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Monday, 19 November 2018

2019 election: APC Chairman speaks on party collapsing

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2019 election: APC Chairman speaks on party collapsing
The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Ondo State, Ade Adetimehin has appealed to aggrieved aspirants not to allow the party collapse.

This followed the threat by some of the aspirants who were shut out during the party’s primaries, to dump the party for other political parties.

The party Chairman said this at a meeting with the aspirants in Akure, the state capital, yesterday.

He called on the aggrieved aspirants, “To put the issue of primaries behind them and join hands with the party to ensure victory during the general elections.

“We shouldn’t allow this building to collapse; we must be united to salvage it.

“We appreciate that you have spent money, and we know how difficult it is to raise money.

“However, we will continue to appeal for your understanding for peace and unity within the party.”

2019 presidency: How we’ll stop APC from rigging election – Atiku’s camp

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2019 presidency: How we’ll stop APC from rigging election – Atiku’s camp
The Atiku Campaign Organisation has said that the People Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, will defeat President Muhammadu Bubari in the forthcoming general election with a wide margin to make it difficult for the ruling party to attempt rigging.

Spokesman of the campaign team, Segun Sowunmi also revealed on Monday in Abuja that the PDP campaign team will not exercise any form of fear going into the February presidential election.

Speaking at the public presentation of a book, “The man Atiku Abubakar, a square peg in a square hole; 100 reasons to vote,” Sowunmi said the insinuations in some quarters that the ruling party will rig the coming election should be dismissed.

“They say they will rig in 2019 but I tell them, it is only when we don’t beat them with a wide margin. We will beat them with a wide margin and make it impossible for them to rig in 2019.”

According to Sowunmi, Atiku will not spend one day as president wasting time, even as the PDP administration will not bring indolent with him when he emerges the next president.

He urged the Atiku support group to tak the message to the people across the country on the need to rescue the country from the hands of the current handlers.

Meanwhile, the PDP has, however, expressed willingness to sign Peace Accord between major political parties and major contenders as it is being canvassed by the European Union and other countries ahead of 2019 general elections.

Speaking on the need for the Peace Accord, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbodiyan, said, “We will support peace accord between major political parties and between major contenders. The People Democratic Party is open to that because we are a party of peace. We are a democratic party, who believe in the tenets of democracy, rule of law, justice, freedom, these are what make us a democratic party.

“If there is any group or a group of Nations that are canvassing that we should allow peace to reign during the election, surely the PDP will abide by that.”

He called on INEC to allow for a free, fair and credible election.

“I want to assure because Nigerians are sick and tired of the hunger, starvation, denial that the All Progressives Congress has imposed on Nigerians we plead with INEC to allow for a free, fair, credible and transparent elections in 2019.

“We also want them to take a lesson from our National Convention in Pirt Harcourt, which was adjudged as one of the best in the political history of our country. It was civil, it was clean, it was clear, it was transparent and it was generally acceptable by all the aspirants.

“So we look forward to INEC holding Nigeria elections that will generally accepted by the majority of parties and the majority of Nigerians.”

New Minimum wage: Buhari meet Governors over proposed N30,000

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New Minimum wage: Buhari meet Governors over proposed N30,000
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met behind closed doors with representatives of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) over the disagreement between the organised labour and state governors on the proposed N30,000 minimum wage.

According to NAN, the representatives of the Governors’ forum, who met with the president over the issue, included Governors of Zamfara, Lagos, Kaduna and Enugu, while the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige was also in attendance.

DAILY POST had reported that the Tripartite Committee on the Review of the National Minimum Wage, had on Nov 6, submitted its report to President Buhari where it recommended N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.

While receiving the report, the president expressed his commitment to ensuring the implementation of a new national minimum wage and pledged to transmit an Executive bill (on National Minimum Wage) to the National Assembly for its passage within the shortest possible time.

Buhari said that the Federal Government would soon transmit an Executive bill (on National Minimum Wage) to the National Assembly for its passage within the shortest possible time.

However, the 36 state governors had expressed reservations over the proposed N30,000 new minimum wage by the Amal Pepple committee, saying the state governments were not in a stable financial position to pay the new minimum wage.

How Police hid me in toilet when Falana visited – Evans

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How Police hid me in toilet when Falana visited – Evans
Suspected kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, aka Evans, has recalled how the Police treated him when rights activist, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, stormed the office he was kept after his arrest in 2017.

Evans told Justice Adedayo Akintoye a Lagos High Court Judge in Igbosere that the police hid him in the toilet of office of the Lagos Coordinator of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Response Team, Mr Phillip, a Chief Superintendent (CSP).

He alleged that the lawyer was contacted by his wife, (Uchenna Precious Onwuamadike) shortly after his arrest.

Evans made the claims on Friday while testifying in a trial within trial to determine whether his confessional statement to the police should be admitted by the court.

Lagos State Government which is prosecuting Evans on kidnapping, murder and attempted murder charges before the judge, insists the
suspect’s statement was voluntarily made.

Haruna, a member of the IGP Response Team which arrested Evans, said he never requested for a lawyer and none of his family members was present when the confessional statement was made.

“The statement was recorded in an open office. He (Evans) was cautioned in English and he narrated the story of his involvement in the kidnapping of victims”, Nation quoted him as saying.

CSP Phillip said: “The defendant was brought to my office after his statement was taken. I read the statement to him and asked him if he was forced to make the statement. He (Evans) said no.”

“Evans was in a good mood when he was brought before me by Inspector Idowu. He was very okay, he looked healthy, hence I asked him questions about the confessional statement.”

But, led in evidence by his counsel, Olanrewaju Ajanaku, Evans disputed their version of events.

He accused the police of assaulting him, and, after allegedly murdering several suspects in his presence in a “Saddam Hussein” style execution, he was terrorised into signing an already prepared confessional statement he never made.

Explaining Falana’s knowledge of his arrest, Evans said: “Immediately after my arrest, my wife called Femi Falana SAN, he came to SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad).”

He claimed that CSP Phillip told two armed policemen to hide him inside his office toilet and to tell the SAN that he (Evans) was not around.
Evans said: “I heard Phillip greet him, ‘Good afternoon sir.’ Falana said he wanted to see me.”

According to him, Phillip told the lawyer that he had been taken out for investigation, but the SAN warned the police against summarily executing him.

Evans, in tears, said: “Falana warned him that he did not want to hear that I had been taken for investigation only to be shot dead.

“He said he didn’t want to hear that I was trying to escape and then I was shot dead. He told them that if I had committed any offence, I should be charged to court.”

The defendant repeated his claims under cross-examination by prosecuting counsel, Mr Y. G. Oshoala.

Justice Akintoye adjourned till December 10 for continuation of trial.

Bauchi women block police station over arrest of Christian youth

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Bauchi women block police station over arrest of Christian youth
Hundreds of Christian women in Yelwa area of Bauchi metropolis have staged a protest, during which they blocked the police division in the area.

The protesting women told DAILY POST that their action was to demand the unconditional release of Christians arrested by the police after a religious crisis that erupted in the area last night.

Leader of the aggrieved women, Ladi Joshua, who spoke to journalists, accused the police of carrying out indiscriminate arrest of innocent Christian youths from their houses, instead of hunting the Muslim youths who allegedly attacked people.

“We are here to protest and demand the unconditional release of our Christian youths who were arrested by the police even when the Muslim youths have not been confronted despite terrorising our people,” she said.

The women, with leaves tied on their waist, blamed the police for not hunting the attackers, wondering why Christian youths should be made to pay for offences they did not commit.

“Honestly, police in Nigeria now seems to connive with criminals to implement the script of their masters just to divert public attention from Muslim attack on Christian community,” the women leader lamented.

DAILY POST reports that Yelwa police barrack is currently filled to capacity as residents fled to the barrack for safety. Others were seen moving out their luggage from the area for fear of being attacked.

The Yelwa axis, which is dominated by Christians, has witnessed series of religious crisis before now, even as the government has been making efforts to curtail acts of violence.

The Bauchi state Police commissioner, Sunusi Leman, had confirmed that three people were killed with others injured during the midnight crisis.

As at the time of filing this report, residents are still in panic mood over the development.

Akwa Ibom Assembly declares seats of five lawmakers vacant

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Akwa Ibom Assembly declares seats of five lawmakers vacant
The Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly has declared the seats of five lawmakers vacant.

The seats of the lawmakers representing Itu, Etim Ekpo/Ika, Ikono, Mkpat Enin, and Essien Udim were on Monday declared vacant during plenary in line with section 109(1g) of the 1999 constitution as amended.

The House also passed a motion urging Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, to name either the Akwa Ibom state University or the Ibom International Airport after former governor Victor Attah in commemoration of his 80th birthday.

Recall that the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo had last week ruled in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), ordering the assembly to declare Idongesit Ituen’s seat vacant.

The court held that Ituen had no reason to have defected from his former party as there was no division in his former party.

2019 presidency: APDA aspirant, Ezeakor battles national chairman, INEC over party’s ticket

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2019 presidency: APDA aspirant, Ezeakor battles national chairman, INEC over party’s ticket
A presidential aspirant under the platform of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance, APDA, Mr. Iheanacho Ezeakor has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to recognize him as the party’s candidate.

Ezeakor, who spoke to journalists in Enugu on Monday, accused the national chairman of the party, Malam Mohammed Shitu of substituting his name after he clearly emerged the party’s presidential candidate.

The aspirant, an indigene of Imo State disclosed that the party’s national chairman was persuading him into accepting the vice presidential ticket of the party.

According to him, “I won the APDA presidential ticket but the party chairman out of envy took it and asked me to become his vice.

“I merit the presidential ticket to contest against President Muhammadu Buhari and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. I hold the magic wand towards defeating either of them in a free and fair poll.

“I was the sole-presidential aspirant of the party. I was also the only person screened and cleared. So, I emerged unopposed as the party’s candidate but he later submitted his name to INEC instead of mine.

“When my lawyer sent him a letter to do the needful, he invited me for reconciliation at Abuja, where he promised to send my name to the INEC the next day, only for me to receive a call that I should accept the position of his running mate. That is unacceptable.

“So, I am not ready to settle for less. The ticket was given to me by the oppressed Nigerian youths and for that it is the presidential ticket or nothing else.

“He can’t be the party’s national chairman and the flag bearer at the same time, it’s against the rules.

“Having said this, I demand clearly from the INEC that my name should not be substituted with that of anybody else. I remain the presidential candidate of the party and nobody can change it.”

Ezeakor, while describing himself as “the choice of Nigerian youths for the youths,” assured that
He would fight the cabal sabotaging the power sector headlong and ensure 24 hour electricity in the country.

“I want a Nigeria where good roads, tap water, other necessary amenities and basic infrastructures will be there for us all. My government will include the best people to build the economy to make Nigeria working again.

“We are not to sell this country by selling our votes. I am a youth who understand and know how and where it pains, so I will be there to fix it. They are already scared of me,” he stated.

Sex-for-marks: Court remands OAU professor, Akindele in prison

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Sex-for-marks: Court remands OAU professor, Akindele in prison
A Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, the Osun state capital, has ordered the remand of Professor Richard Akindele of the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-ife, for allegedly demanding sex from his student, Monica Osagie.

Akindele was arraigned before Justice Maurine Onyetenu by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC, on a four-count charge on Monday.

The ICPC alleged that the accused unlawfully demanded sex from his student and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section A (1)(2) of the corrupt practices and other related offences.

The charge cheat reads thus: “That you Professor Richard Iyiola Akindele on 16 September, 2018, did unlawfully solicit for sex from your student Monica Osagie, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 of the corrupt practices and other related offences, 2000.”

The embattled former lecturer was also accused to have unlawfully had WhatsApp conversation with Osagie sometimes in June 2018, and thereby committed an offence contrary to the law.

He however pleaded not guilty to the four-count charge levelled against him by the ICPC.

His Counsel, Mr. F. Omotosho, thereafter pleaded with the court to grant his client bail, arguing that he is a known personality who cannot jump bail.

The prosecutor, who is a senior legal officer with the ICPC, Mr. Kehinde Adetoye, opposed the oral bail application of the counsel, stating that the accused has refused to appear at the commission since he was granted administrative bail.

He said, “we have been making efforts since 5th of November to effect the service of the process. They have refused to come back and they were not reachable on mobile phone. We were surprised to see them here today. We just served them the process.”

Justice Onyetenu thereby directed counsel to the accused to file a formal application for the bail of his client.

She ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the matter till November 27 for hearing.

Akwa Ibom House of Assembly shut down as thugs invade complex [PHOTOS]

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Akwa Ibom House of Assembly shut down as thugs invade complex [PHOTOS]
Thugs suspected to be hired by the All Progressives Congress sacked lawmaker in Akwa Ibom, State Idongesit Ituen have besieged the State House of Assembly in the early hours of Monday.

The thugs who appeared violent were seen in their numbers barricading the Assembly Complex in Uyo-Akwa Ibom State.

Chanting ‘APC, Change’ slogan, the thugs stopped lawmakers including the Speaker, Barr. Onofiok Luke entrance to the complex.

DAILY POST reports that the aggrieved youths were agitating for the reinstatement of Idongesit Ituen, member representing Itu state constituency who was sacked by the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

It was also gathered that on getting to know about today’s plenary in commemoration of the 80th birthday of former governor, Victor Attah by the State House of Assembly the embattled lawmaker allegedly organized the thugs to disrupt the session as well as hinder the Speaker from declaring his seat vacant as scheduled today.

Though the state government has detailed some policemen to calm the situation, thugs had rendered the area impassable.

2019: Why Buhari entitled his campaign ‘Next Level’ – Amaechi

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2019: Why Buhari entitled his campaign ‘Next Level’ – Amaechi
The Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has explained why President Muhammadu Buhari titled his campaign ‘Next level’.

Amaechi said the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration has lived up to the 2015 campaign promises by delivering on the change promised, hence the reason for the adoption of the ‘Next level’ campaign slogan.

Amaechi said this on Sunday during an interview on Channels Television programme.

The Minister explained further that the Buhari-led administration deserves to be trusted by Nigerians in 2019 due to the projects delivered during the three-and-half years of APC governance.

“What we are saying to Nigerians is that we will not lose focus. We are going to focus on infrastructure; we are dealing with roads, water, power, and railways. We are also improving our seaport.

“We are saying to Nigerians, trust us. We promised change, now there’s a huge change in Nigeria. We are not going back to the economy where people just cart away funds.

“This is the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari is embarking on a 2019 elections campaign called the ‘Next Level’.

“Few months after coming to government, we commissioned the Kaduna-Abuja railway, does that not deserve another trust. We are working on Lagos-Ibadan railway. Work is ongoing on the Lagos-Ibadan highway.

“Power has improved from 3,000 megawatts that we get it to 7,000 megawatts and we are discharging about 5,000 megawatts.

“We are working every day. It is work in progress, so Nigerians need to trust us for next level,” he said.

Atiku launches 2019 campaign, unveils ‘The Atiku Plan’

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Atiku launches 2019 campaign, unveils ‘The Atiku Plan’
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has formally launched his campaign for the 2019 presidential elections.

This was as he officially unveiled his policy document tagged #TheAtikuPlan, which was launched in an ongoing live broadcast on his verified Twitter handle on Monday.

According to him, If elected President next year, he would be pro-active in attracting investments, supporting the 50 million small and medium scale enterprises across Nigeria for the purpose of doubling the size of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product to US$900 billion by 2025.

The former vice president said, “Today, I am formally presenting myself to you as the presidential candidate of not just the @OfficialPDPNig, but of the hopes and aspirations of all Nigerians..

“The most important question in this election is: ‘Are you better off than you were four years ago? Are we richer or poorer?’ That is why our primary focus is on getting Nigeria working again.

“I am strongly of the view that I am just one Nigerian and one Nigerian cannot be as wise as all Nigerians. That is why I will offer an inclusive leadership.

“Atiku Abubakar is 100% for 100% of Nigerians, 100% of the time.

“Too often, Nigerians have been promised better governance by those seeking their votes.

“Such individuals have preyed on the legitimate desires of our people for their conditions to be improved, that they make all sorts of promises.

“I am not one for making grandiose promises. Rather than promises, I believe in policies.

“A promise is an indication to do a future action. A policy is a plan to achieve future goals.

“As the International Monetary Fund stated very recently, it is the failure of this government to have a coherent and comprehensive set of policies combined with poor leadership that has led to its failure to deliver.

“Over the last 18 months, I have worked with the best experts Nigeria has to offer, to come up with policies and plans that when implemented will get Nigeria going in the right direction again.

”If elected President, I will be pro-active in attracting investments and supporting the 50 million small and medium scale enterprises across Nigeria for the purpose of doubling the size of our Gross Domestic Product to US$900 billion by 2025,” he added.

2019: What Nigeria must do to progress – Obasanjo

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2019: What Nigeria must do to progress – Obasanjo
Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has noted that without peace and unity, the country cannot make significant progress.

According to the ex-president, Nigeria can only progress when all of its citizens have a sense of belonging, unity and security.

Obasanjo spoke yesterday in Asaba, Delta State, at a meeting with the executive members of the Delta state Traditional Council led by its chairman, Obi Efizomor II, Obi Of Owa.

According to him, “I am an incurable optimist about this country, Nigeria is not a perfect country but it can be made to make progress, move at a pace that will be advantageous to all of us, no matter our tribe, position gender and race.

“We can have a country that is at peace with itself, where unity is enthroned, a country where every one will be their brothers’ keeper, where performance will be obvious in the governance and running of the affairs of our people, a country where everyone will have a sense of belonging.”

The former military head of state commended the state Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, for bringing peace, unity, development and cooperation among the people of Delta.

Obasanjo called on the traditional council to continue to be pillar of support to the Governor in his developmental strides.

He also reminded the traditional rulers that they were bastion of peace, unity and development in their various domains.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Abducted Zamfara twin sisters regain freedom

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Abducted Zamfara twin sisters regain freedom
Two female twins abducted by gunmen in Dauran village of Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State have been released.

The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Mohammed Shehu, who confirmed their release to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gusau,

said that the victims were being debriefed by the command in Gusau.
NAN reports that the two girls who came home from the state capital, Gusau, to distribute their wedding cards and make other wedding plans, were abducted by the gunmen along with four others, including their pregnant elder sister, Rukayya (still in captivity).

It was on realisation of the concern and media reports centered on the twins that their abductors demanded for an initial ransom of N150 million from the relatives of the orphans whose father died recently shortly after his retirement from the state’s civil service.

After several pleas by the relatives and threats of fire power by the state government and security operatives in the state, the ransom was reduced to N15 million which led to their brother – in-law giving out his bank account number for good samaritans to donate.

A close associate of the family, who preferred anonymity, told NAN that the money was raised and taken to the bandits on Saturday at a location they gave, about 20 kilometres from Dumburum village.

The location is one of the notorious areas of operations of the bandits in the same Zurmi local government area.

“The gunmen, numbering over 100, each one carrying an AK 47 rifle, surrounded those who brought the money, the person who seemed to be their leader threw sand on the two bags with the money, jumped and chanted some words, then asked his boys to take the money away.

“Then came a bus in high speed which brought the two girls and the four people who brought the money were told to go with the girls without turning back, ” he said.

Meanwhile, the remaining victims including the pregnant woman, were yet to be rescued.

Why governors should not have immunity – Senatorial Candidate, Ude

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Why governors should not have immunity – Senatorial Candidate, Ude
Senatorial Candidate of the United Democratic Party, UDP, for Abia North district, Chief Charles Ude, has called for the removal of the immunity clause from the constitution.

He said doing so would make it difficult for corrupt governors to personalise and divert funds meant for the development of their states.

Ude, who stated this weekend in an interview with DAILY POST in Abuja, was reacting to the Appellate Court’s reduction of jail terms for two ex-governors, Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame.

Recall that Justice Stephen Adah in a unanimous decision of the Court of Appeal reduce Dariye’s jail-term from 14 to 10 years. He was a two-term governor of Plateau state.

Similarly, Justice Abdul Aboki-led Appeal Court panel slashed Nyame’s sentence from 14 to 12 years. Like Dariye, he was a two-term governor of Taraba state.

Speaking, Ude faulted the delay in the prosecution and sentencing of the governors who both left office 11 years ago.

He regretted that though the jail terms were fair for the more than 20 charges brought against each of the governors, the people were denied prompt justice because of the immunity Dariye and Nyame enjoyed at the time when they diverted their state funds.

He insisted that without the immunity clause in the constitution, more governors would apply greater sense of responsibility in the handling of the people’s commonwealth.

“I hope the appropriate institutions will see the need, through Dariye and Nyame’s cases, to remove the immunity clause from our constitution.

“It will go a long way in making those who hold public offices as governors and president not to see the funds of their states as their own. It will promote some responsibility in governance,” he said.

Ude went further to fault the jail term reductions on the ground of the governors being ‘first time’ offenders, saying the law does not capture that idea in criminal cases.

He said: “If you look at the reduction of the terms given the analyses of the Appellate Court that they were first time offenders, you will but wonder.

“There is nothing like that in law in criminal cases. If it were murder trial would the Court have said the governors were first time murderers?

“Again, I think in a case of conspiracy a governor alone cannot to down. There should be other people involved but I wonder how they managed to let them off the hook.

“But for more than 20 charges against the governors, I think the jail terms were fair,” he concluded.

NDLEA intercepts 581 million Tramadol tablets in 2 days

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NDLEA intercepts 581 million Tramadol tablets in 2 days
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has seized 241 million Tramadol tablets in 11 containers, weighing 118 metric tonnes.

Head of Public Affairs of the agency, Mr Jonah Achema, said in a statement on Sunday in Abuja that the seizure was made at the Apapa Port in Lagos.

The agency had earlier uncovered 340 million Tramadol tablets in 12 containers on November 15 at the port.

The containers had been on the watch-list of the NDLEA since November 2017.

They were taken to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for search, based on the agency’s reasonable suspicion that they contained the drug.

Achema said that there were 39 more containers that were lined up for search as the agency strongly suspected that they contained illicit drugs.

“This brings to 581 million Tramadol tablets uncovered within two days of the search. The search is still ongoing. We shall continue tomorrow as well,” he said.

Achema added that the agency would not relent until the country was freed from drug abuse and consumption.

Presidency reacts to APC bye-election victories in Bauchi, Katsina, Kwara

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Presidency reacts to APC bye-election victories in Bauchi, Katsina, Kwara
The Presidency has spoken on the All Progressives Congress (APC) victories in the last 24 hours.

In the bye-elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday, November 17, 2018, the APC swept the seats in three federal constituencies in Katsina State, three in Kwara State, and another in Bauchi State.

“This is a sign of things to come in the 2019 elections”, Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President, said in a statement on Sunday.

He said: “This victory should be a blow for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaigners who have maintained that by merely claiming that they have rebranded, Nigerians will have forgotten all the mess they left behind in 2015.

“By voting overwhelmingly for the ruling APC, Nigerians have shown their confidence in the Muhammadu Buhari administration, and their willingness for continuation of this government and its policies.

“This clear show of support can only be a synopsis of what Nigerians should expect in the forthcoming elections, at all levels.

“I would like to use this opportunity to remind Nigerians that there will always be a winner and a loser in every election, an individual and a party with the highest votes and another with the lowest.

“That is what democracy is about. Therefore, all aspirants should approach elections with the mindset that they could either win or lose.

“Accepting results only when one wins and challenging results each time one loses, is not the right attitude. It is certainly not what democracy is about.

“On behalf of President Buhari, I thank the people of Katsina, Kwara and Bauchi States for their show of support over the weekend.

“I thank Nigerians all over the country for believing in this government and in its determined effort to pull our nation out of the mess left behind by 16 years of PDP government, and into the greatness that is our destiny.”

APC vs PDP: Atiku not corrupt – Wife, Titi insists

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APC vs PDP: Atiku not corrupt – Wife, Titi insists
Wife of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Hajiya Titi Atiku Abubakar, has revealed why she married the politician.

Titi said her husband is a man of integrity, and wondered why he was being refered to as corrupt.

She said she married Atiku for his honesty and patriotism.

Mrs. Abubakar said this while receiving a campaign group, Women for Atiku on Sunday.

She said that no one knew Atiku better than she does, having been married to him for 47 years.

Titi stated, “I usually got confuse Whenever I read the false allegations of corruption being spread by mischief makers against my husband in the media.

“Most times I ask myself if they were referring to my husband whom I have been married to for 47 years or a different person.

“Their descriptions only befit the opposite of Atiku Abubakar, because he is not corrupt as alleged,” Titi Said.

According to Titi, since she married Atiku 47 years ago, she had never found him wanting in honesty, sincerity, integrity and patriotism to his fatherland.

“I was on my way back to Nigeria from Benin Republic where I went to visit my aunt at the idioroko border and was accosted by officers of the Customs Service.

“They had demanded that I pay duty for a pair of brocade material which was a gift from my aunt, an argument ensued between us and i told them to have the brocade material for a keep because i couldn’t comprehend why i should pay duty for a pair of brocade.

“Suddenly an officer by name Atiku Abubakar who heard our argument summoned the officers to come along with me to his office.

“He was the head of the command at the time. After listening to both sides, Atiku demanded for the duty charge, dipped his hand into his pocket and paid the duty and handed me the receipt smiling and saying that ‘I will pay him back’.

“As the head of the command he could have simply commanded them to let me go if he chose to, but his patriotism to fatherland would never allow him do so, and that singular act swept me off my feet and i eventually fell in love,” she said.

Buhari, Sultan, Sanusi speak on Nigeria’s unity

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Buhari, Sultan, Sanusi speak on Nigeria’s unity
President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration is committed to national unity and religious harmony.

He urged Nigerians to embrace the effort.

He gave the assurance on Sunday during the 10th Anniversary of Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN) and N5bn launch of MUSWEN International Centre in Ibadan.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the president’s message was read at the event by Mr Adamu Adamu, the Minister of Education.

Buhari urged religious leaders to embrace religious tolerance to achieve peaceful co-existence and national unity, re-stating his administration’s commitment to religious harmony and national unity.

The president commended MUSWEN and its leaders for their contributions to national growth and development, saying the south west Muslim leaders were the most dedicated.

Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, also urged all to always extend hands of fellowship to others, irrespective of religious beliefs, ethnicity and status in the society.

He counseled Nigerians to eschew the use of foul languages on others even when they felt so much aggrieved, saying the nation could only achieve greatness through tolerance and unity of purpose.

The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi, in a keynote address entitled “Muslim Voice on Good Governance”, said the topic was timely considering the challenges facing the country.

He said that Islam and Muslim political heritage had profound principles, norms and practices for good governance, saying such predated modern democracy which was about 200 years.

“Muslims should be at the fore front in advocating and leading with examples in good governance.

“This has become necessary because our political culture has deteriorated and increasingly mercantile, where money is everything.

“This is responsible for bad governance that has characterised the polity, subverted development, perpetrated poverty as well as elicited the unending social conflicts.”

Sanusi said money-based politics would continue to fuel unprecedented corruption seen in the society today, saying pristine values as a people had been supplanted and the future thrown into jeopardy.

He urged all political, spiritual and traditional leaders to join hands in salvaging the polity from the danger posed by the current political culture.

According to him, “we have to take leadership seriously and cannot ignore centuries old wisdom which places high premium on leadership and criteria for shouldering responsibilities.

“The consequences of ignoring the standards are already showing and we must not wait until the bubble bursts. We cannot allow full reins to money politics and expect the eradication of corruption.”

You are a monumental failure, PDP blasts Aregbesola as tenure ends

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You are a monumental failure, PDP blasts Aregbesola as tenure ends
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Osun State has called out Governor Rauf Aregbesola, describing his eight years tenure as a monumental failure.

It argued that the governor will go down in history of the state as the worst since the return of democratic rule in 1999.

PDP said contrary to what the governor was making people to believe as achievement in infrastructure and human capital, “Aregbesola is leaving the state worse than how he met it in 2010”.

The Chairman of PDP in the state, Hon. Soji Adagunodo stated this on Sunday through a statement he signed and made available to newsmen in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.

Speaking on where he scored himself high during an all night interaction tagged “Ogbeni Till Day Break” on Friday, PDP said such self glorification was childish and a total farce.

According to the party, “There is no better indication of the governor’s failure than the dysfunctional educational system, comatose healthcare, gargantuan debt, deplorable road, abysmal water infrastructure and several other negatives which the governor is bequething to his successor.

“It is already on record that it is during the tenure of Ogbeni Aregbesola that Osun was ranked by BUDGIT as one of the four most indebted States and the least fiscally responsible state in Nigeria.

“It was during these same years that the state found itself on the lowest rung of performance of students in public examinations; a situation which made us a laughing stock even among states hitherto considered educationally disadvantaged in Nigeria.

“Human life and development had never been this compromised as Medical doctors, health workers, lecturers, and civil servants embarked on strikes for a cumulative period of not less than 3 and a half years during Aregbesola’s administration.”

PDP also took on Aregbesola over his claim that he had built more roads than previous governors, saying there were more death traps than motorable roads, as it cited township roads in Ejigbo, Iwo, Ede, Ikirun, Ila Orangun, Ilobu among others.

The party added that the roads from Osogbo to Ila-Odo, Akoda-Gbongan, Orile Owu to Ijebu-Igbo, Iwo to Ejigbo and several others which it said the governor used as cover to obtain various huge loans have been abandoned at stages ranging between 15 and 40 percent completion.

“The road from Osogbo through Iwo to Ibadan which the governor boasted would be rehabilitated by Julius Berger in 2012 was never started and must today rank among the worst roads in Nigeria.

“It is similarly on record that a recent survey by an international organisation ranked Osun as one of the 3 dirtiest states in Nigeria. This is in spite of the billions of Naira siphoned by Local and State government officials in the guise of environmental sanitation.

“Our party notes that while Osun is very happy that the reign of Ogbeni Aregbesola is coming to an end, the people are rather sad at the legacy of impunity and fraud that Mr Governor and his party introduced to our political landscape as exemplified in the September 22nd and 27th governorship election in Osun State. It is one ugly legacy which has put the name of our dear state on the dark spot of political discourse within and outside Nigeria.

“However, our hope is in the judiciary to do justice and restore the mandate freely given to Senator Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke as the rightful successor to Ogbeni Aregbesola; the PDP hereby joins the people of Osun State to keep on praying that the inglorious reign of the APC would soon be terminated and a new lease of prosperous life be injected into the State of the living spring”, the statement said.

PMB Hails Super Eagles Return To AFCON After 6 Years

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PMB Hails Super Eagles Return To AFCON After 6 Years
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the Super Eagles of Nigeria on their qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after being held 1-1 by South Africa in Johannesburg, yesterday.

The President in a statement by his special adviser media, Femi Adesina  joins millions of football-loving Nigerians in commending the team for their spirited and disciplined performance against a very formidable opponent which earned them qualification with the final match against Seychelles a mere formality.

Adesina said “Having keenly followed the senior national football team’s progress in the qualifying stages, President Buhari is enthused by their confidence, sense of patriotism and professionalism, and commends these attributes to other Nigerians.

“He equally commends the coaching crew, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Supporters Club, especially Nigerians residing in South Africa who turned out in great numbers to cheer the players, for a job well-done, and assures them of the unflinching support of the Federal Government going forward.

“The President wishes the young Nigerian football ambassadors more successes as they prepare for the AFCON tournament in Cameroon.

It was certainly not one of the classics, but the result means Eagles are ready through to the 2019 AFCON finals in Cameroon after failed to qualify for the last two editions. Only one other team in Gourp E (either Libya or South Africa) would end up with the same 10 points that Nigeria already have, by the of the qualification series in March 2019  But Libya’s 8-1 defeat of their hosts Seychelles on Mahé Island would create real fear in the Bafana Bafana going into that last battle against the Mediterranean Knights in Tunisia.

At the FNB Stadium in Soweto on a sunny afternoon, Nigeria made the brightest start with stand –in Captain Ahmed Musa watching his shot held by goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune in the 6th minute, and two minutes later Nigeria had the ball in the net after a sweet combination by Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho. But Gambian Referee Papa Gassama ruled it off-side, on the prompting of the assistant referee.

A minute later, Nigeria pushed their noses in front as Samuel Kalu, playing in an unaccustomed wing back role, outpaced Sfiso Hlanti and pulled out, only for Buhle Mkhwanazi to divert it past Khune into the net.

In the 11th minute, Bafana had a glorious chance to equalize as the irrepressible Percy Tau got behind the Nigerian defence, only to be thwarted by Kalu.

It became a ding-dong as the match gathered some vibrancy, with Captain Thulani Hlatshwayo arriving late for a free –kick and Mothiba wrong –footed, and at the other end, William Ekong’s run to a good chance from a corner was foiled and Kalu shot too high from an Ahmed Musa corner.

Bafana were level in the 26th minute though, as the nimble –footed Tau, appropriately named Man-of-the-Match, left Ekong and Omeruo in no-man’s-land and drilled a selfless pass to Mothiba, beyond a sprawling Ikechukwu Ezenwa, to slot into an empty net.

Nigeria could have reclaimed leadership in the 36th minute, but after Musa did all the work, Iheanacho’s atrocious first touch bungled the opportunity.

In the second period, both teams sought to conserve energy in a high altitude environment. Two minutes before the hour, midfielder John Ogu’s header from another Nigerian corner was headed for the net before Themba Zwani headed it away, and 15 minutes later, Kenneth Omeruo’s lofty header from yet another corner missed narrowly.

In the 83rd minute, another big talking point surfaced when Musa ran onto a great pass and slotted past Khune, only to be deemed off-side.

Having missed the last two AFCON finals, Nigeria have now joined hosts Cameroon, Madagascar, Senegal, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Uganda as the teams already guaranteed slots at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, to be hosted by Cameroon.

Tope Alabi, Mercy Chinwo, Mama Fasoyin Wow Congregation At Praise Concert

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Tope Alabi, Mercy Chinwo, Mama Fasoyin Wow Congregation At Praise Concert
The Trinity House organised 24-hour Praise Concert retained an infectious vivacity, enabling members of the church and the visitors to celebrate.

Only in its second year, the 24-Hour Praise concert, ran on the theme, ‘Power of Praise’. You may be forgiven if you haboured reservations about how the organisers, Pastor Ituah and Ibidunni Ighodalo-led Trinity House were going to retain vivacity in the assembly for 24 hours. With the help of the church’s Music Minister, Tosin Alao, it turned out that all members of the church and the visitors came there to celebrate.

Managing close to 30 artistes is a tough assignment by any standard, but Alao and his team made it a great experience for everyone.

It’s not easy to find a great experience as was created at the Trinity House 24-Hour Praise. The atmosphere was genuinely charged with an air of positivity. Many stood with their hands held high in the air, when Minister Chigozie sang Jonathan David and Melissa’s popular anthem, ‘No Longer A Slave’. One of the most celebrated artiste of the night was Tope Alabi.  She was able to secure participation of the audience. You couldn’t sit down, even if you wanted. Persuaded to return for an encore, Alabi hit the crowd with her hit tune, ‘E Gbega, E Gbega’. The involvement of the people with Tope Alabi took a new turn when she gave a new interpretation to the prevalent ‘Shaku Shaku’ dance. According to her, the dance can be found in the Bible and it was first performed by David. She said the dance should be rightly called ‘Segun Segun’ (Dance of Victory and not ‘Shaku Shaku’, which refers to remnants and wastes).

Other Artistes that performed include

Empraiz, bitayo Jeje, better known as the Highlife Queen gave an excellent account of herself. Next was Mercy Chinwo and her team who delivered a powerful ministration. Psalmos and Tim Godfrey who just bagged a PhD from American University serenaded.

The organisers kept the renowned Mrs. Deborah Adebola Fasoyin and the Good Women Choir a worthwhile secret. One of their best known songs, ‘Odun Nlo Sopin’ which was released over 30 years ago to popular acclaim, was given a new verve at the concert.

Dr Olurotimi Badero: Only Heart & Kidney Specialist In The World

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Dr Olurotimi Badero: Only Heart & Kidney Specialist In The World
Dr Olurotimi John Badero made Nigeria proud after his recognition as the only fully trained and board certified cardio-nephrologist (combined kidney and heart specialist) in the world.

Dr. Badero is the Executive Director , Cardiac Renal & Vascular Associates. He is also the Medical Director of St. Joseph Hospice. He is on the global Advisory Board of the Therapeutics experts on Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis, Merck Pharmaceuticals U.S.A.

This genius and  top Nigerian cardiologist based in New York Badero, has been named among the top interventional cardiologists in the United States, according to a prominent rating organisation for the medical profession in US.

Castle Connolly, the organisation which publishes  a leading annual publication of distinguished US doctors listed Badero among the top US doctors based in the New York metro area which includes New York, New Jersey and Connecticut states.

The publication,  the 15th edition dated 2012 was released recently. It reported that Badero, who earlier had been named among top US cardiologists, is one of the interventional cardiologists to reckon with in the US. Interventional Cardiology is deemed a rarefied specialty in medical practice, and fewer African-Americans and blacks are qualified in that field.

Education, Career & Personal Life

Badero who resides in the United States was born the seventh of nine children to Chief Eliab Olufemi Olujoye Badero and Stella Taiwo Badero and raised in Lagos and Ogun states, Nigeria.

Olurotimi which translates to God stands by me and God is always with me was the closest child to his father and traveled with him everywhere in the country . He hails from Isonyin-Ijebu in Ijebu North east area of Ogun State. His grandfather, Joshua OluBadero Onasoga passed away 5 days before his father’s one year birthday and his father later change his last name to Badero.

Badero attended  St. Mary’s Private School Lagos . He received his secondary school education at Federal Government College Odogbolu, Ogun State. He was admitted to the Medical School at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.

Following medical school, he completed his internship year at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex at Ile-Ife.

He worked at General Hospital Isolo in Lagos to fulfill his one-year service requirement with the National Youth Service Corps. After this, he relocated to the United States where he completed three years of internal medicine residency training at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

Badero was accepted at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta where he completed a two-year fellowship training in nephrology and hypertension.

Badero returned to SUNY Downstate to complete a three-year fellowship training in cardiovascular medicine.

Following this, he attended the Yale School of Medicine where he completed a fellowship in invasive & interventional cardiology and another in peripheral vascular intervention.

His father was a trained tailor who later became a typist and administrative manager at SCOA motors. His mother, a banker worked with Barclays Bank as a secretary in the early 1970s. Badero had a brush with death at the age of 4 when he was diagnosed with measles that almost claimed his life. Two years earlier, he lost his younger sister Olufunmilayo Abosede Badero to Bronchopneumonia when she was just eleven months old.

Awards And Achievements:

A top Nigerian cardiologist, Badero, based in New York, has been named among the top interventional cardiologists in the United States, according to a prominent rating organization for the medical profession here.

Castle Connolly, the organization which publishes an a leading annual publication of distinguished US doctors has listed Badero among the top US doctors based in the New York metro area which includes New York, New Jersey and Connecticut states.

The publication which is the 15th edition and dated 2012 was released recently, reporting that Badero, who earlier had been named among top US cardiologists, is one of the interventional cardiologists to reckon with in the US. Interventional Cardiology is deemed a rarefied specialty in medical practice, and fewer African-Americans and blacks are qualified in that field.

In all, Dr. Badero completed an unprecedented 10 years of continuous post- graduate medical training and he is currently board certified and a consultant in:   Internal medicine,   Nephrology & Hypertension

,    Interventional Nephrology & Endovascular Access. Others are

  Cardiovascular Medicine,  Nuclear Cardiology and   Invasive & Interventional Cardiology.

He performed the first transradial cardiac catheterisation and coronary angioplasty at Central Mississippi Medical Center.

Dr. Badero is a recipient of many awards including:

–     The Association of Black Cardiologists scholarship award for the Best Cardiology Fellow in the U.S.

–     The 2014 Mississippi Healthcare Heroes in the state of Mississippi.

–     He was also named one of Jackson, Mississippi’s Best Surgeons.

Dr. Badero has authored many peer reviewed journals and he is currently on the editorial board of the International Journal of Nephrology & Renovascular Disease.

He is a  Fellow of the American College of Physicians,    Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology,    Fellow of the American College of Cardiology

,   Fellow of the Society for Cardiac Angiography & Interventions.

In popular media:

Badero has featured in many magazines and articles including Jackson free press U.S.A., Financial Nigeria International, My green gene magazine as well as Avantgarde Magazine talking about Cardio-nephrology and emphasizing the interrelationship between cardiovascular disease (CVD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD).

He has also appeared on many TV networks and radio interviews including BBC promoting cardiovascular and renal health awareness in the U.S and in developing countries

Marriage

Badero is the assistant pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Vine Chapel Church in Mississippi. He is currently unmarried.

2019: Tunji Abayomi dumps APC for AA, blames Oshiomhole

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2019: Tunji Abayomi dumps APC for AA, blames Oshiomhole
Constitutional lawyer, Tunji Abayomi has dumped the All Progressives Congress, APC for Action Alliance, AA.

Abayomi, who was an APC stalwart in Ondo state, revealed that the decision was to enable him fulfill his ambition of representing his senatorial district at the National Assembly at the 2019 polls.

In a letter addressed to Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, and titled “They Just Injured Our Collective Rights And Now I Must Find A Way Out”, he informed the governor that the alleged role of the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole and the party’s National Working Committee, NWC during the primaries informed his decision to quit the APC in order to actualize his dream on the AA platform.

It would be recalled that Abayomi, who has been having a running battle with Oshiomhole over the emergence of the current Senator representing Ondo North Senatorial District, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice as the senatorial district’s candidate at the 2019 polls, had accused the National Chairman of working against the wish of the people by giving “automatic tickets” to Boroffice and two other serving senators from the state.

According to the former APC senatorial aspirant, the term “automatic ticket” is unknown to the party’s constitution which Oshiomhole used to “block” his chance.

The letter he wrote to Gov. Akeredolu which was obtained by DAILY POST reads, “In a democracy, eligible members of our party are expected to vote or agree through consensus who the candidate over them should be in any election. It is NEVER the leaders who at any rate are expected to be chosen by the people that impose Candidates in democracy.

“This is why the Constitution of APC defines Candidates as “Any person who has been nominated at a primary or party election to contest at a General Election”. Nomination for elections is always the prerogative of the electors or the people. It is NEVER that of the leaders.

“The APC Constitution in section 20 provides two (2) types of Primary elections for the Nomination of candidates for the Senate that is “Through direct or indirect Primary election to be conducted at the appropriate level.”

“I regret to inform you that the present leadership of APC at the National level has decided to take away your right to nominate Candidates as well as my right to be nominated by its unlawful “Automatic ticket” for all present Senators from Ondo State.

“The National Leadership has appointed its candidate but NOW our people in the North Senatorial Zone must have a chance to choose their candidate against Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s appointed Candidates. We are Ondo State people, our character is to fight for our rights and insist on these rights.

“You may wish to note that on the 3rd and 4th of October, after following all Party processes including all payments, and expenses at various Party levels, I wrote to the National Chairman of APC and APC NEC as the Constitution of APC requires to allow fair play but got no reply.

“In keeping with long standing determination to fight for my right and your right, I will run for Senate in Ondo North Senatorial Zone on the platform of Action Alliance since the National Leadership of APC under Adams Oshiomhole has unconstitutionally blocked my chance by forcing its candidates on us all.”

Abayomi however assured the Governor to return to his camp after winning the Ondo North Senatorial seat under the platform of AA at next year’s elections.

“My decision to detour this time has been difficult. Since 2003 I have been with you. Inspite of the many challenges we faced together I have not retreated. I have not equivocated. I have not moved an inch because there was always a chance at redemption. Today the chance is unconstitutionally totally blocked. In my interest and in your interest I must keep the chance open. After the next Senatorial election which I hope to win, I will return to you,” he said.

Army Kills Terrorists’ Spokesman

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Army Kills Terrorists’ Spokesman
The Nigerian Army says troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have killed Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) media chief, Sale Ahmad Sale, also known as Baban Hassan.

The Nigerian Army, on its official Facebook page said Sale, who is the leader of Al-Barnawi media group, a faction of boko haram, was killed during an operation jointly conducted by the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Air Force.

The statement noted that the killing of the media leader is a demonstration of Nigerian Army’s efforts to eliminate key members of the sect.

‘‘The death of the group’s media leader shows that the leadership is being targeted successfully and soon, other key members would be apprehended or neutralised, thus decimating the group and its activities.”

The statement further noted that the sect is directly affiliated to the Islamic State and has been carrying out deadly attacks on innocent civilians and Nigerian troops.

“It is worthy to note that the sect is directly affiliated to the Islamic State and has carried out several attacks against our troops and innocent civilians in the past.’’

The statement further averred that the new leader of Jama’atu Nus’ratul-Islami Wal-Muslimina, Abul- Fadl Iyad Gali has also been identified. It explained that the group is a new terrorist group which Ansaru is affiliated to.

It added that the identification of the leader of Jama’atu Nus’ratul-Islami Wal-Muslimina group would enable the Army target the group effectively, using advanced technologies in its arsenal.

“This is as the existence of the group portends grave danger to Nigeria’s national security,” it said.

INEC Warns Against Inciting Statements As Campaigns Begin

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INEC Warns Against Inciting Statements As Campaigns Begin
As candidates for the February 16, 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections officially commence campaigns today, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned them against making  inflammatory statements.

LEADERSHIP Sunday reports that today marks the start of full electioneering activities according to INEC’s election  timetable and schedule of activities, in line with Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

The Electoral Act provides that “the period of campaigning in public by every political party shall commence 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day.”

However, the electoral umpire has told the candidates to carry out their campaigns in a responsible manner.

Speaking with LEADERSHIP Sunday, the deputy director, Information and Voter Education, Aliyu M Bello, cautioned candidates and their parties to run campaigns devoid of rancorous, hate and/or inflammatory speeches.

He said, “Political parties are expected to conduct their activities in an organised and peaceful manner.”

According to the electoral body, campaigns for governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections will commence on December 1, 2018.

Atiku flags Off Campaign Tomorrow With ‘People’s Policy’ Launch

Meanwhile, former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, will tomorrow flag off his 2019 presidential campaign with the launch his policy document tagged ‘People’s Policy.’

The PDP candidate, according to a statement from his campaign office, will at noon, via Facebook, present the policy document containing his vision for Nigeria and his strategies to achieve it.

“The document will promptly be uploaded on his website () for all Nigerians to access at no cost.

“The decision of Atiku Abubakar to kick-start his presidential campaign with the launch of his policy document is to reiterate his commitment to run an issues-based campaign.

“The intention is to take our policy directly to Nigerians and to register the belief of Atiku Abubakar that it will take the collective efforts of every Nigerian to rebuild the country. That is why we want Nigerians to access the policy directly and, ultimately, take ownership of it.

“Our campaign offers a simple message: united, the people of Nigeria can begin anew, creating a prosperous and secure future and a better life for every Nigerian.

“On the first working day of the campaign, the PDP and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar will put forward his plan to get Nigeria working again.

“We have chosen to do this by having the PDP presidential candidate speaking directly to the Nigerian people on Facebook. This medium came about as part of the telecommunications revolution that he helped start as vice president in 1999-2007.”

He further noted that the campaign office would get Atiku to speak online which would enable everyone to download a copy of his policy document at no cost so that every Nigerian would be part of it.

“Our policy document focuses on creating jobs, ensuring security, growing business, developing power and water infrastructure, agriculture and education and how we will empower women.

“Our policies outline the goals and methods for developing and revitalising Nigeria as the foundation of our campaign.

“This policy document is being launched to encourage a dialogue with the people of Nigeria, inviting everyone to join us in helping to get Nigeria working again.

“The PDP presidential candidate looks forward to conducting vital discussions as he travels across the length and breadth of Nigeria, meeting and talking with stakeholders: famers, small business people, workers, students, mothers, and children,” he said.

The Atiku campaign body expressed confidence at emerging victorious in a peaceful, free and fair election.

In same vein, the PDP will hold its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting next week to ratify the composition of its Presidential Campaign Council and streamline its campaign strategy for the presidential polls.

 

Restructuring, Economy, Security Top Agenda As Presidential Campaigns Begin

As campaigns for 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections commence today, the state of the economy, security, the anti-corruption war and the debate over the restructuring of the country will be at the top of the list of campaign issues.

Checks by our correspondents show that candidates and their parties will be expected proffer clear-cut ideas on these issues in the light of the current state of affairs in the country.

Experts and analysts who spoke with LEADERSHIP Sunday as well as available data with regards to the various sectors of the country gave insights into the quality of campaigns expected from the candidates.

Restructuring

The restructuring debate has dominated much of the political discourse since 2015. Virtually all the parties have expressed favourable disposition to the idea. Checks reveal that while the ruling APC had set up committees on restructuring, the PDP candidate has been at the forefront campaigner for the restructuring of the country. Other parties, like Social Democratic Party (SDP), African Democratic Alliance (ADC), and Young Peoples Party (YPP) have also talked about restructuring. Besides allegations and counter allegations on sincerity to restructure the country, the candidates will be expected to define the template and timelines on how they intend to restructure the country. Already, there have been various proposals, ranging from returning to 1963 constitution, return to regional system, adoption of the 2014 confab report, more devolution of powers, etc.

Security

Security will be one of the top issues for debate by the candidates. They will be expected to reveal and explain their plans on how to tackle insurgency in the North-east, the challenge in the farmers and herdsmen clashes, the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), militancy in the Niger Delta, cult activities and kidnappings across the country. They will also be expected to look at how to secure the borders of the country.

Security expert and former director of Department for State Services (DSS), Mike Ejiofor, however cautioned the candidates to desist from engaging on personality attacks considering the already tense atmosphere in the country ahead of the election.

While urging the candidates to focus on issues, he said Boko Haram is not just the issue; there is IPOB and other groups. We already have more than enough security challenges. So attacking personalities will only raise the level of insecurity. The incumbent government should be able to tell people what they have done in tackling insecurity while those intending to unseat them should tell us what they will do differently.”

Poverty Alleviation/unemployment

Parties and their candidates will also be expected to unveil their social welfare programmes on how to create jobs and tackle  poverty in the country.

The national chairman of National Democratic Party (NDP), Prince Chudi Chukwuani, told LEADERSHIP Sunday that “the candidates should tell Nigerians the truth and hold themselves accountable to the truth. There’s immense hunger in the land. Parties have to come up with practical solutions on how to tackle poverty and hunger ravaging the country.”

Agriculture

With this sector identified as critical to create employment especially for the youths, candidates will be expected to provide their blueprint on how to make this sector reach its full potential in the country.

Oni Timothy Olukunle of the Nigeria Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER) listed the challenges in the agricultural sector,  which have remain prevalent over the years, to include marketing problem, storage and processing, infrastructure inadequacies, unstable input and output prices, agricultural labour, technical constraints, inadequacies in past policies and programmes, among others. How the candidates intend to tackle these challenges will be of interest to Nigerians.

 

Anti-corruption

The war against corruption will also be a critical area for debate. The APC had, in the build-up to  the 2015 general elections, campaigned on the fight against corruption. As the ruling party, APC has argued that it has made major milestones in the anti-graft war with the arrest and prosecution of prominent members of the former ruling party, PDP. The PDP has however accused the APC of engaging in political witchhunt  of its members in the guise of anti-corruption war. It also accused the APC of shielding its members who are alleged to be corrupt.

Executive director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), a non-governmental organisation, Mr Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, said, “Any candidate that is  serious about the fight against corruption will ensure preventive measures against corruption, enforce sanctions, and strengthen of the anti-graft agencies.”

“If we don’t do that, I doubt very much that we can make any progress in the fight against corruption.”

By-elections: APC Wins In Katsina, Kwara, PDP Takes Cross River

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By-elections: APC Wins In Katsina, Kwara, PDP Takes Cross River
The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday won the by-election into the Kankiya/Kusada/Ingawa federal constituency seat of Katsina State and  that of /lrepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero federal constituency of Kwara State.

But the lkom ll constituency seat in the Cross River State House of Assembly was given to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by consensus.

Our sister publication, LEADERSHIP Weekend, had reported yesterday that the by-elections in the states would be the last off-season polls before the 2019 general election and would offer opportunity to both leading parties to prove their mettle and how prepared they are ahead of the 2019 general elections.

In Katsina, the APC candidate Abubakar Kusada polled  48,518 votes beat his closest rival, the PDP candidate, Abdussamad Abdullah, who polled 20, 193 votes.

Announcing the results, returning officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Rasheed Adebayo Hamzat, also said the PRP candidate polled 1,810 votes, while the Yes Electorate Solidarity (YES) got 221 votes.

LEADERSHIP Sunday reports that the by-election into the Kankiya/Kusada/Ingawa federal constituency was sequel to the election of the former member representing the area in the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ahmed Babba-Kaita, to represent Katsina North senatorial district in the Senate.

The APC had won all the three consecutive by-elections and a re-run election in the state after the 2015 general election.

Speaking to LEADERSHIP Sunday yesterday after casting his vote in Kankia, Senator Kaita hailed the high turn-out of voters, saying it showed that the electorate was still enthusiastic about APC and the elections.

“The process is free, fair and very, very credible. You can see what is happening; people are turning out in their numbers and they are voting peacefully,” said Kaita.

The Speaker of the Katsina State House of Assembly and the APC flag bearer in the by-election, Abubakar Yahaya Kusada, in an interview with journalists in his home, Kusada, also commended the poll as credible and hitch free, while expressing optimism that the exercise would be a success.

Similarly, a PDP enthusiast, Musa Badamasi, told LEADERSHIP Sunday that he remained hopeful that the opposition would spring a surprise in the by-election, while brushing aside insinuations that APC was home and dry in the constituency.

In Kwara, INEC declared the APC candidate, Raheem Tunji Olawuyi, winner of yesterday’s by-election into the House of Representatives seat of Irepodun/ Isin/ Ekiti/ Oke- Ero federal constituency in the state.

The returning officer for the election, Prof Bimbola Adesoji of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife, announced the results in Omu-Aran, the headquarters of Irepodun local government area.

He said the APC candidate scored 21,236 votes to beat the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Saheed Alatise, who polled 18,095 votes.

But Kwara State governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, described the House of Representatives by-election into the Ekiti, Isin, Irepodun and Oke-Ero federal constituency as a contest between the PDP and security agents, rather than among political parties.

Ahmed, in a statement by his senior special assistant on media and communications, Dr Muhideen Akorede, said reports available to him from the four local government areas in which elections were held indicated wide-spread harassment, arrests and intimidation of PDP members and supporters by security personnel.

Ahmed, however, commended PDP members and supporters across the federal constituency for standing their ground and defying the threats posed by the security agents by coming out to exercise their franchise at the risk of harm and arrest.

He said the heightened fear and intimidation orchestrated against PDP members and supporters and abetted by security agents led to voter apathy and poor turn-out in the areas that were traditional strong-holds of the party.

In Cross River, a widow, Stella Egbung Nkoro, of the PDP was yesterday declared winner of the Ikom II state constituency by-election in the state.

Mrs Nkoro  will replace her husband, the member representing the same constituency, who died recently.

The widow’s late husband, Simon, was the one representing the constituency at the Cross River State House of Assembly before his demise on August 26.

According to a statement by INEC national commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, the PDP is the only party that will appear on the ballot paper in the by-election as  parties agreed that Simon Okoro’s wife replace her husband since the term in office is almost due.

Cross River APC chairman, Achigbe reportedly dead

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Cross River APC chairman, Achigbe reportedly dead
The All Progressives Congress, APC, Chairman in Cross River State, Dr. Mathew Achigbe, is death.

Achigbe died this morning (Saturday) in a fatal motor accident.

He was said to have travelled to his village in Obubra when the accident occurred along Afikpo Road in Ebonyi State.

DAILY POST gathered that some noticeable personalities died with him.

An eyewitness, who pleaded for anonymity, said, “My brother, I’ve just heard it now that he died in a motor accident in Afikpo. I’m shocked myself”.

Efforts to speak with the family members of the deceased and the state publicity secretary of APC, Mr Bassey Ita, proved abortive.

New minimum wage: Fayemi reveals condition that will make governors pay N30,000

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New minimum wage: Fayemi reveals condition that will make governors pay N30,000
The Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Saturday said that the Federal Government needed to address the current revenue allocation formula, to enable state governments pay the new minimum wage being requested by workers.
Fayemi spoke when he received the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Ayuba Wabba, who paid him a courtesy visit in his office, in Ado-Ekiti.

He said that Ekiti, which receives one of the lowest allocations in the country, would require extra N2bn monthly to be able to pay.
The governor, who noted that the N30,000 minimum wage was not a comfortable living wage for workers, said he was convinced that governors would pay if the Federal Government creates the enabling environment for them to do so.

He, however, suggested a collective approach by the labour leadership, the government and the general public.
Fayemi said the issue of affordability was key in paying the proposed minimum wage

The governor said Ekiti had always been paying above the national minimum wage as the state was paying N19, 350 as against the N18,000 minimum.
He, however, said that for Ekiti State to pay the new N30,000 minimum wage, it would need N2 billion in addition to the current wage bill of N2.6 billion, totalling N4.6bn.

This, he said, was the case in many other states, disclosing that Ekiti earns averagely N3bn federal allocation monthly.
“I am not holding brief for
the governors because I am the youngest among them, having only come to office barely a month ago.

”So, I cannot speak on what has transpired in your negotiation in the course of this tripartite committee,” he said
Fayemi said if he were, however, to put himself in the shoes of his colleagues, given the fact on ground in Ekiti, he believes it was only a question of affordability, ability to pay.

“As long as we have the revenue allocation formula that we have in the country, even in states where you have willing partners and comrades that are not going to contend the N30,000 figure, if nothing is done about current revenue allocation, this will be tough on states.

“In fact, this N30,000 is not even enough, Mr President, I don’t know anyone who can really live comfortably on N30,000, let alone the N18,000 we are currently paying.
“I think we need a collective approach to this beyond the game of numbers.
“The workers are very critical components to the productive base of our country, because it is the human capital and it has to be motivated human capital.
“It has to be an enthusiastic human capital that can deliver the goods to the populace,” Fayemi said.

SARS: Panel makes shocking revelations as South-west public hearing ends

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SARS: Panel makes shocking revelations as South-west public hearing ends
The Presidential Panel on SARS Reform, which began its public hearing in Lagos on Tuesday, Nov. 13, ended its sitting on Saturday after listening to 36 cases.

The five-day public hearing had some cases successfully resolved, while one was dismissed as complainants refused to show up.
Some other cases were adjourned for panel’s decision and the rest reported to have been settled by necessary authorities.

The public hearing, organised by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), came to an end after evaluating the inadequacies of the police as well as members of the public.
The panel revealed that failure of some complainants to report, as well as bad timing of report of some incidents were challenges in resolving some issues.
NAN reports that most of the cases listened to by the panel exposed the failure of SARS to follow due process in discharging their duties.
According to the Chairman of the Panel, Mr Tony Ojukwu, there are some cases which ordinarily should not be the business of SARS.

He cited such instances to include: a case where a SARS official was assigned to handle a matter bordering on debt between two parties.
“This is a matter that a policeman can handle in any police station, not SARS. So, when you are called upon that a bank robbery is ongoing, you will say you are taking statements from market women,” he said.

The Chairman also addressed the issue of SARS officials covering name tags while on illegal duties and questioned why policemen would not register their presence at the nearest police station so as to check issues of illegal duty shifts.

On a case bordering on extra-judicial killing, Ojukwu questioned policemen on why they would carry out coroner inquest on a body without informing relatives of the deceased.

“If you have invited a pathologist to carry out autopsy on a body without a relation to identify the body, how are we so sure you have the right body?

“There is need to always do the right thing. You should have in mind that there will always be a day of account. All of these have to stop.

“Some of the reasons we face these inadequacies of the police is because people do not report, as they are not sure if any action will be taken.

“This is why impunity continues. Our people are docile and they don’t fight for their rights, because if an officer knows that someone will hold him accountable for his actions, he will do what is right.

“I know that recommendations of this panel will put things in order, but I hope we don’t degenerate into looking for other ways to evade being held accountable for our wrongs,” he said.

Ojukwu, however, commended the policemen that accepted their wrongs, saying that it is when policemen try to outsmart the panel that cases keep taking time to resolve.

Meanwhile, the panel is proceeding to Owerri for the joint South-East and South-South Zone public hearing.

AFCON 2019: Rohr advises South Africa on how to beat Libya after 1-1 draw with Nigeria

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AFCON 2019: Rohr advises South Africa on how to beat Libya after 1-1 draw with Nigeria
Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr has advised South Africa on how to defeat Libya following his side’s 1-1 draw with the Bafana Bafana in Saturday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, qualifying fixture at the BFN Stadium in Johannesburg.

An own goal from South Africa defender, Buhle Mkhwanazi, and a strike from striker, Lebo Mothiba, ensured that Rohr’s men got a point against the hosts.

Commenting on South Africa’s final group game with Libya, Rohr said for South Africa to beat Libya they have to tackle the North Africans as they did against the Eagles.

Rohr told SuperSport: ”It will be a big battle, in Sfax we played a very good Libyan team. They saw already here that it is not easy to beat them.”

The German tactician, however, believes Stuart Baxter’s side will qualify for next year’s African Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

”But I think that if South Africa played as they did today, with Percy Tau who is a wonderful player,they are going to beat them and even a draw will be enough.

”I think they will be with us at the next AFCON in Cameroon.”

Nigeria will face Seychelles in their final Group E game in March 2019, while Libya, who must win to qualify for the 2019 AFCON, will host South Africa in Sfax, Tunisia in their final game.
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