Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ebola virus: Meet the women who have survived the deadly disease

Most of us have mopped the brows of our spouses, children or family members when they are sick. But what if those kind gestures could lead to serious illness, or even death?
For many women in West Africa, that’s a very real threat.
Over the past six months, the Ebola virus has swept through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The disease is difficult to identify, as its first symptoms – vomiting, fever, body aches and diarrhoea – look like those of other common illnesses. It can cause internal bleeding in its advanced stages and can kill up to 90 per cent of its victims. There is no vaccine or cure.

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Ebola survivor: 'I was terribly afraid'

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is likely to last until the end of the year according to medical charities Medecins Sans Frontieres and the International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent societies.
More than 670 people have died so far, and more than 1,200 cases have been recorded.
BBC News visited Gueckadou in south-east Guinea, where the outbreak first started in March 2014.
Saa Sabas, 41, caught Ebola from a relative but recovered.
He now goes to villages to encourage people to get treatment if they are sick, telling them that he is proof that Ebola is survivable.

2015: Mass rally for Jonathan ill-timed – ACF

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday kicked against the pro­posed Niger Delta youth rally slated for today in Abuja to support President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 re-election bid.
A statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim, said the rally was ill-timed and ill-advised, considering the current security challenges facing the country, particularly the North.
However, the ACF said if the solidarity rally must hold, the authorities should ensure that such event is properly guided to avoid any likely security breaches.
The ACF said the mass movement of Nigerians from other parts of the country into Abuja at the time of the rally might cause security breaches and possibly be hijacked by hoodlums to wreak havoc including likely death and loss of property. Furthermore, such mass demonstration by some youths from certain sections of the country may portray them as insensitive to the plight of other Nigerians that have been under siege by terror attacks.
“In as much as ACF is not against any peaceful rally or solidarity march by any group of persons in support of Mr. President or any cause, however, considering the insecurity in the country and in particular, the northern region, where there have been a spate of bomb blasts and attacks on innocent Nigerians.  The forum considered it as ill-timed, ill-advised and a disregard to the feelings of other Nigerians affected by the insecurity challenges.
“In view of this, ACF advises the authorities to ensure that such solidarity demonstrations are properly guided to avoid any likely security breaches. ACF equally appealed to the demonstrators to exercise caution and restrain in their utterances and actions in order not to insult the sensibilities of other Nigerians.
“ACF calls on supporters of Mr. President wherever they are, to express such love and solidarity to Mr. President in their various domains rather than mass movement to Abuja, the federal capital,” the statement said.

Ebola: Nollywood star, Jim Iyke, flees Liberia in mask

As fears over the dreaded Ebola disease spreads, ace Nollywood actor, Jim Iyke, has fled Liberia wearing a mask.
Iyke had posted his pic­ture sitting in a first-class airport lounge in Monro­via, wearing a mask, with a message on his Insta­gram page saying he had cut short a business trip to Monrovia in Liberia, where at least 600 people have died from the dis­ease.
The image of Iyke sit­ting on green leather sofa at the airport lounge, wearing an expensive designer watch and sun­glasses, was accompanied with the caption: “Not ashamed to admit this scares the Jesus outta me #Ebola.”
Following the actor’s return, some Nigerians, who are following him on Twitter, have wondered if he was tested before ad­mission into the country.
Twitter user @Ava­riberry posted a mes­sage reading: “Jim Iyke or Not… he gotta be screened. #TestJimIyke.”
Meanwhile @Icall­Dibbz_ said: “Please ooo, James Ikechukwu, aka Jim Iyke, should be quar­antined.”
Others picked up on the fact that Iyke had an ex­pensive facemask to pro­tect him, but wore a short-sleeved T-shirt.
Ebola is transmitted through close contact with the blood, secretions, or­gans or other bodily fluids of infected animals, and in many parts of West Af­rica people are being told to cover as much of their body as possible to ensure the infection doesn’t enter their bloodstream through a small cut.
Earlier yesterday, a British woman was quar­antined at a hospital in Hong Kong after falling ill with Ebola-like symp­toms when she returned from a trip to Africa.
The patient, who is said to be exhibiting symptoms similar to the deadly virus, is under­going tests to verify the cause of her illness, local media reported.
It comes as British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond yesterday declared the disease a “very serious threat,” as he prepares to chair an emergency meeting on how to bolster the country’s defences.

Another suspected case of Ebola in Nigeria

Barely seven days after Mr. Pat­rick Sawyer, a Liberian, died in a private hospital in La­gos, one of the personnel, who helped him out of the aircraft on his arrival in Lagos, has shown signs of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
The latest victim, who was said to have helped the late Sawyer, but has not yet been named, was among the 59 persons the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government registered to have had contact with the late Sawyer immediately on his arrival in Nigeria on Sun­day, July 20.
Early symptoms of EVD include fever, headache, chills, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, head­ache and joint pains, while later symptoms include bleeding from the eyes, ears nose, and the mouth as well as the rectum, eye swelling, swelling of the genitals and rashes all over the body that often contain blood. It could progress to coma, shock and death.
As at four days after Saw­yer’s death in Nigeria, pre­cisely, Monday, July 27, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, said 20 of the 59 people reg­istered to have had contact with Sawyer had been physi­cally screened. He said 50 per cent of these 20 people had type one contact with Sawyer and 50 per cent had type two contact.

Drama as madman stabs 2 policemen in Lagos

Two policemen were stabbed yesterday in Alakija area of Lagos metropolis as they tried to drive an insane woman away from the premises of a popular pentecostal church.
According to an eyewit­ness, who did not want to be named, “trouble started when the woman was stand­ing in front of the church and policemen deployed to the area attempted to evict her.
“Suddenly, a madman, who was watching what was going on, went to meet the policemen ostensibly to stop them.
“The policemen left the woman and confronted the insane man. They started beating him with their ba­tons. The madman, who was with a stick started flogging the policemen.
“Suddenly, the madman brought out a broken bottle from his bag and stabbed the two policemen, who were later rushed to Navy Town Hospital by church mem­bers and onlookers.
“News got to other police­men attached to the church that their colleagues had been stabbed by the mad­man and they reinforced and began to look for the mad­man, whom they found at Alakija Bus-stop.
“The five policemen sur­rounded the madman and tried to overpower him and after much struggle, they tied him up with a rope and bundled him into their van and took him back to the church for interrogation.”
He said the policemen later saw a man taking pic­tures and tried to collect his phone from him but he iden­tified himself as a soldier and they let him go.

Golden Moment For Team Nigeria As Wrestling Accounts For 2 Gold

Odunayo Adekuoreye and Aminat Adeniyi gave Nigeria the perfect pick-up as they claimed two gold in wrestling- and then celebrated their achievement by singing round the venue with the green white green flag fluttering.
It was a glorious day for Nigeria in Glasgow as the national anthem held everybody spell-bound with rapturous celebrations coming from other athletes and officials.
Odunayo Adekuoreye started the Gold rush when she rushed India’s Lalita Lalita to submission winning 5-0.
While the ovation and celebration was still on, Aminat Adeniyi did not give her Indonesian opponent, Shakishi any chance as she piled up points after points romping into a 6-0 lead.

Fayemi Signs New 19 LGCAs Bill Into Law

The Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has announced the immediate take-off of the newly created 19 local government council areas in the state.
Governor Fayemi made the announcement in Ado-Ekiti yesterday while signing into law the LGCAs Bill passed and presented by the State House of Assembly to consolidate the policy.
Speaking at the ceremony, the governor said, “It was a promise fulfilled, following the yearning of the people which predated October 16, 2010 when the administration came on board”.
He disclosed that take-off grants will be made available to the councils and transitional political leadership will soon be inaugurated to run their affairs.
The governor promised that his government would bridge all noticeable gaps in the policy for its expeditious and smooth take-off before the expiration of his tenure on October 15, 2014.
The Assets’ Distribution and Sharing Committee of the House, according to him, had visited the affected local governments and their reports would be implemented to the letter.
He said, “Our expectation was that they would come into immediate effect in all the affected areas.
“Soon, we will appoint transitional political functionaries that would begin the process of the existence of these councils for rapid development at the grassroots where the bulk of our people live”.
“With this policy, we are not just making history but we are also part of history. We have written our names in the book of history for taking this bold step. And I will do everything within the confines of the constitution for effective functioning of these councils before this administration effectively comes to an end”.

‘Govt gave Chibok girls’ parents N22.4m’

Did money change hands when some parents of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls visited the Presidential Villa?
The controversy raged on yesterday, with the leadership of the Kibaku Area Development Association (KADA), the group representing the Chibok people in Abuja have denied knowledge of a N100 million Presidential gift to the delegation that visited the President Goodluck Jonathan.
Instead, they said that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Special Duties, Prof. Dan Adebiyi, after the visit, visited the hotel in the night and told the girls, who escaped from the Boko Haram insurgents, that the Presidency had sent them a token of N100,000 each. Of the 122 parents who visited, he gave 61 N200,000 each and 51 N100,000 each. The remaining 10 parents were told that the money was finished, KADA said.
KADA stated that it got no money and neither did Adebiyi, who co-ordinated the visit, tell them before sharing the money.
They said that the sharing formula adopted by the Presidency has brought reproach to their community in the eyes of the public which has supported them since the abduction of the over 200 Government Secondary School, Chibok girls whose kidnapping on April 15 sparked a global outrage.

Nollywood Actor, Jim Iyke Flees Liberia Over Fear Of Ebola Virus

jim iyke
Nollywood actor, Jim Ikechukwu Iyke has aborted his business trip to Monrovia, Liberia as fears increase in the West African nation over the deadly Ebola virus.
Liberia had recorded cases of people who died due to the outbreak of Ebola virus, a situation that prompted the country to close its borders.
Also, many countries have suspended international flights to the country.
According to a United Kingdom-based newspaper, Daily Mail, Jim, known for courting controversy, posted a photograph of himself leaving the West African country due to the fear of contracting Ebola.
He had gone to Liberia on account of his reality show, Jim Iyke Unscripted, and has been making cameo appearances there as a movie star.

N100m Presidential Largesse: Chibok Community Denies Receiving Any Money

The Chibok community in Abuja yesterday made a stunning revelation of how the senior special assistant on special duties to President Goodluck Jonathan shared money unequally among the 51 escaped Chibok girls and the parents, which sparked off the furore trailing the presidential gift after their visit last week.
The association was reacting to the report on the BBC Hausa Service on the purported N100million presidential gift, where some of the parents alleged that the Abuja-based community leaders had short-changed them, saying that, no amount of money was given to the Kibaku Area Development Association (KADA).
Recall that the national publicity secretary of KADA (which organised Chibok community for the visit to the president), Dr Manasseh Allen, had explained that the association was never given N100 million before, during or after the visit, but added that when they were preparing to leave their hotel, a presidential aide had visited them and was seen by some people giving N100,000 each to some of the escaped girls.

Another Teen Female Bomber Strikes Kano Poly, Kills 6

A female suicide bomber of less than 20 years yesterday blew up herself and six other people, while 18 students received various degrees of injuries.
The blast occurred at the Kano Polytechnic Central Administration where graduating students were checking the preliminary list for the National Youth Service Corps.
Eyewitnesses told our reporter that a young woman disguised as one of the students to gain access to the point where she finally detonated the bomb.
The chief medical officer of the state-owned Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Dr Nagoda, confirmed that one person was dead along with the female suicide bomber.
Dr Nagoda also confirmed that 18 people were among the injured who were brought to the hospital and were receiving medical care.
The CMO said that three among the injured were critically injured as they were losing too much blood.
Our reporter who was at the hospital saw relatives of the injured trooping in to see the conditions of their brothers and sisters.

Fire Guts Ex-Gov Kaita’s Residence

An evening fire incident has gutted part of the residence of former Governor of defunct Kaduna State, Alhaji Lawal Kaita.
It was gathered that the inferno gutted four bedrooms and two sitting rooms in the former governor’s house adjacent opposite NYSC transit camp in cosy GRA at Katsina municipal.
The fire was said to have started when an unattended burning candle had exhausted itself in one of the rooms.
Sources said the fire spread and consumed the rug, curtains and other equipment in the affected room before spreading to other rooms.
Unconfirmed source said one of the former governor’s daughters was trapped in one of the affected rooms when the incident occurred but was later rescued.
No life was however lost but items worth millions of naira were consumed by the inferno.
It took the combined effort of security, aides and some members of the house to break part of the wall where she was trapped to set her free.
Several sympathisers and political office holders have been visiting the former governor to sympathise with him over the incidence.
Among early sympathisers was Governor Ibrahim Shema, who expressed government’s sympathy after being taken round to see extent of damage on the house.
He reportedly ordered for the renovation of the gutted part of the house among other renovation works within the house’s premises.

Man tested for Ebola in UK

A man has been tested for Ebola in Birmingham and another has visited a UK hospital over fears he was showing symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus.

The Ebola virus (AP)
The checks come after the Government’s chief scientist warned that deadly diseases such as Ebola are a “potentially major threat” to Britain following the death of an American man who was able to travel through an international hub.
A man, who had travelled from Benin in Nigeria via Paris to the Midlands was taken to hospital in Birmingham on Monday after he said he felt feverish.

Death: Snake Kills Magician In Delta

Tragedy struck in Alifikede near Agbor, Delta State, when a snake charmer was reportedly attacked by his snake.
The snake attacked the magician after he used life snakes to showcase his prepared charms against snake bites before a crowd of people.
Reports said that the magician, a 46- year- old tailor, who abandoned his profession, identified as Samson Ogbebor, has been using his magic wand to woo unsuspecting customers to purchase the prepared charms against snake bites.
While performing his magic, he usually displayed various sizes of snakes around his body.
Eye witness said that the snake attacked its owner after it was released by the magician, moments after performing his magic.
Expectedly, after the bite, the magician fell to the ground and was rushed by members of the public, who were at the scene, to a nearby hospital.
But he died before they got to the hospital.
Speaking to our correspondent, an elder in the community, who did not want his name in print, said what surprised people most was the way and manner the snake struck the magician after which he started vomiting before he was rushed to the hospital.
The old man said all the snakes disappeared after the bite adding that the situation has created fear of the unknown in the area.

Jonathan Launches 64- Page E–passport

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday launched the newly designed 64-page electronic e-passport, saying the security measures involving the use of the passport were such that would prevent criminals from faking it.
Speaking when he launched the passport at the presidential villa, Abuja, the president observed that usefulness of the e-passport does not lie in fact that it contains 64 pages, but the security measures that comes with it.
Noting that there would be security challenges if the nation’s passport could be easily faked by criminals, Jonathan expressed sympathy for the frequent travellers who changed passports almost on a monthly basis to avoid being impersonated.
He added that it had become incumbent for Nigeria to have a robust relationship with key countries to enable those who travel frequently do so with ease.
Jonathan said, “One thing one must know today is that it is not the issue of 64-page passport that is key to Nigerians but the security. If our passport could be easily faked by criminals, then we will have problems. One thing again is how Nigerians can be able to get passport easily especially those living outside this country.

Potiskum Twin Blasts: Hospital Official Says 13 Killed, 35 Injured

Following Tuesday night’s twin bomb blast that rocked the town of Potiskum in Yobe State, officials said that at least 13 people have been killed while 35 others sustained serious injuries.
Eyewitnesses at the Potiskum General Hospital had confirmed to LEADERSHIP that most of the victims who survived were rushed into the accident and emergency wards bleeding from various degrees of injuries sustained at the scenes of the blasts.
A hospital source, who craved anonymity, told LEADERSHIP said, “I participated in receiving the victims; and we have 13 dead ones and 35 injured persons that were brought in here at night on Tuesday; some of the injured persons with critical cases like third degree burnt have since been referred to Azare Federal Medical Centre for proper care”.
Azare is about 80 kilometres away from Potiskum and about 180km away from Damaturu the state capital.
LEADERSHIP had yesterday reported that the first blast occurred at Alkali Kalli Mosque near the palace of Emir of Fika at about 7.30pm on Tuesday while the second one came about five minute later at Sakafa Muslim Brother Mosque. The attacks on the mosques came as a rude shock to residents of Potiskum, even though the Boko Haram leader had in a recent video vowed to detonate bombs in various parts of northern Nigeria especially on neighbourhoods where moderate Islamic clerics had condemned and described their activities as unIslamic.

FG To Raise $500m For Boko Haram Victims In 12 Months

goodluck jonathan 22
As the federal government gets set to officially launch the Boko Haram Victims Support fund today, President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed hope that about $500 million would have been raised through the fund within a period of 12 months to further alleviate the sufferings and deprivations unleashed on Nigerians living in areas most affected by the insurgents.
Accordingly, he urged members of Nigerian private sector and friends of the country in the international community to provide more relief and succour for all those who have been adversely affected by terrorism and insurgency in the country.
Speaking at two separate audiences with the secretary-general of the Commonwealth, Mr. Kamalesh Sharma, and the executive director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, the president reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to doing all within its powers to help victims of insurgency and terrorism rebuild their lives and communities, and said the fund would be managed by a non-governmental organization.
He added that the fund would also be deployed in support of the rebuilding of destroyed schools and the creation of a safer environment for education in affected states.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ambassador Was Wrongly Linked To Ebola Victim – LASG

The Lagos State government yesterday said that the ambassador to Liberia, Mrs Chigozie Obi-Nnadozie was wrongly linked to the Ebola victim who died in Lagos last Friday after flying into the country from Monrovia.
A statement signed by the special adviser to the Lagos State governor on media, Hakeem Bello, explained that it was the federal government officials working in collaboration with officials of the state government that provided the name of the ambassador as one of the persons that had contact with the late Liberian with Ebola Virus.
The statement said the briefing where the name of the ambassador was mentioned had high profile Federal Ministry of Health officials in attendance.

Ebola virus: FG suspends airline operations from Liberia, Sierra Leone

The Federal Government has ordered the suspension of flight operations from Liberia and Sierra Leone into Nigerian. Benedict Adeyileka, the Acting Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) who made this announcement yesterday said the regulatory authority had to take this action to protect Nigeria from the deadly Ebola virus which is ravaging some parts of West, East and Central Africa.                                              
According to Adeyileka, Asky Airlines which operates scheduled flight operations between Nigeria and the two West African states has been ordered to suspend all flights into Nigeria. “ASky Airline operations to Nigeria has been suspended with immediate effect,” said Adeyileka.
“Arik Air which had earlier suspended their flights to Monrovia and Freetown has been advised to maintain the cessation of flights until cleared by NCAA,” he added.                                                      Asky becomes the second airline, after indigenous carrier Arik Air suspended its services into the two countries from Nigeria.
A-Sky Airline is an important player in the West, East and Central Africa operating 80 flights into Lagos and Abuja weekly. The Airline flew Mr. Patrick Sawyer, a consultant to the Liberian Ministry of Finance who was obviously infected with the virus into Lagos, Nigeria which created panic and diverted world attention to Nigeria.

One year rent policy: Estate agents back Lagos govt

Seeing that the one-year rent policy of the Lagos State Government will not only favour tenants but also attract good returns to agents, the Association of Estate Rent Commission Agents of Nigeria (ERCAN), has thrown its weight behind the policy.
ERCAN in a way commended the Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Regulatory Authority, a new body charged with the responsibility to regulate the practice of estate agency in the state on the policy that is adjudged masses-friendly.
The authority had earlier registered the Lagos State branch of ERCAN to regulate the activities of estate agents operating in state.
The Vice Chairman of Lagos State branch of ERCAN, Mr. Ikwuagwu Emeka George, while fielding questions from the press, pointed out that the newly established state authority will henceforth monitor and regulate the activities of estate agents in the state under ERCAN.
According to Ikwuagwu, ERCAN is also duly registered and recognised by the Federal Government, adding that the registration and recognition of his association by the state government lends credence to the fact that the umbrella body of estate agents across the country is a legal body.
He said that ERCAN is to estate agents what the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) is to estate surveyors and valuers. He added that every practicing estate agent in Nigeria is expected to be a member of the association, which was formed to stem the dubious activities of estate agents.

Jonathan, Governors Condole With el-Rufai Over Son’s Death


President Goodluck Jonathan and the governors of Ogun, Oyo and Kaduna States yesterday commiserated with former FCT minister, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, over the death of his son, Hamza in a road crash in Abuja.
El-Rufai had at about 8am yesterday announced the death of Hamza via his Facebook page saying, “From Allah we came and to Him we shall return. Please join our family in praying for the repose of the soul of my son Hamza El-Rufai who died this morning in a motor accident in Abuja.”
The president, who was among the first to condole with el-Rufai, said the former minister should be comforted all over this terrible loss.
Special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, noted in a statement that Jonathan prayed “for the peaceful repose of the soul of the departed and also for God’s blessing, comfort and protection for Mallam el-Rufai and the rest of his family.”

Bomb Attack: Tinubu, APC chieftains visit Buhari in Kaduna

Former governor of Lagos State and leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, alongside former interim national chairman Chief Bisi Akande and national publicity secretary of the party Alhaji Lai Mohammed, yesterday visited former military head of state General Muhammadu Buhari in his Kaduna residence to commiserate with him over the recent bomb targeted at him.
The visit and discussions which held behind closed doors lasted longer than an hour.
Although Tinubu who led the team would not take questions from newsmen after their meeting, he however shook hands with the newsmen and left the Kaduna home of the former head of state.
It was however gathered from an inside source that Tinubu and the other APC chieftains who were there to commiserate with General Buhari also discussed some national issues.
According to the source, “the visit is not unconnected with the recent attempt on the life of the general. You should know that the development had continued to attract dignitaries to Kaduna on sympathy visit to him.”

FG steps in to rid Apapa of traffic jam

The Federal Government said it has taken steps to tackle the traffic gridlock, which has bedevilled the Apapa area of Lagos in the last five weeks. The Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, commended the Nigerian Navy and other maritime stakeholders and security agencies for ensuring free flow of traffic in the Apapa area.He said: “There is a significant improvement in terms of vehicular movement in and out of the port and that is largely due to the effort of the Nigerian Navy and I am happy that they have also engaged all the stakeholders, because sometimes when you do a solo effort, you run into some difficulty, but because it is a joint effort, things went on smoothly.”
He explained that ensuring free flow of traffic within the Apapa area was one of the messages  the Federal Government adopted to  check the  threats by Boko Haram insurgents. He said security threat was the main reason the Nigerian Navy was getting involved in clearing the traffic gridlock in the Apapa area.
Senator Obanikoro dismissed the claim by the Lagos State government that the Federal Government was the cause of the gridlock in the Apapa area, saying: “Sometimes, blame game doesn’t solve issues and I want to commend the head of our team in the Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Alade for bringing stakeholders together to resolve the traffic problems in Apapa. This has further enhanced the sense in partnership. I am not going to join Lagos State in the blame game, what is important for me is my responsibility to the good people of Lagos State . I implore Lagos State government to join hands with the Nigerian Ports Authority to find a lasting solution to this problem.”

Civilian JTF Raises The Alarm: 40 Suicide Bombers Sneak Into Borno

There was tension in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, yesterday following credible information that at least 40 members of the Boko Haram terrorist group, among whom were teenage girls, had sneaked into the city with the intention of carrying out suicide bombings.
This was coming days after two separate bomb explosions masterminded by the Boko Haram terrorists rocked the city of Kano during the Eid-el-Fitri celebration.
It has been confirmed that teenage girls were used to ferry the explosions – one in a food flask and the other in a jar meant to contain kerosene – to the point where the explosives were detonated in the Kano State capital.
LEADERSHIP has gathered from different sources that the Boko Haram suicide bombers that had entered
Maiduguri were between 30 and 40 in number.
A member of the Civilian-JTF who pleaded anonymity said a suspected member of the Boko Haram who was on Sunday arrested in Maiduguri later confessed that over 40 of them, including two girls, had arrived in the city with the intention of carrying out attacks using explosives.

Female bombers: 4 insurgents arrested in Kano

Four suspected members of Boko Haram were arrested in Kano yesterday in connection with the recent multiple female suicide bombings that rocked the state capital in two days.
It was gathered that the arrest followed an operation conducted by officers of the Nigerian Army and the Directorate of State Security (DSS) in the early hours of the day.
Credible security sources in both establishments told Daily Sun that the insurgents were picked up in the course of different operations in Hotoro General Area and in Mariri General Area of Kumbotso Local Government Council of the state. It was gathered that among those arrested was a 70-year-old man, whose name was simply given as Ibrahim. The sources stated that the remaining Boko Haram members arrested in the course of the operations  were  Bello,  Nura and Zakari.
Sources also told Daily Sun that the operation followed a tip-off, adding that security operatives in the state took seriously the events of the last two days, especially the novel deployment of female suicide bombers for attacks on innocent citizens.
Meanwhile, a reign of fear dominated the general atmosphere of the state yesterday as Muslims were forced to cut short the celebration of the Eid-el-Fitr festival, which usually lasted for days after the date of the Sallah.
Traffic was light in the state capital, while parents restrained their children from distant visits as part of new measures of caution in the light of the recurrent bomb blasts.
Also, in some parts of the state, such as Yankura area of Abubakar Rimi Market and Ijebu Road in the Sabon Garri area of the state, there were incidents of bomb scare at different times.
These threw the affected areas into confusion as traders and residents ran helter skelter for dear life, abandoning their wares.
Security experts from the anti-bomb disposal unit and soldiers, after investigation, found the suspected objects not to be improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Also, the leaders of Kano non-indigenes, under the aegis of  Non-Indigenes Community Leaders Association, have  called for calm and restrain following rising anger among the communities over repeated bomb blasts in the area.
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APC leaders behind terror group –Fani-Kayode

Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, yesterday came down hard on the All progressives Congress (APC), alleging that its northern members are sponsors of Boko Haram sect.
Fani-Kayode, who spoke with newsmen shortly after attending the campaign rally of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osogbo, Osun State, insisted that APC members could not be trusted on the operations of Boko Haram.
He said: “The APC in the North is the political wing of Boko Haram in the northern part of Nigeria. This, I have said before and no one among them was bold enough to challenge me. I will continue to say it again and again.”
The former minister, who blamed the APC leaders for the insurgency in the North, said: “The northern elements in the APC have to tell Nigerians why some of their leaders in the North support, encourage and defend Boko Haram members.”
According to him: “No member of the APC was bold enough to controvert what I said about their relationship with the Boko Haram members in the North. I stand to be challenged if any of them has a contrary view.” The former minister, who recently defected from the APC to the PDP, said he had met with those that mattered in the PDP, including President Goodluck Jonathan, and they had assured him of an “enabling stay in the party.”
Fani-Kayode assured that he would work for its victory  in Osun State and also contribute to the victory of the party in the 2015 general elections, stressing that the PDP remained the only national party in the country.
On his recent meeting with President Jonathan, Fani-Kayode said: “I will not like to reveal what we discussed in secret. It was a closed-door meeting and let us leave that for now.”

Okagbare gets $7, 000 bonus for gold medal

•As Danagogo directs NSC to pay athletes their bonuses in Glasgow    
Commonwealth Games queen of the track, Blessing Okagbare has been rewarded with an instant bonus of $7,000 for her spectacular effort on Monday night, as she cruised to gold winning performance.
An obviously excited sports minister, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, had ordered that the National Sports Commission without delay pay medallists the agreed sums of cash bonus for gold, silver and bronze medals respectively.
Special Assistant on media to the minister of sports, Patrick Omorodion in a release noted that the minister said he had directed the National Sports Commission to ensure that any Nigerian athlete who wins gold, silve or bronze medals at the games, be paid their bonus instantly.
The Federal Government had last week pledged different sums of money to athletes who win gold, silver or bronze medals at the Glasgow Games as a way of motivating the athletes.

Elegbeleye Describes Okagbare’s Medal as ‘Mother of all Gold’

Gbenga Elegbeleye
Chef de mission of Team Nigeria, Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye has hailed the spectacular performance of Blessing Okagbare in winning the 100 m gold medal at the Commonwealth Games describing the gold medal as ‘’mother of all gold medals’’.
‘’This is the mother of all gold medals. She has broken her personal best record on her way to winning the gold. She also shattered her season’s best before also erasing the Games record with her 10.85secs win.
You can see that it was not an easy thing and that makes this gold the mother of all gold medal. Don’t forget also that she beat the best in the World to breast the tape first. We are talking of Jamaica’s Veronca Campbell-Brown and Keron Stewart. These are World beaters on their own. I’m short of words. I am proud. I’m happy and we are proud of Blessing Okagbare’’, Elegbeleye who is also the Director General of the National Sports Commission, NSC, said.
He also noted that all medals won at the Games deserve respect and praised Team Nigerian athletes who have been wonderful in fighting for honours for their fatherland out of the 71 Nations at the Commonwealth.

Team Nigeria Optimistic Of More Medals

Team Nigeria will be looking forward to increasing its medals haul as the 200 metres begin today at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, as well as potential medals haul from the female long jump event.
This was expressed by Dr. Ademola Are, who spoke on phone with LEADERSHIP Sports from Glascow yesterday.
According to him, Nigeria hopes to improve on the 10 medals garnered as at the time of filing this report.
“The spirit of the athletes in the camp is high and they would be consolidating on the three gold, one silver and one bronze medals that we have won so far,” he said.
“Okagbare’s gold medal was a big inspiration and for the fact that she even broke the Commonwealth record, it is a big boost for Nigeria.” he added.

Multiple Explosions Rock Potiskum As Scores Feared Dead

Multiple explosions yesterday rocked the commercial town of Potiskum in Yobe State while scores of people were feared dead.
According to witnesses, the explosions occurred very close to the palace of the Emir of Potiskum at a popular mosque called Kalli Alkali Mosque.
The bombs, believed to have been planted by Boko Haram terrorists, went off in some parts of the town at about 7:30pm when Muslim worshippers were observing the last congregational prayer for the day.
But details of the blasts were sketchy at press time while some of the residents claimed that the casualty figures might be on the high side.

Security Operatives, Residents Flee As Boko Haram Takes Over Yobe Town

Security operatives in Gujba local government area of Yobe State yesterday advised residents to flee for their lives as Boko Haram gunmen who had on Monday night bombed part of a major bridge there returned to attack them again.
A bridge in a town called Katarko was partly bombed on Friday night and about eight people were killed during an attack by Boko Haram gunmen, whose number was said to have overwhelmed that of the soldiers there.
But, as the residents of Katarko, a village not far away from Gujba, returned to mourn their dead ones, the gunmen returned in full force and sacked both the villagers of Katarko and Gulani, who had to flee into the state capital Damaturu.
Gujba is about 45km away from Katarko, and the villagers from the latter community who had fled their homes to the former now had to take to their heels again as the gunmen returned.
Another fleeing resident, Rabiu Buni, who said he made it on foot through the bush path to Damaturu, told LEADERSHIP on phone that the terrorists had succeeded in bombing the bridge for the second time, which now caused the entire frame of the bridge to collapse.

Friday, July 25, 2014

2014 C’wealth Games: Nigeria Begins On Good Note

commonwealth games
Nigeria’s table tennis teams yesterday began their campaign in the team event at 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games: on a good note with the men and women teams recording emphatic victories over their opponents as the Games enters third day.
The women began their road to the podium early yesterday with the trio of Edem Offiong, Ganiat and Rashidat Ogundele thrashing their Kenyan counterparts in a one-sided match with the Nigerians recording a 3-0 win.
In the men’s category headed by veteran Segun Toriola as well as current African champion, Aruna Quadri and Ojo Onaolapo walloped Bangladesh 3-0 in their first group D match.
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has seeded Nigeria male team as the number four seed in the team event.
Defending champion, Singapore is rated number one, while England is two with India occupying the third spot in the rating.

Lagos police launch counter-terrorism campaign

Police spokesperson Ngozi Braide, a deputy superintendent (DSP) at a news conference yesterday, urged citizens to be vigilant.
She said: “You must strive to know not only the person living in your house but in the surrounding environment. Find out their means of livelihood. Observe what your neighbour normally brings home at night and what he normally leaves with in the morning.
‘’Landlords should conduct background checks on all their prospective tenant. They should meet with their tenants from time to time. Community leaders, working in conjunction with the local police, are encouraged to form neighbourhood associations to appraise the security situation in their areas. Do not keep any object that will aid criminals to have easy access to your premises, like ladder beside the wall. Owners of uncompleted buildings must clear them of undesirable persons or request the assistance of security agencies to do so where necessary.
“Park owners, garage operators and operators of shopping malls must ensure that they thoroughly scan, search and take stock of all vehicles parked within and around the premises of such public places.
“Hotels and hospitality industries should always screen their guests and lodgers properly and ensure that they obtain accurate details of all guests. Corporate citizens high0end commercial and residential establishments, institutions mega churches/ mosques and individuals with valuable assets, including hotel an park owners are encouraged to install Closes Circuit Television (CCTV) and other surveillance systems strategically on their promises to help in monitoring and capturing criminal activities.

‘Please, don’t let me die’

The well-lit room was bright,but around the youth all was dark. A huge blood-soaked bandage was woven round his head, covering his battered eye.
“Please, don’t let me die,” he kept on crying.
Ahmadu Bala’s right eye was blown off in Wednesday’s bombing in Kaduna. No fewer than 82 people died in the incident. Officials said 39 died.
“Please, fly me abroad; I don’t want to die,” Bala ,18, cried on his bed at the Yusuf Dantsoho Memorial Hospital in the city.
Bala recalled how he was caught up in the blast after leaving the venue of the Ramadan lecture by Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi.
He said: “I was on my way back from ‘Tafsir’ (Ramadan lecture) at Murtala Square when I heard a loud sound and before I knew what was happening, I found myself on the floor, far away from where I remember standing.
“I felt my head was very heavy. My right eye had been blown off by the bomb and I lost consciousness. I was rushed to Yusuf Dantsoho Hospital here by a good Samaritan, I was told after I regained consciousness.”

Buhari: Nigeria can deal with Boko Haram

Former Head of State Gen. Muhammadu Buhari relived yesterday his near death experience when a suicide bomber attacked his convoy in Kaduna.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) leader said Nigeria is capable of dealing with terrorism because “we dealt with the civil war, for 30 months; we fought and we kept Nigeria one and, God willing, we are going to keep Nigeria one.”
To Gen. Buhari Boko Haram’s activities have nothing to do with religion or ethnicity but an act of terrorism.
The General spoke when he received Kaduna State Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero and members of the State Security Council at his home.
The elder statesman said: “When this question of Boko Haram started, I’m  sure it was on record that the first statement I made about 18 months ago; I said no religion advocates what is happening. So, basically, it is no case of religion; it is neither ethnic, when they kill children in schools in the Northeast, they kill teachers, they burn churches, they burn mosques, they burn motor parks, they burn markets. Where is religion there? Where is ethnicity there? This is terrorism and I hope the government will come to grip with it.
“Nigeria is capable of dealing with this; we dealt with the civil war, for 30 months, we fought and we kept Nigeria one and, God willing, we are going to keep Nigeria one.
“I commiserate with the families of those that died, because this thing was ignited at exactly when my car was almost side-by-side with this thing. I came out, there was blood on my dress. I did not know how it came about because I did not have a scratch myself, but dead bodies all over the place. The security tried to move me to the other side and we just got one of the vehicles passing and they brought me home.
“I hope the law enforcement agencies and the chief executives of the states will succeed in securing the country. May God help us.”
Yero prayed that God would end the insurgency.

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IBB: bloodletting must stop

Former Military President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida yesterday said the prevalent bloodletting by Boko Haram must stop.
Gen. Babangida, who made his position known in a statement which he personally signed, said the wanton killings and needless bloodletting had been retarding our growth.
The statement said: “The latest attack in Kaduna on Wednesday by yet unknown persons has once again thrown up new dimensions in the political life of our dear country. This and several other attacks have tended to portray our dear country as a terrorist nation that is grasping with insecurity. To state the least, this bloodletting must stop. This bloodletting has to stop.
“I have sat back in my quiet retirement home in Minna to ponder over what could be the motivation for these several attacks, but I am yet to find any explanation why Nigerians would be killing fellow Nigerians.
“For those of us who fought the civil war, our painful sense of nostalgia still remains deep, as much as our patriotic attitude towards this great country, Nigeria.
“These wanton killings and needless bloodletting have continued to retard our growth and democratic journey, forcing the system to improvise all manner of mechanisms to arrest this descent to anarchy.
“It is callous and inhuman for anyone to goad this country on the path of perfidy, a path that is laid with landmines and bombs. This is totally unacceptable.”
Gen. Babangida pleaded with Nigerians to rise above partisanship in addressing the insecurity facing the nation.

‘I Want To Give Back Through Politics’

Desmond Elliot
The number of Nigerian celebrities who are eyeing politics as their next means of impacting society is swelling. With actors like Kanayo O. Kanayo and Kate Henshaw having taken an active interest in politics, one actor who has made known his desire to join the fray long before others, is Desmond Elliot, and in an interview with a national dailym, he outlined the reasons for his desire.
“The current situation is very pathetic. I feel God has helped me thus far and I want to give back to the youths through politics. The worst part of our national life is the level of corruption which has not allowed youths to understand what it means to live a meaningful life. Just because of a lack of knowledge of what to do, we are being side-tracked. There are no jobs and issues like these lead to frustration. A whole lot needs to be done on agriculture; every state in Nigeria needs to see how it can contribute to nation-building. There’s a lot that needs to be done,” he said. TATTLES can only hope he remembers these words after he gets elected.

Dear Davido, I Am So Sorry

Chris Ihidero’s writings are always one to look out for. In this article for popular tabloid, NET, the wordsmith and film-maker shared his thoughts on Davido’s rise to fame.
Dear Davido,
How are you today? Not too tired from last night’s performance, I hope? I’m sure you had a performance last night; you seem to have one every night these days. Pele. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown and, right now, you are the king of Nigerian Pop. I never thought the day would come when I would make that statement, but here we are and I shall repeat: You. Are.The. King. Of. Nigerian. Pop. Music.
I am sure you are wondering why I’m writing you a letter to state what’s pretty obvious to anyone who walks the streets of Lagos, goes clubbing or ventures near a party scene: Your music is on constant play. How did you do it ehn, David, how?
See, when you came on the scene, I gave you zero chance of survival. I was so sure you were another excitable wannabe with an overdose of youthful exuberance, coming to foul the air with pathetic music fit only for numbskulls and bimbos, much like you. That’s what I thought and some three years later, here I am tendering my unreserved apologies for stupidity. How could I not have seen it? How could I have lumped you with the one-hit-wonder crowd? How did I not know anything of your hard work and laser focus? How did I so quickly relegate you to the rubbish heap of Naija’s ‘jollof music’ when I have always argued that there was a place for ‘nonsense-making’ music in every society? See, I didn’t even think that you could succeed at making ‘disposable’ music. Ha!

Explosion at Kano motor park kills five, injures 12

A bomb hidden in a refrigerator exploded yesterday at the New Road Luxury Park in Sabon Gari, Kano, killing five people and injuring 12 others.
The police said only one person died in the park where a bomb killed no fewer than 15 last year – also in July. Boko Haram, the insurgent sect, said it was responsible for that incident.
Yesterday’s blast happened at about 2:30pm when the luxury bus owned by Ifeanyichukwu Industry and Commercial Services Limited, arrived the motor park from Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The front of the bus was shattered. Two other buses were damaged by the explosion.
A source at the motor park recounted the explosion. He said: “A luxury bus had just arrived from Port Harcourt. As the bus parked, some passengers were disembarking. We heard a loud bang which devastated the area.

Boko Haram kills royal father, 11 others in Borno

Boko Haram insurgents have again attacked a community in the southern part of Borno State, killing a traditional ruler and 11 other people. The attack on Garubula, a remote community in Biu Local Government Area, about 185 kilometres from Maiduguri, occurred on Wednesday night.
“The District Head, Alhaji Ibrahim Dawi and 11 others were killed. Boko Haram came to the village at about 11p.m (Wednesday), commandeered the villagers from their houses and opened fire on them. They killed the district head and one of his guards,” a source, who preferred anonymity, said.
One Mallam Idrisa Garubula, a resident, confirmed to journalists in Maiduguri on phone that the attackers invaded the village at about 11p.m., adding that they shot sporadically and later fled.
“The gunmen shot the district head in his head and he was rushed to Biu General Hospital, where he gave up the ghost. He has since been buried according to Islamic rites in Biu, the headquarters of Biu Local Government Area of the state,” he said.
He said the district head was however rushed to the Biu General Hospital but sadly gave up the ghost even before he was admitted.

Respect rule of law, avoid BRT lanes, Minimah warns army

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Kenneth Minimah, has charged military personnel to respect the rule of law wherever they find themselves and avoid driving on designated lanes for the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT).
He gave the advice in Lagos while briefing men and officers of the army during his familiarisation tour of army formations across the country.  Describing Lagos as a cosmopolitan city with the good, the bad and the ugly, he urged the personnel to avoid what was negative.
“Don’t tango with the bad because you have an image to protect. Be of good conduct in and out, even in your private moment. Be an ambassador of the Nigerian Army. Do not conduct yourself in a way that will destroy the image of the army. Do not associate with questionable characters,” he counselled.
The army chief advised his officers and men to respect the law in Lagos, saying good conduct was expected of an army officer at all times.

Malala, BBOG Group Commend Jonathan For Meeting Chibok People

Jonathan Meets With Parents Of Chibok Schoolgirls 19
The Pakistani girl-child education activist, Malala Yousafzai, and the #BringBackOurGirls group have commended President Goodluck Jonathan for finally meeting with the escaped girls and some of the parents of the abducted schoolgirls as he pledged to Malala when she visited Nigeria.
Malala in a message sent to the BBOG and read at the sit-out yesterday said that “as we mark 100 days since the kidnapping of the Chibok girls, we salute you for being at the forefront of efforts calling for the girls to be reunited with their families immediately.
“We were heartened to see President Jonathan finally meet many of the parents of the kidnapped girls and most of the escapee girls – a long overdue meeting.
“We will remain actively involved in supporting efforts to bring the girls home quickly, safely and in good health, and we stand ready to help in any way we can.”
The BBOG however noted that it will not rest on its oars, up until the Chibok girls are rescued alive, stating that the idea behind the campaign and protest is to rescue the girls, and only when they are returned home safely that the group will cease to sit.
Out of the 276 girls abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok, in Borno State, on April 14, 219 are still in the hands of the Boko Haram camp after 102 days.

Human parts market: Police arrest 8 dealers

 Kwara State Police Command has arrested eight suspects in connection with the human parts markets uncovered recently in Ilorin and Tabira village, both in Kwara State. Five of the suspects were arrested in Ilorin, the state capital, while the other three were nabbed in Tabira in Baruten Local Government Area of the state.The state police command stunned the public with the discovery of an uncompleted building in Ilorin being used for ritual activities. A similar den was uncovered in Tabira village on July 22.
Parading the suspects, Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ambrose Aisabor, stated that the command’s detectives, acting on intelligence report, arrested one Amos (surname withheld) and during investigation, a search was conducted in his house, where human parts, including heads and arms, were recovered. He added that an accomplice, identified as  Abubakar, was also arrested and both allegedly confessed to dealing in human parts.
Speaking with Daily Sun, one of the suspects, Amos, said most of their patrons were politicians and businessmen.

Okupe In London, Explains Delay In Schoolgirls’ Rescue

Senior special assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on public affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, yesterday in faraway London gave reasons why the federal government appeared to be slow in the ongoing rescue operation of the schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Haram sect in Chibok, Borno State.
The seeming delay, according to him, was to avoid a repeat of the 2004 experience in which 300 children were killed in an attempt by Russians to free hostages held by Chechens in the North Caucasus region of Russia.
Okupe, who gave this explanation at a Chatham House lecture series held at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, said that while the Nigerian military and other security agencies as well as their international allies were capable of rescuing the Chibok girls from the nest of the insurgents, they would rather weigh all options to ensure that they are brought back alive to reunite with their families.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I Thank God For Sparing Buhari’s Life -jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday condemned the bombings in Kaduna which he said appeared to have been targeted at a former Head of State, Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and prominent Islamic Cleric, Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi.
He however thanked God for sparing their lives.
Jonathan’s message was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati.
He denounced the targeting of political and religious leaders by terrorists, whom he described as enemies of the nation.
He said he had directed the Police and other security agencies to take all necessary actions to apprehend the perpetrators of the attacks.
The statement read, “President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan condemns the bombings in Kaduna today which appeared to have targeted former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari and prominent Islamic Cleric, Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi.

‘Apostasy woman’ flies to Italy

A Sudanese woman who was spared a death sentence for renouncing Islam has flown to Italy after more than a month in the United States embassy in Khartoum.
Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag and her family flew on an Italian government plane, accompanied by Italian minister Lapo Pistelli.
Her father is Muslim, so according to Sudan’s version of Islamic law she is also Muslim and cannot convert.
She was raised by her Christian mother and says she has never been Muslim.
Mr. Pistelli, Italy’s vice-minister for foreign affairs, posted a photo of himself with Mrs. Ibrahim and her children on his Facebook account as they were about to land in Rome.
Her husband, Daniel Wani, also a Christian, is from South Sudan and has U.S nationality, the BBC reports.
Their daughter Maya was born in prison in May, shortly after Mrs. Ibrahim was sentenced to hang for apostasy – renouncing one’s faith – sparking global outrage.
Under intense international pressure, her conviction was quashed and she was freed in June.
She was given South Sudanese travel documents but was arrested at Khartoum airport, accused of using fake identity papers.

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‘Missing Algerian plane has crashed’

An Air Algerie flight that went missing en route from Burkina Faso to Algiers has crashed, an Algerian aviation official told Reuters on Thursday.
“I can confirm that it has crashed,” the official said, declining to give details of where the plane was or what caused the accident.
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Kaduna Bombing: Yero Visits Buhari, Scene of Blast


The Kaduna State Governor, Mukhtar Yero, has visited the scenes of Wednesday’s bomb blast at Kawo and Alkilu road that claimed at least 72 lives.
Yero, who arrived the scene of the blasts at about, was briefed at the spots where the two bombs went off by the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Umar Shehu.
The Governor, who was accompanied by his deputy, Nuhu Bajoga, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abbah and heads of other security agencies in the state, also visited the former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, at his residence to condole him over the second bomb blast that almost claimed his life.
He spent about few minutes before moving to the 44 Army Reference Hospital where those who sustained varying degrees of injuries were receiving treatment and where the death toll had risen to 76 as at Thursday afternoon.

Army chief on why military can’t stop Boko Haram

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen. Kenneth Minimah  said yesterday that the military has not been able to quell Boko Haram insurgency because military personnel were not trained to fight unconventional war like Boko Haram.
Minimah spoke at the 9 Brigade, Ikeja Cantonment. He was addressing a troop of 280 soldiers as part of his ongoing familiarisation tour.
He said that while military personnel were trained to fight known enemies from opposing camps, Boko Haram members are enemies within, whose singular mission is to die, not fight.
“Boko Haram terrorists come to die not fight. It is a new warfare which military personnel are not trained in. They carry explosives to blow up anyone around. They load hilux with bombs and run into troops with them.
“It is not a conventional war. You do not see nor know the enemy you are fighting. It is an enemy within war in which case a mother is loyal to the government, child to Boko Haram while the father sits on the fence.

Uneasy Calm As NFF Board Meeting Holds Today

There is uneasy calm as the Executive Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) meets today at its secretariat in Abuja to deliberate on how to move Nigerian football forward as well as make sacrifices to advance football development. NFF president, Aminu Maigari is expected to address a world press conference after the deliberations.
The 13-member committee will also meet to review Nigeria’s participation in the recently–concluded 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil, appraise the preparation of the U-20 Women National Team, Falconets, for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup finals in Canada next month and also deliberate on Nigeria’s participation in the qualifying series for the 2015 African U-17 and African U-20 championships.

Behold, Ogun mystery rocks with human face

Otapele village, in Imeko, border town and headquarters of Imeko/Afon Local Government Area of Ogun State, is the home of some mysterious, ancient rock formations. They bear human and animal faces and believed to be imbued with supernatural powers, a factor that has turned the community into a religious/tourist attraction centre. A new comer to the site, said to have been discovered by a native of the town, late Fred­erick Akanbi Adeoye, (a.k.a. Oba Inu Apata) in January, 1961, would be amazed at the wonders of nature in which the rocks vividly displayed images of a horse and human face.
Daily Sun learnt that the site has since been turned into a sacred ground where people go to offer supplications with strong belief that their prayers would be answered.
A British evangelist, Mrs. Margaret Bernett, who visited the site in the early 1960s report­edly named it: “Rock of Ages.” Also at the site is a mysterious tree that sprouted from a heap of rocks with scores of people offering prayers there.
Since the discovery of the rocks by Adeoye, said to have acted on a vision directing him to find it, the place has become a tourist delight with people across the country thronging there. A grandson of Adeoye, Michael, who said he was among those ordained by his grandfather to supervene activities at the site, however, warned against attempt at deifying him:

‘Why Nigerians should vote for Jonathan in 2015’

Despite the challenges, facing the present administration under President Goodluck Jonathan, many believe that he is working very hard to reposition the country. Those in this school of thought believe the president is doing well, even though he is not making a noise about it. One of those who share this view is the Director General, House-to-House for Democracy, Hon. Ogidi Bara Benjamin. In this interview, he speaks on various issues with particular emphasis on the achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan. Excerpts:
What is your group, House-to-House Campaign Organisation for Democracy all about?
House-to-House Campaign Organisation for Democracy is a political outfit that has taken the centre-stage in contemporary politics in Nigeria. Our organisation believes strongly in the tenets of democracy to its fullest, hence our idea of preaching democratic precedence and the need for a continuum throughout the nooks and cranny of the country and beyond. We are on a mission to enlighten the electorate from house to house,, Village to village, husband to wife,youth- to- youth,man- to- man and so on .
Our vision is to inform, educate and sensitise Nigerians to support the re-election of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan massively for the purpose of good governance and continuity in office as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria beyond 2015.
But our mission is to carry out pro-Jonathan programmes through participatory democracy from house to house, one man, one vote advocacy campaign for the actualization of Goodluck

Shame! Man caught defiling two-year-old girl

A 30-year old man, Mr. Inya-Okoro (other names withheld)from Afikpo North Local Gov­ernment area of Ebonyi State has been arrested by police for defiling a two-year-old girl, Favour.
The suspect was alleged to have com­mitted the shameful act when the victim returned from school and was sleeping at the corridor of the house when the suspect, who also lives in the same compound allegedly pounced on her and committed the crime.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Mr. Chris Anyanwu an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), who confirmed the incident said the suspect was arrested on July 14, 2014 at the scene of the crime when the members of the family alerted the police.
He said that the girl had been taken to hospital for medical examination and treat­ment while the suspect would be charged to court for prosecution, lamenting high rate of rape and defilement in the state.
According to Anyanwu, “On Monday 14th July, 2014, one Ama Inya-Okoro, 30-year old man from Ubeyi development centre in Unwana, in Afikpo Council area, was arrested for defiling little girl, Favour. The girl has been taken to hospital for treatment by his father Mr. Ude, Ebeke. The suspect confessed to the crime and will be charged to court for prosecution.
“This is another disturbing trend, the issue of rape, defilement and sex related offences.
I don’t know why we have regular oc­currence in the state. The people should not leave their children especially, female ones without close watch. Just like in this case, the girl was sleeping but nobody was there with her when the suspect took the advan­tage and had access to the girl. So, parents should be careful and monitor their girls and ensure that they don’t send them on errand alone to avoid such cases of rape. I urge the people to always ensure that they raise alarm whenever they see such act and report it to the nearest police station” he said.

Keep Money For Us At Home, Robbers Tell Ogun Residents

Residents of Elerinko estate in Ijoko-Ota in Ado-Odo/Ota local government area of Ogun State are at a loss as men of the underworld have served them a notice of visitation.
The suspected robbers who reportedly pasted notification letter of their impending visit to the estate advised the residents in their own interest to make cash available failure of which would cause them pain.
LEADERSHIP gathered that, the suspected robbers pasted the letters on buildings, electric poles and other strategic points in the estate before dawn.
According to some of the residents who pleaded anonymity for fear of attack, the letter had logo of skull and bones.
“As we woke up, we saw the letters pasted all over the estate asking us to prepare for them that they are coming”, a resident said.
According to him , in the letter, the robbers threatened to attack them saying they should keep cash in their homes or withdraw cash from banks to keep at home.
“They said that we had enjoyed peace and no security can stop them. You can imagine the panic in the area with many planning to pack out please help us”.

Nigeria leads world in rate of ‘terrorism’ fatalities

Nigeria suffers from the world’s deadliest terror attacks, with an average of 24 deaths per incident out of 146 recorded between January and June, according to risk consultancy Maplecroft.
The global average is two deaths per attack, the Bath, United Kingdom (U.K)-based group said in a report released yesterday titled: The Maplecroft Terrorism and Security Dashboard. Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, recorded 3,477 deaths in those attacks as violence by the Boko Haram Islamist militants grew in scale and sophistication, it said.
“The increased capacity of Boko Haram is likely to lead to a further loss of investor confidence,” Maplecroft said in the report. The latest figures represent a doubling of the 1,735 deaths recorded in the previous year through June 2013, it said.
Boko Haram, whose name means “western education is a sin,” is waging a violent campaign that has killed thousands, to impose Shariah, or Islamic law on the country.
The group drew global outrage with its April 15 abduction of 276 schoolgirls from their dormitories in Chibok.
The militant group claimed three bomb attacks this year in Abuja that killed no fewer than 120 people.
Maplecroft ranks Nigeria fifth in its list of “extreme risk” countries topped by Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia. While more people have died in those countries due to more frequent attacks, the average death toll per attack has been lower than Nigeria’s, according to Maplecroft.
“We will do everything to stop the menace of Boko Haram on Nigerian citizens,” Major-General Chris Olukolade, defense headquarters spokesman, said yesterday on telephone. The Nigerian army says it is acquiring new military equipment and retraining its soldiers to deal with the insurgency.
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82 die as suicide bomber hits Buhari’s convoy

The unfortunate event, clearly an assassination attempt, came from a fast moving vehicle that made many attempts to overtake my security car, but was blocked by the escort vehicle.We reached the market area of Kawo where he took advantage of our slowing down and attempted to ram into my car. He instantly detonated the bomb, which destroyed all the three cars in our convoy. Unfortunately, when I came out of my vehicle, I saw bodies littered around… 
Twin bomb explosions in Kaduna, the headquarters of the old northern Nigeria killed scores of people yesterday.
Former Head of State General Muhamadu Buhari, whose convoy seemed to have been the target of the second explosion, escaped unhurt.
The Gen. who on Sunday warned President Goodluck Jonathan on the state of the nation, said it was an assassination attempt, a “clearly targeted bomb attack”.
The first explosion was on Alkali by Isa Kaita Road, where a suspected suicide bomber on a motorcycle, who is believed to be trailing a famous Islamic scholar, Sheik Dahiru Bauchi, detonated the bomb.
Kaduna Police Commissioner Umar Shehu said 25 people died in the first blast but eyewitnesses said about 32 died.

Emir Sanusi Breaks Fast With Jonathan At Aso Rock

The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, yesterday evening made a surprise appearance at the presidential villa where he observed the break of the Ramadan fast with President Goodluck Jonathan.
The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor joined some northern royal fathers, led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III to Aso Rock for the breaking of Ramadan fast with the president.
LEADERSHIP reports that this was the very first meeting between the president and Sanusi since the latter became the emir of Kano. Jonathan had on February 20, 2014, suspended Sanusi from his position as governor of the CBN over allegations of financial recklessness.
During the break of the fast at the president’s residence, Sanusi led others in a special prayer for peace, while Jonathan later shook hands with him and all the royal fathers in attendance.

We’ve Not Been Notified Of Nyako’s Removal – Jega

Chairman of INEC, Prof Attahiru Jega, yesterday said the commission has not been officially notified of the removal of former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako.
Jega, during an interactive session with media managers in Abuja, said “The law is clear on that but as at Wednesday morning, INEC has not been formally notified of the impeachment.
“The law provides for three months to hold election while the speaker of the House of Assembly takes over within the period in cases where the deputy governor cannot act.
“We are law abiding and we will operate within the law if officially notified,” Prof Jega said.
He, however, explained that if election was conducted in the state, the winner would only complete Nyako’s tenure while another election would be held during the 2015 general elections.

Missing Engineer On NAF Ill-fated Helicopter Alive – DHQ

The engineer crew member of the crashed Nigerian Air Force Mi-35 Helicopter earlier declared missing has been found alive.
The crew member who was declared missing when his body could not be located in the vicinity of the crash resurfaced at the military headquarters in Maiduguri today, having trekked through the bushes after the crash.
It is therefore confirmed that Flight Lieutenant NM Halilu, Co-Pilot and Warrant Officer Augustine Nwanonenyi, the aircraft technician survived the crash while Flight Lieutenant Onyeka Nwakile was the only one lost in the crash.
According to a statement signed by the director of information, Major General Chris Olukolade, yesterday, “The family of the officer has been duly informed while the two survivors are in stable condition but receiving medical attention”.
The statement also disclosed that the “Search and rescue operation on the incident has been concluded, while investigation into the crash continues”.

Sharing Formula Tears Pro-govt Group Apart As Soldiers Secure BBOG Group

Activities planned to mark the one hundred days of the abduction of over 200 girls from Government Secondary School, Chibok on April 14 this year were almost disrupted when the pro-government #ReleaseOurGirls Group engaged in a free-for-all fight over the sharing formula for the funds given to them.
The #ReleaseOurGirls Group, which resurfaced at the Unity Fountain three days ago, was graced with the presence of the FCT minister of state, Olajumoke Akinjide, but became unruly, with some of its members even taking the fight to the main road.
When information of the fight got out, the Nigeria Army was immediately mobilised and soldiers were sent to restore order and also ensure no harm came to members of the #BringBackOurGirls Group.
Recall that the pro-government group, the members of which were dressed in white T-shirts bearing the inscription #ReleaseOurGirls, had taken over the sitting area of the #BringBackOurGirls Group with their musical equipment and was shouting for the release of the girls by the Boko Haram sect.
The #BringBackOurGirls Group, which was not deterred by the other group’s presence, relocated to a spot near the Transcorp Hilton to hold its daily sit-out session and mark the 100 days of the Chibok girls in captivity.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Jonathan appoints Chidoka Aviation Minister

President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday swore in two ministers and deployed the former Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Osita Chidoka (Anambra) as the new Minister of Aviation.
Abubakar Suleiman (Kwara) was deployed as the Minister of National Planning and Deputy Chairman National Planning Commission (NPC).
One of the former Deputy Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi was named by the President as the new Corp Marshal of the FRSC.
President Jonathan tasked them to bring in their wealth of experiences to impact positively on their new assignment.
He said: “We expect that as you join the team at this time, this is an injury time like in a soccer match, when you are brought in at that time you are expected to score goals or to give very solid defence.”
“So Nigerians are expecting much from you…the issues facing us, of course most of African countries, is the issue of governance.”
“We expect you to bring to bear your wealth of experience so that wherever you are deployed, you will make impact.” He said.
On the new head for FRSC, he said: “We are appointing Deputy Corp Marshal, Oyeyemi as the Corp Marshal. We will expect that you will do a very good work there.”
“I believe you will work with your colleagues and make sure that you don’t just maintain what Osita has done but that you will also improve on that.” He stated
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Kidnap: 4 Suspects Invade Ibadan Girls’ School, 1 Arrested

Four suspected kidnappers on Monday invaded Onireke Girls’ High School, Ibadan, Oyo State, thereby bringing academic and non-academic activities to a halt.
Our correspondent gathered that the suspected kidnappers, who were said to have dressed like mad persons, have been terrorizing students and staff of the school in the last few weeks.
They were again sighted on Monday by a food vendor and some students of the school inside a bush located at the back of one of the classroom blocks within the premises of the girls college.
This consequently led to confusion as students of the school, including those sitting for the Junior Secondary School (JSS) examination, reportedly scampered for safety.
It was gathered that some of the students rushed to inform the vice-principal of the school (name withheld) of the presence of the hoodlums within the school premises.

MH17: Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down near crash site, Kiev says

Pro-Russian rebels shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets on Wednesday, not far from where a Malaysian airliner was brought down last week in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers on board.
A spokesman for Ukraine’s military operations said the planes were downed near Savur Mogila, a burial mound in the Shaktersky region where a memorial marks ambushes by the Soviet army on occupying Nazis during the Second World War.
He said he did not have any information about the pilots.
Igor Strelkov, who is now in charge of the rebel ranks in the eastern city of Donetsk, said the separatists had brought down one plane and that the pilot had ejected. He gave no further details.
Fierce fighting raged near the rebels’ two main centers in Donetsk and nearby Lugansk, where they have been pushed back by Ukrainian government forces, who have taken control of villages and suburbs around the cities.