola, we are on our way to eradicating the Polio Virus in our country. We have reduced the incident of new Polio Virus from 300 in 2010, to 6 today.

53. My brothers and sisters, to encourage entrepreneurship and self-reliance among our teeming graduates, we have developed creative opportunities for enterprise for our young people.

54. Programmes such as YouWIN, the Graduate Internship Scheme, the Nagropreneurs Initiative, the 220 Billion Naira Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fundand the 3 Billion Naira Grant to Nollywoodare empowering our graduates, the creative industry and other young people to start up their own businesses and employ others.

55. We have supported the growth of industry through policy and action. We launched The National industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), and the National Enterprise Development Programme as key drivers to bring about our desires in the industrial sectors and to diversify our economy. Our new National Automobile Policy is transforming Nigeria into a vibrant hub for the automobile industry. Our own Innoson Motors is producing world standard vehicles, and Nissan, Hyundai, and Kia, have set up factories in Nigeria and are employing thousands of our people.

56. Our support for cement production is unprecedented. We have increased our installed capacity from 16.5 million metric tons per annum in 2011 to 39.5 million metric tons per annum in 2014. Nigeria is now exporting cement. We are moving forward!We must produce what we consume and consume what we produce.

57. Our efforts to create an enabling environment for job creation in different sectors of the economy including the MSME sector, agriculture, housing and manufacturing have yielded results. Between the third quarter of 2012, when we started tracking jobs created and the end of 2013, 1.9 million jobs were created. To deepen our success in this area, I have created a Presidential Jobs Creation Board headed by the Vice President with the mandate to create at least two million jobs a year.

58. My brothers and sisters, our economy is heading in the right direction and our efforts are yielding positive results. Our economy continues to grow at the rate of 6 to 7 percent annually, one of the highest in the world. Our country is now the top investment destination and the largest economy in Africa, with a GDP of 80trillion naira (510billion dollars) as well as the 26th largest economy in the world.

59. As part of its efforts to support inclusive growth and economic development in Nigeriathrough the CBN, my administration has created and disbursed the sum of 200billion naira via the Commercial Agric and Credit scheme, 300billion naira Power and Aviation fund, 220billion naira Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Fund, as well as 300 billion naira rail sector refinancing facilities at single digit interest rate. We will continue to deepen the reforms in the financial sector,in order to sustain thegrowth of our economy and uplift our people from poverty to prosperity.

60. Dear Compatriots, I promised as President,that we wouldsanitizeand restoreintegrity in our electoral process, by ensuring that our votes are not only counted, but truly count. We have gone to great length to ensure transparent, free, fair, and credible elections. Elections have been conducted across the country with local and international election observers testifying to their transparency.

61. On the international scene, we have advanced our regional, continental and global objectives. We have strengthened our relationships with our neighbours and in many instances supported them to protect their democracy, security and stability.We are serving for a second time within a period of 4years at the United Nations Security Council.This is unprecedented in our Nation’s history. My brothers and sister, this is a growing attestation of our country’s growing influence.

62. In the first quarter of this year, our country celebrated its centenary. To prepare the nation for the challenges of the next one hundred years, I convened a National Conference where recommendations and resolutions were reached towards a more perfect union. We shall implement the report.

63. Four years ago, I made a commitment to advance the rise and rise of womanhood. Today, I am glad that we have made remarkable progress in this regard, trusting in the potential of our women and reaping from their dedication and ingenuity. I believe that any nation that ignores womanhood cannot achieve its full potential. It is in this regard that I ensured that women were given more opportunities in government, and I have notbeen disappointed.

64. Specifically, I doubled the percentage of women in the cabinet and gave them more challenging assignments.

65. The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), is now admitting female cadets as regular combatants and it is now possible for a woman to rise through the ranks to the peak in military service,and become a full general.

66. We must continue to sustain the banner of freedom and justice that we have held high in our country. I am proud to say that there are no political prisoners in Nigeria today.No Nigerian has been driven to exile and no one will be, under my watch.

67. It is in furtherance of a peaceful, participatory and inclusive democracy that I signed the Freedom of Information (FOI)Bill into law, to expand the frontiers of our fundamental freedom.

68. Let me re-affirm that under a Jonathan Presidency, your views, no matter how freely expressed, will not send you to prison or into exile.

69. I am convinced that I have kept my pact with Nigerians, and it is now time to look to the future. With your tremendous support, we have collectively done so much in the last three and half years, but to take our country to the next level, there is still more to be done.

70. History has shown that the path of honour for any true leader is not to walk away from his people in moments of challenges. We must stand together in adversity and overcome all threats to our development. We must defend our future, for the sake of our children.

71. So many things have inspired me in the journey to this moment. I want to appreciate ordinary Nigerians, especially young people, for the solidarity shown to me by contributing their meagre resources to enable me arrive at this point.

72. I appreciate the kind gesture of the Cattle Breeders Union, Miyetti Allah, and the Market Women Association, who encouraged me by coming together to contribute to the purchase of my Nomination form.

73. In the same vein, I am touched by the National Association of Widows who also encouraged me with their widow’s mite.

74. This labour of love, from ordinary Nigerians, has increased my appreciation of your solidarity, my trust in our joint destiny, and all we have achieved together these past three and half years.

75. Therefore, after seeking the face of God, in quiet reflection with my family and having listened to the call of our people nationwide to run, I, GoodluckEbeleAzikiweJonathan, have acceptedto re-present myself, on the platform of The Peoples’ Democratic Party, for re-election as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in the 2015 general elections.

76. Democracy is a collective action, energized by individual responsibility. Your mandate at this time will inspire in me the strength to complete the good work we have started together.

77. My dear people of Nigeria, we must complete the task of ensuring that we lift the poor out of the depth of want, and place their feet firmly on the ladder of prosperity.

78. In this election season, I appeal to all of you, not to harm, maim or kill; and not to incite violence of any kind. We must never forget our common bond, one people from the womb of one Nigeria. Again I say: My ambition to serve you is not worth the blood of any Nigerian. I remain committed to this principle of non-violence.

79. If you believe that we must build a country that works for all, where the strong lift up the weak, and not trample upon them, where the vote of every citizen determines who governs or represents you, where the democratic space is open to all citizens to fulfil their aspirations, irrespective of the circumstance of birth, your brother, GoodluckEbeleAzikiweJonathan stands ready to continue in service to you.

80. My brothers and sisters, we cannot go back to the old ways! Our railways were allowed to rot in neglect, we have revived and are modernising them.

81. We cannot go back to the old ways! Our road infrastructure collapsed. We are reconstructing, and expandingfederal roads across the country.

82. We cannot go back to the old ways! Our airport terminal buildings were dilapidated and our airspace unsafe. We are fixing this.

83. We cannot go back to the old ways! Our agricultural practices did not benefit our farmers and our people. Fertilizer distribution was a major source of fraud and we were importing food more than our budget can carry. Now we are on our way to self-sufficiency in food production.

84. Do you want to go back to the old ways?

85. We cannot go back to the old ways, where there were long queues at our filling stations due to irregular supply of products and our people were exploited.

86. We cannot go back to the old ways, when women and youths were denied opportunities in government and in responsible positions.

87. Do you want to go back to the old ways?

88. We cannot go back to the old ways!We had skewed distribution of tertiary institutions.Whereas some states had more than onedegree awarding institution, some had none. We have nowmade sure all states have at least one Federal University.

89. We cannot go back to the old ways! Our economy is now the largest in Africa. Once, we were virtuallyimporting everything, now we are exporting several products,including cement.

90. We cannot go back to the old ways!In 2009, average life expectancy was 47 years, by the end of 2013, it was 52 years. Some of our hospitals now perform open heart surgeries, kidney transplants and other challenging operations as we reposition our health service to end decades of medical tourism that drains our scarce resources.

91. We cannot go back to the old ways!Together, in unity, we overcame Ebola, and in the process demonstrated the strength of the Nigerian spirit. And together, united, we must maintain our vigilance.

92. Do you want to go back to the old ways?

93. We cannot go back to the old ways where individual freedoms were trampled upon and citizens were locked up for expressing their views or criticising government.

94. Do you want to go back to the old ways?

95. We cannot go back to the old ways! We must continue to have free and fair elections. We cannot go back to the era where ballot box snatching and stuffing became the norm.Where your votes never counted.

96. Certainly, we cannot!

97. We have to move forward! Only forward!!, my dear people, Forward!!!

98. In moving forward, I see a Nigeria that thirsts for progress with children across the nation, eager for knowledge and safely in schools!

99. I see a Nigeria where all who have taken up arms, would again embrace peace!

100. I see a Nigeria where our women can aspire to any heights, without hindrance!

101. I see a Nigeria where the flames in the Eagles will rekindle, and the Falcons soaring higher in victory!

102. I see a Nigeria where the children of Mustapha, and Christopher, Ade and Ada,Timi and Bunmi, Nnamdi and Namadi, do not go hungry!

103. I see a Nigeria where all, no matter their beliefs, live in peace and harmony!

104. I see a Nigeria where the green passport is accorded a royal reception the world over!

105. I see a Nigeria where one day the next generation will take us to outer space.

106. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, leadership is about staying focused to achieve goals despite challenges. I have been faced with many challenges since coming to office as President. With your support and encouragement, we have stayed the course.

107. We are succeeding, against all odds. For the young Nigerian child, who grew up in the rural area, just like me, we are expanding opportunities and giving them hope. For the market woman, we are expanding opportunities. For our young entrepreneurs, we are expanding opportunities. For the right of our people to vote and for their voices to be heard, we are expanding opportunities. For Nigerians to have the right to free speech, we are expanding opportunities. For the job seekers, against all odds, we are expanding opportunities.

108. While serving our people, I will always ensure the rule of law. I do not intimidate, I expand the democratic space. I give voice to the voiceless and uphold the weak, for the nation belongs to us all. Fellow Nigerians, as we build our democracy, leaders must show temperance at all times. That is a virtue, one which I treasure, and will always uphold.

109. My people, Nigeria is destined for greatness. Today, here at Eagle Square, I say to Nigeria, that working together in love, in strength and in faith, we will build a nation of one people, united in purpose and in action.

110. Fellow Nigerians, it is forward ever! We must put our hopes to work! Together, we will realize our collective destiny.

111. Thank you!!

112. God bless Nigeria!!

Jonathan Pledges to Implement National Conference Report

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday thumped his chest for organising a successful national dialogue, saying he meant well for the country and promised to implement the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference, which officially closed Thursday.
Confab-report
The president made the pledge Thursday at the National Judicial Institute, NJI, ‎during the closing ceremony of the conference, where he also received the 21-volume report from the conference chairman, Idris Kutigi.

Mr. Jonathan also said the successful conclusion of the conference have proved cynics, who never gave the conference a chance, wrong.

He said some of the recommendations of the conference will be considered by the National Council of State, while the remaining ones will be sent to the National Assembly, the President said while formally receiving the 10,000 pages, conference report, with 600 resolutions.

Jonathan, however, took a swipe on the conference detractors, whom he described as prophet of doom who have been put to shame.

He also pledged that the report would be considered by the council of State before it’s passed to the National Assembly.

Ebola: 27 Secondary Contacts with Health Workers Identified, Life Insurance For Medical Experts

The Lagos State Government has begun an intensive search for 27 secondary contacts, who might have come close enough to doctors, nurses and health workers, who attended to the late Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer, at a Lagos private hospital.
Ebola Doc
Sawyer, who was infected with the deadly Ebola virus in his native Liberia, died in the Obalende, Lagos-based hospital over one week ago, four weeks after he was admitted there.

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who spoke in Lagos on Wednesday, said government was also planning a life insurance cover for doctors and other health professionals, who volunteered to work with experts monitoring and testing suspected cases of the Ebola Virus Disease.

The commissioner, who addressed a press conference, said the government was presently facing a shortage of experts, doctors and health workers needed to attend to those that had been infected and those that were going to be isolated for monitoring.

He said, “We will provide a life insurance for any doctor, nurse and other experts that want to work with isolated patients. We need more hands, because we have moved from the stage of primary contacts to secondary contacts.

“We are tracing all the people that had contact, not just with (the late) Sawyer, but those that had contacts with the health workers and others that have died.

“We have identified 27 secondary contacts already, we tracing the addresses of others.

“It is a tedious task, because we will also be taking their blood samples for testing and we will be monitoring them.

“We are appealing to the doctors on strike to resume work and set aside their grievances. No doubt, this situation is a dire emergency and our health professionals must recognise that.

“It will be morally unjustifiable for us to call for help from the international community if our own experts and doctors are not working.

“The bottom line is that we cannot provide the requisite expertise needed to manage these confirmed and probable cases”.

Idris said government would also be evacuating tuberculosis patients at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Yaba, Lagos, to another hospital to accommodate more suspected and isolated cases of Ebola Virus Disease.

The commissioner said, “The TB patients at Mainland Hospital were protesting this morning but we appealed to them, that if they stay there they might be exposed and get infected.

“If we need to evacuate any hospital to ensure that we contain this disease, we will do it. If we have to take suspected cases to LASUTH, we will do it. If we need to take decisions that will be inconvenient for some people but beneficial to the larger population, we will do it. Ebola is a highly infectious disease. We will do it to contain it”.

Suntai Still Governor Of Taraba- Umar, State Acting Gov Insists

Taraba State Acting Governor, Garba Umar, has refuted recent reports making the rounds that he has abandoned the ailing Governor Danbaba Suntai and has hijacked all government structures, describing them as untrue and the handiwork of disgruntled politicians.

Governor Danbaba Suntai, assisted by officials to disembark from an aircraft on his return after treatment abroad
Governor Danbaba Suntai, assisted by officials to disembark from an aircraft on his return after treatment abroad

Umar has stated emphatically that he has only been holding brief pending when Governor Suntai would recover and resume work as the substantive Governor.

Governor Suntai has been out of office due to his long incapacitation resulting from injuries he sustained in a helicopter crash 2years ago.

According to Umar, those who are peddling the rumour are politicians who wanted to take advantage of Suntai’s condition to pursue their selfish ambitions and malign him with his boss to create a political war in the state; because they found out they were in close contact and enjoy robust relationship.

Debunking the rumour with newsmen in Kaduna, Secretary to the Taraba State Government, Mr. Garvey Yawe, said that contrary to such negative insinuations by some aggrieved political associates of Suntai, the Acting Governor has been in close contact with his boss, and always consults him on every decision he takes in day to day running of the state as he (Suntai) remained Governor.

He added that the Government has been shouldering the medical bills of the ailing governor since he had the accident that almost claimed his life, and for which he has been undergoing treatment in the United Kingdom and would soon resume to work.

He also spoke on the incessant communal clashes rocking some parts of the state, whereby several people have been killed. He accused some highly placed individuals in the state of frustrating all the peace efforts initiated by the State Government to end the crisis.

Nigerian Doctor Who Treated Dead Liberian Tests Positive To Ebola

Ebola Doc A Nigerian doctor who treated a sick Liberian man, Patrick Sawyer, who was infected with the Ebola virus has tested positive to the deadly virus, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu confirmed on Monday in a briefing.

Sawyer died of Ebola virus on July 25.

He, however, said the Federal Government had not been able to confirm whether the medical doctor has actually been infected with the disease.

He said a total of 70 Nigerians who came in contact with the late Sawyer, including two other medical personnel who treated him, had been quarantined and placed under surveillance.

The minister stated this in Abuja during a periodic briefing organised by his ministry to update Nigerians on the latest development on the deadly disease.

He assured members of the public that the federal government was doing everything within its powers to stop the outbreak of the disease in the country but enjoined everybody to embrace good hygiene and constantly wash their hands.

Chukwu said, “All those who had contact with the late Sawyer depending on the level of contact are still being traced and being invited everyday and they are placed under surveillance just to ensure that the spread of disease is curtailed.”

Sawyer, who became sick at the Murtala airport after arriving from Liberia and died a few days after receiving treatment at the First Consultant Hospital in the Obalende area of Lagos.

So far, 729 people have died from Ebola in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, according to World Health Organization data but the agency has warned that the disease is spreading faster than efforts to control it.

Ebola Virus Kills One Dies in Lagos, As Health Minister Calms Nerves, Gives Out Contact Numbers, Email

Federal Health Minister Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu

Federal Health Minister Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu

After several speculations and enlightenment regarding possible outbreak of Ebola disease in the Nigeria, one death resulting from the virus occurred on Friday in Lagos, compelling the Federal Government to embark on frantic efforts to calm the nerves of Nigerians.

The victim was said to be travelling from Monrovia, Liberia to Nigeria with Asky Airline via Lome to Lagos.

According to officials, “the passenger, a 40 year old man” who showed symptoms of “fever, vomiting and diarrhea on arrival at the airport” was “quickly isolated and transported straight to the hospitals” by officials of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Addressing journalists Friday in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu alongside the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku said the “patient was subjected to thorough medical evaluation where laboratory investigations were also carried out.”

He was said to have died in a private hospital.

Meanwhile, the Minister has urged all Nigerians not to panic, while pleading that citizens should be at alert and be conscious of their hygiene.

The Minister also said that contacts have been made with the airline and passengers that travelled with the victim for proper monitoring to avoid spread of the virus.

The Ministry has also made phone numbers available for the public to call in case of emergencies.

Ebola virus currently has no vaccine. The deadly virus which can claim a life within two days if contracted, is believed to be transmitted by bats and primates like monkeys and chimpanzees.

However, don’t hesitate to call the following numbers if you suspect any Ebola case: 08023210923, 08097979595 and 07067352220, others are: 08033086660, 08055281442, 08023169485, 08033065303, 08055329229 or email: ebolainfo@health.gov.ng

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Osita Chidoka, Sulaiman Cleared As Ministers *Why We Relocated Training School From Jos to Enugu – Chidoka

The Senate has confirmed the Federal Road Safety Commission(FRSC) boss, Mr Osita Chidoka and Dr Abubakar Sulaiman as substantive ministers.

*Ositadinma Benjamin Chidoka, FRSC Boss
*Ositadinma Benjamin Chidoka, FRSC Boss
Their confirmation followed their screening in the open plenary where they fielded questions from senators on varied topical issues.

President Goodluck Jonathan had forwarded their names to the Senate last week for confirmation as ministers to fill in the vacant slots for Anambra and Kwara states respectively.

During his screening FRSC boss cleared the air on the controversial relocation of the commission’s training school from Jos to Enugu.

According to him, the training school are two in the country, one in the north which is in Mubi, Adamawa State and the other one in the south, which is located in Enugu.

He said that it was as result of cash constraints then by the Enugu State government that made the school to be taken to Jos on temporary basis.

However, Chidoka said when the governor of Enugu State made provision for 200 hectares of land, the commission had no other option than to relocate it to Enugu which was the original plan.

He also revealed that most Nigerian airports are run at a loss except Abuja and Lagos airports which can run themselves.

Nigeria Police Uncover Plot to Bomb Abuja Transport Network

Nigerian police have uncovered a plot to bomb the Abuja transport network, they said on Saturday, using suicide bombers and devices concealed in luggage at major bus stations.

Abuja has increasingly been targeted by Islamist group Boko Haram, with three deadly bombings since April, including one in a bus park on its outskirts that killed at least 75 people.

“Credible intelligence … indicates that terrorists have perfected a plot to carry out attacks on the Abuja transport sector … intended to cause panic amongst Abuja residents and visitors,” police spokesman Frank Mba said in a statement.

(Reuters)

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Alcohol May Lead to High Blood Pressure

As much as blood pressure is affected by various states of the body throughout the day, as well as various diseases that are seen in many people, it can also be affected by outside influences such as food and drinks. Specifically, alcoholic drinks are a major factor that influences blood pressure in a person.

It is important that more people pay attention to the relationship between alcohol and blood pressure because it is such an important relationship that could very well determine whether or not you are a healthy or unhealthy individual. Drinking alcohol could also increase the chance of other medical issues which may then indirectly lead to an increase in blood pressure.

 Regular drinkers are exceptionally prone to having high blood pressure, because they harm their kidneys in such a way that more pressure is exerted on arteries and such, since the kidneys are closely connected with blood pressure.

Drinkers should limit the amount they drink to one or two drinks every day or so. Women should be expecially careful as to how much they drink because their tolerance is normally lower than a man’s. If blood pressure becomes a strong problem due to drinking, doctors are very likely to administer some strong medicine to a person.

 Alcohol also causes some people to become overweight. At the very least, it is a contributing factor to being overweight, due the number of calories alcohol contains.

That beer gut people get after downing a six pack a day is not only making you look bad, chances are it’s also raising your blood pressure to dangerously high levels.

After all, the more fat a person has on them, the more pressure that fat is going to put on arteries, which will, in turn, raise the pressure of the blood pressing against those arteries.

 Because of the strong correlation between alcohol and high blood pressure, it is plain to see that drinking less is going to drastically help keep a person’s blood pressure down.

Besides the other obvious health risks that could be avoided by drinking less, not having to worry about a high blood pressure could be one of the best to consider.

Physicians with patients who have a high blood pressure should give out regulations and limits in regards to drinking in order to better prepare people for the consequences they could encounter. 

Bola Tinubu Acquires Second Private Jet Worth Over $50 million

According to media reports, All Progressives Congress (APC) leader and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has purchased a second private Jet.

He reportedly got it to minimise periodic refuelling when he goes on long haul journeys and for forthcoming election.

He is believed to be tipped as a running mate to General Mohammad Buhari in 2015 presidential election on the platform of APC.

The jet is a Bombadier Global Express XRS, the same type owned by Aliko Dangote, Folorunsho Alakija and Mike Adenuga Jnr, which comes at the plus $50million bracket, according to an aviation expert.

Details of the purchase is sketchy but it is on good authority that it was ordered from the US but facilitated in Europe.

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Nigerian Senate Passes N4.6 trillion 2014 Budget

The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday approved the budget of N4.6 trillion as the government budget in 2014.
The budget proposal figure was increased by the legislators by relatively minimal 53 billion naira.

The sum of N4.642 trillion had been the budget estimate presented to the National Assembly by the Co-ordinating minister of the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in December 2013on behalf of President Jonathan.

Out of that sum, 3.54 trillion was slated for the recurrent expenditure while the remaining N1.1 trillion-the equivalent of 23.7 percent, was billed for capital projects.

The budget which is the lowest in three years, passed the second reading on February 4, 2014.

A third reading passage is expected by the House of Representatives before a harmonization of the bill, ahead of the president’s assent.

The opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) had insisted on frustrating the passage of the 2014 Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly.

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Femi Fani-Kayode On Meeting With Jonathan

Following insinuations in the media and among big wigs of All Progressive Congress (APC) over his meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday, controversial former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, reacts.

In an ambiguous response on Facebook, Chief Fani-Kayode who stated, “I was at the Villa yesterday and what transpired there has been the subject of much online speculation.

“What I said to the media whilst there was very clear and I chose my words carefully.

“Let those that are interested read those words in today’s newspapers rather than speculate. Other than that I will say no more on this matter until I am ready to do so.”

In an aggressive answered to commentator who was not satisfied with his terse explanation, added “Read what I said in the newspapers or in the links below. It is very simple and clear.

“Other than that, I will say nothing until I am ready. Let those that are insulting and making assumptions continue to do so. That in itself tells me a lot.”, he fumed.

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This is a Presidential Villa; the President is President of Nigeria – Fani-Kayode Told Reporters on Visit to Jonathan

The All Progressives Congress, APC, may be fast losing its notable and influential members to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, if recent developments are anything to go by.

As at the last count, former governors of Kano and Sokoto States, Ibrahim Shekarau and Attahiru Bafarawa, former (ACN) gubernatorial candidates in Adamawa and Kwara States, Markus Gundiri and Dele Belgore; ex-Lagos Military administrator, Buba Marwa, among others have decamped to the PDP.

However, the latest which appears to be swimming away from the opposition is former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode.

This is as the outspoken commentator on national issues yesterday visited President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

But the closed-door meeting between the duo surprised many Nigerians, as the one-time presidential aide never hid his anger and frustration over some policies of the current administration as well as activities of some of its officials.

After the meeting, Fani-Kayode, who had in the past two years, written damning articles on the PDP-led leadership of the country told reporters that “This is a Presidential Villa; the President is a President of Nigeria.”

“Every single person in this country that is a Nigerian is entitled to come here from time to time.

“When the doors are open to come and pay their respect to the wonderful people that are here. As a Nigerian, I have done that today and I’m delighted to be here.”

On Jonathan being a “non-performer” “I have always believed in every Nigerian regardless of the side of the political divide they belong, and as a Nigerian myself I have believed that we disagree on issues from time to time.

“But the most important thing is for us to be able to resolve these issues, come together to move this country forward.

“And I think every right thinking responsible person should be able to do that.

“They should also be able to come to the Villa from time to time to see how they can help to move the country forward.”

APC for PDP?

“The step that I will take will be made known to Nigerians at the right time.

“The most important thing, and I think you are fully aware of, is that I cannot and I will not be associated with a situation whereby any group of people is promoting a religion above another.

“I think all of us have gone past the stage of religious politics in this country.

“We must treat the Muslim community with utmost respect and we must treat Christian community in the same way and even the non-religious.”

The APC is yet to speak on the development which has generated different reactions.

(DailyPost)

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Femi Fani-Kayode Schemes For Soft-landing On Corruption Charges, Holds Closed-door Meeting with President Jonathan

In what is seen as a dramatic move to evade prosecution in many quarters, former Aviation Minister, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode met with President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday in Abuja.

Femi Fani-Koyode is one of the President’s strongest critics in the media and member of the opposition, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He had made every pro-Jonathan an enemy and had declared open war on them, particularly on the social media.
Recently, it was gathered that on Facebook, Fan-Kayode unfriended Comrade James Okwy Ezema, the Director of Information at Citizens Rights and Empowerment Advocacy Initiative (CREMA Initiative) for holding a different opinion on President Jonathan.

Details of the closed-door meeting held inside the President’s office in Abuja were sketchy Tuesday night.

It was said that Fani-Kayode is perfect his plans to return to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

A source said he wants to hide under the political permutations that APC to field a Muslim/Muslim ticket as its presidential and vice presidential candidates for the 2015 general election.

Though the often outspoken and controversial politician has no commanding political following to sway elections in favour of a political party or candidate, analysts are of the opinion that the President will not let an opportunity to take a shot at the opposition pass by.

Speaking to newsmen at the end of the meeting with the President, Mr. Fani-Kayode said: “I cannot and I will not be associated with a situation whereby any group of people is promoting a religion above another.

“I think all of us have gone past the stage of religious politics in this country.

“We must treat the Muslim community with utmost respect and we must treat the Christian community in the same way and even the non-religious.”

On the timing of his visit, the former minister said there was nothing unusual about it.

“This is a Presidential Villa, the President is a President of Nigeria and every single person in this country that is a Nigerian is entitled to come here from time to time, when the doors are open to come and pay their respect to the wonderful people that are here.

“As a Nigerian, I have done that today
and I am delighted to be here,” the former minister told curious reporters.

He added that his criticisms of the Jonathan Administration were part of the beauty of democracy, saying he was not an enemy of the President.

Also speaking on the speculation that he may have come to perfect his plans to return to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the All Progressives Congress (APC), Fani-Kayode said he would make his decision known at the appropriate time.

He added that his criticisms of the Jonathan Administration were part of the beauty of democracy, saying he was not an enemy of the President.

Also speaking on the speculation that he may have come to perfect his plans to return to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the All Progressives Congress (APC), Fani-Kayode said he would make his decision known at the appropriate time.

He is presently standing trial for corruption and money laundering related offences.

The EFCC is accusing Mr. Fani-Kayode, who was also a former Minister of Culture and Tourism, of money laundering. The commission had amended its 47-count charge, totalling N230 million, to a 40\-count charge of N100 million.

According to the EFCC, one Mark Ndifreke, a former aide who is now at large, had deposited various amounts of money running into tens of millions into Mr. Fani-Kayode’s bank account while he was a serving minister.

Other aides such as Florence Salau, Ojo Agbor, Daniel Atogo, Supo Agbaje – all of whom are still at large – had also deposited millions of naira into the former minister’s bank account, the EFCC said.

The anti-graft agency also accused Mr. Fani-Kayode of using his wife, Regina, and his daughter, Remilekun, as a conduit to launder millions of naira.

Mr. Fani-Kayode’s trial has seen three judges and four re-arraignments since 2008 when he was first brought before Justice Ramat Mohammed on a 47 count of money laundering.

Following Mr. Mohammed’s transfer, in 2012, out of the Lagos Division, Justice Binta Nyako, took over the case. Mrs. Nyako was subsequently moved out of Lagos in 2013.

“This matter has been on for so long. I can’t take a date that is convenient for you, you have to take a date that is convenient for the court,” Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia told the prosecution counsel early March.

The trial had suffered several delays as both the defence and prosecution had filed a plethora of applications which had delayed actual trial.

In 2013, Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia had barred the defence, led by Festus Keyamo, from prosecuting the former minister until a prosecution fiat from the Attorney General of the Federation was tendered before the court.

The judge’s decision was based on the defence team’s application seeking the prosecution to provide evidence that they got the nod from the Attorney General to prosecute Mr. Fani-Kayode.

Mr. Keyamo had reacted by seeking the transfer of the trial to another judge.

“The Supreme Court has said it again and again that it is bizarre when a lawyer appears before a court and the judge asks ‘where is your letter?” Mr. Keyamo had said in his letter to the Chief Judge seeking the transfer of the trial to a fresh judge.

He later produced the fiat, dated June 24, 2013, after the Chief Judge declined his request.

“We believe this is a ploy to perpetually keep the accused in court,” Olawale Akoni and Ifedayo Adedipe, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria and Mr. Fani-Kayode’s lawyer, had said.

In February, the judge ruled that Mr. Fani-Kayode be re-arraigned after she dismissed the defence’s application challenging the competency of the charges against their client.

On the day of his re-arraignment, Mr. Fani-Kayode’s lawyer raised another objection to the amended charges stating that they were “vague” since they did not disclose the person from whom the money was accepted.

The judge overruled the objection saying that it “lacked merit and should not have been raised in the first place.”

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Timeline: Leads in Hunt for Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Twists and Turns
The long list of leads in the search for Flight 370 spins a dramatic narrative
All of the reported objects floating in the ocean have proven to be false leads

The best leads have now placed the search closer to Australia’s west coast
Has the case-breaking lead finally arrived with a discovery of a pulse signal?

Saturday’s discovery of a pulse signal in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 marks yet another potential breakthrough in the mystery of the plane’s disappearance.

Officials hope this lead will be unlike the others — which so far have yet to locate the aircraft, which is believed to be at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.
But all of the past month’s leads, whether genuine or false, have made for a dramatic narrative in how a commercial airliner could vanish while carrying 239 people.

March 8 CMDR.:
Consistent with both black boxes Ship hears possible black box signal Did Flight 370 purposely avoid radar?

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 takes off just after midnight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport for Beijing.

The Boeing 777-200 disappears within an hour of takeoff, following verbal communication with air traffic controllers.

Ground eyewitnesses, however, claim they saw the plane. They are an oil rig worker in the Gulf of Thailand, fishermen in Malaysia and Indonesia, and islanders in Maldives.

But all those accounts are eventually proven to be false.

March 9

A Vietnamese reconnaissance plane spots oil slicks that stretch between six and nine miles in the Gulf of Thailand, the same body of water where Flight 370 dispatched its last communication from the cockpit within the first hour of its takeoff.
The slick turned out to be fuel oil typically used in cargo ships.

Meanwhile, other sightings of a plane door and its tail also prove untrue.

March 14

Citing “satellite information” and giving scant details, Malaysian officials say they are focusing their attention on two massive “arcs” on both sides of the equator.

They release a map to the press and, suddenly, the search for the plane covers a vast canvas of the Earth.

The plane could have taken either path — which means the search area now blankets 2.97 million square miles, nearly equivalent to the size of the continental United States.

The northern arc stretches over Cambodia, Laos, China, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Speculation turns toward whether the plane actually landed to the north, but officials later dismiss this arching route as the possible location of the plane. No crashes, or even a sighting of a wayward Boeing, have been reported.

Moreover, this north corridor flies through tightly guarded airspace over India, Pakistan and even U.S. military installations in Afghanistan, and no one has reported a rogue plane.

That leaves the southern arc: it stretches from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.

This becomes a solid lead for investigators. Crews race to trace underwater sounds Did MH370 try to avoid radar detection? Searchers focus on three detected sounds
But it raises a gargantuan question: How do you find a plane in an ocean?

March 18

The Thai military reveals the plane had virtually reversed course and took a sharp turn — westward, toward the Strait of Malacca.

The Malaysian government says evidence suggest the plane was deliberately flown off-course and traveled back over the Malay Peninsula and out into the Indian Ocean.

It’s another good lead in the hunt for the missing plane. The Thai information bolsters the search in the southern arc, over the Indian Ocean.
But a search of the Strait of Malacca yields nothing.

March 19

A U.S. official familiar with the investigation tells CNN that based on present search patterns and available data, it’s far more likely that the plane would be located in the southern arc.
Based on U.S. data about the jet’s fuel reserves, Australian authorities conduct a search about 1,600 miles off their western coast.

In fact, investigators spot two objects in the Indian Ocean that could be related to the missing plane, Australian officials say.
It’s the best lead for the moment.

The Royal Australian Air Force and U.S. aircraft are sent to investigate — but the search area is so far from land, that the planes can only search for two to three hours before they have to return to land for refueling.
Potential clues demand time.

March 22

Three days later, a land-and-sea search involving several countries continues for any sign of debris off Australia. The hunt is even taking place in outer space — with satellite photos of the surface below. Teams race to sounds detected in ocean

Official: Search teams detect 2nd pulse Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says there’s no shortage of leads — just no results

He’s optimistic, however.

“We have now had a number of very credible leads, and there is increasing hope — no more than hope, no more than hope — that we might be on the road to discovering what did happen to this ill-fated aircraft,” Abbott says.
Still, there’s no sight of the reported two parcels. Experts wonder whether the two objects were part of the junk swirling in a vast Indian Ocean gyre, or rotating currents.

March 23

France’s Foreign Ministry cites radar data from a satellite showing material floating in the Indian Ocean about 1,430 miles off Perth, Australia.

In all, the satellite images by a French defense firm show 122 floating objects.

Could this be signs of the wreckage?
The problem is, they’re scattered over 154 square miles, about the size of Denver, Colorado.

March 26

Search aircraft spotted three objects drifting in the sea, Australia officials say.

But search teams aren’t able to locate them on subsequent passes, officials add.

It’s the same story with two objects spotted by a civil aircraft. And a blue object sighted by a New Zealand military plane. None could be found again on a second pass.

If that’s not enough, a Thai satellite locates 300 floating objects, including a big one measuring 50 feet by 6 feet, Thai officials say. They are just 125 miles from the French satellite’s sighting of 122 objects.

Then, the Japanese government says one of its intelligence satellites identified 10 floating objects, the largest of which is 13 feet by 26 feet. They’re also floating near the other satellite sightings, some 1,550 miles off western Australia.

There are so many leads, it’s dizzying.
Perhaps the day’s most dispiriting news is that crews can’t find a 75-foot-long object that was captured in satellite images provided by Airbus Defence and Space. Could it have been part of the plane’s wing, experts asked?

The only good news is there’s no shortage of potential clues.
The bad news is, nothing comes of them.

March 27

The search moves to a different patch of the ocean — 680 miles northeast of the primary area of focus — because of “a new credible lead” provided by Malaysian investigators, Australian officials say.

The new information is based on an analysis of radar data on the day the plane disappeared and suggests the aircraft was traveling faster than previously estimated before it dropped off radar, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.

This means the plane burned fuel faster, shortening its maximum possible distance over the southern Indian Ocean.

The advantage is the search moves closer to the Australian coast, making the area easier for planes to reach. Jets can now spend more time searching.

March 28

Aircraft spot possible debris in the new search field.

In fact, CNN’s Kyung Lah is embedded aboard a New Zealand military plane that sights 11 small objects drifting at sea.

“At one point, sure, everybody on board got a little excited, but it’s impossible to tell from that distance what anything is,” she says.
But it’s the same story: a dead end.

March 29

A Chinese war ship and a second vessel retrieve objects from the ocean, Australian officials say.

Also, a Chinese plane crew drops buoys to mark three suspected debris sites, China’s state-run media reports.
But they’re all blind alleys leading to nowhere. Some of the objects retrieved by the ships were merely fishing gear.

March 30

Australian aircraft put an eye on four orange items bobbing in the water.

Crews take photos and send back coordinates. One item is 6.5 feet long.
The discovery become one of the “most promising leads” in the new search area, says Australian Flight Lt. Russell Adams.

But it ends as a hope dashed. The promise doesn’t deliver.

Australian Prime Ministry Tony Abbott stands undaunted, however.

“We are searching a vast area of ocean, and we are working on quite limited information. Nevertheless, the best brains in the world are applying themselves to this task,” Abbott says. “If this mystery is solvable, we will solve it.”

The search, however, is now approaching its fourth week.

April 2

Under growing criticism at home, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak pledges to get to the bottom of the plane mystery — if not the ocean itself.
“We want to provide comfort to the families, and we will not rest until answers are indeed found,” he says.

The search, however, is now approaching its fourth week.

April 2

Under growing criticism at home, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak pledges to get to the bottom of the plane mystery — if not the ocean itself.
“We want to provide comfort to the families, and we will not rest until answers are indeed found,” he says.

The mission, however, could last longer than initially thought.
“We’ll keep going til hell freezes over,” Kim Beazley, Australia’s former defense minister and current ambassador to the United States, tells CNN. “It could take months, it could take years.”

April 4

Time is running out.

The plane’s black box — the cockpit voice and flight data recorders — has enough battery life to last 30 days, at most.

After 30 days, the black box’s locator beacons — known as pingers — will die.
In other words, the plane will no longer be able to make an electronic cry for help.

April 5
Day 28, Saturday

Crews are now searching for the plane on a prayer that the pingers will last long enough for search teams to find them.

Will that miracle arrive?

As if a godsend, a pulse is heard rising from the Indian Ocean by a Chinese ship in the search area, Australian officials say.

The pulse carries the same standard beacon frequency as the black box: 37.5 kHz, according to a China Central Television correspondent aboard the Haixun-01 (pronounced “high shuen”).

The Chinese ship heard it for a minute and a half but couldn’t record it, a Shanghai-based Communist Party newspaper reports.

After so many false starts, has the revelatory lead finally arrived?
It’s not out of the question, experts say.

With reports by CNN

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Missing Plane: Chinese Air Force Plane Spot “Floating Objects” in Search Area As Ship “Detect Electronic Pulse Signals”

A Chinese air force plane involved in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane spotted a number of floating objects in the search area Saturday, Chinese state news agency Xinhua said.

It was not clear whether these objects were near where Xinhua reported that a pulse signal sent by so-called black boxes was detected.

Xinhua said China’s Haixun 01 patrol ship picked up the signal around 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east longitude. “It is yet to be established whether it is related to the missing jet,” it said.

“It’s not the prime search area but it’s not out of the question that this could possibly be from the black box,” said David Gallo, a CNN analyst with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The signal reported — 37.5 kHz — “is the standard beacon frequency” for the plane’s cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, said Anish Patel, president of pinger manufacturer Dukane Seacom.

Experts have cautioned that no confirmation has been made that the signal was linked to the missing plane.

Meanwhile, search organisers are considering sending Royal Australian Air Force assets to the area where a Chinese ship is reported to have detected electronic pulse signals, the head of the Australian agency coordinating the search operation said in a statement today.

The signals “in the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane could not be verified at this point in time,” retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said.

“The characteristics reported are consistent with the aircraft black box. A number of white objects were also sighted on the surface about 90 kilometers from the detection area. However, there is no confirmation at this stage that the signals and the objects are related to the missing aircraft,” Houston said.

Australia’s Rescue Coordination Centre has spoken to Chinese officials to seek more “relevant” information, Houston said.

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Flight 370: Storm of Emotions Over Lives ‘Lost’ as Storm at Sea Delays Search

For families whose loved ones were aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, the past day has been full of news they were dreading.

First, a grim-faced Malaysian Prime Minister confirmed their worst fears, announcing Flight 370 went down somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

Then, even as investigators seemed closer than ever to finding the plane, stormy weather forced Australian authorities to call off a day of searching for the Boeing 777.

“It’s almost felt like a miniature roller coaster within the day,” said James Wood, whose brother Philip was one of three American passengers on the plane.

Families are stuck in a “holding pattern,” he told CNN’s “AC360.”

“We’re just waiting and waiting,” he said, “and not getting any answers one way or another.”

An Agonizing Wait Continues


They’ll have to wait at least a day longer. Gale-force winds, large waves, heavy rain and low clouds forecast for the area “would make any air and sea search activities hazardous and pose a risk to crew,” the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said Tuesday. Teams will resume searching Wednesday if weather permits, officials said.

When they start looking again, they’ll be combing the remote area in the southern Indian Ocean where officials now say they believe the flight ended.

New analysis of satellite data by a British satellite company and accident investigators led to that conclusion, Prime Minister Najib Razak said Monday.

“They have told us all lives are lost,” a missing passenger’s relative briefed by the airline in Beijing said.

Malaysia Airlines also sent a text message to relatives saying “we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived.”

While the last-minute announcement appeared to end hopes of finding survivors more than two weeks after the flight vanished, it left many key questions unanswered, including what went wrong aboard the Beijing-bound airliner and the location of its wreckage in the deep, wild ocean waters.


Families Overcome After Hearing the News of “Crashed” Flight 370

**Families told all lives are lost

For families, some of whom had held out hope their relatives somehow were still alive, the news appeared to be devastating.

At a briefing for relatives in Beijing, some were overcome and had to be taken from a hotel on stretchers. In Kuala Lumpur, a woman walked out of a briefing for families in tears.

“My son, my daughter-in-law and granddaughter were all on board. All three family members are gone. I am desperate!” a woman said outside the Beijing briefing.

Another woman came out of the briefing room screaming, expressing doubts about the Malaysian conclusion.

“Where is the proof?” she said. “You haven’t confirmed the suspected objects to tell us no one survived.”

A committee representing some of the families of the 154 Chinese and Taiwanese passengers aboard the missing aircraft sharply criticised the Malaysian government in a statement, accusing authorities of deliberate search delays and cover-ups, China’s state-run CCTV reported.

“If our 154 relatives aboard lost their lives due to such reasons, then Malaysia Airlines, the Malaysian government and the Malaysian military are the real murderers that killed them,” the statement said, according to CCTV.

Malaysian police have interviewed more than 50 people in their investigation into the missing plane, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakal told Malaysia’s national news agency Bernama.

Four Scenarios of What Happened

He said police are focusing on four possibilities about what happened: a potential hijacking, sabotage, psychological issues or personal problems of the passengers and/or crew.

“Such cases may take up to a year,” Khalid said, “so please don’t jump to conclusions that the police are slow.”

While investigators have yet to find even a piece of the plane, the Prime Minister based his announcement on what he described as unprecedented analysis of satellite data by British satellite provider Inmarsat and the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch. He didn’t describe the nature of the analysis.

He said the data, drawn from satellite pings the ill-fated airliner continued to send throughout its final flight, made it clear that the plane’s last position was in the middle of the southern Indian Ocean, “far from any possible landing sites.”

He begged reporters to respect the privacy of relatives.

“For them, the past few weeks have been heartbreaking,” he said. “I know this news must be harder still.”

The airline said it was making plans to fly families to Australia once wreckage is found.

How ‘groundbreaking’ number crunching found path of Flight 370

Two Objects in the Indian Ocean

Now, the question is: are found objects part of MH370?

The deep sea robot search for 370

The announcement came the same day as Australian officials said they had spotted two objects in the southern Indian Ocean that could be related to the flight, which has been missing since March 8 with 239 people aboard.

One object is “a gray or green circular object,” and the other is “an orange rectangular object,” the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.

The Australian naval ship HMAS Success didn’t turn up the objects when it searched Monday night, the authority said.

The objects are the latest in a series of sightings, including “suspicious objects” reported earlier Monday by a Chinese military plane that was searching in the same area, authorities said.

A U.S. surveillance plane sent to follow up was unable to find the objects, and so far, none of the sightings has been definitively linked to Flight 370.

Ten aircraft — from Australia, China, the United States and Japan — searched the area Monday.

China said Monday after the Prime Minister’s announcement that it would be sending more ships to help.

China has a particularly large stake: Its citizens made up about two-thirds of the passengers on the missing Boeing 777.

Satellites Helped Focused the Search

Amid a vast regional search that at one point spanned nearly 3 million square miles, searchers homed in on the southern Indian Ocean in recent days after satellite images spotted a variety of unknown objects in an area roughly 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Australia.

Australia reported the first images in the area, followed by China and France.

The area also lies on a projected flight path for the aircraft calculated in part from the satellite pings sent by the plane after other communications systems had shut down.

Australian officials have repeatedly warned that the objects may not be from the missing plane. They could be containers that have fallen off cargo ships, for example.

On Saturday, searchers found a wooden pallet as well as strapping belts, Australian authorities said. Hishammuddin said Monday that wooden pallets were among the items on Flight 370. But such pallets are also common in the ocean shipping industry, so it they may be unrelated to the flight.

The investigation into the passenger jet’s disappearance has already produced a wealth of false leads and speculative theories. Previously, when the hunt was focused on the South China Sea near where the plane dropped off civilian radar, a number of sightings of debris proved to be unrelated to the search.

How They’re Searching for Debris

Plane said to have flown low

Monday’s dramatic developments came after a weekend during which other nuggets of information emerged about the movements of the errant jetliner on the night it vanished.

Military radar tracking shows that after making a sharp turn over the South China Sea, the plane changed altitude as it headed toward the Strait of Malacca, an official close to the investigation into the missing flight told CNN.

The plane flew as low as 12,000 feet at some point before it disappeared from radar, according to the official. It had reportedly been flying at a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet when contact was lost with air traffic control.

Also over the weekend, Malaysian authorities said the last transmission from the missing aircraft’s reporting system showed it heading to Beijing — a revelation that appears to undercut the theory that someone reprogrammed the plane’s flight path before the co-pilot signed off with air traffic controllers for the last time.

That reduces, but doesn’t rule out, suspicions about foul play in the cockpit.

Authorities have said pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah was highly experienced. On Monday, Malaysian authorities said Flight 370 was co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid’s sixth flight in a Boeing 777, and the first time when he was not traveling with an instructor pilot shadowing him.

“We do not see any problem with him,” said Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

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