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Sunday, 18 November 2018

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.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Gov. Bello’s aide assassinated in Kogi

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Gov. Bello’s aide assassinated in Kogi
One of the aides to the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, identified as Yusuf Adabenege has been assassinated by unknown gunmen.

Mr Adabenege was murdered in cold blood on Friday at about 6:30pm around Oro Obehira-Ege road in Okene Local Government Area of the State.

The deceased is also the custodian of Aneku Okuku Cementi of Obehira and the leader of Governor Yahaya Bello (GYB) Initiative.

Following his death, security agencies have been placed at all strategic points in the local government.

According to available information, the deceased was ambushed at the front of Living Faith Church, Okuha Anatahu Okene Obehira road by the yet to be identified gunmen.

He was said to have been killed through a hand grenade which hit him on the head.

The gunmen also fired at his vehicle which resulted in the immediate death of his driver, who was later identified as Musa.

Meanwhile, the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has urged the people of Ebira land to maintain law and order as perpetrators of the heinous crime will be made to face the full wrath of the law.

2019 election: Presidency reacts to alleged viral audio of Saraki

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2019 election: Presidency reacts to alleged viral audio of Saraki
The Presidency has reacted to an alleged audio of Senate President, Bukola Saraki revealing how much he spent campaigning for President Muhammadu Buhari during the 2015 election.

Saraki had in the viral audio said he spent about N200m for campaigning for President Buhari in 30 states during 2015 election.

The Senate president lamenting in the audio also explained that he is angry with President Buhari because he was not compensated and has not benefited from the APC government since 2015.

He, however, promised that it will not be the same in 2019 as president Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Atiku Abubakar will make funds available and empower youths.

Reacting to the audio, Bashir Ahmad, Buhari’s Special Adviser on New Media in a post on Twitter agreed with all Saraki allegedly said.

According to Ahmad, the audio shows what opposition parties are fighting for ahead of 2019 elections.

“This audio will make you understand what those people are really fighting for. (fighting for themselves ONLY, not for you or for the country).

“Saraki has said it exactly the way it is, and he rightly put it in way that can be understood by all. The choice is all yours!

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

One dead as gunmen attack Wike’s ally, Wanosike in Ikwerre [PHOTOS]

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One dead as gunmen attack Wike’s ally, Wanosike in Ikwerre [PHOTOS]
Unknown gunmen have attacked the venue of a PVC Sensitization programme in Ipo, Ikwerre Local government area of Rivers State, leaving one person dead and several other injured.

It was gathered that the Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Samuel Wanosike, narrowly escaped death in the attack.

Wanosike is said to be an ally to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

Commander of the Joint Task Force deployed to Ikwerre Local Government, who confirmed the incident to DAILY POST, said the unknown gunmen ambushed the Chairman and other PDP Leaders in Ikwerre Local government.

Chris Omodu, who is the Chief Press Secretary of Samuel Wanosike, said the incident has been reported to the Police.

“While we were on the ground of our sensitization rally, we started hearing gunshots. Before we knew it, we saw the boys approaching us and shooting directly at us.

“They went straight to the car of the LGA Chairman and started shooting him but thank God his vehicle is bullet-proof if not, he would have been killed by now.

“Many people were hit with bullets during the shooting and one person is already dead. We went straight to the Igwuruta Police station to report,” he said.

In the meantime, the Rivers state Police Command is yet to react to the development.

ASUU gives update on strike, to meet FG Thursday

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ASUU gives update on strike, to meet FG Thursday
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says it is ready to commence negotiations with the Federal Government to resolve the ongoing strike.

ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.

Ogunyemi said that meeting with the Federal Government delegation has been scheduled for Thursday, one o’clock at the instance of the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu.

According to him, the N200 billion released by the Federal Government in September 2018 was not an issue but that N200 billion ought to have been released in October 2017 as part of the 2013 agreement.

“It would be recalled that the Federal Government had agreed to inject N1.3 trillion to fund universities at N 220 billion yearly for five years.

“If government fails to fund public universities the situation on campuses may degenerate, worse than the already poor quality teaching and learning environment,’’ he said.

The ASUU president, however, insisted that the ‘No work no pay’ threats by the government would not affect the lecturers as the industrial action was legal in Nigerian labour law and international conventions, which Nigeria is signatory.

He added that ASUU was hoping that the meeting scheduled for Thursday will be used to resolve the issues at stake and not to continue to raise alarm that past administrations made bogus agreements with the university lecturers.

The striking lecturers had resumed its strike on November 5 to press home its demands.

Some of the demands included: that the Federal Government should nominate another chairman of the government renegotiating team of the 2009 ASUU/Federal Government Agreement.

Other demands were: non-payment of Earned allowance, funding of revitalization of the Nigerian universities, implementation of needs assessment report, poor funding of state universities, among others.

ASUU speaks on calling off strike

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ASUU speaks on calling off strike
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has said it was not in a position to determine whether an end to its ongoing strike is in sight.

ASUU Chairman, University of Abuja chapter, Dr. Ben Ugheoke, said this on Wednesday in an interview with DAILY POST in Abuja.

Recall that the lecturers, penultimate week embarked on industrial action over the failures of the Federal Government to implement its part of the agreement it signed with the union towards ensuring proper funding of the universities, the payment of full salaries by state-owned universities, and the payment of earned academic allowances, among others.

Speaking, Dr. Ugheoke explained that the onus lay with the Federal Government to call ASUU to the negotiation table with a view to bringing an end to the strike.

“I can’t tell if an end to the strike is in sight. If the Federal Government calls us for negotiations, we are not against that. But, we are in the government’s position,” he said.

On whether his chapter of the union had plans of pulling out of the ongoing industrial action, he said: “The strike is national. Whatever ASUU’s NEC (National Executive Council) directs, that’s what UNIABUJA chapter follows.”

Meanwhile, ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, has said the union was ready to commence negotiations with the government over the ongoing strike.

Ogunyemi said a meeting with the Federal Government delegation has been scheduled for Thursday, one o’clock at the instance of the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu.

EPL: Hazard speaks on his future with Chelsea, Sarri

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EPL: Hazard speaks on his future with Chelsea, Sarri
Chelsea ace, Eden Hazard, has disclosed that he would take a decision on his future with the West London club at the end of the season.

He, however, said that he had no plans to leave Stamford Bridge in the January transfer window.

Hazard, who has been on top form under manager, Maurizio Sarri’s side this season, is yet to sign a new contract with The Blues.

The Belgium international will have only a year remaining on his current contract with Chelsea at the end of this campaign if he fails to agree a new deal.

“I only think about Chelsea now,” Hazard told Sporza when asked about his future.

“The competition lasts seven or eight months, after that, I’ll see what happens.

“The coach has the same football philosophy as I said,” he added.

“He always thinks about the ball. How we as players think about football, that is also his way of thinking.

“If you see how Napoli play, it’s thanks to Maurizio Sarri, his style is now reflected in Chelsea, he also has players who fit into the system. “So yes, we’re very happy, we play football well.”

Hazard will hope to lead Chelsea to victory when they tackle Tottenham Hotspur on November 24 in the Premier League.

Five allegedly killed as two communities clash in Cross River

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Five allegedly killed as two communities clash in Cross River
No fewer than five persons have been allegedly killed and several others missing in a communal clash that ensued between the people of Ebijakara, Ebom and Usumutong communities in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Wednesday when the people of Ebom, who had been refugees in Usumutong finally left to their ancestral home, Ebom.

DAILY POST gathered that the people of Ebijakar, who were driven from their ancestral home by Ebom people over thirteen years ago, decided to go back without informing their host; but the youths of Ebom resisted them from entering their ancestral home.

The Village Head of Usumutong, who is the paramount ruler of Abi Local Government Area, His Royal Majesty (HRM) Oval Solomon Osim Edward, confirmed the development to our reporter on Wednesday.

He said, “This morning (Wednesday), I heard that they left to their ancestral home in Ebom, they didn’t tell anybody, so when they got to Ebom, the people of Ebom resisted them from entering their community.

“Ebom people pursued them back and they wanted to come to Usumutong, but our youths repelled them since they have left. For now, peace has gradually returned to the area but we don’t know what would happen tomorrow whether they will re-enforce and come back,” he stated.

“The Ebijakara people have been out of the community for the past 13 years and we in Usumutong have been harbouring them and we have been restraining them from going out for war with their neighbours.

“Recently, the Ebom people abducted two of our sons and when they threatened going back to their land, we have no control over them so we asked them to go.

“But the Ebom people pursued them back to Usumutong and we also said they should not come back, our youths pursued them back, saying they should remain there. Ebom drove them up to our boundary but we resisted them from coming in as well.

“However, we have been invited by the Governor for a meeting on Tuesday, all the Chiefs in Babuno will be there, those who would not come, it is left for them” he further stated.

The Village Head of Ebom, Chief Henry Bassey also told DAILY POST on phone that the Usumutong people arrived their territory this morning (Wednesday) and started shooting guns threatening and attacking his people.

“Our people are still in the bush, they have not returned to enable me know how many are missing or dead, when they return, they will come to my house but as at now, the situation is dicing.”

Meanwhile, an eyewitness, who simply gave his name as Ntui said “These people, Ebijaghara left our village (Usumutong), organised themselves, regrouped and went to Ebom, right now the fighting is still going on, houses have been burnt. It is Ebijakara people that attacked Ebom”.

Interestingly, the Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Inuwa Hafiz told our correspondent on phone on Wednesday that some women went to farm and were assaulted.

“We have since sent some police men to the area, as I speak to you now, the Area Commander, and Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and traditional rulers of the communities are meeting.

“So, many communities are fighting themselves, as I speak now, they are holding peace meeting because that was the report presented this morning.

“They are suspecting that it was Usumutong people who attacked Ebom and assaulted them. We have tried to stop the matter from degenerating into a full scale war.

“No report about death or destruction of property. We have to move in policemen to curb the situation,” Hafiz stated.

APC crisis: Senator Uzodinma gives detailed account of alleged $12m NPA contract

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APC crisis: Senator Uzodinma gives detailed account of alleged $12m NPA contract
The Imo State All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinma, has questioned his summon by the President Investigative Panel on Recovery of Public Property.

While denying reports that he was arrested by the panel, Uzodinma claimed that it was a clear case of witch-hunt.

Report emerged earlier in the week that the lawmaker was arrested by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel on Recovery of Public Property at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport Abuja.

The report stated that Uzodinma was arrested for failure of his company to execute a contract of 12 million dollars for dredging of Calabar channel.

However, Uzodinma, who doubles as Chairman, Senate Committee on Nigeria Customs Service, told News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Abuja on Wednesday that the reports may not be unconnected with his emergence as a governorship candidate.

Uzodinma said, “I was never arrested. I also read it in papers like every other Nigerian.”

On the contract, the lawmaker said Niger Global, the company that was accused of the complicity, had only two per cent share in the contract.

“Before I came to the senate, I came from the private sector. I was in oil and gas and marine operations. I operated Niger Global.

“In 2004 we participated in an international deal and Nigeria Ports Authority was looking for partners to manage the channels and we were lucky.

“We were one of the companies that formed the consortium to manage Calabar Channels.

“Calabar Channels Management Company is a joint venture being operated by the NPA. They have the major shareholders.

“They have 60 per cent shareholding and then the consortium of like six other companies had different shares.

“Niger Global had five per cent share and there is a five member board, where NPA has three and the consortium of companies two.

“Before I came to Senate, I was in the board and the technical partners to the consortium dredged the Calabar Channel under the supervision of the Calabar Management Board,” he said.

The lawmaker expressed surprise that the allegations were coming several years after the contract, adding that it was a clear case of witch hunt.

“All I know is that some aggrieved persons are behind this, otherwise where was this panel since 2004.

“I was in the 7th Senate from 2011 to 2015, why did this issue not come out. I have been here in the 8th senate from 2015 to date why didn’t the issue come up.

“To the best of my knowledge, the company worked, even though I am not in the management anymore but I am still one of the minority shareholders of that company.

“If there is any question that must be answered by the company, the majority shareholder should first answer their own query.

“If anything, I am a serving senator and a ranking one at that and the Chairman of the Southern Senators Forum.”

On allegations of non-declaration of asset, Uzodinma said coming from the private sector into politics, he was surprised at the request by the panel.

“Before I joined politics, of course I came from the private sector that is why I became even surprised when the panel said I should declare my asset for the past 20 years.

“I have never seen anywhere in any law where private people are made to declare their asset to government,” he said.

However, he said he obliged the panel by sending his declaration form and copying the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami.

“The Presidential Committee wrote me sometimes last month asking for my asset declaration form alleging that I did not declare my asset.

“I replied and attached my declaration form and copied the Attorney General of the Federation whom I suppose they are working under.”

The governorship candidate said he would not be deterred in ensuring that the people of Imo are liberated from the untold hardship they were subjected to.

He said: “with what has happened in Imo State, I thought by now, some of these underdogs should repent but they are still plotting.

“I thought what they would do in the spirit of democracy is to appreciate the fact that some people are now in the party and the party will be better for it.

“It is not easy to do what I have done in recent times. To make sacrifice, I followed my people and encourage them to be in the ruling party.

“So name calling, campaign of calumny and all of that is only a distraction. I have been around for sometimes and I understand the meaning of politics and I refused to be distracted.”

He further denied inducing the APC National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, in order to be made the party’s flag bearer in Imo.

He called on the aggrieved persons and other stakeholders to work together to grow the country’s democracy.

He added that “some of us believe that this country must grow and we must be given the opportunity to contribute our own quota to national development.”

‘I will not die until you become president’ – Prof Ben Nwabueze tells Atiku

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‘I will not die until you become president’ – Prof Ben Nwabueze tells Atiku
Chairman of The Patriots, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, SAN, on Wednesday said he believed former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, would lead the country to greatness.

The head of Igbo Leaders of Thought said this on Wednesday in Enugu when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate met with Igbo leaders.

Segun Sowunmi, spokesman of Atiku Presidential Campaign said Nwabueze got emotional during the meeting.

Sowunmi, who posted a photo showing Atiku and the Igbo leader in a warm embrace tweeted Wednesday night: “Touching moment Prof Ben Nwabueze almost moved to tears.”

“I will not die until your become president”, he quoted Nwabueze as saying.

The endorsement of Atiku was taken by Southeast elders, comprising political, traditional and religious leaders as well as women groups.

The communiqué read by a legal luminary, Olisa Agbakoba, SAN said: “The summit deliberated on the State of Ndigbo in Nigeria today especially after years of exclusion from the center.

“This country has never been as divided as it is today. We Igbos have always yearned for a level playing field with justice, equity and fairness.

“The Summit recognized the nomination of His Excellency Mr. Peter Obi Former Governor of Anambra State as the Vice Presidential Candidate of the PDP and fully endorses this nomination.

“It was acknowledged that this nomination puts Ndigbo back in the center of governance. It is therefore important that Ndigbo should rally behind the Atiku/Obi ticket.”

2018 Ballon d’Or: Ronaldo, Messi miss out of ‘three-man final shortlist’

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2018 Ballon d’Or: Ronaldo, Messi miss out of ‘three-man final shortlist’
Juventus forward, Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi, will both miss out on this year’s Ballon d’Or award.

This claim was made by respected journalist, Eric Macruth, who works for French radio station, RFI.

Recall that Ronaldo and Messi were shortlisted for the Europe topflight individual prize last month.

Ronaldo and Messi have dominated the award for ten years now.

The pair had won an incredible five awards each, with Ronaldo equalling Messi’s tally last year.

According to Express UK, Macruth disclosed that Real Madrid midfielder, Luka Modric will win the 2018 Ballon d’ Or, while Real Madrid defender, Raphael Varane and Paris Saint-Germain forward, Kylian Mbappe will be among the three-man final shortlist ahead of Ronaldo and Messi.

“Exclusive #BallondOr: After counting half the votes, the head trio is as follows: 1) Modric 2) @raphaelvarane 3 @KMbappe. @xbarretfoot @RFIRadioFoot Info @RFIsports,” Macruth tweeted.

The 2018 Ballon d’ Or award will take place on 3rd December, 2018.

Contradictions as Gov Akeredolu, Olowolabi justify blacklisting of journalists from governor’s office

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Contradictions as Gov Akeredolu, Olowolabi justify blacklisting of journalists from governor’s office
Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has disclosed the reason behind the blacklisting of some journalists from the governor’s office.

According to the governor who spoke via his verified Tweeter handle, he hinted that unpaid debt to the affected media houses was the reason for the eviction, stating that the government would not be held to ransom.

“No war here. I’ve benefited from a vibrant media as NBA President, I won’t change now as Governor. All media houses can cover our activities whenever & however they seem fit.

“We will nonetheless not be held to ransom over unpaid debt to media houses by the previous administration,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, the claim of the governor has contradicted that of the Commissioner for Information, Yemi Olowolabi.

In a press statement issued earlier by the commissioner who was alleged to have masterminded the eviction of the correspondents of Channels TV, AIT and Core TV from the governor’s office last week Friday over the stance of the reporters of not doing the bidding of the commissioner by reporting stories favourable to the state government, he described the affected journalists as “impostors” and “parasites”

The statement reads, “For the record, we have not expelled any journalist from the Governor’s office. What we did was to rid the place of impostors and parasites parading themselves as professional journalists.

“The standard practice in Government House Press coverage is to accredit journalists who cover the beat. And no duly accredited Government House reporter has been barred from covering the daily activities of the Governor.

“My office was inundated with serial complaints about professional misconduct by some ‘journalists’ who turned the newsroom in the Governor’s office to beer parlour, gambling station and blackmailers’ hideout. Some of these complaints were investigated and were found out to be true.

“In fact, I have received complaints from some important guests who were made to pay for interviews and news items that were never used on any channel.

“Also, most of the whimsical stories trending on the social media are anchored on the purported sack of AIT and Channels TV’s reporters from the Government House. Again, there is a procedure that guides the engagement and disengagement of reporters from all the broadcast stations that are working with us. Duly signed official letters are usually sent to the broadcast stations headquarters to convey our intentions to their management. Our last official communication with the stations was in April 2017.

“Another twist to this fairy tale is the reckless innuendo that we sacked some reporters from the Government House because they were writing negative stories. This is a preposterous account bereft of logic and rationalisation. For instance, in the last one year, the Channels TV’s reporters here have not filed a single story on the activities of the Governor, either positive or negative. I challenge them to contradict this position.

“Yet the ‘journalists’ stay in the Governor’s office from morning to night every day. Doing what?
This was the simple question we asked. Their answer is the syndicated blackmail designed to frustrate the sanitisation of the Government House Press Crew which is in utter danger of vulgarisation,” the statement read.

Rooney names two superstars in England team

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Rooney names two superstars in England team
Manchester United legend, Wayne Rooney has identified striker, Harry Kane and forward, Raheem Sterling as the superstars in England team.

Rooney stated this ahead of The Three Lions’ international friendly clash with USA on Thursday.

“I think they’ve got superstars,” FourFourTwo quoted Rooney as saying at a pre-match press conference.

“Harry Kane has been top goalscorer in the Premier League for three or four years.

“Raheem Sterling in the last couple of years has been fantastic. I don’t think it’s fair to say the England team hasn’t got superstars.

“What you’re saying is we had some great established players: David Beckham, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry… why didn’t it work? I’ve no idea.

“We tried to be successful. We maybe never had the squad, we had the startling 11 which was very good but going into the tournament we maybe never had that back-up. But I think we had a great team, we were unlucky on a couple of occasions, going out on penalties.

“We gave our best; it wasn’t to be. It’s a chance now for this new generation of players to take up that mantle.”

Plateau attacks: Over 20,000 IDPs sleep in uncompleted buildings, makeshift camps

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Plateau attacks: Over 20,000 IDPs sleep in uncompleted buildings, makeshift camps
As the harmattan season gradually sets in, a group under the aegis of Plateau Youth G17 Peace and Progressive Forum has raised the alarm that more than 20,000 of the Internally Displaced Persons in Plateau State might be in “horrible” humanitarian conditions due to negligence of the government.

The group through its leader, Dachung Bagos, raised the alarm while addressing journalists in Jos.

According to him, since the attacks in some communities in June, 2018, which claimed the lives of over 200 persons and the displacement of over 38, 000 people, mainly women and children, the Federal Government is yet to deliver any humanitarian aid to the IDPs.

Bagos said, that despite promising to mobilize the National Emergency Management Agency to rescue the displaced persons, no effort has been made by the Federal Government.

“Consequently, most of the over 20,000 IDPs currently living in seven IDP camps across the state suffer lack of food, shelter and clothing”, he lamented.

“As it is now, most of the IDPs have no accommodation and have to squat in makeshift rooms or uncompleted buildings with no social amenities.

“Worrisome also is the fact that we are approaching the cold harmattan season with the festivities and holidays around the corner. It is most disheartening for one to imagine these innocent citizens, who have lost everything being continually forgotten to the point of celebrating Christmas in the cold because of the criminal neglect by government”, he decried.

He, however, lauded the United States of America’s government for supporting some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the state with “millions of Naira through Plateau Peace Building Agency to aid in the reintegration of displaced persons.

“We wish to call on the Plateau Peace Building Agency to urgently swing into action and ensure the transparent utilization of the said donor funds in accordance with the well-intentioned mandate of the US government”, Bagos stressed.

New minimum wage: Organized Labour blows hot, reveals what’ll happen if FG truncates agreed N30,000

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New minimum wage: Organized Labour blows hot, reveals what’ll happen if FG truncates agreed N30,000
The Organised Labour has warned the President Muhammadu Buhari government against any attempt to delay or truncate the newly-agreed N30,000 national minimum wage.

It said such move would have a devastating effect on the country.

It also cried out over the issue of corruption, saying it remained one of the major challenges facing the nation.

President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, Bobboi Kaigama said this while addressing the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the association, in Abuja.

Kaigama, who also serves as the President of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, stressed on the need for the government to fast-track implementation of the newly agreed national minimum wage.

He said, “It is apt to state that against all odds, the Tripartite Committee that negotiated the new Minimum Wage was able to scale all hurdles and agreed on N30,000 as the new minimum wage for the country.

“It is on this premise that I strongly want to appeal to the Federal Government to fast track the process of enacting the new National Minimum Wage into law.

“Our expectation is that the government should be able to complete the entire process before the end of this year so that workers who have waited for so long can begin to enjoy a new lease of life provided by the new minimum wage.

“The Federal Government is advised to avoid any action that can delay or truncate the process of enacting the new Minimum Wage as the consequences of allowing that to happen can be very devastating.”

He continued, “This situation has been made worse by the fact that since 2010 when salary review was carried out in the core civil service, no salary increment has been granted to civil servants except for the N900 monthly that was added to the emoluments of senior officers across board after N18,000 was approved as the National Minimum Wage in 2011.

“I must now dwell on the vexed issue of illegal recruitment and appointment of officers including Permanent Secretaries into the Civil Service which we have been battling over the years.

“The vexed issue of corruption still remains one of the major challenges facing us as a nation. This hydra-headed monster continues to loom large in our country in spite of the initial steps taken to address the menace by the present administration.

“Corruption in Nigeria has now assumed a very alarming proportion that can be described as horrendous. The Nigerian political class should know that there is no way this country can be inspired to greatness if this beast is not decapitated and rooted out of our system before it leads to catastrophic consequences.”

Sokoto Deputy Governor reportedly resigns

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Sokoto Deputy Governor reportedly resigns
The deputy Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu has allegedly resigned.

Ahmed is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state and he is expected to contest against his former boss, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who may fly the flag of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the gubernatorial poll in 2019 elections.

Daily Trust reports that the deputy Governor was not forced to resign.

According to a source, Sokoto resigned voluntarily and “we will not hesitate to accept his resignation.”

Ahmed was said to have submitted a copy of his resignation to the state House of Assembly but it was not read at the floor of the House during Tuesday’s sitting.

“It is good that he resigned honourably because he would save himself from unforeseen humiliation and also save his relationship with the governor,” he said.

2019: What Peter Obi plans to do to Nigerians – Buhari’s aide, Onochie

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2019: What Peter Obi plans to do to Nigerians – Buhari’s aide, Onochie
Lauretta Onochie, the Special Assistant to the President on Social media, has lambasted the vice presidential candidate of the opposition party, Mr Peter Obi, alleging that he plans to impoverish the masses if elected in 2019.

Onochie made the accusation on Tuesday in a post she published on her Twitter handle.

She went further to trivialise the surname of the PDP presidential candidate to read ‘Obi-Tuary’ rather than simply Obi.

The presidential aide extolled incumbent Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, for his contributions towards the success of tradermoni programme approved by the federal government to assist petty traders in the country.

She tweeted: “This is what they are coming to stop They want to return to take food out of the mouth of these lovely Nigerians.

“For the first time, ordinary Nigerians have a share in our national wealth. There will be no Peter Obi-tuary for this scheme (TraderMoni). Thanks @ProfOsinbajo. Your the best.”

Onochie also claimed that Obi would rather than unite the nation, divide Nigerians along ethnic and religious lines.

“If as a leader in Anambra State, he divided predominantly Christian Anambra State along Christian Denomination Lines, he has no business in Abuja! When he says, #LetsGetNigeriaWorkingAgain, he means, let’s divide Nigeria along class, ethnic and religious lines. #NoToBigotry,” she tweeted.

Obiano speaks on Anambra Assembly impeachement crisis

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Obiano speaks on Anambra Assembly impeachement crisis
The Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano has commended the members of the Anambra State House of Assembly for the mature way they handled the misunderstanding that arose in the House on Tuesday.

Speaking from Paris where he is on an official tour with President Buhari, Governor Obiano commended the Speaker of the House, Hon Mrs Rita Maduagwu, the principal officers and other members of the House “for rising to the acid test of true democracy and peacefully resolving the mild misunderstanding that erupted among them saying that the matter would have degenerated to something unpleasant if handled by a less competent crop of leaders.”

The Governor expressed confidence in the ability of Anambra lawmakers to always resolve their differences in the truest tradition of representative democracy and forge stronger ties that would accelerate the development of the state.

He also expressed contentment with the assurances by the Speaker and the Principal Officers of the House that whatever grey areas that might be still lingering in the House would be amicably resolved in the next few days.

Speaking further, Governor Obiano assured that Anambra remained Nigeria’s most peaceful and safe state and that his administration would continue to work assiduously to ensure that the state maintained that status.

2019 election: What Muslim-Muslim guber ticket will cause in Kaduna – Sheikh Gumi warns Gov. El-Rufai

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2019 election: What Muslim-Muslim guber ticket will cause in Kaduna – Sheikh Gumi warns Gov. El-Rufai
A frontline Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has spoken against the choice of a Muslim by Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai as his running for the 2019 governorship election in the state.

Gumi pointed out that the state was not ripe for a Muslim-Muslim governorship ticket going by its culture and environment.

Gumi noted that such ticket could create more tension in the violence-prone state, and that people of other ethnic groups and religions should be assimilated and not pushed out.

‎The renowned cleric said there was the need for the minority indigenous people to be given political representation in any state, depending on their population.

“Everybody knows that it’s politically motivated. ‎Everybody knows that. What I’m saying and I specifically said is that you look at the time, the situation, the culture, the environment ‎before you make such a move,” he told Premium Times.

“What I feel is that it’s not yet the time. It is not right, ‎especially coming a week after some people who lost lives innocently. Somebody is killed on the road, why? Because of his identity.

“So, immediately after such a crisis, we don’t need another thing that will create animosity between people that are destined to live together- and I specifically said indigenous people.

“If we have indigenous people, we should do everything possible to assimilate them, integrate them, not to castigate them and put them out.

“They brought the argument that this thing is happening in Plateau and other states and I said yes, this is one reason why we should show them that we don’t take our behaviours and civilisation from barbarism. We have a standard.

“Not only in Kaduna. We are now looking for the right of Muslim minorities in Plateau, in Benue, in Nasarawa too, they should be fully integrated into the politics. If it requires to be a deputy governor, they should have to.

“So we should advocate for Muslims where they are minorities to have representation, depending on their population in government and not to deny people who are destined to‎ live together and show them they are outcast.”

2019: Oshiomhole reveals what Amosun, Okorocha will do to APC during elections

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2019: Oshiomhole reveals what Amosun, Okorocha will do to APC during elections
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, has described the party’s estranged governors, who had been up in arms against him, since the party’s recent primaries, as good party men, who would support the party and its candidates in their respective states despite their grievances.

Oshiomhole stated this yesterday when he spoke as a guest on the ‘Morning Show’ broadcast on Arise TV, a sister broadcast station of Thisday Newspapers.

Recall that four governors, Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun State), Chief Rochas Okorocha (Imo State), Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo State) and Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara State), had been engaged in a public spat with Oshiomhole, accusing him of scuttling the chances of their preferred candidates in the recently concluded primaries.

However, Oshiomhole in holding out an olive branch, said: “They are angry now, but I believe in a short while they will turn around and support the party.”

Specifically, he ruled out the possibility of any of them working against the party in spite of their rage; saying, “I believe Governor Amosun is my friend and I believe people are entitled to feel disappointed if things don’t work out the way they want. I think usually like any leader, he will recognise the greater interest of the party, I know he is a loyal party man; I can’t see him voting with his feet.

“As a statesman, who has contributed to the growth and development of Ogun State, he will want to ensure that his party continues to govern the state and play the role of a statesman; I have no fear at all because this thing called choice is a relative question.

“Whatever we have as internal issues in APC they do not in fact undermine that Amosun, has more things to show as governor of that state and for which I am very proud of as chairman of the party. I hope he can overcome his anger so that we can work to reconcile our various interests in Ogun State.

“As for my friend Rochas Okorocha, who talked about nepotism, well as the head of the family, I do not want to continue to bring family matters to the market. At the end of the day it makes sense to keep it in the family, that is what maturity and responsibility imposes on me.

“So I won’t join issues with him, but the truth is that while I was in government, there was no other Oshiomhole in government. This is not something to hide, as a journalist you can go to Edo State and ask how many Oshiomholes were in government while I was at Osadebe House.

“Well, Okorocha is a great guy. He is one of those who left APGA to join APC. It is on record as having contributed his quota to the formation of the APC.

“We also have to accept that a tree cannot make a forest and we have to encourage those who think otherwise to recognise that this is a fact.

“In Imo State we have big names but it is not about big names, it is about big numbers. And the big numbers in Imo State are with us and I think governor Okorocha appreciates this fact.

“Now as for whether people will decamp or not I am not so sure. Even if they do, they will not make history, after all, in recent past, sitting governors decamped for one reason or the other because they want to be president. Having decamped they found that there are so many aspirants, they have since reconciled themselves with the reality that though they decamped from the APC believing that they are going to be presidential candidate of the PDP, they got there and found an over-crowded house.

“I think some of them have quietly taken the governorship ticket and some have even taken the senatorial ticket and they are living with the new reality. I think that is the way it is.

“In a democracy it is a game of numbers and in Imo State we have the numbers and I am sure that Okorocha, when he overcomes his disappointment with regard to whom he would have preferred to succeed him, he will recognise that as a democrat that is the way these things work sometimes. Outcomes can be predicted sometimes but it could be shocking some other time. I think Nigeria’s democracy is evolving but we are not running traditional rulership.”

He expressed the confidence that in spite of the current misgivings in the party in the affected states, the party’s candidates would still win since the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had its fair share of crisis.

He said, “The truth is that in Ogun State we will win because PDP has its own pocket of crisis as well. As we speak we don’t know who is the actual governorship candidate in Ogun State because the national secretariat of PDP parades a certain candidate and a running mate and a certain group run by Buruji Kashamu with due respect to him also parade a governorship candidate and a running mate.

“So while they are sorting out their own issues we will be sorting out our own issues.”

He said the negative public perception of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, was due to poor communication of its policies and programmes by its information management machinery.

He, however, said despite this shortcoming, the president’s integrity would give him the edge in the forthcoming general elections slated for the first quarter of 2019.
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