Monday, December 29, 2014

World’s Richest Black Woman: Alakija Topples Oprah

Despite falling oil prices, Nigerian Billionaire, Folorunsho Alakija has edged past Oprah Winfery as world's richest Black Woman, with a fortune of $7.3bn. On the other hand, Oprah Winfrey is worth $2.9billion, according to Forbes.

According to Ventures Africa magazine's Rich List, Alakija generated her wealth from oil and gas.

"It is widely believed that Alakija's friendship with Maryam Babangida, the late wife of former head of state, Ibrahim Babangida, played a huge role in her relatively inexpensive acquisition of the oil block back in 1993," the magazine noted.

United Kingdom-based Business Consultant, Philip Obi cautions that Alakija's stand is shaky because oil is fast losing value in the face of falling oil prices. "Except she decides to diversify, 90% wealth in oil look unsteady considering the alternative energy potential," Obi said.

"The world is going digital. Very soon, wealth will no longer be what we use to know; look at Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. That is where the world is going into- Digital world. The people who will continue to rule will be those in communications, food and health, social media, finance. These pillars are going to be critical to run the world. People are becoming multi- millionaire by just building smile apps."

For his part, National President of Independent Shareholders Association (ISAN), Sunny Nwosu said that her ranking as world's richest black woman is understandable because she has one of the biggest oil wells in the country that is managed on her behalf by a leading multinational oil corporation.

"Her oil well is one of the investments the military government bequeathed to people like her," Nwosu said.

According to Ventures Africa, Africa boasts 55 billionaires and they're worth a staggering $143.88 billion in total.

Alakija started her career as a secretary in a bank in the mid 1970s, Alakija, 62, then studied fashion in London and returned to Nigeria to start a label, Supreme Stitches. But her biggest break came in oil. In 1993, her company, Famfa Oil, was awarded an oil prospecting license, which later became OML 127, one of Nigeria's most prolific oil blocks

The company owns a 60 per cent stake in the block, valued at around $7.3 billion, said Ventures Africa

Cameroonian Soldiers Chase Nigerians Out Of Bakassi

The Cameroonian military has begun cracking down on Nigerians in the Bakassi peninsula suspected of evading taxes.

Cameroon gained total control of the peninsula in August 2013, but most inhabitants in the oil-rich area are Nigerians

"We don't understand Cameroon's tax laws," a provisions store owner, Stanley Obi, told the Hausa service of the Voice of America (VOA), adding that he has seen an array of people seeking payments.

"At times, you see the council come to collect theirs. After, the tax officers will come, police will come; we are just confused with the whole system," Obi said.

Obi also said a curfew was imposed on the peninsula last week following disputes between businessmen and groups of tax collectors.

Fresh fish retailer, Na Eric, said that ever since Cameroon gained sovereignty over the peninsula, Nigerians in Bakassi have frequently been harassed by Cameroonian soldiers.

"It is a means of killing our businesses," he said.

The governor of the southwest region in which Bokassi is located, Bernard Okalia Bilai, confirmed that his administration had imposed a night curfew in the area, saying the decision is to halt people coming from Nigeria's Cross River State following a meeting held at which peninsula residents complained that others were disrespecting maritime borders, attacking the locals and refusing to pay taxes.

"Nigerians must understand that Bakassi is now a Cameroonian territory and whoever lives there must submit to all national rules and regulations, including paying taxes," the governor said.

Immediately after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling, tax collection in Bakassi was suspended, but as of mid-August 2013, residents had to start paying their share.

The governor accused Nigerians of disrespecting the ICJ ruling's terms by refusing to pay taxes.

In 2002, the ICJ ruling had awarded control of the disputed Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon, and Nigeria eventually decided not to appeal the ruling, sparking protests from many Bakassi residents. And other Nigerians.

In 2008, the ICJ gave Nigeria five years to transition and cede control. As of August 2013, Nigerians – who constitute 90 percent of the peninsula's population – had to obtain residence permits and be treated as foreign nationals.

Those who decided to become Cameroonians had to acquire national identity cards and respect Cameroon laws

The United Nations-backed Green Tree Agreement of 2006 set terms of the handover and one of the articles states that there shall be no indiscriminate collection of taxes within the Bakassi peninsula.

Cameroonian embassy keeps mum

Meanwhile, efforts by LEADERSHIP to get the Cameroon Embassy in Abuja to comment on the issue were fruitless as officials of the Commission failed to reply to the e-mail sent to the Commission's official e-mail address,

Boko Haram Slaughters 30 In Cameroon Village

Suspected Boko Haram insurgents have reportedly killed over 30 Cameroonian villagers, a security official disclosed yesterday.

A regional governor, Mijiyawa Bakary, told the local by phone that the estimated 30 people killed were civilians.

"We do not yet have all the facts, but our divisional officers and security officials are filling us in," Bakary said.

The attack took place at Mbaljuel village in northern Cameroon, just a few kilometres from Cameroon's border with Nigeria, L'Oeil du Sahel newspaper said.

The insurgents also carried out a similar attack along the Waza-Mora highway on Friday, killing one Cameroonian soldier.

A soldier serving near the border who did not want to be named said the dead soldier was a corporal, adding that three soldiers also were wounded in the attack.

The attackers also confiscated a vehicle belonging to the Cameroon military.

Meanwhile, the Cameroon military says it killed 53 Boko Haram militants at Soueram about 17 kilometres from Fotokol, another border village in northern Cameroon.

The militants died when Cameroon's air force battalion bombarded a Boko Haram camp at that location. The report could not be independently verified.

Soldiers also launched rockets across the border at the Boko Haram stronghold of Banki in Nigeria on Friday.

The violence comes about a week after the Cameroonian army destroyed an Islamic school believed to have served as a training ground for Boko Haram.

An army officer had disclosed that Boko Haram was recruiting children aged between 5 and 12 years and teaching them radical Islam at the school.

Cameroon has positioned soldiers and special military units to the far North this year to stop Boko Haram from infiltrating into Cameroon from Nigeria.

Revealed: What Jonathan, Babangida discussed

Former military President Ibrahim Babangida made no commitment on the 2015 presidential poll to President Goodluck Jonathan at a meeting in Minna on Saturday, The Nation learnt yesterday.

Gen. Babangida only raised issues on how to keep the nation united during and after the general elections – contrary to the widespread insinuation that he endorsed Jonathan's bid for another term.

Buoyed by the visit, Dr. Jonathan has started reaching out to key emirs and leaders of the North to back his re-election bid.

He may soon visit these leaders as part of his action plan to reduce the influence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.

The details of the meeting between Jonathan and Gen. Babangida were revealed in Abuja by one of the key aides of the former military leader.

The talks between the two leaders in Minna created ripples in the North, with many highly-placed Northerners bombarding Gen. Babangida with calls on what actually transpired.

The aide, who was at Gen. Babangida's Hilltop mansion when Jonathan visited, said the talks had nothing to do with the general elections.

The source said: "It is true that the President visited Gen. Babangida at his Minna Hilltop mansion but the nature of his message was based purely  on unity of the country and not about 2015 presidential election.

"As a former president who fought for the unity of the country, he was of the view that the president needs support as President and not as presidential candidate per se.

"It is his view that the country needs to be united as one before we can begin to talk about election. Only a united Nigeria can guarantee credible election."

According to the aide, who requested not to be named because he was not permitted to speak to the media, "What Gen. IBB said should be viewed within the context of the larger Nigeria interest and not that of any parochial interest that is likely to unsettle the system.

"Those of them who fought in the civil war to keep the country one understand the dynamics and challenges facing us now in the face of grave insecurity and poor economic realities," he said.

Besides, said the aide, those criticising Gen. Babangida should take it easy as he belongs to the PDP "even as a nominal member.

"As a leader and former president who was privileged to preside over the affairs of the country and who also fought in the civil war, he will continue to speak the language of unification than that of division," he said.

Gen. Babangida's view, according to the aide is that as a  President who is facing crises, Jonathan deserves the support of all to keep the country together, irrespective of all the manifest imperfections.

Jonathan is said to have started reaching out to top Emirs and leaders in the North to checkmate Gen. Buhari's influence.

A source spoke of the battle between Jonathan and Gen. Buhari has shifting to the North, adding that has been consulting some prominent Emirs and leaders on why he should be given second term in office.

"The President, Vice-President Namadi Sambo, PDP governors, and leaders will be embarking on shuttles to some of these key Northern leaders for support.

"They are desperate to take the battle to Buhari's stronghold but no one can say whether the President and the PDP can go far or not," said the source.

Another source added: "Jonathan's game plan is to split the North.

"This explains why Northern leaders were concerned about the President's renewed interest in the North after he failed the region in many promises he made in 2011

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Hard drug: Jackie Chan’s son charged

China's state prosecutor said on Monday it had formally charged Jaycee Chan, son of kung fu movie star, Jackie Chan, with a drug offence. Consequent­ly, he is almost certain to face trial.

The younger Chan, a 32-year-old actor and singer, was arrested in Beijing this year after testing positive for marijuana with police saying they found 100 grams of the drug in his home.

In a brief statement on its official microblog, the Su­preme People's Procurator­ate said it had begun legal proceedings against him for the crime of sheltering oth­ers to take drugs. However, it did not elaborate.

President Xi Jinping said in June that China would harshly crack down on nar­cotics, state media reported. Action and comedy star, Jackie Chan, 60, served as a goodwill spokesman for the China National Anti-Drug Committee in 2009, promoting anti-drug education.

Jaycee Chan was not available for com­ment. In August, his father offered the public a deep bow of apology for his son's arrest.

China has detained a string of other mostly B-list celebrities in recent months for drug-related charges, cases that have been publi­cised widely in both state and social media. They have included movie and television stars, film directors and a prominent screenwriter.

Drug crimes carry harsh penalties in China including death or life imprisonment in serious cases. Illegal drugs, especially synthetic substances like metham­phetamine, ketamine and ecstasy have grown in popularity in China in tan­dem with the rise of a new urban class with greater disposable income.

Sahara Reporters Work for terrorists

Sahara Reporters Work The Army authorities yesterday accused an online media, Sahara Reporters, of working for the Boko Haram terror group.

In a statement issued by its director of public relations, Brigadier Olaleye Lajide, the Army dismissed a story published on the website of the medium where it alleged that a serving officer, Lt Col Wende, petitioned the Army hierarchy.

"It is noteworthy but unfortunate that Sahara Reporters has committed itself to support terrorism and fight Nigeria, its people, its military and particularly the Nigerian Army.

"Before Sahara Reporters published their purported document described as petition from Lt Col Wende, a serving commanding officer, the Nigerian Army conducted a thorough investigation on the document involving other security and intelligence gathering agencies. The process confirmed that the serving officer was not the author of the petition," the Army stated.

The statement further disclosed that at a press conference in Maiduguri, the officer involved, Wende, disassociated himself from the petition and Sahara Reporters which published the story was not only absent but went to discredit the officer, describing him as "unverified

INEC: we can’t cope if Jonathan, Buhari go into run-off

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  is in a fix  about a possible run-off  in the presidential election  between the two leading candidates, General Muhammadu Buhari and President Goodluck Jonathan.

The 2010 Electoral Act (as amended) stipulates the organisation of  a run-off  within seven days of a  presidential election, if  there is no outright winner at the  first ballot.

Sources at INEC now say  seven days are too short   to prepare for a run-off in respect of the presidential or governorship election.

There is already a proposal to amend that section of the Electoral Act at the National Assembly since 2012.

Investigation  showed that  INEC is in a fix over possible   governorship and presidential run-offs, especially  between President Goodluck Jonathan (PDP) and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari(APC).

The  timetable for the 2015 poll published by the Secretary to INEC, Mrs. Augusta  Ogakwu, on January 4, 2014 included a caveat for run-off.

It said: "Note: Run-off election to the Office of President or Governor of a state (if any) will be held within seven days after the announcement of the result of the election in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria(FRN)."

Another key official of INEC said: "The more the process becomes credible, the likelihood of a presidential run-off. But INEC management is in a fix on how to go about the presidential run-off, if it becomes necessary for the nation to go through it in 2015.

"The seven-day gap between when the presidential election will hold and the run-off is not feasible for us to print ballot papers, result sheets and distribute the sensitive election materials nationwide.

"In 2011, we did anticipatory printing of ballot papers for presidential run-off, but some people/groups wrote petitions against INEC. They said we printed run-off ballot papers ahead because we wanted to rig the elections.

"They also accused INEC of wasting taxpayers' money on run-off ballot papers when the poll did not hold. Some of our officials were taken to the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), queried and subjected to unnecessary interrogation.

"With this nasty experience, INEC will not want to print presidential run-off ballot papers in advance again. It has learnt its lessons in a hard way.

"But in 2012, we made a proposal to the National Assembly for the amendment of the seven-day clause in the Electoral Act for more days to prepare for any run-off.

"As I speak with you, the National Assembly is yet to effect the amendment. This kind of lapse can lead to more electoral challenges in 2015.

"And at the end of the day, Nigerians will be blaming INEC. If you ask me now, I will say we have no position yet on how to go about any run-off

Thursday, December 25, 2014

How APC ’ll tackle unemployment, power, by Osinbajo

The vice-presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has said it is possible to fix vital infrastructure and rid the country of corruption within four years, if politicians showed sincerity of purpose and will to take progressive decisions.

Osinbajo, who spoke yesterday at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos when he met with youths and leaders of various volunteer groups working for the actualisation of the APC presidency, said fixing Nigeria was no rocket science.

He said fate had brought him on a joint ticket with General Muhammadu Buhari to rescue the nation from the grip of a non-performing government, noting that APC government believed there was need for direct intervention in the welfare of the people.

Osinbajo, a former Lagos State attorney-general, said the growing youth unemployment showed that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had failed the people.

His words: "Why should 80 per cent of graduates be without jobs and we say we have practised democracy in the last 16 years?

"We believe there is a disconnection between the people and the PDP government and we cannot continue to give excuses every time. There is no reason for the energetic population to be jobless and this is why the youth must vote APC for change.

"If elected, the APC presidency would make the youth the centre of its programmes, because of their limitless human resources. Under an APC government, graduates who cannot get jobs after the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme would be engaged in compulsory vocation training for which they would get monthly stipends as incentives.

"Government is about the people. I wonder why President Goodluck Jonathan is seeking re-election if his administration cannot improve the economy in the last five years."

The APC candidate said all areas of the economy were riddled with the leakages through which country's resources were drained by a few individuals. Plugging the leakages, he said, would control corruption and restore integrity to government.

"They said the major revenue generator is Nigeria's oil and this is a sector that has been cornered by a few people loyal to the government. We have a problem of accountability here because nobody knows how much we make from crude oil.

"If the corruption in the management process of the country's resources is controlled, there is a lot of revenue we would have saved from going into private pockets.

"I believe with Gen. Buhari's unassailable integrity and openness, corruption will be reduced and people would enjoy good governance again."

The professor of public law scored the PDP government low in power generation, saying the huge resources the Federal Government had committed to generate insignificant megawatts of electricity had made people to lose hope in government.

Osinbajo said APC had a clear-cut manifesto on how to improve power supply. He said the only way to achieve uninterrupted power supply was to have a will to pursue the amendment of the law making it impossible for private electricity generation.

He said APC would encourage states and local governments to create their independent power projects for the benefit of the people in their domain.

"We need to do away with this impracticable model of power generation. We plan to decentralise power supply to make it easy for private individuals or companies to have their own power plants.

"We will amend the law mandating willing individuals to get licence before generating power for domestic use. If we fail to act now, we will still be here in the next 10 to 15 years."

On security, Osinbajo said the Jonathan administration lacked good management skill in the disbursement of security vote. He wondered why security agencies still complain of lack of weapons when the government said it had voted over N4 trillion for security.

Rather than unravelling the cause of Boko Haram, Osinbajo said the PDP government deliberately accused the opposition of sponsoring insurgency in the North.

"They leave the real cause of Boko Haram; they are looking for scapegoats to punish for their lack of ideas on how to contain the monster," he said.

The APC vice presidential candidate promised that APC government would unravel the identity of the people behind the insurgency and improve the military in modern warfare to tackle insurgency. This, he said, would be achieved with prudent management of security budget.

Osinbajo dismissed insinuations that Buhari would islamise the country if elected.

He said those calling the APC presidential candidate a bigot should be the ones people must avoid.

"When Gen. Buhari had absolute power, he never allowed the country to participate in the meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC). As a military head of state, almost all his civilian cabinet members were Christians. So, why should anyone accuse him of being a bigot

My Boko Haram story, by 13-yr old ‘suicide bomber’

A 13-year old would-be female bomber has confessed to being lured into the Boko Haram sect's suicide squad with the promise of making it to heaven.

In a chilling account, Zarau Babangida, who hails from Damaturu, Yobe State, said her parents, who live in Bauchi State, enlisted her into the sect.

Zarau spoke to reporters in police custody after being arrested along with her accomplice.

She would have detonated another bomb during the December 10 twin-explosions in Kano's Kantin Kwari market but for a change of mind. Ten people were reported dead in that blast; nine others were injured.

Zarau spoke to reporters yesterday.

Her story: "When my parents took me to the Boko Haram training camp in Bauchi, I did not have an idea what they wanted me to go and do. But when we got there, one of the trainers asked me whether I wanted to go to paradise. I replied in the affirmative. He then told me that I had an assignment to carry out in Kano. After the necessary training, he told me that three of us (all female) would travel to Kano to execute the assignment, saying after executing the assignment, we would then be entitled to make it to paradise.

"When we got to Kano, they took us straight to Kantin Kwari market. When it was time for the execution, the two other girls took their position. We all had the bombs concealed in our dresses because we were wearing hijab. The others detonated their bombs, but I vehemently refused to ignite mine. But I was injured on my left leg from the explosion.

"Due to the injury, I shouted for help, the commercial tricycle operator, who sympathised with me, took me to Dawanau, where I resided with my parents. However, I removed the concealed bomb in my body and left it on the seat of the tricycle.

"The tricycle operator returned to confirm that I was the one carrying the bomb and he alerted security agents. I was arrested at the hospital where I was being treated."

Kano Police Commissioner Mr Aderenle Shinaba, who was with heads of other security agencies in the state, said the arrest of the 13-year old would-be bomber and her accomplice was as a result of the synergy among the outfits.

Shinaba confirmed that the girl was arrested at the hospital. He cautioned against insinuations that people of particular ethnic group are behind the bombings

PDP hides N21b donors’ list as party gets more knocks

There were indications yesterday that the Chairman of Skye Bank, Mr. Tunde Ayeni, and more than 30 other businessmen might be fined for donating N21billion to the campaign fund for President Goodluck Jonathan.

The businessmen also risk sanctions from the boards of companies where they are major players.

Determined to stave off sanctions for raising N21billion campaign funds, President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) have sought legal advice.

The PDP may hide under the guise of raising the funds for the completion of its National Secretariat.

But the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Manual said it is compulsory for PDP to disclose the names and addresses of those who contributed to its campaign funds.

According to sources in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)  and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC),  the law only allows imposition of fine on any company or a member of the Board of Directors involved in campaign funding.

The sources, however, said a company can invoke Corporate Governance Rules to deal with any board member guilty of such infractions.

Some of those involved are Mr. Ayeni (who announced a donation of N2.5billion for himself, friends and power sector); Hajiya Bola Shagaya(N5billion for Oil and Gas Sector); Oluchi Okoye (who donated N4billion on behalf of Real Estate Sector); Chief Ominife Uzoegbu (N500million for Food and Agriculture sector);  Chairman of Deep Offshore, Didi Ndimou(N1billion for Transport and Aviation Sector;  Cizaly Limited (N250m); Shelter Development Limited (N250million); the SIFAX Group (N100million); National Automotive Association (N450million); National Association of Stevedores Companies (N25million) and Ajuji Best Western Hotel (N1million).

One of the sources said: "Our law is weak. Going by Section 38(2) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), any corporate player involved in such a mess will both refund the cash and pay fine.

Section 38 ( 2) says: "A company shall not have or exercise power either directly or indirectly to make a donation or a gift of any of its property or funds to a political party or political association, or for any political purpose; and if in breach of this subsection makes any donation or gives of its property to a political party or political association or for any political purpose, the officers in default and any member who voted for the breach shall be jointly and severally liable to refund to the company the sum or value of the donation or gift and, in addition, the company and every such officer or member shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine equal to the amount or value of the donation or gift.

"The affected corporate players can, however, be sanctioned by their companies' Board of Directors.

"When at an AGM a former official of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc announced that the bank had donated some cash to Obasanjo Presidential Library, the shareholders rejected the report and ordered a review.

"You can also recall the position of the Nigerian Breweries on his erstwhile brilliant Managing Director, Festus Odimegwu who had to step down because of the role of Corporate Nigeria in elections."

As at last night, the Presidency and the PDP were keeping the list of donors under wrap.

The two parties have sought legal advice to avoid sanctions and litigations which may affect President Goodluck Jonathan's re-election bid.

A source said: "With the controversy on the N21billion donations, the list of donors might not be released to the public.

"The PDP might also come up with a fresh argument that not all the donated funds were meant for Jonathan's campaign.

"Those involved in the donations have just realised that they committed a slip. They are just trying to seek advice on how to manage the bad situation.

"One of the arguments of the Legal Advisers borders on the fact that PDP is not bound to make such disclosures until three months after the February 2015 presidential poll. They said this can be in May 2015."

INEC's Political Finance Monitoring Manual compels the PDP or any other party to disclose the list of donors – in line with Section 93 of the Electoral Act 2010(as amended).

A source in the commission said: "The law is very clear, PDP has no choice than to disclose the names and addresses of the donors. It is not our business but a court of law can compel it to do so in compliance with Section 93 of the Electoral Act.

"Even if INEC remains impartial,  some anti-corruption organisations or groups or political parties can make issues out of the provision of the Electoral Act."

18 Critical Things Former President Obasanjo Said About President Jonathan In His New Book

In his scathing new autobiography, My Watch, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo made a series of critical assertions against current President Goodluck Jonathan.

Due to the nature of the content, an ally of President Jonathan attempted to use a court order to block the publication of the book. President Jonathan also personally contacted the former president to appeal that the book not be published until next year, after the 2015 presidential election. Despite this My Watch launched yesterday, Dec. 9, in Lagos, in the presence of prominent political figures and officials. Review of the three-volume text by SaharaReporters noted that the elder statesman holds nothing back, characterizing Mr. Jonathan as weak, callous and incapable of managing Nigeria.

He also criticizes the handling of the Boko Haram insurgency crisis, the PDP, and the Governors Forum, among other things. Excerpts from some of the most significant critiques are below.

On President Jonathan's character:

Jonathan is lacking in broad vision, knowledge, confidence, understanding, concentration, capacity, sense of security, courage, moral and ethical principles, character and passion to move the nation forward on a fast trajectory. Although he might wish to do well, he does not know how nor does he have the capacity to. To compound his problem he has not surrounded himself with aides sufficiently imbued with the qualities and abilities to help him out. Most of them are greedy hangers-on or hungry lacklustre characters interested only in their mouths and their pockets

President Jonathan can still make amends to save himself, many of his associates in government, his government, and the nation. If, in the end, he fails he will have no one but himself to blame. He has great opportunities, many of which only come once in a lifetime; and if he misses them it will only be due to his inadequacy, myopia, personal interest and self-aggrandisement, lack of sagacity, wisdom. I hope he can and will avoid having any cause for regret.

The longest period that I have met one-on-one with the president was for one hour and ten minutes. That whole time, the president talked about nothing that was in the interest of Nigeria; instead he kept pointing out his supposed enemies and various matters that would not serve his interests. I could not stop myself from blurting out: "Mr. President, no Nigerian should be your enemy. You have to rule over all of them whether or not they like you. Please, you have to be like rain falling on good and bad people alike."

An elder statesman who formed a close relationship with President Jonathan very early in his presidency came to the conclusion, after six months, that the president has not got what it takes to lead. It was the same elder statesman who reportedly tried to jolt the president into action by telling him that there were five presidents in Nigeria, and these were his wife the first lady, Deziani, Oduah, Ngozi and the president himself, and that he was the weakest of the five.

On corruption:

In the area of corruption, we have been going back steadily from the inception of Yar'Adua's administration when the 'hunter' became the 'hunted'. But under Jonathan we seem to have gone from frying pan to fire. If in the past corruption was in the corridors of power, it would seem now to be in the sitting room, dining room and bedroom of power.

If what is called 'corruption' is stealing, under the watch of Goodluck Jonathan, then government has become legalised and protected robbery.

The presidency had instructed EFCC to remove a vital document in Gbenga Daniel's file in their custody, to assist getting Gbenga Daniel off the hook. All these cases were reported to the president and were known to him; but because they involve the president's interests, directly or indirectly, no action has been taken.

With the 2011 elections, heavy financial prices were paid to Lagos and Ondo State opposition political leaders to secure the vote for the president, against the interest of PDP at the state level...The situation where the president surreptitiously invited Bola Tinubu, lifting him at night by presidential aircraft from Lagos to Abuja to hatch a plan for Bola to support one PDP presidential candidate at the expense of all other PDP candidates for any office in Lagos, can only be described as obscene, unethical, corruption-ridden and a show of bad leadership...Whatever amount of money was given to Bola Tinubu to procure votes for the 2011 presidential election in Lagos was, to say the least, unnecessary. What made this phenomenon particularly bad was that government had raised the money from government transactions which fuel corruption.

I got a warning that this administration was attempting to induce two of my daughters, including Iyabo, to do a dirty job. I warned them both against it, but because of her character, the influence of her mother and her attitude, Iyabo succumbed; the other daughter did not.

On the Boko Haram insurgency, the insecurity crisis, and #BringBackOurGirls:

I was in Sierra Leone on the day Boko Haram [bombed] the UN building in Abuja. As soon as I returned to Nigeria I called the inspector-general of police to hear his views on the issue. I was not impressed with his explanation. I also talked to the then national security adviser and his explanation was substantially blank. I went to Jonathan, the president, on the same issue. His reaction, and his view that Boko Haram were 'a bunch of riffraffs' left me even colder.

The one incident that overtly and graphically exposed the ineptitude, ineffectiveness, inefficiency, carelessness, cluelessness, callousness, insensitivity and selfishness of Goodluck Jonathan was the abduction of about 276 school girls from Chibok in Borno State by Boko Haram. The reaction and attitude of our president and his household was non-belief, to the extent that 18 days passed before he grudgingly concede to accept the reality of the abduction. If serious action had been taken within 48 hours, the story could have been different.

I was not surprised that the president went dancing twenty-four hours after the Nyanya explosion that took seventy-five lives. I also found believable the statement allegedly credited to the president after both the Nyanya explosion and the Chibok school girls abduction to the effect that since some people in the North had said that they would make Nigerian ungovernable, they could keep on killing and abducting each other.

If these girls are not released, it will be a big dent on the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan, and a dark blot on Nigeria's reputation and history; and, for years and indeed decades, Nigeria will continue to live with the agony and memory of the action and inaction of leadership regarding the Chibok school girls. But what is more, a bad precedent would have been created; Boko Haram has tasted blood and will always want more… Who knows, another group of terrorists might have learned from Boko Haram. This time it is Chibok; next time it could be Ibogun or Otueke.

Vice-President Biden had categorically told Jonathan during the African Summit in Washington in August 2014 that with the state of his governance and the level of the destruction of the military, they would not be able to help Nigeria.

On PDP and party politics:

A political party, and its leadership, that condones corruption and engages discredited people to abuse and insult genuine, authentic and objective critics is a political party on the path of ruin and destruction. The PDP must be rescued from that path, otherwise it will soon fade into history. Criticism, particularly objective criticism, is an indispensable element of democracy and a democratic dispensation.

PDP would need to be brought back to being a well-led, disciplined and respected, harmonious party that can easily win elections, rule and govern, and not one sacrificing the party's interest for personal gain, setting governors of the party against each other, supporting candidates of other parties against candidates of the party as it happened in Lagos, Edo and Ondo States, and harassing credible leaders of the party and seeking to replace them with criminals and dubious characters in order to further presidential interests.

On the Nigerian Governors Forum election crisis:

Two governors from the [PDP] - Liyel Imoke of Cross River and Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta States - and Godswill Akpabio from Akwa Ibom State by himself, came to me in Abuja, appealing to me to intervene in the situation of the Governors' Forum, particularly in the disagreement within the PDP governors. Akpabio said starkly in his frank and outspoken manner: "We have messed up and don't leave us alone. For me, I don't want to go to jail and my children are too young. I will report our meeting to the President." Nobody, including President Jonathan, would like to go to jail, and he knew he could, depending on how things turned out or failed to shape from then on.

I have always seen the Governors' Forum as a type of trade union as they behave that way most of the time. [Jonathan] told the story of how Obong Atta was relieved of his position as chairman and Lucky Igbinedion was enthroned by less than fifty percent of the governors, and of how Bukola Saraki manoeuvred the Forum to serve his presidential ambition

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

U.S woman, believed to be oldest Facebook user, dies aged 114

A woman believed to be the world's oldest Facebook user has died at the age of 114, her family said.

Anna Stoehr of Plainview, Minnesota, gained widespread attention in October when she said she'd had to lie about her age to sign up for the social network.

Facebook responded by celebrating her impressive longevity on her birthday.

"She turned 114 in October of this year and received a huge bouquet of 114 flowers from Facebook after they learned that she was not able to sign up without putting in a fake age of 90 or 95," Harlan Stoehr, her 84-year-old eldest son, told CNN on Tuesday.

He told CNN that his mother — who leaves 5 children, 27 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren — died Sunday.

She was born in 1900, the year before the assassination of President William McKinley and the death of Queen Victoria. Her family had no telephone, car or electricity at the time.

Facebook isn't set up to accommodate such venerable users. The network's sign-up page only allows people to put dates of birth going back to 1905.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg had attempted to reach Anna Stoehr after his company sent an apology about the age restriction, according to her daughter-in-law Marlene Stoehr.

"She was not available when he had his assistant call to get hold of her because of a medical appointment, and then Mark Zuckerberg was out of the country so it never happened," she said. "But it was an exciting time for everyone with all the attention."
The company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Facebook isn't the only area where Anna Stoehr stood out — she was also the oldest person in Minnesota.

She even threw out the first pitch at a Minnesota Twins game (via a video-taped throw) at the age of 113, according to her son.

"They asked her if she would pitch it overhand or underhand, and she said, 'Overhand, of course, it's baseball,'" he said.

Harlan Stoehr said his mother was always very active and had lived on a farm near Elgin, Minnesota, from 1936 until 2013. She was left alone there after the death of her husband in 1998. At the age of 112, she moved to an apartment in a retirement community in Plainview.

"She loved gardening and always had huge flower gardens and strawberries," her son said. "She grew all kinds of things, and when an apple tree on her farm blew down, she planted another one. She was 105 years old at the time."

Her interest in getting onto Facebook at the age of 113 grew out of a friendship with a Verizon salesman.

Joseph Ramireza was selling an iPhone to Stoehr's 85-year-old son, who started talking about his mother. Ramireza said he had to meet her.
"She's become something of a kindred spirit," Ramireza told CNN affiliate KARE-TV in October.

He helped her use FaceTime to video chat with friends on an iPad and has been teaching her to use email and Google search.

When Facebook didn't have her birth year as an option, Ramireza helped Stoehr write a letter to Zuckerberg — on a typewriter.
"I'm still here," she said in the letter.


2015: Jonathan vows to empower INEC for free, fair elections

President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday promised that his administration will give all necessary support to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deliver free, fair and credible elections next year.

He made the promise in his Christmas message to the nation.

Jonathan also promised to give the necessary supports to the national security agencies to ensure peaceful and violence-free election towards strengthening democracy in the country.

He said: "Dear Compatriots, we are also celebrating this Christmas against the background of preparations for next year's general elections. I seize this opportunity to reassure the nation that my administration will give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) all necessary support to ensure that it delivers very free, fair, credible and acceptable elections in 2015."

"National security agencies will also be given all necessary support to enhance their ability to ensure that the elections which should strengthen democracy in our country are peaceful and violence free."

He also urged the political class to be law- abiding and place the greater interests of Nigeria above all personal or sectional interests in the countdown to the elections.

"Let us all be more statesman-like, conduct issues-based campaigns, and eschew the promotion of falsehood, division and hatred of others as we seek the votes of our countrymen in what should be a peaceful competition among contending points of view for the progress and development of our dear nation.

"I remain convinced that God Almighty is still with us as a nation even in the midst of our current challenges which we shall surely overcome with greater unity of purpose, dedication, commitment and perseverance," he added.

The President also urged all Christians and non-Christians to reflect more deeply on the virtues and ideals which the Messiah, Jesus Christ, espoused during his earthly mission

13-year-old female bomber arrested in Kano

Police in Kano on Wednesday confirmed the arrest of a 13- year-old female suicide bomber and an accomplice who participated in the twin blasts at the famous Kantin Kwari market, on December 10.

At least 10 people were killed in the incident.

However, the young suicide bomber who hails from Damaturu, Yobe, has allegedly confessed to journalists that she was commissioned into Boko Haram by her parents, who live in Bauchi State.

Speaking to journalists in Kano, the state's Commissioner of Police, Mr. Aderenle Shinaba, who was flanked by the state's Director of Directorate of Security Service (DSS), said the arrest of the young bomber and her accomplice was as result of the synergy existing between the police, the DSS, Army, Airforce, Customs, Immigration, Prisons and NSCDC.

Shinaba, who expressed dismay at insinuations that female suicide bombers were from Igbo extraction, said such rumors were unfounded

Military kills suicide bomber in Gombe

… Captures two bomb-making experts

… Why more officers, soldiers face court martial – DHQ

The Defence Headquarters on Wednesday said a suicide bomber was killed at a military checkpoint in Gombe while trying to escape after a failed mission.

It also confirmed the capturing of two bomb-making experts in Kano.

But fresh facts emerged on Wednesday that more officers and soldiers were being arraigned before court martial because they had been avoiding battles with Boko Haram.

According to a statement issued by the Director of Defence Information, Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, the botched suicide mission took place in Bajoga.

The statement said: "A suicide bomber who rammed into a military check point in Bajoga, Gombe State yesterday, failed to achieve his mission.
"His attempt to escape also failed as he was brought down by vigilant soldiers when he tried to flee after hitting a military Armoured Personnel Carrier with his IED laden Honda car.

"The explosives which failed to detonate have been evacuated and handed to the police."

The DHQ also confirmed the arrest of two bomb-making experts in Kano.

It added: "Also in Kano, security forces have raided the terrorists' hideout in Nasarawa Local Government Area leading to the arrest of bomb making experts who are already helping in the investigation into activities of bombers lately. Officers believe that the efforts will yield useful clues.

"Troops deployed in all locations of the counter terrorism campaign have been directed to sustain the tempo of operations all through the period of seasonal celebrations and ensure that the intention of terrorists to attack civilian targets while avoiding troops is duly frustrated."

But there had been growing concern in the military on the refusal of officers and soldiers to go into battle against Boko Haram insurgents.

A highly-placed military source said: "We have more than 300 officers and men facing trial for mutiny because they refused to go into battle with the insurgents.

"The military has addressed all issues and even provided these officers and men with sophisticated equipment but they had refused to fight in some places.

"They had allegedly failed to perform their duties in violation of sections 60, 61 and 62. No matter the situation, the law has to take its course. The military is not being wicked as being insinuated."

Section 60 says: "(1) A person subject to service law under this Act who-(a) deserts; or (b) persuades or procures any other person subject to service law under this Act to desert,is guilty of desertion and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(2) A person convicted of an offence under subsection (1) of this section shall only be liable to be imprisoned for not more than two years if-

(a) Where the offence is against paragraph (a) of that subsection, he was on active service or under orders for active service at the time when it was committed; or

(b) Where the offence is against paragraph (b) of that subsection, the person in relation to whom it was committed was on active service or under orders for active service at that time.

Section 61 deals with "assisting and concealing desertion and absence without leave

Black Teen, Antonio Martin, Shot Dead In St. Louis Suburb

MartinAn 18-year-old black teen, Antonio Martin was fatally shot by police at a gas station late on Tuesday in a St. Louis suburb, close to the place where unarmed teen – Michael Brown – was killed by a white officer in August, police and local media have said.

St. Louis County Police Department spokesman Brian Schellman, in a statement disclosed that the police officer shot and killed Martin, who drew a handgun and pointed it at him as he approached him and another man at a gas station in the St. Louis-area suburb of Berkeley.

"Fearing for his life, the Berkeley Officer fired several shots, striking the subject, fatally wounding him," he said.

However dozens of Twitter users claim Martin was unarmed when he was shot as several protesters have gathered at the scene, demanding that the police explain what happened.

A man calling himself Jesus Christo on Twitter, told The Huffington Post that he and Martin were stopped by an officer who said they fit the descriptions of recent robbery suspects.

Christo, 18, declined to speak over the phone, but spoke through direct messages on Twitter.

According to him, the officer attempted to search Martin, who refused, Christo said.

"The officer then stepped back and drew his weapon and pointed at Antonio and told us to lay on the ground," Christo said. "I layed down but Antonio refused."

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the incident was followed by protesters clashing with police, at least three people have been arrested in the clashes

Leaders Must Fear God – Al-Mustapha

Former chief security officer to late General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha yesterday urged Islamic scholars to preach honesty and fear of God to leaders of the country.

He spoke to participants and guests at Islamic poems competition organised by Majma'u Rijali Tijjaniyya in Zaria Kaduna State.

Al-Mustapha said, religious leaders being role models have positive role to play through preaching

Kwankwaso Donates Laptops, Cameras To Journalists

Kano State governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has donated work tools worth N8.7 million to 35 journalists in Kano.

Donating the items to the journalists, Governor Kwankwaso urged them to make good use of them.

The work tools are laptops (Acer), Midget digital (TASCAM), Headphones, Steel Cameras, Modems, Microphones and Handbags.

The beneficiaries are the journalists posted to the government from various media organisations and they represent both private and state owned media outfits.

The media outfits represented are Radio Kano, Freedom, Express, Rahama, Pyramid, Nagarta, Liberty and Cool FM radio stations respectively. Others are staff of Abubakar Rimi Television, ARTV, NTA, and staff of the State Ministry of Information and cameramen.

LEADERSHIP Correspondent in Kano, Abubakar Salihi also benefitted as a recognition of his support to the good work of government.

George Bush Senior Hospitalised With Breathing Difficulties

Former U.S. President George Bush (snr) was taken to hospital with breathing difficulties, his spokesman said on Thursday.

The spokesman said that Bush, 90, had been taken to a clinic in Houston, Texas, as a precautionary measure, where he would be kept under observation.

Republican George Bush was president from 1989 to 1993.

His son George W was in office from 2001 to 2009.

His other son Jeb Bush this month said he was also considering running for the top job. (dpa/NAN)

Obanikoro Concedes Defeat, Reconciles With Agbaje

Former Minister of State for Defence and PDP Lagos Governorship aspirant, Musiliu Obanikoro has conceded defeat to the winner of the governorship primaries, Jimi Agbaje.

Oabnikoro, who recently dragged his party court over irregularities recorded at the party primaries, has further agreed to work with him to defeat the APC in the forthcoming elections.

This is following a reconciliation meeting with Obanikoro, Agbaje and some party chieftains in attendance.

More details soon

Buhari meet with campaign volunteers

Presidential candidate of the APC, Muhammadu Buhari was in Lagos today to meet with a small group of his most passionate volunteers – and after an engaging evening of ideas, vision, and intense engagement on the future of the country.

The event had in attendance his key supporters including Governor Babatunde Fashola, Nasir el-Rufai, Director General of the campaign, Governor Rotimi Amaechi and Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora. There were joined by several prominent young leaders volunteering for his campaign.
"The fall of the Soviet Union informed my change of mind, towards the idea of multi-party democracy," he said about his staunch belief in the power of democracy."

"I flew into Adamawa as Head of State and that was the last we heard of Maitatsine (sect)," he said of fighting insurgents when he was Head of State.

"This is the beginning of a series of engagements," he told the volunteers after a robust question and answer session. "We will keep you updated on series of engagements from January. Follow @thisisbuhari."One of the excited volunteers tweeted after: 'I had doubts, because I was not born when he was President," said talent manager, Isioma Osaje. "But tonight I have zero doubts. My vote come 2015 is for CHANGE."

‘Drop In Oil Price, Chance To End Fuel Subsidy’

The tumbling price of oil that has slashed Nigeria's revenue and shaken currency and stock markets presents Nigeria with an opportunity to discontinue fuel subsidies that amount to $7billion annually, reports Bloomberg.

However, some analysts say that President Goodluck Jonathan may not explore such option with elections in view in February.

"Politics often trumps prudence and there's an entrenched social expectation for fuel to be subsidized," said Gareth Brickman, an analyst at Johannesburg-based ETM Analytic, who was quoted by Bloomberg.

"The last time subsidies were reduced, there were widespread protests, and given how contentious the political environment is in Nigeria with the elections and ongoing ethnic divisions, it is likely this will be the case again."

Managing director of BIC Consulting, Dr. Boniface Chizea, concurs that "the president appreciates that fuel subsidy is a hot potato with elections in view".

For his part, the president, Independent Shareholders' Association of Nigeria (ISAN), cautioned that oil slump is just under a few weeks, and therefore not enough reason to rush into removing fuel subsidy, which could backfire when oil prices recover.

"I am an advocate for the removal of fuel subsidy in the oil sector but we do not need to make such decision in haste. We must be very careful," Nwosu warned.

However, Chizea said it is possible to remove fuel subsidy but with a proviso that the "landing cost must be at least at N97 for it to happen. And that should not in any way translate to increase in pump price as being speculated."

Mutiny: Military Arraigns General, 14 Senior Officers In Lagos

The Nigerian Army has begun the court martial of one brigadier-general and 14 other senior officers in Lagos, on Monday night, over various offenses in the north eastern part of the country.

The army began their trial at the 9th Brigade Headquarters of the Nigerian Army, Ikeja, in Lagos State.

They were alleged to have committed the offences while being deployed to lead various units in the battle to dislodge Boko Haram.

Although journalists were prevented from entering the place, a senior military officer revealed to LEADERSHIP that it was a closed-door trial and only soldiers were allowed entry.

The officer disclosed that the trial was necessary in the army's campaign against the Boko Haram sect in the country as it would serve as a deterrent to any soldier who may think of absconding from duty or betraying the force in anyway in the war against the terrorists.

LEADERSHIP recalls that about 54 soldiers from the 111 Special Forces battalion attached to the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army were recently found guilty of mutiny and sentenced to death by firing squad.

They were accused of disobeying a direct order from their superior officers who ordered them to take part in an operation to dislodge the Boko Haram sect from Delwa, Bulabulin and Damboa in Borno State. They were to recapture the towns from the terrorists.

The soldiers' defence was that they refused to participate in the operation because the army did not provide them with the required combat and support equipment needed for such operations.

In a similar development, a set of 12 soldiers were earlier in the year sentenced to death by firing squad for shooting at a car conveying their commanding officer, Maj. Gen. Ahmed Mohammed in September, this year.

They faced a court martial and were found guilty of incitement and mutiny against the GOC at the army's 7 Division, Maimalari Barracks in Maiduguri, on May 14.

All efforts made to reach the public relations officer in charge of 9 Brigade Headquarters of the Nigerian Army, Major Gbadamosi, to comment on the development were futile as he could not be reached on phone for confirmation.

Military to court-martial another 100 soldiers in Abuja

The Nigerian military has concluded plans to court-martial about 100 more soldiers in Abuja, following their alleged involvement in offences linked to the fight against the Boko Haram sect

According to an online medium, Premium Times, the soldiers were transported from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, to Abuja where they are to be arraigned before the General Court Martial.

Again, 17 Killed In Southern Kaduna

…As NEMA Donates Relief Materials

A total of 17 persons, including aged women and children, have been confirmed dead in a broad daylight killing spree by gunmen in Southern Kaduna village.

This came just seven days after the killing of five people by a similar terrorist group in Karshi village of Sanga local government area of Kaduna State.

District head of Aboro, Shaibu Galadima, who confirmed the killings, said 17 people died on Sunday at Angwar Dauda village in Sanga LGA when the gunmen stormed the village at about 2pm.

Galadima told officials of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), who presented relief materials to victims of earlier attacks in the area, that most people at the Aboro displaced persons camp hurriedly moved out after they heard the gunfire out of fear.

The district head expressed appreciation the prompt response of NEMA to the plight of the displaced persons and called for more support from individuals and groups, even as he prayed for the return of peace to the area and for the unity of the country.

Earlier, the head of the NEMA team, Hajia Amina Ahman, had said the relief materials were to bring succour to the displaced persons.

LEADERSHIP reports that communities in Sanga LGA have been under consistent attacks leading to the killing of more than 1,500 people this year.

14 killed, 45 injured as Taraba boils

About 14 people were killed yesterday while 45 people sustained injuries when gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen attack Naturde Village in Gassol local government area of Taraba State.

An eye witness who spoke to LEADERSHIP, said that gunmen numbering over 92 invaded the village during a weeding and started shooting sporadically, claiming that 42 people died during the attack

According to him, the attackers came from a neighboring village of plateau State on a revenge mission.

"As I am peaking with you, we have been burying our loved ones since morning, they have killed good numbers of our people and injured scores" he said.

The witness further claimed that the village has been reduced to rumbles within the few hours of their operation.

When contacted, Police Public Relations Officer, Taraba State command ASP Joseph Kwaji, confirmed the attack. He also told LEADERSHIP on phone that it was 11 persons that were killed by the attackers.

He added that 40 persons were also injured in the process of the attack.

He said that normalcy has since return to the village and that the state police command is doing everything possible to ensure a hitch free Christmas at this yellow tide seasons

Ex-militants hold Delta deputy gov hostage

Delta State Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama, was yesterday held hostage at the Government House annex, Warri by aggrieved former militants who were protesting alleged undue delay in the payment of their monthly allowances by the amnesty office.

The protesters, no fewer than 100, barricaded the entrance to the Government House and insisted that the state's number two citizen would not leave until their demands were met or concrete promise made.

The former militants had blocked East/West road for hours last week in protest over delay in the payment of the said allowances.

During yesterday's protest however, the police and operatives of the joint military task force were on ground to restore normalcy.

Meanwhile, the Press Secretary to the deputy governor, Augustine Avwode, said in a statement that Prof. Utuama was not held hostage by the former militants, saying there was no reason for such an action.

He explained that the former militants had staged peaceful demonstrations over their unpaid monthly stipends.

"On Monday, the boys protested and only went to express their grievances yesterday when they heard that the deputy governor was at Government House Annex in Warri.  They subsequently dispersed after expressing their grievances in the hope that the deputy governor will relay them to higher quarters

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Governor Fashola meets with his secondary school teacher

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, met with his former Bible Knowledge teacher, Mrs. Felicia Iyabode Adefunke Akinola, when he was a student at Birch Freeman High School, Surulere, at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja yesterday December 22nd. This reunion comes 38 years after the governor left school.

Buhari Gets 44.5 Million Naira Campaign Funding

BuhariThe Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari (retired) says Nigerians have been contributing the sum of 100 Naira each for his presidential campaign for the 2015 general elections, insisting that he is not breaking any law as regards the funding.

General Buhari told a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday that he had adopted the approach by US President Barack Obama, when he asked his supporters to contribute towards his campaign.

He said that the crowdfunding project had so far realised the sum of 44.5 million Naira through direct deposit and sale of donation cards

The APC flag bearer had told supporters while delivering a speech on the day of the presidential primary election that he had no money to lobby or gratify any one, asking for their support.

The funds so far raised, according to him, showed the kind of support that he had received from Nigerians.

The former military Head of State, General Buhari, will on February 14 vie for the presidential seat with the incumbent President and flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, Goodluck Jonathan

Nigeria rejects Bill Cosby?

The world is against Cosby and HB Consolidated Limited might be as well.HB Consolidated recently acquired the franchise to air a localised version globally acclaimed family television show, Kids Say the Darndest Things which was presented by Bill Cosby.

What is interesting is the television show, which had enjoyed popularity and rave reviews in Australia, Singapore, India and Italy, was rechristened as Your Kids are the Stars for the Nigerian market.

The immediate question people have raised is, is a name change convenient now that Bill is facing sexual assault charges? Is the renaming a smart departure from the now dented image of the ace comedian?

It should be noted that there are quite a number of spin offs of this show: in the UK, its aired as  Kids Say the Funniest Things; in Australia, Kidspeak; and Singapore has two similar shows:Kids Talk Back  and Gurmits Small Talk

Still the question still hangs in the air. Why was it changed for Nigeria as well?

Although Cosby is yet to be proven guilty, and cannot legally be labeled a sex offender, many have started cutting ties with him. The U.S. Navy announced it would revoke Cosby's title as an honorary chief petty officer, which he was awarded in 2011. Cosby took it upon himself to step down as a member of the board of trustees at his undergraduate school, Temple University, on Dec. 1. And back on Nov. 26, after Massachusetts Attorney Gen. Martha Coakley's strong urging, the University of Massachusetts Amherst cut all ties with Cosby, who is an alumnus, as did the Berklee College of Music.

20 women are still claiming he sexually assaulted them but there is yet no confession from Cosby.

Attempts to contact HB Consolidated were unsuccessful

PDP defends ‘semi-literate’ tag on Buhari

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has defended its "semi-literate jackboot" tag on the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Mohammadu Buhari, saying the tagging was complimentary.

A statement issued by PDP's National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said with the description, the ruling party remained on course in its commitment to issue-based campaign.

The statement said: "In the PDP, we occupy the moral high ground as far as our commitment to issues-based campaign is concerned. Our word remains our bond. Since, we made that commitment, we have focused on issues.

"We have also taken up the responsibility of drawing the attention of Nigerians to the obvious cases of incompetence and failings of the APC and those who aspire to the leadership of our nation through that platform.

"There has never been any instance that we have maliciously attacked the characters of those on the presidential ticket of the APC, rather, we have been alive to our responsibility of offering public service so that Nigerians will not be deceived.

"The particular statement by Prof. Oladipo, referred to by the APC, which we even consider as complimentary, does not in any way compare with the many instances of vicious, malicious and provocative attacks on the person and office of our presidential candidate, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, after we made the commitment to engage in a decent campaign.

"It is on record that a few days after the commitment alluded to by the APC, Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwakwanso, attacked the person of President Jonathan, describing him as an 'incompetent commander-in-chief.' No personal attack could be more vicious and unconscionable.

"Similarly, the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has consistently prosecuted a hate campaign against President Jonathan, describing him as 'an enemy of Rivers people.' I ask the APC and my friend, Lai Mohammed, if this destructive campaign sounds like a love song to him?

"Also, the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Oyegun, at the church event to mark the 60th birthday of APC Deputy National Chairman (South), Chief Segun Oni, in Ifaki-Ekiti, attacked the person of President Jonathan describing him as 'a misfit' for the presidency of the nation.

"Even my friend Lai Mohammed is not blameless. For him to declare to the world that President Jonathan was responsible for the killings of Nigerians by Boko Haram insurgents, when he knows those whose utterances and clandestine activities fuel the insurgency, smacks of political mischief

Boko Haram Operating Under Foreign Influence – Northern Govs

Governors of the 19 northern states have urged Nigerians to look carefully to ascertain if the terrorist activities unleashed on the northeastern states of that region by the Boko Haram sect were not a foreign war against the country.

The chairman, Northern States Governors' Forum (NSGF) and governor of Niger State Dr Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu, who made this observation, noted that insurgency was a social problem that should be addressed from an international perspective rather than domestic.

The governor, who spoke at the 7th general assembly of National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria yesterday in Abuja, lamented that the Boko Haram menace had taken graver dimension and Nigerian authorities must look at beyond the shores of Nigeria to properly situate the problem in order to be able to evolve a lasting solution.

"This may be the time for us to dig deeper to find out what we really have on our hands. Are we truly fighting Boko Haram insurgency, a criminal franchise or indeed a foreign war which we have unfortunately domesticated," he asked.

Aliyu appealed to royal fathers to use their privileged positions and proximity to the people to come up with a holistic plan aimed at restoring the eroded cultural and moral values among Nigerians towards ensuring continued stability, unity and progress of the country.

"As traditional leaders, you can assist the development process in the society by involving yourselves in areas of education, poverty eradication and fighting illiteracy. You must be bold in upholding and promoting the highest standards of morality in the national interest."

He urged the traditional rulers to ensure that security and welfare form a major part of the deliberations

Buhari Makes The Best Jokes Anybody Can Hear – Amaechi

The Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, says he plans to help Nigerians see that the APC Presidential Candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, is different from what the PDP has been portraying him to be for the past 16 years.

Speaking on Channels Television, in his capacity as the Director-General of General Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, Amaechi said that the GMB Campaign would have a different outlook.

He noted that work had already started in this regard, as they have shown the public that APC Presidential candidate is a family man, contrary to the image of him "as if he doesn't smile and the man makes the best jokes anybody can hear".

"We are trying to sell to you a man who, though 70, is more fit than others and most other people who are competing with him.

"You saw him on the day we matched against the impunity of the President and he joined us to match from the Eagles Square to Hilton, back to the Police Headquarters, stood out there till we closed 6pm."

Governor Amaechi also addressed the allegations against him that he has been funding the presidential campaign of his party with vigour despite owing salaries of workers in his state.

"Now I have an appointment as the DG of Buhari campaign, I will not make a careless statement that I have no facts on," condemning statements credited to a Presidential Spokesman alleging that he was funding the campaign.

"I have never owed salaries, whether (of) teachers or cleaners," he said.

Funding GMB Campaign

Having criticized the manner in which money was raised for the campaign of the PDP's President Goodluck Jonathan, Amaechi was asked to explain how he intends to raise money for the Buhari Campaign.

Claiming that the APC was at a disadvantage financially, Buhari"If you call a fund raising today you will see how many people that will come, are you sure we will be able to get up to 1billion?

"If you look at the Buhari Campaign Organisation, we have put a process in place where Nigerians will donate 1naira, 2naira, 10,000, 15,000…

"If you think you will match this President with money, then you will not win the election. We will depend on the people."

With words out that Governors would be funding the campaign, Amaechi said, "Unfortunately the Governors in APC are not the rich governors."

He explained that he could not afford to fund the election campaign with the financial challenges that the Rivers State Government has had to face.

"My wage bill is 9.2billion. Don't forget I employed 13,200 teachers, don't forget I employed 400 doctors," he said.

Rivers State Cannot Fund Buhari Campaign

Governor Amaechi, during the conversation, also provided details of Rivers State's revenue and expenditure, as well as the challenges being faced with dwindling monthly allocation from the Federal Government.

He insisted that the Federal Government should take responsibility for the poor situation in the states, "Its the stealing at the federal level that has denied us funds," he said.

He, however, explained that Rivers State has been able to forge ahead due to his dynamism in raising the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state, which previous administrations fed on.

"Before I became Governor, the IGR was 2.5billion. We've been able to raise the IGR from 2.5billion to 8billion. No new taxes, just stopping corruption. I made sure nobody shared the money.

"Before, what they do is to give the State Government 2.5billion, other interests they share the rest. So, I said put all the money on the till. When they brought the money back, we saw that we were getting more money.

"I'm proud to say that that income is able to rise to 8.5billion because we were able to block the loop holes of corruption.

He added that from the Federal Allocation which used to be about 20 to 25billion Naira, the state had since been receiving about 12 to 14billion Naira only

Ebola death toll rises to 7,518

The death toll from Ebola in the three West Africa countries hardest hit by the epidemic has risen to 7,518 out of 19,340 confirmed cases recorded there to date, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

The latest data showed more than 140 new deaths since the last update, posted by the WHO three days earlier.

The epidemic, centred in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, is the world's worst ever outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever, Reuters says.

Sierra Leone accounts for the most cases, 8,939, while Liberia has 7,830 and Guinea 2,571. But Sierra Leone's death toll of 2,556 is much less than the 3,376 recorded in Liberia, leading some health experts to question the credibility of the figures reported by Freetown.

Sierra Leone's government last week launched a major operation to contain the epidemic, where the public health infrastructure is flimsy and poverty widespread as in other West African countries

Muhammad Ali’s Health Has Improved

The condition of former Heavyweight Champion, Muhammad Ali, has "vastly improved" since he was admitted to the hospital over the weekend with a mild case of pneumonia and doctors hope to discharge the boxing legend soon.

The 72 year old was admitted to a hospital in an undisclosed location on Saturday morning.

His spokesperson, Bob Gunnell, said that his doctors hope to discharge him soon.

"The Ali family continues to request privacy and appreciates all of the prayers and well wishes," said Gunnell.

The boxing legend has been suffering with Parkinson's for 30 years, but he is still in good health despite speculation to say he is near death.

A three-time world heavyweight champion and widely recognized as one of the best fighters ever, Ali, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, made a rare public appearance in September to attend a ceremony in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, for the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards.

Ali, nicknamed "the greatest," was diagnosed with Parkinson's about three years after he retired from boxing in 1981 with 56 victories and 5 defeats.

Chelsea Win More Than Just Three Points – Jose Mourinho

ChelseaChelsea Manager, Jose Mourinho, hailed a victory he felt meant "more than just the three points" after his side saw off Stoke City 2-nil at the Britannia stadium to secure the English Premier League Christmas number one spot.

"To win here we must play a very good game," he said.

"We did it because we adapted well to their style of play, when they had the ball. When we had the ball we tried not to lose our identity and play our game.

"To score in the beginning is important but not so much in this stadium because they are always strong, the crowd is behind them and the team is mentally strong.

"They have good players, a good bench and Mark Hughes can make changes because he has players for that. It was a very difficult victory.

"It's a victory that means a bit more than the three points, not just because it's difficult but because to win here you need to put more than just your quality in.

"The players were together, they coped well with a difficult style and were not afraid to have responsibility. Our creative players were not afraid to assume the game and create, our defensive players were very solid, so only with a great team performance is it possible to be successful against Stoke," Mourinho said of his Chelsea team's performance.

The league leaders went 1-nil up in the second minute through John Terry's header before wrapping up the win through Cesc Fabregas' scuffed effort with 12 minutes remaining.

In-form West Ham are the visitors to Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day ahead of trips to Southampton on December 28 and Tottenham on January 1

Monday, December 22, 2014

Lagos: Ambode’s deputy unveiled

Last week, the All Progressives Con­gress (APC), even­tually unveiled the female running mate to its governorship candidate in Lagos State, Mr. Akin­wunmi Ambode. She a former university don, an academic of repute and current Secretary to the State Government (SSG).

Her name is Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, who was born in Lagos on November 27, 1970, to the family of Idowu-Esho of Ojo Alaworo in Ojo Local Government Area of the State.

She began her early edu­cation at Awori College, Ojo. Thereafter, she proceeded on admission to the Lagos State University, Ojo, for a course that led to the award of Bachelor of Art in Edu­cation (B.A. Ed) degree in Islamic Studies in 1992. She was back at the same insti­tution for a master's degree (M.Ed) in curriculum stud­ies and passed out success­fully in 1997. Much later, she had a certificate in early childhood development cur­riculum and school admin­istration and assessment from the Nigeria Institute of International Education Association in 2006. Still thirsting for knowledge, she enrolled and completed her doctorate degree (PhD) in curriculum studies in 2012, once again, at the Lagos State University.

Dr Adebule began her working career as an academic at Lagos State Col­lege of Primary Education (LACOPED), Noforija, Epe as a lecturer in the department of Religious Studies and lat­er transferred her service to the Lagos State University as a lecturer in the depart­ment of curriculum studies and later language Arts and social studies in the faculty of Education.

While in the university, she served as member of various university commit­tees which included, "com­mittee on establishment of LASU International Second­ary School", "LASU staff school monitoring commit­tee", member, Association of Learners, and was the co-ordinator, LASU Sandwich Degree Programme, Osun State College of Education, Ilesha Campus.

Her political experi­ence and sojourn began when she was appointed as a commissioner 1 in the Lagos State Post Primary Teaching Service Commis­sion (PP-TESCOM), now Teachers' Establishment and Pensions Office, by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Ti­nubu from October 2000 to February 2005 and later as board member of the Lagos State Scholarship Board from February 2005 to No­vember 2005.

Dr. Adebule was ap­pointed and sworn in as the Secretary to the State Gov­ernment by the Governor of Lagos state, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) in July, 2011.

A consummate writer, Dr Adebule, has several local, national and international publications to her credit. These include, "Reading The Objective Of Universal Basic Education in Nigeria", "The Imperative of Religion and peace in the Quest for Sustainable Development in Nigeria: The Plateau State Experience", "The Effective Use of Educational Technol­ogy for Religious Teaching: Learning amongst Second­ary Schools in Lagos State, Nigeria" to mention a few.

A wife, a mother, a mentor, a believer in the develop­ment of future leaders and a politician of repute, Dr Adebule's interests include reading, travelling and com­munity service

APC Should Make Atiku BOT Chairman

Following the successful conclusion of the presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against all odds, and the emergence of Major- General Buhari as the candidate of the APC, the stage is now set for the mother of all contests in 2015. The contest is between the APC which is the agent of change on behalf of the Nigerian people and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that has brought the nation and our people very low for a long time.

The APC deserve commendation for assisting the party's flag bearer, General Buhari in selecting a worthy and qualified presidential running mate in the person of the erudite and accomplished legal luminary, Professor Yinka Osinbajo. It is hoped that the party and the presidential candidate would join hands to put in place a formidable presidential campaign organization made up of experienced persons who will give the PDP the contest it deserves and overwhelm the latter to put the APC in power at the center in 2015.

Now, in addition to the above, the party needs to have an experienced and committed politician as chairman of its Board of Trustees. In view of his former position as vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and his national and international clout and exposure, Atiku Abubakar will bring a lot of benefits to the APC if he occupies this position.

Second, Atiku needs to make input into the presidential campaign that will ensure General Buhari and the APC take power in 2015. This is a road the vice president had travelled in the past with resounding success. His regular input into campaign activities cannot be over-emphasised. Atiku is a strategist, a mobiliser and grassroots politician whose presence at campaign rallies of the party would make a huge difference.

Third, in his usual way, Atiku and his team made an invaluable contribution to the consolidation of the party in many parts of the country by giving many state branches a sense of belonging through generous financial contribution for building and running the party.

Making the former vice president the chairman of the party's Board of Trustees will go a long way to consolidate the structure of the party as a national party ready to take power.

Similarly, with the Turaki as chairman, BOT, the party would have finally put in place the formidable team needed to rout the progressively undemocratic and fatigued ruling PDP and give the Nigerian people the much- awaited change of leadership come the 2015 elections.

It is hoped that the national leadership of the party will reflect urgently on this issue and ensure that this loyal and committed statesman is put in the position where the party can maximise the utilisation of his many good qualities.

– Akintobi, an APC member wrote from Ikeja, Lagos

Jonathan pleads with aggrieved aspirants

President Goodluck Jonathan has ap­pealed to aggrieved aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not to jump ship over the outcome of the party's pri­maries, pledging that the party leadership was work­ing hard to resolve the con­flicts arising there from.

This is even as individuals and groups donated N21.27 bil­lions to support his campaign ahead of the 2015 elections. Jonathan made the plea at the PDP Fund Raising Dinner held at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja last Saturday night.

The outcome of the party's state primaries had resulted in many aspirants threatening to abandon the party to join the opposition over alleged imposi­tion of candidates either by state governors or the PDP national headquarters.

Among those who have left to join the opposition All Pro­gressives Congress (APC) is Jonathan's former Minister of State, Industry, Trade and In­vestment, Samuel Ortom, after failing to clinch the party's gov­ernorship ticket in Benue State.

Jonathan noted however that it was better for aggrieved aspi­rants to remain to correct what­ever they felt was wrong in the party than abandoning ship in the middle of no where.

Noting that all the cases might not be resolved to every­one's satisfaction, he assured that efforts were ongoing to re­solve the post-primaries crises in some states as the outcome would guide the party while preparing for primaries of the 2019 elections.

He said: "We all appreciate that throughout the congresses where primary elections were conducted, there have been some outstanding issues.

"The party is working to re­solve these issues. Definitely, in such situation, all may not be resolved to the satisfaction of everybody.

"But my plea to party mem­bers is to remain committed to the party; stay with the party.

"I know other parties are wooing some of you to contest elections on their platforms, but if you believe in democ­racy then you will contribute to strengthening it. The only way you can strengthen democracy is for you to stay in your party.

"If there are some issues you feel are not too correct, it be­hoves on us to stay together and correct them. That is the only way we can grow democracy.

"If out of anger or frustra­tion, you leave the party be­cause you did not get what you wanted, then you are not contributing to the growth of democracy."

Jonathan said the major task before the ruling party was to ensure that the country re­mained united.

Thanking those who donat­ed the over N21billion realised at the dinner, he said the money was needed to build a formi­dable party.

He observed that if parties were tied around individuals, there would be dictatorial ten­dencies in such parties.

The president said the PDP must complete work on its new national headquarters next year because the project had dragged for too long.

He promised that the money realised would be judiciously utilised the way his administra­tion had done with the different funds raised earlier.

He boasted that his admin­istration had been business-friendly, promising more policies that would promote enterprise and industry in the country.

Meanwhile, the Chairman on the occasion, Chief Tunde Ayeni, set the ball rolling when he announced a donation of N2 billion.

He said the sum consisted of N1 billion donated by him and his partner and another N1 bil­lion contributed by unnamed friends.

Oil and Gas players an­nounced a donation of N5 bil­lion; those in real estate and building donated N4 billion; transport and aviation- N1 billion; food and agriculture- N500 million; power-N500 million; construction -N310 million; road construction- N250 million and Shelter De­velopment Limited-N250 mil­lion.

Buhari promises issue-based campaign

The Buhari Campaign Organisation has pledged to conduct a campaign focused on the issues which will uplift average Nigerian from poverty to prosperity.

General Muhammadu Buhari is the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a statement yesterday by its Communication Director, Mr. Dele Alake, the organisation noted that "the issues of electricity generation and distribution, poverty elimination, eradication of corruption, mass unemployment and security of lives and property are going to form the focal points of our campaign."

It added: "These issues have no ethnic colour. Poverty afflicts the old and the young. Unemployment has no political affiliation. Insecurity damages the economy precariously. Insecurity may be more prominent in the Northeast in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency, but the reality is that Nigerians generally have never been as endangered as they now are.

"Our responsibility to the Nigerian people in this campaign is to articulate how to rescue Nigerians from the present danger based on the manifesto of the APC. Our responsibility is to demonstrate that Buhari has the personal virtues of discipline, honesty and transparency to inspire the change that is imminent.

"Our responsibility is to communicate how the military skills acquired by Buhari, the generals' general, in a publicly acknowledged distinguished career, has made him the most appropriate contestant in the 2015 election with the technical and technocratic skills to crush the rampaging  insurgency and bring peace to a nation losing  a protracted guerrilla war".

On the Buhari-Osinbajo ticket, the campaign organisation said it brought together two institutions, which defend the national patrimony and maintain internal harmony.

It explained that while the military defends the state from aggression, the judicial system defends the law, which establishes and maintains the state.

"Indeed, the intellectual, political and spiritual antecedents of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo provide the complimentary combination and collaboration that the next Nigerian administration needs – a government that respects the rights of its citizens and enforces their duty to the state

Malien-like Boko Haram fighters invade governor’s hometown

Geidam, the hometown of Yobe State Governor Ibrahim Geidam, came under Boko Haram attack yesterday.

Some residents of the town, which is the headquarters of Geidam local government area of the state, said most of the Boko Haram attackers looked like Touareg fighters from Mali.

Mustapha Yunusa said he saw a large number of the fighters through the window from his house, located on the main access road into Geidam town when the insurgents invaded.

"I was able to see most of the boys because my house is located very close to the main road entering Geidam. I saw them in large numbers. They came in a convoy of Hilux vans before they disembarked and divided themselves and started shouting all kinds of sounds in Arabic. Most of the boys look very much like the Malian Touaregs," Yunusa said.

Another resident said many residents ran out of Geidam as it became clear that the insurgents would attack the town.

"We got news that the insurgents were advancing to Geidam from Borno State through Damasak to Geidam so many people fled to other villages," a resident said.

Our correspondent gathered that the insurgents were spotted in Yaro town saying their prayers before they moved to Geidam to launch their onslaught.

The casualty from the attack could not be ascertained last night but a security source said the insurgents attacked the military formation in Geidam before moving into the town, shooting sporadically.

There were reports of fighting between the insurgents and security agents still going on in  the town.

An Air Force jet fighter was said to have been immediately deployed in Geidam to chase out the insurgents.

A resident who spoke with on the telephone said he heard the sound of the jet.

A local government official explained that the insurgents came in large numbers. Some enter military check point, behind polytechnic, and behind the local government Lodge

2015: INEC Rejects Folarin As Oyo PDP Gov Candidate

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected the Oyo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Senator Teslim Folarin, in the 2015 election.

The INEC had written to the National chairman of the party, Adamu Mu'azu to be guided by the order of the court on the election.

In the letter addressed to the national chairman of the party, signed by the commission's secretary, Augusta C. Ogakwu, a copy of which was obtained by our reporter, INEC confirmed the receipt of the court order restraining it from accepting the party's candidates from Oyo State.

The letter said the Federal High Court, Abuja had restrained the commission from accepting, recognising or treating as nominated, candidates of the PDP who did not emerge in accordance with the order of the court, urging the party to be guided accordingly.

The party had gone ahead to conduct the primary elections in the state, using only statutory delegates when the controversies trailing the ad hoc ward delegates congress held on two different occasions could not be resolved.

The decision to use the statutory delegates was also against a court order by E. S. Chukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which directed that a specific list of delegates obtained at the second ad hoc ward delegates congress be used for the purpose of the primary elections.

With the use of only the statutory delegates of about 200, over 1,000 ad hoc delegates from the 351 wards in the 33 local government areas of the state at three delegates per ward were disenfranchised

Boko Haram releases video of sect killing civilians in a dormitory

Boko Haram at the weekend released a video showing gunmen mowing down civilians lying face down in a dormitory, and a leader saying they are being killed because they are "infidels" or non-believers.

There are so many bodies the gunmen have difficulty stepping to reach bodies still twitching with life. Most appear to be adult men.

"We have made sure the floor of this hall is turned red with blood, and this is how it is going to be in all future attacks and arrests of infidels," the group leader says in a message. "From now, killing, slaughtering, destructions and bombing will be our religious duty anywhere we invade."

The video was released on Saturday, two days after fleeing villagers reported that the extremists are rounding up elderly people and killing them in two schools in Gwoza, in northeast Nigeria.

The setting of the latest video appears to be a school, a long dormitory furnished with bunk beds which the leader says is in Bama, a town 40 miles north of Gwoza. Students and schools are frequently targeted by Boko Haram, which means "Western education is sinful" in the Hausa language.

Previously, the militants had told residents of villages and towns that they would kill only enemies and wanted people to live peacefully in the area they have dubbed an Islamic caliphate, a large swath along Nigeria's northeastern border with Cameroon that they have controlled for more than three months.

In the video, the leader notes that the prophet Mohammed advised prisoners should be held, not killed, but says "we felt this is not the right time for us to keep prisoners; that is why we will continue to see that the grounds are crimsoned with the flowing blood of prisoners".

He says some of those killed may call themselves Muslims, but are considered infidels by Boko Haram, a Sunni Jihadi group that imposes strict Shariah law.

Thousands of people have been killed and about 1.6 million driven from their homes in the five-year insurgency that is spilling across borders into Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

Last week, extremists killed 35 people and kidnapped at least 185, fleeing residents said Thursday of an attack near the town where nearly 300 schoolgirls were taken hostage in April.

Last month, an official in Chibok said the extremists forced thousands of residents to flee the town.

The attack on Gumburi happened one week ago, said a security official and a local government officer, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the press. The news took days to emerge because the militants have destroyed communications towers in the area.

Gumburi is 12 miles from Chibok, the northeastern town where extremists kidnapped 276 schoolgirls in April. Dozens of the students escaped but 219 remain missing

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Photo: Police release identity of man who shot dead two NYC cops & himself yesterday

Left are the two cops who were shot dead yesterday December twentieth while they sat in the checked squad car in New York. They are as of late married Wenjian Liu (top) and father-of-one Rafael Ramos (beneath) , and right is the man who shot them dead. He's been distinguished as 28 year-old Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, from Baltimore.

Ismaaiyl had shot and injured his sweetheart on Saturday morning before facing the cops in an evident demonstration of reprisal for Eric Garner's demise based on what he composed on his instagram page

Around 2.47pm yesterday evening, Ismaaiyl crawled up behind a watch auto in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and from the traveler side of the police van, he shot both men in the head execution style. Observers said the cops didn't get an opportunity to draw their own firearms and didn't see their attacker. After the shooting, Ismaaiyl strolled to a metro station and murdered himself
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