How TCG Celebrated First Anniversary, Moves To Take Political Control of Constituency

It was a political revival of a sort, when The Consolidation Group (TCG), a political platform birthed by Comrade Ayodele Adewale, gathered to celebrate its first year anniversary on Monday, January 9, 2017, The Street Reporters reports

The group is composed of members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, South West of Nigeria.

Several vibrant grassroots politicians, including young people, from seven political wards that make up Amuwo Odofin Local Government of Lagos State, graced the event.

The occasion offered the group an opportunity to drum up support for its members who are aspiring to occupy various elective offices.

Key aspirant at the anniversary celebration was Comrade Oluwaseyi Valentine Buraimoh,  who is the Amuwo Odofin Local Government chairmanship aspirant. Members of the group used the event to continue their support for his aspiration.

Also present were legislative aspirants from the seven electoral wards of the local council, who are seeking to be elected as councillors.

Speaking, the Convener, Comrade Adewale, thanked all the TCG members for their loyalty and support towards the actualisation of the objectives of the organisation.

He further called on all members of group to intensify their drive on their house-to-house campaign to mobilise residents who have not collected their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) to do so.

This, according to him, was necessary in readiness to vote for  Comrade Valentine Oluwaseyi Buraimoh, an engineer, and all the councillorship hopefuls in the TCG ahead of the forthcoming local government election in the state, as well as to mobilise for the APC primary election.

He observed that Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) has commenced spadework ahead of the council election.

Comrade Adewale, therefore, pledged to personally put in more efforts to building a political and infrastructural systems.

tcg-ayo-adewale

The former Amuwo Odofin local government chairman told the group that he has gotten “the understanding of a multi billion naira infrastructural development company to support the incoming administration of Comrade Valentine Oluwaseyi Buraimoh after his election and swearing-in into office by the special grace of GOD”.

According to Comrade Adewale, who left infrastructural and developmental footprints while served as the council boss added that “the incoming comrade Buraimoh Oluwaseyi Valentine’s administration will surprise the world, within its first 100 days in office, with remarkable developmental transformation in this local government.”

Culled From The Street Reporters

Anambra CLO Elects New Leaders, Upholds Suspension of Three Members

Nigeria’s foremost human rights organization, the Civil Liberties Organisation CLO), Anambra State Branch has elected a new set of executive members to pilot the affairs of the branch for the next two years, The Street Reporters reports.

In the election which followed the laid down rules of the constitution of the CLO, Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme was elected the State Chairman while Innocent Okeke became his Assistant.

Comrade Chidi Mbah was elected the Branch Secretary while Chike Umesonwunne was also elected the Assistant Secretary.

Other members of the elected executives included Comrade Hyginus Udensi, Treasurer, Amoke Nicholas, Campaign and Publicity Secretary, Dennis Ezeokoli, Research Secretary while Comrades Ugochukwu Oforma and Okoro Stanley were also elected ex-officio members.

Comrades Ikechukwu Onyekwere, Samuel Umegbolu and Alvin Okpaleke were also elected members of the State Branch Disciplinary Committee.

The newly elected State Chair, Vin Ezekwueme holds a B.Sc. Degree in Govt and Public Administration from Imo State University, Owerri while the Secretary, Chidi Mbah holds also a B.Sc. degree in Economics from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka where he is also currently pursuing his post graduate degree from the same institution and discipline.

In an acceptance speech shortly after they were sworn into office by the South East Zonal Chair of the CLO, Comrade Aloysius Emeka Attah, the newly elected State Chair, Comrade Ezekwueme thanked the members for the confidence reposed on them which he promised not to betray.

He thanked the previous executives for the sacrifices to sustain the ideals of the organization in the state and vowed that the tempo will be sustained in the struggle towards the enthronement of human rights culture in the state anchored on respect for the constitution, rule of law, promotion of democracy and good governance which have all been the hallmark of what the CLO stands for in their struggle.

Upholds Suspension of Members

In the same vein, the state Branch of the CLO has reaffirmed the indefinite suspension of Justus Ijeoma, Alex Olisa and Chibueze Nwajiaku erstwhile Legal Secretary, Vice Chairman and Secretary respectively.

It would be recalled that the trio were suspended during the Branch General Meeting of the Anambra CLO on 16th November 2016.

Justus Ijeoma who was appointed the legal Secretary of the CLO in 2013 following his defeat in his ambition to become the State Chair of the CLO was suspended for acts bordering on insubordination, intransigence, arrogance/willful disobedience to the constitution of the CLO and several exhibitions of violent characters.

Alex Olisa, his ‘man Friday’ was also suspended for usurping the functions of the State Chair by proclaiming himself the Chair and also convening an executive meeting of the branch CLO without any authorization and support of the executive and general members of the CLO.

The General meeting of the CLO had earlier passed a vote of no confidence on Chibueze Nwajiaku for acts bordering on incompetence, pursuing a secret agenda against the interest of the organization and disobedience to the resolutions of the general meeting but was also finally suspended for rejecting the recommendations of the CLO committee.

The security agencies and other relevant bodies have been communicated on this development and it is in the interest of the public to know henceforth that anybody that deals with the trio of Justus Ijeoma, Alex Olisa and Chibueze Nwajiaku on behalf of Anambra CLO does so at his or her own risk.

SOURCE: The Street Reporters

REVEALED: Nigeria’s Security Forces, Others, Murdered 4000 Unarmed Citizens In 10 Months – Intersociety

service-chiefsThe leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)  has revealed that no fewer than 4,000 Nigerians have been killed extra-judicially in the country in the last 10 months.

According to the group in a statement to The Street Reporters on Monday, Intersociety said it “is shocked to observe that  not less than 4000 unarmed citizens of Nigeria have been butchered between June 2015 and March 2016; a period of 10 months after the swearing in of Retired Gen Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s sixth electoral president. This represents average of 400 killings monthly”.

According to the statement signed by the group’s Board Chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi, Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program, Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq, and the Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program, Chinwe Umeche, Esq, the human rights advocacy group noted that its latest updates are built on our previous statements on same subject, saying “it is also correct to say that Nigeria had since  the beginning of June 2015 moved from ballot box to killing fields; resulting in the murder of the number of citizens under reference.

“The unarmed and innocent citizens were butchered in the hands of the State and non State killing entities. Of the 4000 murdered citizens, coercive agents of the Buhari administration; fully backed by President Muhammadu Buhari himself, are responsible for at least 1000 murders, while other non State killing entities account for at least 3000 others. The killings under reference are unreservedly condemned”.

The body alleged that “majority of the State sanctioned killings are perpetrated by the Nigerian Army led by Lt. Gen. Turkur Buratai, while the Nigeria Police Force led by IGP Solomon Arase and others including Nigerian Navy account for the rest.

“There are also strong suspicions that killings carried out by the Fulani Terror group are State sanctioned and condoned. Of the 3000 killings by non State violent entities, in the past 10 months, Boko Haram Terror group accounts for at least 1,820, while the Fulani Terror group (erroneously called herdsmen) accounts for at least 880.

“The rest is perpetrated by sectarian, demographic and cult militant groups. Specifically, those killed by coercive agents of the Buhari administration include 705 members of the Shiite Muslim movement, who were mass-murdered in December 2015 on the directives of the Chief of Army Staff (Lt Gen Turkur Buratai)”.

The Human Rights Watch had in late December 2015 disclosed factually that “at least 300 Shiite members were killed and buried by Nigerian soldiers in Zaria on December 12 and 14, 2015”.

The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shiite) had also in January 2016 made public names and pictures of its 705 members murdered or gone missing in the hands of Nigerian Army since December 12 and 14, 2015.

Intersociety added that “other unarmed and innocent citizens killed by coercive agents of the Buhari administration are over 80 unarmed and nonviolent IPOB members and supporters killed in Onitsha, Aba and Port Harcourt, between August 2015 and February 2016; as well as recent killings in Rivers State by Nigerian soldiers, etc.

“We had in our previous updates disclosed that the Fulani Terror group had between May and October 2015, killed not less than 380 unarmed and innocent rural citizens mostly in the former Middle Belt region of Nigeria. Most of the victims belong to Christian religion.

“According to the Open Doors, a pressure group advocating for persecuted Christians in Northern Nigeria, in its recent 47-page report of March 4th 2016, “over 1.3 million Christians have fled their homes in Northern Nigeria since 2000 to escape Boko Haram and Fulani Terror groups’ holocausts as well as politically oiled sectarian violence; and 9,000-11,500 Christians have been killed and 13,000 churches closed or destroyed”.

“Thousands of Christians including girl-children have also been forcefully converted to Islam. Between January and July 2015, alone, according to the Punch Newspaper, the Fulani Terror group and its violence killed a total of 621 rural citizens including 231 murdered in March 2015 alone; out of which, 90 were murdered in Agatu Community of Benue State.

“Most of them are Christians. Over half of the killings perpetrated in the seven months of 2015, took place in Benue State.

“In 2010, the Fulani Terror group stormed Dogo na Hauwa Village of Plateau State and slaughtered up to, if not over 500 villagers comprising women, children and other helpless and unarmed citizens. The cult killings or violence also resulted to 140 deaths between January and July 2015”.

The Intersociety revealed further that “between October 2015 and March 2016, the Fulani Terror group also carried out further butchering of at least 500 unarmed and innocent rural citizens.

“The butchery includes the Agatu massacre of 23rd of February 2016 in which hundreds of unarmed and innocent rural citizens were massacred as well as the January 24th 2016 killing of an Igbo DPO and 30 others in Girei Local Government of Adamawa State.

“The murdered Igbo DPO (CSP Okezie Okereofor) was in-charge of the Vunokilang Police Station in the area when the butchery took place. The remaining 300 violent murders are linked to sectarian, demographic and cult militant entities; totaling in all, to at least 4000 violent deaths in the past ten months (June 2015 to March 2016) of the Buhari’s presidency.

“According to APC authorities in Nigeria, “32 of its members were killed in recent political attacks  in Rivers State”.

“Further, on 7th of October 2015, we disclosed that the Boko Harm Terror group had between May 30, 2015 and 7th of October 2015, killed at least 1,324 unarmed and innocent citizens. We had earlier on 16th of July 2015 disclosed that over 1000 citizens were killed in 48 days of the Buhari’s Presidency by Boko Haram and Islamist Fulani terror groups.

”The figure then included at least 625 Boko Haram killings and 380 killings carried out by the Fulani Islamist terror group; erroneously called Fulani Herdsmen. According to the Global Terrorism Index (of 2015), a total of 6, 614 citizens were killed by Boko Haram Terror group in Nigeria in 2014 alone”.

The international organisation also noted that “not less than 500 unarmed and innocent citizens killed by Boko Haram Terror group between October 2015 and March 2016; a period of ten months, 296 are cited below.

“They are as follows: On 18th of October 2015, 12 citizens were killed in Adamawa after two female bombers detonated a bomb; on 23rd of October 2015, 27 were killed after suicide attacks in a mosque in Adamawa; on 21st of October 2015, 13 people were killed after armed Boko Haram elements opened fire on four cars, killing passengers on board in Ngazai area of Borno State.

“They also attacked a mosque in Maiduguri on 23rd of October 2015, killing at least 19. On 17th of November 2015, Boko Haram attackers stormed a food market in Yola and killed 32 citizens. In the same November 2015, a total of 35 citizens were killed by Boko Haram armed elements in various attacks in Kano State. On 27th of December 2015, Boko Haram elements set fire on the Village of Kimba in Borno State, killing 14.

“On 28th of December 2015, Boko Haram elements via two female bombers detonated bombs at a Madagali crowded market in Borno State, killing 28 (source: Wikipedia 2015).

“The Associated Press (AP) also reported that Boko Haram violent elements had on 31st of January 2016, killed 86 citizens in attacks in Dalori Village of Borno State and on 14th of February 2016, the CNN reported that 30 citizens were killed by Boko Haram armed elements in a series of attacks launched in the Villages of Yakshari and Kachifa in Damboa district of Borno State.

“The categorized killings above highlighted did not include members of the Nigerian security forces killed in action by violent Boko Haram elements or Boko Haram combatants killed in action by the country’s security forces. Pretrial killings by personnel of the Nigeria Police Force perpetrated against their detainees were also not included.

“Victims of the killings above other than cult related killings are found not to have advocated or used violence. They neither belonged nor participated in any violent conflict involving Boko Haram insurgency and the Government of Nigeria.

“Their killings are carried out in brazen misuse or excessive application of State violence or for the purpose of earning crude collateral violent advantage (by Boko Haram) against Nigerian State institutions and authorities in the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency.

“Those butchered by Fulani Terror group are killed for the purpose of advancement of politico-religious cleansing or Jihads majorly targeted against Christian population in Nigeria. Other sectarian, demographic and cult related violence are also found to be politically motivated and sanctioned”.

The killings, according to the group, “clearly showcase deepening signs of State weakness and fragility and clear resurgence of politicide, democide, ethnocide and religocide. Totality of these has led to the return of killing fields in Nigeria”.

The Intersociety warned that “With 4000 murders in barely ten months on average of killing of 400 citizens monthly and with the State steadily losing its institutional and constitutional capacities to protect the citizenry, the probability of full return to self-help by the citizenry is very high.

“The entry by the State of Nigeria as a partaker in the country’s resurged killing fields, with 1000 murders in ten months to its name, shows grave dangers ahead.

“Comparatively, while the unlawful homicide rate of the State was strictly tamed and restricted to police pretrial killings and war related atrocities in the Boko Haram insurgency during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan; it has spiraled under the Buhari administration with incessancy of killing of unarmed and innocent citizens.

“The killings by the Fulani Terror group are also on sharp increase under Buhari administration”, the group observed.

The statement further observed that “Finally, Nigeria has moved from ballot box to killing fields and from change to chains. Nigeria’s human rights and rule of law records are also at the lowest ebbs. Avoidable death records in the country have spiraled.

“The country’s chief internal security establishment-Nigeria Police Force is endlessly crawling and goofing. Its IGP is more concerned in hanging unto his job than to provide security and protect the unarmed and defenseless Nigerian citizens.

“He orders his field personnel to kill at slightest sight of any citizen peacefully and nonviolently exercising his or her constitutional rights particularly those of movement and peaceful assemblies.

“Unarmed and innocent assemblies gathered to ask governing authorities relevant social questions pertaining to their country’s political, economic, and cultural and security downturns are violently and deadly disrupted on account of his murderous orders; whereas malicious citizens and entities who illicitly armed themselves and engaged in unchecked butchering of their fellow citizens are shielded”, the statement concluded.

Source

Group Fingers Bisi Akande’s Brother, 9 Others in Plot Cover Up Alleged Osun College Fraud

Rauf-Aregbesola.jpgThe Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State (CSCEOS) has disclosed that it has uncovered plans by the authorities of the Osun State College of Education (OSSCE), Ila-Orangun and the State House of Assembly to cover an allegation of over N300 million financial impropriety allegedly involving the younger brother to former Osun State Governor and a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, Mr. Niyi Akande.

Akande has been the Part-time Chairman of the Governing Council of the College since 2013.

Already, a petition on the matter written by the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) sent to the state House of Assembly early this year has been placed under the carpet apparently because of the involvement of the brother of former APC Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande.

Those also fingered in the corrupt allegation include the College former Acting Provost, Dr. Basiru Gbadamosi, the Registrar and Secretary to the Governing Council, Mr. Aderinola Adeoti, former College Bursar, now Bursar College of Education, Ilesa, Mr. Akin Latilo, and Mr. David Olayinka Olojede, a member of the Governing Council.

Others involved in the alleged scam and diversion of Project funds were; Mr. Oyegbade Reuben Abayo, Mr. Amobi Yinusa Akinlola, Mr. Ayoola Peter Olajiola, Mr. Moses Oyewole Otitoola, and Mr. Kujeunbola Oluwafemi.

The alleged financial impropriety was as a result diversion of funds meant and approved for some projects in the College Community as it affects the Constructions of Tetfund Amphitheatre, the Ila Technical College, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Department and Binding Building.

Besides, the alleged massive corruption according to documents showed that the scam spread to fees for Certificates collection, College Transport account and College History among others.

The civil society group alleged that the authority of the College had purportedly spent closed to three hundred million naira (N300m) on the aforementioned projects since 2014 and the projects did not see the light of the day till this present moment, while all the funds released for the Projects have been diverted by Akande and his co-travelers.

According to the CSCEOS’ statement signed by its Chairman, Comrade Adeniyi Sulaiman, after their emergency meeting on the mind boggling Corruption in the College in Osogbo recently, declared that the Civil Society Organization(CSO) had been investigating the matter for the past five months before getting all the information and documents related to the matter, promising to ensure justice was done on the issue, no matter whose ox was gored.

Comrade Sulaiman who disclosed that the group had concluded arrangement to write the Petition Letters to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC),Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola and Osun State House of Assembly through its Speaker on the corruption perpetrated by the officials of the College.

The group recalled that this was the College that Governor Aregbesola declared not viable fortnight ago which made the State government to plan the merger of the State owned two Colleges of Education in Ilesaand Ila-Orangun , if not for public outcry on the danger of the government action, insisting that it was good to stand for righteousness and light, no matter the situation “if we want to move our State forward”.

The group said, “The sum of One Hundred and Seven Million naira (N107m) out of (N125m) as part of fund released by the Tetfund as Special Intervention to the College for building of a Lecture Theatre (Amphitheatre) remains unaccounted for as the foundation of the project has not been completed after two (2) years which the project has been awarded. At one of the Council meetings where the failed contract was extensively discussed, Council noted that though the sum of N107million had been released to the Contractor, evaluators which the Council brought from the Ministry of Works, Osogbo valued the work done at the site at just N13million.

“Surprisingly, Mr. Oyeniyi Akande promised to handle the issue with “maturity”. His position to use “maturity” rather than litigation and sanction is at variance with Mr. Akande’s make-belief anti-corruption posture.

“But the Contractor, Otunba John Ojemuyiwa, the M.D. /CEO, Digitpro Engineering Technology Limited confessed that the larger percentage of the project funds were given to Mr. Yinka Olojede, the Governing Council member to share with other Council members where Mr. Niyi Akande collected N40million out of it”.

It added that: “Mr. Niyi Akande connived with one of his cronies who floated a consultancy Company named JAC Diran Limited, through which he fraudulently collected about N12million from the Amphitheatre project and also unilaterally increased his own monthly allowances from N110, 000 as approved to N150, 000 and those of other members of overning Council from N68, 750 each to N100, 000 in November 2014 with retrospective effect in defiance to the Osun State government Circular with Ref.No. S/PRI/23/187 (composition of Boards and the Remuneration of members), due process and College Edict”.

Source


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Bomb Explosion In Zaria Kills 25, Injures 32

Insurgents believed to be members of the Islamic militant group, Boko Haram earlier today killed 25 persons, injuring 32 others at a government Secretariat in Sabon Gari area of Zaria in Kaduna State.

According to TheStreetReporters.com, an online news medium, the incident occurred while civil servants were undergoing biometric verification at the local council.

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, while expressing sadness at the attack by Boko Haram jihadists, put the death toll at 20.

However, Red Cross officials and security agencies have evacuated 25 dead bodies while the 32 injured persons were taking to the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria and other hospitals in the city for treatment.

“I am sad that a terrorist bomb attack just killed 20 people in Sabon Gari Zaria,” El-Rufa’i said on his Twitter handle.

“We call on our citizens to be vigilant and avoid crowded places like markets, mosques, churches and motor parks in the next few weeks,” he added.

Tanker Accident Kills 5, Injures 6 in Kebbi

tanker fireAs Nigeria battles increasing tanker;induced accidents, a fully-loaded petrol tanker on Saturday exploded at Dabi in Kebbi State, killing five people and injuring six others.

TheStreetReporters.com gathred that the tanker was heading to Mahuta in Kebbi before the driver lost control of the vehicle on hilly Dabai junction, which resulted in its fall and subsequent explosion.

No fewer that 12 houses were affected, including some vehicles parked along road, which were destroyed.

According to a report by Premium Times, the Dabai-Suru and Dabai- Mahuta road junction also serves as a market, especially for fresh fruits.

The online medium reports that the Kebbi State Deputy Governor, Samaila Yombe, who hails from Dabai, was among early visitors to the scene of the accident.

Yombe condoled with relatives of the victims, the Emir of Zuru, Sani Sami, and the Chairman of Zuru Local Government Area, Ibrahim Rumu.

He pledged to offset the medical bills of the hospitalised.

Yombe said the State Emergency Management Agency had been directed to provide prompt relief materials those who lost shops, household property, livestock and food crops to the inferno.

A resident of the area, El-Yakub Dabai, described the accident as unfortunate and hoped authorities would sensitise drivers of heavy duty vehicles on how drive through tricky terrain.

Buhari, Jonathan Make History As Nigeria’s New President Takes Over

Buhari-taking-oath-of-officeFormer military ruler, General Muhammadu Buhari has made history as the first Nigeria’s President from the an opposition political party, even as former President Goodluck Jonathan became the first incumbent president to relinquish power.

The history was made in Nigeria today at exactly 10.55AM when the new President, Muhammadu Buhari, was sworn in.

The event, which is still ongoing at the Eagles Square in Abuja the Federal Capital Territory at the time of this report has past Nigerian leaders as well as other world leaders witnessing the inauguration.

Moments before Buhari was sworn in, Prof Yemi Osinbajo was invited to take his oath of office as Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

This followed the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at March 28, 2015 Presidential election.

Goodluck Jonathan led the country since the death of former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2010.

This is Nigeria’s first successful switch of power from a ruling party to an opposition.

Jonathan’s Peoples Democratic Party has ruled Nigeria since 1999 when the country returned to democracy.

It is also be Buhari’s second time ruling Nigeria. He seized power through a military coup in 1983 but was toppled by another coup in 1985.

Why OPC supports Jonathan –Gani Adams | The Sun

National Coordinator of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams has said that only President Goodluck Jonathan’s candidacy can protect the collective interest of the Yoruba nation.

He said that the implementation of the recommendations of the National Confer­ence organized by President Jonathan would largely address the long dream of the Yoruba for a restructured Nigeria.

Otunba Adams made the remarks yesterday when he received the Special Adviser to the Presidency on the Amnesty Programme, Mr Kingsley Kuku in his Lagos home.

The OPC leader enjoined people of the South West not to allow opportunists and those who do not have the interest of Nigeria at heart to deceive them.

He said that the National Coordination Council of the OPC decided to support Jonathan after exhaustive deliberations and conclusion that only his candidacy would make the Yoruba to realize its long dream for restructuring the nation.

His words: “Ten years ago, we of the OPC always shied away from politics but we discovered that if you do not give your people a direction, opportunists and those who do not love this country would cash in on that and misdirect them.

“It is because of that, that we from the National Coordinating Council of the OPC decided to support President Goodluck Jonathan. It is not a decision by Gani Adams alone. We are supporting Jonathan because of the issue of National Confer­ence which will address the needs of the Yoruba nation.

“We have been clamouring for national conference since 1992 but all the past gov­ernments have not been able to organize it.

“Even our kinsman in 2005 organized the National Political Reform Conference and gave the members conditions unlike Jona­than who gave us a blank cheque except on the issue of the unity of Nigeria.

“In 2005, there was a stalemate and we could not complete it. But somebody from the minority in the person of President Jonathan just decided on October 1, 2013 to organize the conference.

“If Jonathan implements the recommen­dations of the conference, Nigeria would become a changed country compared to those who did not want the conference to hold and are clamouring for change.

“You cannot change a nation when you have a bad constitution, a constitution written by one person. Jonathan is a cool headed President fit for our young democracy. Nigeria was last year adjudged number one in Africa. So, what do you want from President Jonathan?”

He urged the Yoruba not to buy into the propaganda of a few politicians who are merely working to further their selfish interest.

Speaking earlier, Kuku commended the Yoruba for their steadfastness, saying that just like in 2011, the region would determine the outcome of the coming presidential election.

He recalled the effort which the Yoruba nation has committed in the struggle to entrench democracy in the nation and noted that Jonathan’s election in 2011 was largely because of the support from the South West zone.

“In 2011, the South West determined the result of the general election. President Goodluck Jonathan won overwhelmingly because of the support from leaders like you (Adams). The South West people were unanimous in their support for Mr President in that election.

“Again, as providence would have it, the South West is going to determine the election on March 28 that will see to the re-election of Mr President for another term of four years.

“It is clear to me that President Goodluck Jonathan’s election and re-election ultimately lies with the South West and it therefore lies with you as one of the leaders that supported him then.

“The South West has contributed so much to the stability of this country. The democracy we have enjoyed from 1999 till date is the sweat, blood and toil of mostly South Westerners and we as South Westerners cannot allow people to mix with wrong elements to derail this democracy at this point.

“We are here to formally once again thank you for providing leadership and to request you to support Mr President Jonathan’s bid for a second term. He is not perfect and there are so many things he could have wanted to do but would not achieve that after one term of four years.

“He has been distracted for three out of the four years. Even at that, his achievements are legendary for people to see in all sectors. I would love to tell you that if this President is given four more years, he is going to take us out of the woods. His next four years would put us on the path of democratic governance and the nation would now be entrenched democratically”.

He said that by 2019 when Jonathan would be handing over to a brand new President, the country would have its pride of place in the comity of nations.

Senate Summons Jega Over Polls Posponment, To Appear With Card Reader

Following the postponement of Nigeria’s general election, the Chairman of the country’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega was on Tuesday summoned to appear before the Senate on Wednesday.

Prof. Attahiru Jega
Prof. Attahiru Jega

Even as Senate President, David Mark, had warned that an interim government is unconstitutional and those clamouring  for it are embarking in an exercise in futility.

Jega is expected to brief members of the upper legislative House on the level of the commission’s preparedness towards the  general elections.

The decision to summon Jega followed a motion moved by the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba at Tuesday’s sitting of the Senate.

He is expected to appear before the Senate in plenary by 11 am.

The Senate has also asked Professor Jega to appear before it with card readers to demonstrate how INEC would use them during the elections.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced a shift in the general elections dates to March 28 and April 11.

The new schedule was announced on February 7 by Prof Jega, after meetings with political stakeholders.

Prof Jega said that the Presidential Election will hold on March 28 while the Governorship election on April 11, saying “We have done wide reaching consultations to enable us have as much input as necessary before taking an informed decision.

“In the series of consultations that we had with stakeholders, the questions constantly posed to them for consideration are; in view of the latest developments, should INEC proceed with the conduct of the general elections as scheduled in spite of the strong advice and if so, what alternative security arrangements are available to be put in place?” Jega asked.

“We have done this, relying on section 26 (1) of the Electoral Act, as amended.

“Where a date has been appointed for the holding of an election and there is reason to believe that a serious breach of the peace is likely to occur if the election is proceeded with on that date or it is impossible to conduct an election as a result of natural disaster or other emergencies, the commission may postpone the election and shall in respect of the area or areas concerned appoint another day for the holding of the postponed election provided that such reason for the postponement is cogent and verifiable.”

The chairman of the INEC pointed out that for the fact the commission was not a security agency that could guarantee protection of personnel, voters during elections and observers, the commission could not likely wave-off the advice by the nation’s security chiefs.

“The commission is concerned about the security of our ad-hoc staff, the young men and women of the NYSC and students of the tertiary education who constitute at least 600,000 young men and women that we will use in the election,” he said.

In the new schedule, the Presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on March 28 while the Governorship and State Assemblies elections will hold on April 11.

In the initial schedule, the elections were meant to hold on February 14 and 28.

How Nigerian Security Force Foiled Boko Haram Attack, Intercepted 19 High Calibre Bombs in Adamawa

Adamawa State Police Command has uncovered 19 high calibre bombs in a bush near Yola, the state capital.

The State Commissioner of Police, Gabriel Adaji, who disclosed this at a media briefing at the weekend, said the bombs were busted in Hong local government area of the state, stressing that Boko Haram gunmen were planning to use them for attacks on the state.

Maintaining that the weapons were ready to be used when they were intercepted, as they were at 90 percent completion and only needed to be connected to batteries, Adaji said it is believed that the insurgents wanted to use the bombs to disrupt the forthcoming elections.

He disclosed that the interception was made possible based on intelligence report that some suspected suicide bombers were apprehended by soldiers in Yola, and that some of the insurgents were still at large within the town.

According to Adaji, “This made us to beam our searchlight on the some spots. Something that would have caused a hell of sorrows to the state was averted. One of the bombs is capable of bringing down a 10 storey building.”

Maintaining that the insurgents were planning to bomb Jimeta, the Police Commissioner said if the insurgents had t succeeded in their plan, several people would have been killed and properties destroyed.

He disclosed further that the insurgents wanted to blow up strategic structures including the more than one kilometre River Benue Bridge linking the state capital with Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola and Mubi area.

“The bombs have been detonated by the anti-bomb squad of the state police command, the feat has averted a major calamity because some of the bombs were capable of destroying a ten storey building” Adaji said, adding that the smallest among the bombs can completely destroy structures within 200 metre radius and they were on the verge of being moved to where they were to be deployed when they were intercepted.

Adaji urged the people of the state to be vigilant and report any suspicious character to the nearest security outfit.

X-raying General Buhari’s certificate scandal

The recent media report credited to Alhaji Lia Mohammed, the publicity secretary of All Progressive Congress, to the effect that the ongoing efforts being made by some concerned Nigerians in the Court of Law by seeking an incontrovertible clarifications on sundry issues pertaining to Major General Mohammadu Buhari’s certificate controversy amounted to an attempt to scuttle our fledgling democracy, is, to say the least, completely misplaced.

This is because in any democratic setting or any society that is sincerely committed to upholding the principles of rule of law, the Court of Law remains the orthodox channel through which aggrieved citizenry are meant to ventilate their disaffection and dissatisfaction to the fullness, as opposed to taking recourse to violence for same purpose.

Little wonder that the Law Court is often regarded to be the last hope of a common man.

Incidentally, there is clearly nothing wrong for concerned Nigerians to drag General Muhammadu Buhari to the court of law over his questionable and contradictory claims pertaining to his seemingly nonexistent Cambridge University WASC, and neither is there anything sinister about the intention of litigants on the matter as being hallucinated and fussed about by Alhaji Lia Muhammed the APC spokesman.

After all, it is a well established position of the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act that Nigerians who feel dissatisfied with any contestant’s information/documents as attached in INEC’s contest form should do what some litigants are currently doing on the issue concerning General Buhari’s certificate scandal.

Needless to say that with this approach, our democracy is not only gaining consolidation but also has begun to ensure that those who offer themselves for the service of Nigerians do so with a sense of rectitude and self assurance.

To this end, there is an urgent need for Lia Mohamed and his ilk to desist from utterances capable of undermining the spirit, the validity and the good intentions of our laws.

Also read: PDP supporters campaign for Buhari in Jonathan’s presence
No doubt, as it were, only a competent Court of Law is at the moment apparently positioned to either validate of vitiate whatever claims that Major General Mohammadu Buhari and all interested litigants are currently holding on to over the former’s certificate saga.

However, based on the prima facia inconsistencies arising from Buhari’s certificate scandal so far and upon which barefaced lies have thus emerged, nothing could be further from the truth.

To begin with, Buhari’s averment under oath that his credentials were with the Nigeria Military Board, a copy of which he reportedly submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in wrong fulfillment of the provisions of the Electoral Act, remains a controversial issue that needs to be sorted.

On the other hand, the subsequent refutation of this Buhari’s bogus claim by the Nigeria Army Authority is yet another matter that has brought to the fore the abysmal level of integrity bankruptcy of General Mohammadu Buhari.

Probably speaking with a pang of malice, this may even help to explicate the real rationale behind his disposition towards the issue of restructuring the army.

But beyond this refutation, it smacks of immense curiosity that at a time, in 1961 to be precise, that Mohammadu Buhari claimed in his 199A form (ie in his Army recruitment form) that he had credits in English language, Geography, Health Science, Hausa and a pass in English literature, the principal of his Provincial Secondary School, Katsina,“in recommending Buhari for commissioning as an officer, said I recommend him for military commissioning; I consider that Mohammadu Buhari will pass the West African School Certificate in English, Maths and three other subjects”.

But like many Nigerians would want to ask: at what point then did the young Buhari credit the foregoing subjects?

Could it be in the same 1961 when he applied to be recruited into the Nigeria Army and following which he sought and obtained the foregoing recommendation from his principal at the time?

Or could it be after he had been commissioned as an officer in the Nigerian Army? These and more are all questions of abiding interests.

Meanwhile, as these puzzles linger, it is important to note that no sooner did the Army speak out in swift denial of General Buhari’s baseless claim about the custody of his credentials than the General helplessly recanted, blurting out a gaffe like a child aroused from a nightmarish slumber.

Thus on 20 January, 2015, General Buhari publicly announced to the chagrin of many Nigerians and his supporters alike – while addressing a press conference in Kano State over his Secondary School Certificate – that “I had assumed all along that all my records were in the custody of the military Secretary of Nigeria Army.

“Much to my surprise, we are now told that although a record of the result is available, there are no copies of the certificates in my personal file”.

To say the least, this is really an aberration. How could a man reputed to have served as one time secretary to the Nigeria Military Board be wallowing in the world of assumption?

Or is this assumption in any way devoid of the legal offence of perjury.

Or could ignorance in the prevailing circumstance constitute sufficient grounds or plea for the breach of law as relates to lying under oath? Or is Nigerian law going to be construed to suit and accommodate General Bahari’s ignorance with impunity?

If that is so, would that be in tandem with the universal concept of rule of law and the government’s propensity to philosophise about it?

Anyway, as the date of the Presidential election draws closer Nigerians and the world are keenly watching and awaiting the judicial interpretation on this matter at the earliest.

Moreover, on the recent statement reportedly released by the incumbent principal of Buhari’s Provincial Secondary School (now Government College) Katsina, it is crystal clear that Buhari’s futile attempt so far to improvise a Cambridge University WASC for himself has only ended up breeding more lies.

For one, unlike the initial report of having made credit in mathematics as contained in his personal file with the Nigerian Army, the same Buhari reportedly scored F (failure) in the same subject as evidenced in the said statement of result recently released.

Similarly questionable is the emerging twist associated with Buhari’s name.

Curiously, while Buhari had always been known and addressed over time as “Mohammadu”which is evidently attested to by both the letter of recommendation on him issued by his School Principal in 1961 and the name in his personal service file with the Nigeria Army, his emerging novel name “Mohamed” as contained in the recent Statement of result released by the current principal of Government College (aka Provincial Secondary School) Katsina, leaves much to be desired.

In fact, in no small extent, it bugles one’s mind how these names -“Mahammadu” and “Mohamed” – and their respective spellings could now be considered same and as appropriately belonging and referring to one and the same man who had never effected any change of name ab intio or, at least, publicly confessed otherwise.

Viewed from all ramifications, therefore, it is embarrassing that up till now General Mahammadu Buhari has not deemed it timely, essential and imperative to show Nigerians and the world at large the authentic copy of his West African School Certificate, if at all he possesses one.

Also, it is a pity that all General Buhari has been telling us and doing all this while concerning the barrage of questions about his so-called Cambridge University WASC has mainly bordered on attempts at whipping up irrelevant sentiments and striving in the process to usher in unnecessary diversion of attention from the vexed issue.

Even more ignominious on the whole is the crass remark often heard from Buhari’s supporters and fellow party men, especially from certain supposedly educated minds amongst them, to the effect that it does not matter whether or not the retired General has lied under oath about his credentials or indulged in the outright forgery of his Cambridge University WASC.

According to their thinking, even if it is a marriage certificate that General Buhari is able to produce in the long run as an evidence of his secondary school education, that of course should be accepted rather than rejected or be used as a basis for disqualifying him for not abiding by the stipulations of the laws of Nigeria.

Funny enough, this line of thought is similarly and shamelessly being echoed and propagated by no less a person than Alhaji Lia Mohammed, the publicity secretary of All Progressive Congress (APC).

In an interview with Saturday Tribune Newspaper of January 31, 2015, Alhaji Lia Mohammed contends that “I think what Nigerians are saying is that even if all he (Buhari) has to show is a NEPA bill, they will vote for him”.

Hmm! Wonders shall never cease! Just imagine a nation in this 21ist century mortgaging its sovereignty and feature to a man whose qualification for desiring the authority to govern derives validity from the notion that he possesses his electricity bill (?).

This is utterly ridiculous. And it is high time Alhaji Lia Mohammed and his ilk desisted from making Nigerians and Nigeria a laughing stock.

All said, as far as democracy is concerned, General Mahammadu Buhari must adhere to the dictates of our laws and there is no other time than now.

The fact that the issue about his secondary school education result was not emphasised in his previous Presidential contests is no excuse to ward off or suppress the clamour for it now.

If the allegation by Alhaji Lia Mohammed that the current and commendable efforts of some patriotic Nigerians in the court of law aimed at compelling General Muhammadu Buhari to produce an authentic copy of his so-called Cambridge University West African School Certificate (WASC) is conceived by the All Progressive Congress as an attempt to scuttle our democracy, then it may not be out of place to submit that the APC is totally bereft of the culture of democracy.

Of course stopping Major General Buhari from participating in the forthcoming Presidential election on whatever legitimate grounds by a competent court of law is never tantamount to an attempt to scuttle our democracy.

After all, General Buhari is only one out of other Presidential aspirants in the current race for the Presidency.

And nobody, man or woman, is forcing any of these Presidential aspirants not to tell lies about anything, but if they must do that, such must be done under the circumstances of our laws which must be justified.

(MyNews24)

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FG Unveils Take-off of High Speed Train from Abuja to Lagos

  *Full operation from Abuja to Kaduna begins in March

Nigerians who often feel unsafe in Nigeria’s airspace and yet cannot endure a nine-hour road trip between Lagos and Abuja, have received cheery news from the federal government who announced the planned take-off of a three-hour high-speed train project between the two cities.

Announcing this in Abuja on Wednesday, the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, disclosed the federal government’s partnership arrangements with private firms within and outside Nigeria towards the commencement of the project.

Umar made this disclosure at the public presentation of a book, “Showcasing Goodluck Jonathan’s Monumental Strides: A Third Party Perspective,” authored by the Director-General of  Citizens Network For Peace and Development in Nigeria,  Mr. Dressmann Preye.

According to Umar who also said the Abuja-Kaduna rail project would commence full operation next month, the federal government equally carried out a number of feasibility studies with the plan to construct more standard gauge lines across the country.

He disclosed that the government had also successfully completed feasibility studies in seven new corridors including, the Abuja-Lagos high speed train adding that different private firms within and outside Nigeria have expressed interests in the project.

The project, largely expected to be private sector-driven, according Umar, would formally take-off in 2018,

“The consultants who carried out the feasibility studies have submitted their reports. Part of the report contains the involvement of the private sector to drive the project. This is because we want to develop these lines under a public, private partnership arrangements.

“We have already received a lot of expression of interests even ahead of advertisement for the purpose from various companies in the country and indeed, in other countries of the world.

“The idea is that, if we have this in place, the trains can move from Abuja to Lagos and from Lagos to Abuja in a maximum of three hours. We are intending to compete favourably with other transportation systems in carrying passengers from Abuja to Lagos.

“When fully actualised, a train will leave Abuja to Lagos and Lagos to Abuja, every hour. The feasibility studies had been completed, it is not a question of story. The trains will start running within the next three years, say by 2018.”

He further explained that the federal government had completed the rehabilitation of western rail lines through the administration’s revivalist strategy in the rail transport sector, insisting that Jonathan’s government is working towards the completion of the eastern line.

He said: “At the moment, the trains are moving from Port Harcourt all the way to Gombe – a distance of over 1, 000 kilometres but as soon as the security situation improves around Borno State, we will complete the line from Gombe to Maiduguri.

“While that is going on, we have constructed the standard gauge from Abuja to Kaduna. We have completed the laying of the track and very soon, President Goodluck Jonathan will inaugurate it and by March this year, we are going to commence full operation on that line.

“We have placed orders for the procurement of locomotives and coaches that we are going to deploy on the track. It is a standard gauge. The trains can move on an average speed of 150 kilometres per hour.

“That means that in a maximum of one and half hours, you can leave Kaduna for Abuja and from Abuja to Kaduna by rail. It is the first standard gauge to be completed fully in the whole of West Africa.”

He used the forum to drum support campaign for the re-election of the president for another term of four years, saying his re-election, would offer him the full fledged opportunity to complete the projects in the works.

Also speaking at the occasion, Preye, the author of the book, said the contents were drawn by a team of independent media practitioners as well as representatives of civil society organisations whom he said carried out an on-the-spot assessment of all projects executed by Jonathan’s government.

“I am convinced that this book, will serve not only as a research material but also, a proof that the transformation agenda is working and is yielding fruits,” he claimed.

In his submission, the book reviewer,  Dr. Casimir Anyanwu,  accompanied by his wife, Senator Chris Anyanwu, said the book embodied the landmark achievements of Jonathan’s government in 15 critical sectors of the economy.

Such areas where he said federal government’s footprints had been visible were macro-economic management strategies; trade and Investment policies; infrastructure development; agricultural transformation;  oil and gas industry reforms; power and renewable energy;  education and health reforms, among others.

(ThisDay)

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Jonathan’s Successor: My Advise To Northern Nigeria By Ahmadu Ali

The Director General of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Organisation, Ahmadu Ali says the Fulani socio-cultural group – Miyyetti Allah, the Yoruba socio cultural groups – Afenifere, and Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) have all endorsed the re-election bid of President Jonathan.

Ali said this at the campaign rally of the PDP on Saturday in Kaduna.

“We should tell ourselves the truth, Miyetti Allah, Afenifere and OPC have endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election”.

He said the North should start grooming a non-dictatorial leader who is between the ages of 40-50 to take over from President Jonathan in 2019.

“I want to tell my fellow Northerners to start grooming a 40-50 year-old candidate that President Goodluck Jonathan will hand over power to in 2019 and not a dictatorial leader who attempted to kidnap my friend late Umaru Dikko. Is that the person you want to vote for? God forbid!” Ali said.

Ahmed Makarfi, a serving Senator, in his remarks said the PDP “will use our power of persuasion to ensure that, PDP is voted on the 14th and 28th of this month.

“I assure you that by this persuasion and consultations by the Vice President, the governor, many stakeholders and I will deliver Kaduna state to PDP,” he added.

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February Elections Will Hold, Jonathan Assures Nigerians, Accuses APC of Rumour Mongering

President Goodluck Jonathan has said Nigerians should be assured that the general elections scheduled for February 14 and 28 will not be postponed under any guise.

The President gave the assurance while debunking allegations by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is involved in surreptitious schemes to postpone the February elections.

The assurance was conveyed in a statement by the president’s Special Adviser on Political Affairs, Prof Rufai Ahmed Alkali.

The president said that it was the APC through its members and supporters that has been doing everything possible to frustrate the conduct of a free and fair electoral process and not PDP or the presidency.

According to him, the APC has been breaching the Abuja Peace Accord, which all the presidential candidates subscribed to, with impunity.

The statement emphasised that President Goodluck Jonathan has been receiving unprecedented support since he embarked on the nationwide campaign and he is fully prepared for the presidential election.

“The attempt to denigrate the Presidency of Nigeria and drag it down the cesspit of vile propaganda and rumour mongering is unfortunate and signpost’s the APC’s disregard for our revered institutions.

“Nigerians have seen President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan criss-cross the length and breadth of the country in the last one month to rousing receptions everywhere.

“This certainly is not the sign of someone who is frightened about elections or unprepared for same.

“From our tours and the unprecedented outpour of goodwill, we are confident of a wider margin of victory than ever before.

“We are ready and fully prepared for this election.

“We wish to draw the attention of Nigerians to the fact that it is the APC and their unruly supporters that have been doing everything possible to frustrate the conduct of a free and fair electoral process.

“They have consistently violated the Abuja Peace Accord through violent conducts in Katsina, Bauchi, Taraba, Gombe and Plateau states.

“They have engaged in unprovoked attacks on our billboards in Lagos State.

“They have done all these to trigger a reaction from our supporters and create an enabling environment for the truncation of the elections.

“It is, therefore, a great irony that those who have consciously worked to frustrate the February 14 elections are the ones crying out the most and accusing others of the plans to shift the polls.

“Nigerians have been assured by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that preparations for the elections are on course. We therefore have no doubt that the elections will be a huge success, much to the disappointment of the naysayers,” Alkali stated.

“We wish to assure Nigerians that the President is committed to a peaceful and successful conduct of the February 14 polls and will not be distracted by tissues of lies and cocktails of deceit from people who have run out of ideas on how to move our country forward.”, he insisted.

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Herbalists Endorse Jonathan for Second Term

The National Association of Nigerian Traditional Medicine Practitioners, Ekiti State chapter, has thrown their support behind President Goodluck Jonathan in the upcoming election in February.

Speaking to the press in the state capital, Ado Ektit, the State Chairman of NANTMP,Chief Jacob Orisamika described Jonathan as a humble person who can be trusted with power.

“We are supporting President Jonathan because we have consulted the oracle and it revealed that he is the best for the position.

“It was revealed that Nigerians will benefit more under him than any other candidates.

“Aside this, we have to show our support to Governor Ayodele Fayose who has been relating with Ekiti people closely.

“I believe that whatever the Governor supports must be supported by all Ekiti indigenes because Fayose is a man of the people,” he said.

At its first meeting of the year held in Ado Ekiti on Friday, January 30, over 4,000 members across the 16 Local Government Areas of the State converged to offer prayers for the state and the country.

The association also appealed to clerics to stop prophesying doom for the country, which it said could further ignite tension and cause chaos in the system.

(Pulse)

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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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Boko Haram: Arrested General Ransome-Kuti, Other Officers May Be Court Martialed Over Baga Attack

Nigerian military authorities have come down heavily on suspected senior military officers sabotaging counter-terrorism operations in the country as over 10 senior officers, including a Brigadier-General, have been arrested and are currently telling the military hierarchy what they know about a recent attack carried out by the Islamic insurgent group, Boko Haram.

The officers may be charged before a military tribunal as soon as investigation into their complicity or otherwise is completed.

According to the Director of Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade, the investigation of senior army officers follows alleged shirking their responsibilities during the attack by the militants on Baga.

Those arrested so far include Brigadier-General Enitan Ransome-Kuti, his Chief of Staff Lt. Colonel G.A Suru, the Commanding Officer of 134 and 174 battalions, Lt. Colonel Haruna and one Major aliyu.

The two Nigerian Army battalions are under the Multi-National Task Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in Baga, attacked by the insurgents.

Speaking on the arrest, General Olukolade said that the arrested officers were being investigated because at the time of the attack on the multinational headquarters in Baga, Brigadier-General Ransome-Kuti and his men were fully in charge of the military formation.

He said it was disappointing that the attack on Baga was not repelled by both battalions, despite having the necessary weapons to carry out the necessary operations.

On January 3, 2015, suspected members of Boko Haram attacked the base of the Multinational Task Force in Baga, Borno State, dislodging the soldiers there.

Reports say the troops were warned to be on alert following intelligence reports that terrorists would strike between January 22 and January 25.

Eyewitnesses, Channels Tv reports, said that the attack started around 5am when residents started hearing gunshots as the insurgents tried to gain entrance into the MNJTF premises.

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Agbaje Promises to Complete Lagos-Badagry Road, Says He’s Contesting Against a Puppet, Two Puppeteers

Candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State governorship election, Jimi Agbaje, has lashed out at the All Progressives Congress (APC) government in the state for trying to make him look bad before the people of the state.

Agbaje expressed his anger at a rally organised at Apapa and Amuwo–Odofin local government areas, adding that rather than resorting to mudslinging, APC should focus on issue-based politics.

Agbaje, who vowed to remain focused in his quest to liberate Lagosians, decried the campaign of calumny against him by the APC.

Apparently referring to the out-going Governor Babatunde Fashola and the APC governorship candidate, with his running mate, Agbaje said, “As you all know, I am contesting against three candidates. One is the puppet, the two others are the puppeteers.

“They have said am too old to govern the state but I still look younger than them. I do not have experience but I want you to know that governance is not about experience but it is qualification.

“So far, we have done two debates, those of you who watched the debate will agree with me that we floored the APC candidate.

“They have resorted to using all manner of ways to portray me in a bad light.

“Recently they said I am a tax evader but only this month, the state government sent me a letter commending me for paying my tax promptly”.

Promising to complete the ongoing Lagos-Badagry express way project, Agbaje berated the state government of using the project as an avenue to siphon fund.

He said, “When they started this road, they told us that the road will be ready by 2012 but as you can see, this road is yet to be completed.

“They plan to toll this road but it is an avenue to get money for themselves.

“I want you to know that they are using this road to siphon money into their pockets. By the grace of God, we shall complete and commission this road”.

He assured that a PDP administration under him would have a human face, saying, “we will not discriminate against anyone, especially the non-indigenes.”

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APC Candidate Says Ekiti Gov Abused Bible Verse, Insulted Muslims as Buhari Attacks Punch, SUN newspapers Over Fayose’s Frontpage Adverts

Sample Photo of The Advert
Sample Photo of The Advert
Governor Ayodele Fayose has come under fire from the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), over a front page advert the Ekiti State governor paid for in The Punch and Daily Sun newspapers on Monday morning.

Buhari, in a Facebook post, accused Mr. Fayose of abusing a Bible verse and insulting Muslims, especially Northerners.

*General Muhammadu Buhari, sick like late Yar'Adua?
*General Muhammadu Buhari, sick like late Yar’Adua?

The governor had paid for front page adverts in the national dailies, depicting three former Heads of State from the North, who are Muslims and died in office, together with the APC presidential candidate, suggesting that what happened to them may happen to Buhari.

Fayose, in the advert urging Nigerians to “vote wisely” by casting their votes for President Goodluck Jonathan, said “NIGERIA…‘I have set before thee LIFE & DEATH. Therefore, choose LIFE that both thee and thy seed may LIVE (emphasis not ours)’”.

The advert, which has attracted reactions of Nigerians on the social media, was described by Buhari as a breach of the peace pact signed last week by leading presidential candidates, including President Goodluck Jonathan.

“First, it is totally unprofessional and abusive to Ethical codes of Journalism for Punch and Sun Newspapers to publish such content. Punch and Sun Newspapers must revoke the advert immediately and apologize to the people of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari and the APC for such folly.

“Second, if till now, there is no denouncement of the post from PDP and GEJ (Goodluck Ebele Jonathan), it means that they support it because Fayose is a stakeholder of the party, and a front man for GEJ’s campaign.

“GEJ signed a peace pact last week against election violence and he, through the insensitivity of this advert, is the first to break that pact.

“The Jonathan administration is cruising on lies and propaganda. It is bent on amassing votes to siphon more public funds and has no interest of Nigerians at heart. It is bound to fail”.

The Facebook post reiterated Buhari’s commitment to peace and urged Nigerians to get their Permanent Voters Cards and “vote these bigots out of power come February 14”.

“Encourage your neighbors, let them know that GEJ has nothing to offer them but lies and empty promises”, it added.

As Muna Obiekwe, Nollywood Actor Dies

*Muna Obiekwe in hospital bed
*Muna Obiekwe in hospital bed
Muna Obiekwe1
Nollywood star, Muna Obiekwe, is dead.

The popular actor reportedly died after battling with kidney failure.

News of his death filled the social media airspace at about 7.30 p.m. on Sunday.

According to reliable sources, Muna died on Sunday afternoon at an undisclosed hospital in Lagos.

President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Ibinabo Fiberesima, confirmed the death of the prominent actor.

The deceased had been in the movie industry for over a decade, featuring in over 100 movies before his death.

Some celebrities in the nation’s entertainment sector on Monday expressed shock at the demise of Nollywood actor, Muna Obiekwe, who passed away on Sunday due to kidney complications.

Speaking to Newsmen in separate interviews, the entertainers lamented the death of their colleague and decried the actions of one Twitter impersonator who used his name to cause confusion.

Reports had it that Obiekwe, who was based in Enugu, had been suffering from the ailment for some time but kept it a secret from friends and colleagues.

It was said that the actor had become broke as a result of the cost of managing the ailment, but rejected seeking public assistance because he didn’t want to disgrace himself.

A fake Twitter account @MunaObiekwe had caused confusion by denying his death but later came out clean and tweeted an apology for its actions.

“Anyway, sorry guys for d deceit, Munaobiekwe is truly dead and I’m signing out from this account…. Sorry guys.’’

As at the time of filing in this report, the Twitter account had an estimated 12, 500 followers, and was following 120 people and had Tweeted 2, 249 times.

Speaking to newsmen, actor, Chinedu Ikedieze, aka, Aki, said: “I find it difficult to believe but it’s true and very unfortunate for the Nigerian movie industry and the youth as a whole.’’

Aki condemned the spate at which celebrity Twitter accounts are being hacked or cloned, and even narrated how he discovered those impersonating him on Twitter and Facebook.

Kenneth Okolie, an actor and winner of Mr Nigeria 2010 said: “Death is a very sad thing.

“Losing someone is sad news. It’s even worse when it’s someone dear to you and one you hold in high esteem.

“Muna Obiekwe’s death is indeed a shocker and my heart goes out to his family and loved ones. May his soul rest in peace.’’

Okolie said those impersonating others on Social Media were jobless people who had a lot of worthless time on their hands to fool themselves and deceive others.

He advised them to get a life and work for their own path and not wear someone else’s skin.

Bethel Njoku (Senator), a comedian said: “Muna’s death is a sad start for Nollywood for the year. He was a good actor and one of the prominent daring acts, it’s a sad loss for Nigeria.’’

He called the creation of fake celebrity Social Media accounts a ‘State Crime’.

“I hope the one who was operating Muna’s Social Media account is dead by now because the person he was impersonating is dead, so he or she should die with him in solidarity for his fraud.’’

Micah Aruochaa, comedian and On-Air Personality said: “I was heartbroken because he was a fellow I admired and even though our paths never crossed.

“I saw him as a colleague in the entertainment industry and I pray God has mercy on us the remaining ones.’’

Daniel Lloyd an actor said: “It’s so painful to refer to him as the past now because he inspired me a lot in acting.

“He is the kind of actor that says a lot with his facial expressions than with words and that’s something most actors lack these days. May his gentle soul rest in peace.’’

In the same vein, Victor Osuagwu, Chairman Actors Guild of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter, described the development as shocking and heartbreaking.

Osuagwu told newsmen that the guild received the earlier in the day and are making further enquiries.

“We are not making any public statement yet until we conclude our investigation into his death, so that we can make a statement based on facts and not rumours”, he said.

In his reaction, Nonso Diobi, another renowned thespian, described Obiekwe’s demise as unfortunate and untimely.

“He has been living with this ailment for sometime before it got to this stage, if only he had reached out to the public, the situation might have been different.

“I wish him blissful eternal rest, while my heartfelt condolences go out to his family”, he said.

Reports have it that Obiekwe was a popular Nollywood actor whose later works became controversial as a result of some explicit sexual content.

In one of his controversial works; “Pregnant Hawker’’, he was alleged to have grabbed the breasts of actress, Biola Ige, and stuffed it into his mouth.

Both later denied ever acting such a scene in the movie and claimed the pictures which had gone viral was doctored and “photo shopped’’ by detractors.