Coalition Blames Sabotage, Not Lami Amodu Over Queens College Deaths

A group of six non-governmental and civil society organisations, The Coalition of Civil Societies on Human Rights and Anti-Corruption in Nigeria has blamed sabotage as possible cause of death of some students at the Queens College Lagos.

The Coalition in a letter to the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education probing the cause of deaths at the Federal Government’s Unity School, insisted that from their findings after an investigation, “we are convinced that what may have happened resulted from acts of sabotage by some desperate persons”.

The former Director/Principal of the College, Dr (Mrs) Lami Amodu, has been accused of culpability in the death of some of the students.

The Coalition, in the letter address to the chairman of the committee and jointly signed by its Chief Convener, Alhaji Sabo Ode and the Director of Public Affairs, Comrade James Ezema, urged the Senate “to ensure that justice is done and that the innocent is not punished for doing that which is right and insisting that the right thing be done in the right way.

 

“As part of our efforts to ensure justice for all, irrespective of class, tribe or social status, when the news of the regrettable incident that led to the death of some students at the college broke, we moved to make our findings on what may have happened”.

 

The groups that constitute the coalition include Professional Women League, Africa Women Network, Centre for Social Justice Equity and Transparency, Save Humanity Advocacy Centre, Stand Up Nigeria, and Conference of Minority Tribes in Nigeria.

 

According to the Coalition, “over time, as we found out, a cartel has been operating within the Queens College Old Girls Association of the school, who always dictated to the management and found for the first time a woman who stood against them.”

 

Spelling out it findings, after an independent investigation carried out by the Coalition, the group said: “Mr Chairman and members, we found out that within her 18 months stay on the saddle in the college, Dr Lami Amodu did all things within her power and within the ambit of bureaucracy to effect long lasting changes that were geared towards improving facilities on ground.

 

“The shocker, for us, was that the incident of stooling and subsequent casualties did not occur in the college until after a meeting held on January 22, 2017, by the Queens College Old Girls Association.

 

“Our findings showed that while the meeting held in the college hall, some old girls found their way into the hostels and the kitchen areas without authorisation of proper permission.

 

“A week later, specifically on January 31, 2017, some students were reported to have started stooling and vomiting but luckily the college and health officials promptly managed and contained the menace.

 

“All of these points to the fact that Dr Lami Amodu understood both the challenges at hand when she assumed office and made efforts to ensure they were addressed”, the group observed.

 

According to them, “One other striking finding was that fact that Dr Amodu was seen as “very strict”, “very hash” and “rude” by certain persons.

 

“On attempt to find out why, we discovered that it was her uncompromising recourse to due process and her resolve that the right thing must be done the right way were the virtues that earned her those tags.

 

“We believe that the old girls and other collaborators, who have resorted to frivolous petition writing, may have played a role, resulting to the stooling and vomiting incident in the college and the subsequent deaths.

 

“More so, some of the deaths occurred after the former Principal had been transferred.

 

“For instance, the death of Sodipo Praise, an Orphan who died on March 30, 2017 occurred nearly two months after Dr Amodu had been transferred.

 

“Our findings equally showed that the young Praise reported to the clinic on 20th February 20, after Dr Amodu had left the school, with feverish condition and was placed on anti-malaria drugs, with follow up treatment until the college went on midterm break.

 

“From home, Miss Praise was referred to the Lagos State University Hospital after her ailment continued at home”, the group revealed.

 

“We gathered that she was diagnosed of liver enlargement and perforation of intestine and later died after surgery, even when she was never treated for stooling and vomiting previously at the college.

 

“Mr Chairman and members, there is more to the issues being raised and allegations being levelled against Dr Amodu. For instance, she was recently accused in a petition of buying an SUV for 17 million, an allegation we have also investigated and found to be false.

“The SUV, which was not for personal use was left in the school after her redeployment. Its purchase, we also found, went through due process and had board approval after the board decided it was very necessary because of the state of the old bus the school had, which was in a very bad condition.

 

“From our investigations we also found out facts on  the allegation of 17 million naira on SUV, which is  also not  true as the findings of the investigation have proved contrary in which the purchase of the SUV went through due process and had board approval after the board decided it was very necessary because of the state of the old bus the school had which was in a bad condition and the Sport Utility Vehicle is still used at Queens College Lagos  by the principal till date and not a private property of Dr. Mrs Lami Amodu”, the group noted.

 

 

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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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 Afenifere adopted Jonathan By Pa Ayo Adebanjo, NADECO Chieftain


■ ‘How Tinubu, ‘fellow progressives’ deviated from Awolowo’s path’

Pa Ayo Adebanjo, a leader of the Yoruba group, Afenifere, was a top member of the Action Group, led by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, in the first republic. He also belonged to the Awolowo – led Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in the second republic. At the in­ception of the latest democratic experiment in 1999, he joined the late Pa Abraham Adesanya and Chief Bola Ige, among others, to form the Alliance for Democracy which dominated the governments in the South-west. In this inter­view, he speaks on the state of the nation.

Afenifere, unlike before, is no longer active. What is happening?

Afenifere is still very active. In fact, very soon, we are going to meet in Akure, Ondo State.

It is no longer as vibrant as it was

Well, I am sure that would be because of the press. You are light on to the world, just like the motto of the defunct West African Pilot. There is no doubt that there is some kind of division among us caused by some rebels who didn’t want the right thing to be done, because we are strictly Awolowo’s disciples,undiluted. We don’t modify Awo’s principles for our own interest, progressive is progressive; not progressive today and conser­vative tomorrow. Those who were never progres­sives, the moment they join you, they automati­cally become progressives.

How are you resolving the challenge of people trying to twist the principles of Awo?

We shall continue to say what is right for people to decipher. There are no two ways about it. What we are doing now is to ensure that you people follow the right path. The principle of Afenifere leaders, particularly myself, is to tell you the truth because lying and falsification of things have dominated the country.

But there are a lot of people now call­ing themselves progressives?

I will say all those ones are fake. All those people in the then ACN that is now APC are fake progressives.

How?

They are fake in the sense that they don’t pur­sue the principles laid down by Awolowo. Take, for instance, the issue of federalism, you know we were part and parcel of National Democratic Coalition, NADECO.

And during the NADECO days, we were the only ones shouting about the issue of Sovereign national conference for the re­structuring of the country because the federation was an awkward one. It was not balanced. And it was because the military choked us in 1966.

The Constitution the colonialists gave us at indepen­dence was jettisoned after the 1966 coup. And that is why you saw arbitrary creation of states and local government areas because the people there were northerners. And we said we don’t want the country to separate; for us all to live in peace, let us all sit down and restructure the country on the principle of federalism. Federalism is the sys­tem whereby the various ethnic nationalities that formed the country can grow at their own pace, and then still keep the country as one, that was what we insisted upon.

NYou would also remem­ber when Abdulsalami; Abubakar (former Head of State) said we should go for election, and we said no, we should first of all hold a conference that would lead to a new Constitution which we would all be happy about, but he said, ‘No, I am in a hurry, when you get your civilian government, you can go and do it’. That was why one was held during the Obasanjo time. All those with us during the NADECO time that insisted on national con­ference are the same set of people saying now that the Goodlock Jonathan conference was a diver­sion. That was what Bola Tinubu said. I have said it before, let him challenge it.

Sovereign national conference was one of the manifestoes we used in electing him into office as governor of Lagos State. It was part of the Alliance for Democracy that there must be a national conference. When we won elections in 1999, it was because we reluc­tantly took part in the election because we didn’t want people we didn’t believe in to win elections in South-west and claim later that we were not representing the South-west.

That was why we  contested the elections so that everybody could see that we had the support of the people. After the elections, all the six states in the South-west where we had our governors, Afenifere leaders toured the Houses of Assembly led by the late Papa Abraham Adesanya, for them to pass a resolution that there must be a national conference. Tinubu was there. Now because something does not suit him, because he has some motive now, he says the national conference was a diversion. Is that con­sistent with our policy? Now, what you find these days is imposition of candidates which is against the beliefs of Awolowo.

Take the issue of free edu­cation, you hear free education in Lagos, have you been to their primary and secondary schools and see the number of children there? Can you find any of the children of these ministers in any of the public schools? Is that what they inherited? It is a matter of principle. This is what separated us the Afenifere from the ACN who called them selves progressives. It is not a personal thing.

Where do the Yoruba people stand in the February elections?

I think that would also be a matter of principle. The question of South-south is a matter of prin­ciple of Papa Awolowo that a minority would also have the right to aim for the highest position in the country. That was what I was trying to point out about the recent national conference we had.

That conference has taken care of everything concern­ing Nigeria. Like the issue of power, it is no longer going to be the North-west. Whenever it gets to the North, it must rotate within all other regions in the North. The same thing for the South, it is no longer about South-west but all other regions in the South such that everybody now know when each of the regions would be president, it is no longer the issue of we are born to rule. Why I am supporting Jonathan is because he is the only man who can implement the recommendations of the national conference which was set up to bring eq­uity to Yorubaland and to Nigeria. He is the only man. And once he does that, all these things we are complaining about will be rectified. People talk about corruption but they never care to know the root of corruption.

The thing is that the Federal Government has more money than all other tiers of government. Now, we have closed that gap in the confab. We have done it in such a way that the states now have more powers which may not be palatable to those ones in the North. For example, how did you have more local government areas than the South? How are the local governments in Kano and Jigawa more than those in Lagos? The military at that time just allocated states and local governments to themselves.

There was really no criteria with which they arrived at those local gov­ernments. So, they now went further by allocating funds on the basis of the number of local govern­ments. You will recall that Lagos State was denied local government funds even when the Supreme Court ruled that it should be paid. That is the kind of wholesome power the Federal Government has, and that is one of the reasons I feared if Buhari should govern under this Constitution.

Why?

Because they have the mentality that they are born to rule. And that is why I think this romance with the South-west of picking a vice presidential candidate with him is just a mere gimmick. That is why I am insisting that all the recommendations of the confab should be implemented before the elections because, the inequality this country has been suffering all this while has been rectified with the recommendations of the confab.

All the things that could cause us conflicts have been rectified. So, all our problems have been attacked from the root. And, that is why those who think it is not to their advantage don’t want it done. Everybody believes that this present Constitution is bad and we then say let us all sit down and harmonize it, what is wrong in that one? We have done it now but yet you don’t want it to be implemented.

And where is the antagonism coming from ? From the beneficiaries of the awkwardness of the constitu­tion. And they still want the Yoruba to continue to go along with that? If some Yoruba follow them sheepishly, probably because they don’t know the background, that cannot happen to someone like me. And part of the inequality we are talking about is what has come out in the Buhari certificate mat­ter. In the First Republic, you set up a standard for everybody but when it comes to the northerner, you set another standard. That is exactly what hap­pened in Buhari’s case.

Those of us who knew all these things from the beginning are not surprised by the new turn of events. You heard that his prin­cipal sent a letter to the military that he was ca­pable and that he expected that he would pass his examinations. That was what was happening in those days in the North. Go and ask serious federal civil servants in this country, many of the perma­nent secretaries that were senior to them whether they were not superseded without being qualified. They cannot deny that. If you have read General Isama’s book, you will find it there where he said when they were about to be commissioned, the standard set for them was usually lower for the North. I am sure he never anticipated a situation like this.

And do we have corruption on selective basis? Look at the PTF which he superintended. Even though Obasanjo was trying to cover him up, has he denied anything of such? He knows that if he does, the document is there for everyone to see. There was the issue of the N25billion there. It is all in the report. So, how can I, as a NADECO man, come and support a dictator. All his antecedents are dictatorial and military like.

That was then.

Don’t give me that. When did he become a democrat? What has he done to show he is a dem­ocrat other than the fact he is saying he is being punished because he is now a democrat? When he first came as a military man, he was issuing ret­roactive actions to convict people for murder. We are all living witnesses to what he did with Decree 4, so, that is the type of man you want me to vote for in a civilian regime? He says he is not a funda­mentalist. It is just that people forget about records easily. Here was a man who campaigned in the North and said Muslims should vote for Muslims. Here was a man who said he was going to work for the operation of Sharia through out the country. He has not denied it neither has he apologized for all the anti-democratic things he has done. I won’t be deceived by bringing a first class technocrat as running mate.

That is where I was going that if you cannot support because of Buhari’s per­sonality, how about that of his vice?

That is not possible because the running mate has no political experience. He is a first class tech­nocrat, a distinguished lawyer and a nice gentle­man, but if you are talking of politics, it is another matter entirely. They just brought him in. Tinubu brought him in as Attorney General, he was never in politics. He comes from Ikenne. Does he know the politics of Ikenne?

So, the South-west may be making a mistake.

Exactly, there is no doubt about that, that they will be making a big mistake and digging their graves. They may not listen but, I, Ayo Adeban­jo, am telling them. I am 87 years old, I can die any moment, so that whenever it happened, they would be able to say that indeed, that man told us. Buhari is only deceiving them . Go and read what Wole Soyinka said about him in 2001. Has it changed? Go and read what El- Rufai said about him in 2002 that he is not electable. These are the same people polishing him. When I look at the whole scenario, I feel sorry for this country.

But, it is like Yoruba are irrevocably committed to following Buhari through Tinubu.

I don’t believe Yoruba are following Tinubu. There are so many factors that made him win elec­tion in those days. When it comes to these facts, it is now left for the Yoruba to decide. Those of us who suffered imprisonment during the NADECO days under Abacha , Tinubu was not around. To those of us who were really victims of dictatorship, you cannot send Buhari to us. I don’t know those who are now doing chop chop politics.

From the beginning, we were never those who believe that a military person should come and rule under a ci­vilian regime and that was one of the reasons the Yoruba strongly voted against Obasanjo in 1999. It was the military that imposed Obasanjo on us, because it was Babangida and Abdulsalami that brought him and imposed him on us. They may have disagreement later because Obasanjo didn’t perform. It was Obasanjo that brought Yar’Adua, he brought Jonathan.

The old brigade in the Afenifere are the real progressives according to you be­cause you are the authentic Awolowo’s followers. Is it not an irony now that in­stead of the South-west following people like you, they are following Tinubu and his ‘progressive’ party?

That is left for them. I have given all the facts. This is a democracy. With all we are saying, you and I know that we are suffering here in Lagos.

I am Fashola’s fan, I won’t say he has not done well, but those of us who created his predecessor, Tinubu, know that he could do better for Lagos, that is what we are saying. You may not appreciate what is happening now except you remember the Western Region where things moved well. A man ruled the Western Region for seven years without strike. He introduced free education when our in­come was barely five and a half million pounds including Edo and Delta at that time by share eco­nomic ingenuity. Is that what we are having now?

You have people who do job of N50 million and say it is N250 million and yet, the people would be saying he has done a good job. With all that is being done in Lagos, some of us have asked the question,how much does it cost? What is the rev­enue of Lagos, both the internally generated and the allocation? And yet, we are still owing that much debt. And yet we have to pay for tolls. I am not contesting election for anybody to vote for me, all I am saying is for posterity. Where they have done well, I say it, where they are wrong, I say it as well. When they talk of corruption in Jonathan government,

I won’t say the government is clean, but those who are talking about corruption, how clean are they themselves? This is the question and yet these are the same people you journalists extol to high heavens. Are you saying there is no corruption in Lagos State? The only job we have now is to reform this country and urge Jonathan to implement the recommendations of the confab so that we can all start on a clean slate.

There may have been a lot of irregularities in the past and it is the irregularities that people are fight­ing. Everybody must have autonomy to rule itself and we all combine at the centre for what joins us together. If we had no federal system, Awolowo could not have done what he did in the Western Region.

So INEC should just allow Buhari to run the election and forget about the cer­tificate?

I don’t know. Don’t put words into my mouth, that is left for INEC to prove if indeed he has the certificate; otherwise he is not qualified.

He is not qualified?

That is what the law says. It is not me. You journalists must be honest to this nation. You are not doing me any favour neither are you doing the country any good by trying to plaster what should not be plastered. What the law says is this: You must have a school certificate before you can qualify.

But the school has presented that now?

This is not the kind of certificate I have. I don’t think this one is tenable. If they can be fooled, I cannot. That is why I think Jega should come in. Though Jega doesn’t want to be seen as support­ing anybody, from the law that he is expected to implement, Buhari has not satisfied the Constitu­tion. Jega is only trying to shift responsibility by saying people opposed to Buhari’s qualification for the polls should go to court.

I heard the APC saying Buhari has been contesting election for the past 12 years and nobody said anything about it, why now? And my answer in form of question is, if someone has been committing robbery and getting away with it, the day he is caught, you are now asking, why has he not been caught all this while?

Are you saying it is as good as INEC disqualifying the man based on what is on ground?

Except you are saying the law should not be obeyed. The law is not made for fun. We should not be sentimental about this thing. That is why we say there are two standards, one for Ayo Adebanjo and one for Buhari.

That is what is happening in the secondary schools. When they say examina­tion cut-off mark is this but lower cut-off mark for those in the North, that is the kind of thing we have been going through since amalgamation and we have been shouting that let us educate the people of the North, but they don’t want to be educated as we are. Yet they want to be qualified as we are.

You are 87 now and mummy is 85. What is the secret of your longevity?

It is about honesty. We are at peace with our minds. I won’t see black and call it white because of monetary gain. It is the grace of God. Although I try to eat well and exercise, all still amounts to the grace of God.

(The Sun)

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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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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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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.

Show Your Certificate Or Forfeit Election, Northern Youths Tell Buhari

A group of youths under the umbrella of Northern Youth Forum (NYF) has challenged the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, to produce his certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for proper electoral contest. According to the group, failure to do this would automatically put the supporters of the formal head of state to shame.

The group dismissed Buhari’s statement that the original copies of his certificates were in the custody of the military authorities, reminding him that such a claim was not enough to fulfill the constitutional requirement.

“General Buhari should do what is required of him by presenting his certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as other presidential candidates have done, instead of hiding behind the fig leaf of constitutionalism,” said Bello Gambo Bichi, National President of the group, in a statement released in Kano.

He notes however that it is true that the relevant section 131(d) of the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria does not require Buhari to physically present his certificates but to only show that he “has been educated up to at least secondary level or its equivalent.

It is also clear that the “spirit of that provision demands that he should present certified true copies of his original certificates because that is the only way that INEC will determine that he has been educated up to secondary school level.

“Clearly, Buhari contested the 2011 and two previous elections without presenting his certificates to INEC.

“This time around INEC, civil society organisations and the international community should mount pressure on Buhari to comply with this simple demand, by retrieving his certificates from the Army authorities and submitting them to the electoral commission, otherwise he should not be allowed to contest the 2015 election,” the NYF said.

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At 57, Agbaje too old to rule Lagos — Fashola

Apparently for want of facts, Lagos State governor, Babatunde Raji
Fashola, on Wednesday, urged Lagos residents not to vote the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje, because he
is too old to rule the state at 57.
He said his party’s candidate, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has age advantage
to carry on with the task from where he would leave governance in May
29.
Also, the national leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator
Bola Tinubu, enjoined the people not to vote Agbaje, who he said could
not manage his personal business well.
Both Fashola and Tinubu spoke on Wednesday, at the Lagos West
senatorial campaign of the APC governorship candidate, Mr Akinwumi
Ambode, which took place at Sky Power Play Ground, beside the Nigeria
Police Headquarters, Ikeja.
Agbaje will be 58 years on March 2, having been born in 1957.
Fashola, who did not mention name while addressing the crowd
consisting of leadership of the party, said it was Ambode that had the
wherewithal to govern Lagos as a young, successful accountant.
According to Fashola, the task of governing Lagos State was daunting
and needed vigour on the part of the person at the helm of affairs,
recalling that in 2007 when he took over governance at age 44, he
could count the number of grey hair on his head.
“Today, at 52, I am counting the number of black hair on my head.
Akinwunmi Ambode is the man that can do it. If you put an old man
there, he cannot do it. If you call him in the night, he may not pick
your calls,” he warned.
Fashola described the PDP as termites, always ready to destroy
everything they laid their hands upon, while describing them further
as worse than Ebola virus.
Addressing the gathering, Tinubu, while expressing appreciation to God
for making him discover Fashola and now Ambode as talents suitable to
rule Lagos, said Ambode as the APC candidate was arrived at based on
clamour by youths in Lagos who, he said, demanded they wanted another
youth like Fashola.
Tinubu said true to the promise he made, Fashola had not disappointed
the people of Lagos, adding that his tenure in office could be
described as eight years of unbroken promises.
He called on the people to vote for change by sending President
Goodluck Jonathan packing in February poll.
Tinubu said Lagos was not ready for any experiment, recalling that the
PDP governorship candidate, Agbaje, was with them in the Alliance for
Democracy (AD), but was defeated by better candidates in the party’s
governorship primaries ahead 2007 poll.
He also recalled that Agbaje rejected the offer of deputy governorship
of defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) before he defected to
contest on the platform of Democratic Party Alliance (DPA) and lost to
Fashola in the general election.
In his address, the APC governorship candidate, Ambode, said it was
certain that the party would win the coming election, promising to run
a government that would not discriminate among the ethnic
nationalities in the state if voted into office in February.
Recall that the outgoing Governor Fashola administration had deported
none Lagosians to their various states in the last six years, the most
controversial was the deportation of over seventy Igbos and dropping
them at bridgehead, Onitsha, Anambra State.

Also, recall that the presidential candidate of the APC will be officially 73

#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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‪#‎Media4Elections: IPC Advances Youth Participation in Election Ahead 2015

The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos-Nigeria will hold her sixth media Tweet-A-Thon with the theme: “2015: Advancing youth participation in elections” on Tuesday, December 23, 2014.
IPC_Lagos_Nigeria
According to Mr. Lanre Arogundade, Director of IPC, the Tweet-A-Thon with hashtag ‪#‎Media4Elections is a monthly activity supported by UNDP DGD III aimed at promoting active media engagement and active citizens’ participation in the electoral process ahead of 2015 elections.

A statement issued by IPC’s Social Media Officer, Keye Ewebiyi asserted that Mr. Lanre Suraj, Executive Director, Human and Environmental Development Agenda, Lagos will be the lead speaker at the event.

Arogundade noted that the program will be interactive as there would be a question and answer session by the participants physically present as well as following on twitter and other social media channels.

He urged Nigerian youths and other members of the public to participate in the programme through their Twitter handle.

Obasanjo to Atiku in New Book: You’re ‘Shameless Liar’

Controversy sorrounding the new book written by former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, is yet to die down as he described his former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, as a “shameless liar” who plotted against his infamous third term agenda.

My friend, excuse me
My friend, excuse me

At a public presentation of the book ‘Olusegun Obasanjo: My Watch,’ in Lagos, Tuesday, Obasanjo accused Abubakar of aligning with his detractors to spin his courageous effort at constitutional reform into myopic claims of tenure elongation.

the duo, Obasanjo and Atiku, were Nigeria’s President and Vice President respectively between 1999 and 2007.

Atiku failed to get the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the 2015 general election, haven been floored by former military dictator, General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd).

“Those who can be regarded as influential and who have publicly accused me of allegedly manipulating a third term were Atiku Abubakar, who is a blatant and shameless liar, who was behind the whole episode of turning wholesome constitutional amendment efforts of the National Assembly to a futile exercise and as a means of riding on its ashes to be Nigerian President,” Obasanjo said.

“Third term was not my agenda or intention although I would not say I didn’t know about it. I didn’t mastermind third term. Those who were telling me to go on were the governors that were going to benefit from it.

“If I did not want tenure elongation when I was military Head of State and had need to, I see no reason why I should be falsely accused of coup planning by Abacha and tenure elongation by Atiku.”

An Abuja High Court had granted an order restraining Obasanjo from going ahead with the book presentation.

The injunction was sought by Buruji Kashamu, a chieftain of the Peoples’ Democratic Party and close associate of President Goodluck Jonathan, who accused Mr. Obasanjo of libelous accusations in the
book.

But the former president said that going ahead with the book presentation did not violate the court’s order since it had already been printed and published three months ago.

“I had given the book to my editors and to the publisher. As far as I am concerned, my job is done. I had written the book and printed before the court injunction,” Obasanjo.

“In a normal judiciary, the judge should be sanctioned and I hope something will be done. We are here legally and lawfully and we will continue to act lawfully and legally.”

The Court on Wednesday found Obasanjo guilty of contempt and gave the former president 21 days to explain why he should not be punished.

Obasanjo also took a swipe at President Jonathan, describing the former as the “weakest” leader Nigeria had ever had.

“Although he might wish to do well, he does not know how nor does he have the capacity to,” Mr. Obasanjo said of President Jonathan.

“To compound his problem, he has not surrounded himself with aides sufficiently imbued with the qualities and abilities to help him out.

“Most of them are greedy hangers on or hungry, lacklustre characters interested only in their mouths and their pockets.”

In the book, Obasanjo also saved harsh remarks for Nasir El-Rufai, the FCT Minister during his administration, and Bola Tinubu, a former Lagos State governor and a leader of the APC.

While El-Rufai was described as “a brilliant man but economical with the truth,” Mr. Obasanjo said Mr. Tinubu is “definitely one of the worst cases in terms of corruption.”

“Nuhu Ribadu tried to investigate almost all of them to the best of my understanding,” Obasanjo said on the former Lagos governor.

“At a time, he publicly announced that 28 out of the 36 governors were either manifestly corrupt or had tainted in one way or another. He gave me a copy of his report on those governors. Bola Tinubu was definitely one of the worst cases.”

On Buhari, Obasanjo described him as a leader who would “not be a good economic manager but who will be a strong, almost inflexible, and courageous and firm.”

World Health Body Declares Nigeria Ebola Free as Jonathan Hails WHO Clearance

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday officially declared Nigeria Ebola free country, even as President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan welcomes the declaration which came after 42 days without any incidence of the Ebola Virus Disease.
goodluck-jonathan
President Jonathan dedicates the certification to the many patriotic health workers, volunteers and ordinary Nigerians who worked tirelessly, some of them paying the ultimate price, to stop the deadly virus in its track after it entered the country in July this year.

The President seizes this opportunity to also reiterate his appreciation of the contributions of state governments, WHO and other international health organisations, relatives of infected persons and other Nigerians who either courageously underwent the rigours of being quarantined or complied with all directives issued by health authorities to defeat the virus.

He believes that Nigeria’s globally-acclaimed success against Ebola is a testimony to what Nigerians can achieve if they set aside their differences and work together, and calls on Nigerians to strive to replicate the unity of purpose and all-hands-on-deck approach adopted against Ebola in other areas of national life.

As the nation applauds the success of its collective effort to stop the transmission of the Ebola Virus within Nigeria however, the President warns that the entire country must remain fully alert and vigilant against the re-entry of the virus.

President Jonathan fully shares the view expressed by WHO in its congratulatory message to Nigeria that while we have won a battle against Ebola, the war will only truly end when West Africa, Africa and the world are declared free of Ebola.

The President consequently directs that all the anti-Ebola measures taken after the entry of the virus into the country should remain in place and that health officials should continue to actively screen persons entering the country through its air, land and sea borders for any sign of the virus.

He also urges all Nigerians to continue to follow the anti-Ebola advisories on sanitation and personal hygiene issued by Federal and State Health authorities.

2014: Seven Jonathan’s Ministers Quit Cabinet as FEC holds Valedictory Session for Them

Seven ministers, in President Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet have resigned to run for political offices.
GEJ ministers quit
According to the President on Wednesday, the ministers that quit his government were Mr. Labaran Maku (Information); Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu (Health); Mr. Nyesom Wike (State, Education); Samuel Ortom (State, Industry, Trade and Investment); Senator Musiliu Obanikoro (State, Defence); Mr. Darius Ishaku (State, Niger Delta) and Chief Emeka Wogu (Labour).

They will be contesting the governorship elections in their various states.

The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, thanked the seven ministers on behalf of the FEC and wish them the best in their future endeavours while Maku responded on behalf of the ministers who are exiting the cabinet.

FEC holds valedictory session for Wike, Maku, others

Consequently, the Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday held a valedictory session for seven ministers who are resigning their positions to pursue gubernatorial positions in their respective states.

At the session coordinated by ‎President Goodluck Jonathan in the council’s chamber at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, seven ministers were listed by the president as those expected to leave to pursue their political ambitions.

The president, however, said since they have not formally written to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim, indicating their interests to resign, they will still be regarded as council members.

He said the valedictory session had only arisen on the grounds that they had indicated their interests informally, and they are expected to quit before October 20.

Mr. Jonathan said “this meeting is definitely their last of FEC sessions”.

The president also warned those who have not really perfected their plans against writing, endorsing and submitting a resignation letter as any letter received by the SGF will be treated forthwith.

Speaking on behalf of the Federal Government, the Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo, ‎praised the ministers, prayed for the fulfillment of their ambitions.

Mr. Maku who spoke on behalf of the outgoing ministers, showered encomium on the president over his steadfastness, focus and integrity.

He urged Jonathan not to be distracted by the opposition and people who compulsively speak ill of his administration.

Mr. Maku said the president is the only one, since the time of former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon that entrenched stability in the council by not sacking or replacing council members regularly.

How Mandela influenced me – George

Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George has disclosed how he was swayed by late South African President, Nelson Mandela to forgive those who sought to destroy him, saying “we must frown upon bitterness and ethnic prejudice.”
olabode-george
George made this remarks while receiving the Mandela Icon Award bestowed on him by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and the fund raising for the flag off of Students and Youth Coalition for Jonathan 2015 in Lagos.

George noted that the great Mandela sought neither vengeance nor retribution for the forces of evil, saying, in the same vein, though he was not detained by the virulent evil of those who sought to destroy him but he is not hindered by the bitterness of the past.

He said “we must continue to exist in harmony and friendship across cultural and ethnic lines”, adding that, “. We must continue with the remarkable spirit of accord and reconciliation which was achieved at the
recently concluded national conference.

On the award which he is the first recipient, George said that, he is passionately swayed by the Mandela Philosophy of forgiveness and reconciliation, saying it is an healthy, fruitful vision of leadership.

Speaking on the choice of George for the award, the NANS Coordinator for South West, Comrade Adio Kayode Odunjo said George was chosen for the award because like Mandela he suffered incarceration unjustly.

He also commended him saying he is a source of inspiration for students and the younger generation.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Co-chairman of the occasion and former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel commended George for his spirit of forgiveness saying that under his leadership the Peoples Democratic Party PDP will produce the next governor of Lagos State .

He said President Goodluck Jonathan remain the candidate to beat in the next year’s presidential election, saying he has done greatly well.

The occasion which was chaired by the Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko was also attended by former Governor of Oyo State Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole and the South West Vice
Chairman of the PDP , Chief Ishola Filani, among others.

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.

IPC Holds Media Tweet-a-Thon Monday

IPC The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos-Nigeria will hold a media tweet-a-thon with the theme: “2015 Elections: Addressing fair and equitable media access for parties and candidates” on Monday, August 11, 2014.

Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade said, the tweet-a-thon is a monthly activity supported by UNDP DGD lll aimed at promoting active media engagement and active citizens’ participation in the electoral process ahead of 2015 elections.

Professor Lai Oso, Dean, School of Communications, Lagos State University (LASU), will be the lead speaker at the event which would be interactive as there would be a question and answer session by the participants physically present as well as following on twitter and other social media channels, he added
It is expected that the media and members of the public would participate in the discussion by following the hash-tag #Media4Elections on Twitter during the event.

Ambassador, ECOWAS Staff, 57 Others Listed Among Travellers Who Made Contact With Ebola Victim

Nigeria Ambassador to Liberia, Chigozie Obi-Nnadozie and 58 others have contact with, Patrick Sawyer, the victim of Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, who died in Lagos last Thursday, says the Lagos State Government. At a news conference on Monday 27.

July at the Lagos State Government Secretariat in Alausa, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, Lagos Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris disclosed that 59 people had contact with the late Sawyer, which include the Nigerian Ambassador to Laberia.

“So far, a total of 59 contacts have been registered consisting 44 hospital contacts (38 healthcare workers and six laboratory staff) and 15 Airport contacts, comprising 3 ECOWAS staff-driver, Liaison, and Protocol officer, Nigerian Ambassador to Monrovia, two nursing staff and five Airport passenger handlers. “As of the time of this report, 20 contacts had been physically screened of which 50% are type 1 contact and 50% had had type 2 contact. Airline manifest has not been provided by the airline at the time of this report and therefore the precise number of passenger contacts is yet to be ascertained, especially as two flights were involved (Monrovia-Lome and Lome-Lagos),” he disclosed.

On case management, infection prevention and control, Idris said an isolation ward had been designated by the Lagos State Ministry of Health at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba for case management, adding that the designation of three other health facilities was underway.“A total of 100 Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, were procured by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Health, FMOH have been distributed to the private hospital and the State Ministry of Health. WHO also donated 250 PPEs to the NCDC/FMOH.

“Adhering strictly to WHO guidelines, the body of the deceased patient was decontaminated using 10% sodium hypochlorite and cremated, with the permission of the government of Liberia. A cremation urn has been prepared for dispatch to the family. The vehicle that conveyed the remains was also fully decontaminated,” he stated.
According to Idris, government could categorically state that as of today only one case of imported Ebola and one death had been recorded in Lagos, saying that no Nigerian had been infected, but that all contacts were being actively followed.
“We call on all Nigerians to be calm and not panic and do hereby assure them that both the State and Federal Governments are up in arms to ensure that the virus did not escape and that no Nigeria is infected with this virus,” he assured.
He said preliminary laboratory investigation conducted by the NCDC AI virology laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital and the World-Bank Funded African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) Redeemers’ University, detected viral DNA and that in both blood and urine samples obtained from the patient were positive for the Pan Filo virus analysis and Ebola Zaire MGB virus strain- specific analysis, adding that samples were also collected for further confirmation at the WHO Collaborating laboratory for Ebola in Dakar.
On the 40-year old Liberian vidtim, Idris said he arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos from Monrovia via Lome on Asky Airline Flight No KP50, on his way to Calabar for the 8th ECOWAS Retreat of Heads of Offices meeting, as a senior ECOWAS official in Liberia.
He stated that his plane was reported to have had a brief stop in Accra and Lome, and the aircraft was changed at Lome, explaining that he was also reported to have fallen ill while on board and remained very ill on arrival at the airport in Lagos as he was then assisted by various airport and ECOWAS protocol staff to a private hospital named First Consultant Medical Centre, Obalende, in Lagos.
“An initial diagnosis of suspected Viral Haemorrhagic fever was made. He was admitted and investigations were carried and supportive treatment was commenced. The private hospital immediately notified the State Ministry of Health who also notified the Federal Ministry of Health. The patient however died at about 6.50am on the 25th July 2014,” he explained.
Idris disclosed that the Joint Federal and State Team on the basis of all experiences gathered from the response to this outbreak recommended to mobilize funding for response activities, logistics and supplies; train and orientate health staff on the Ebola outbreak response Standards Operating Procedures and supply laboratory diagnostic supplies or activate the mobile VHF laboratory.
Other recommendations, he said, were to provide adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), organize psychosocial support and provide incentives to health personnel involved in Ebola outbreak response, design key messages in the local language and intensify public enlightenment in the local languages and involve the community in response activities.

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