Tag Archives: chief

former Chief economist passes on, ECA Mourn.


ECA – The Economic Commission For Africa has joined the mourning train over the death of one of its most distinguished Chief Economists, Prof. Owodunni Teriba, who was buried on Tuesday in Chicago, Illinois in the United States of America.

In a statement by its Communications Section on Tuesday, the United Nations agency lauded Prof. Teriba’s contribution to the economic development and growth of the African continent.

The 82-year old, who died on Friday in Chicago, was a distinguished Professor of Economics and an accomplished scholar who worked at the ECA in various capacities for 18 years.


He retired in February 1998, after serving as Chief Economist of the Commission and Director of the then Socio-Economic Research and Policy Division (SERPD) under the late Prof. Adebayo Adedeji.

Teriba led the development and implementation of several initiatives in support of accelerating Africa’s development, including the African Alternative Framework to Structural Adjustment Programmes for socio-economic recovery and transformation (AAF-SAP).

Executive Secretary of ECA, Ms Vera Songwe, said the work Teriba did for the continent of Africa during his time at the ECA will never be forgotten.


Teriba first came to the ECA in 1980/81 while he was on sabbatical from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and later in 1985 as the Senior Regional Adviser to Member States of the Commission on economic surveys, research and planning.

He rose to become the ECA’s Chief Economist under Prof Adedeji, the then Executive Secretary of ECA.

Songwe recalled that Teriba contributed immensely to the Lagos Plan of Action (LPA) and the Final Act of Lagos (FAL) that were adopted by the African Heads of State and Governments in 1980.


“He also contributed to Africa’s Priority Programme for Economic Recovery (APPER) that formed the basis of the UN Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development (UN-PAAERD) that was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1986.

“Teriba also played a leading role in the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa, 1991 (UN-NADAF), and the AAF-SAP that was adopted at various levels in 1989 beginning with the ECA’s Conference of African Ministers of Finance and Economic Planning, the African Heads of State and Government and the General Assembly of the United Nations.

“Colleagues at the ECA hailed him as a humble person with an in-depth and exceptional knowledge of development economics who made outstanding contributions both at national, regional and international levels to economic policy,” she said


Teriba had a PhD and an MA in Economics from the University of Manchester in England. His first degree was a B.Sc.(Hons) Economics from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria.

He is survived by his wife Yetunde, a former Head of Gender Coordination and Outreach Division in the Women, Gender and Development Directorate of the African Union Commission, five children and seven grandchildren



COVID-19: Global economy in recession – IMN Chief.

The International Monetary Fund chief, Kristalina Georgieva has alerted the world leaders that the global economy is now in a recession following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

The 66-year-old Bulgarian economist made this known during a press briefing over the weekend, and said that she was pleased to see world leaders finally realizing that only a coordinated effort will help halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“We have stated that the world is now in recession and that the length and depth of this recession depend on two things: Containing the virus and having an effective, coordinated response to the crisis,” she told CNBC’s Sara Eisen.

“I’m very encouraged by what I see now. I see much clearer understanding [among global leaders] that if we don’t beat it everywhere we won’t be able to get out of it,” she added.

“We should not go … with small measures now when we know that it is a gigantic crisis,” she said minutes later. “We’ve never seen the world economy standing still. Now we [do]. How we go about revitalizing it is another important topic.”

This comes days after the international body said it “stands ready” to use its $1 trillion lending capacity to help countries around the world that are struggling with the humanitarian and economic impact of the novel coronavirus.

On March 16, Georgieva wrote that the IMF’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust “can help the poorest countries with immediate debt relief, which will free up vital resources for health spending, containment, and mitigation.”


COVID-19: Nigerian Immigration Comptroller test positive.

Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, has tested positive for the deadly Coronavirus days after he returned from the United Kingdom.

A statement from the media office of the service on Sunday signed by one Sunday James said Babandede had since gone into isolation.

The statement reads; “The Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service Muhammad Babandede health status with regard to Corona Virus and his self isolation since he returned from UK.

“As a top official of government he has adhered to the NCDC instructions to self isolate and undergo test.

“The result of the test came out positive, hence the need to make it public, he convey his goodwill to all and he is in stable condition responding to treatment.

“The Comptroller General is active and directing as expected the affairs of the service online, while the Deputy Comptroller General Overseeing the administration of the service is in touch online to keep service activities running within this period.

“The Nigeria Immigration Service community will continue to deliver on its mandate for the nation even in this trying times as we pray the whole world get over it, Nigeria inclusive”.

Babandede had returned to Nigeria through a British Airways flight which touched down in Lagos on March 22.


COVID-19: WHO Chief appreciate Ronaldo, 2 others.

Jurgen Klopp, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba received a message of thanks from World Health Organisation director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for “promoting health and protecting people from coronavirus”.

The Ethiopian politician and academic paid tribute to the trio, along with others from the world of sport who have called for individuals to take responsibility for limiting the spread of the pandemic.

Ronaldo posted a message on Twitter in which he urged his followers to “follow the advice of the WHO”, while Klopp told Liverpool supporters to “think about the vulnerable in our society and act where possible with compassion for them”.

Pogba told his 39.7 million Instagram followers to “dab to beat coronavirus” – as part of advice to cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than hands – while he also shared WHO resources.

“Thank you Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool FC for your powerful message to the world,” Ghebreyesus wrote on Twitter.

“Put people’s health first, reduce risks, care for the vulnerable and compassion: this is the WHO way.

“We will win the fight against COVID-19 if we are working together.

“The WHO is grateful for the solidarity being shown by Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool FC, Alisson Becker, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba, FIFA, Peter Schmeichel, Andrea Radrizzani, Romain Grosjean and others in the world of sport.”


Rotimi Amaechi’s Chief Security Officer Dies From Electric Shock

Mr. Tony Iwelu, the Chief Security Officer to the Minister for Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has died.

Unconfirmed reports said he died of electric shock from a shower rose in his hotel room in Kaduna on February 17. His death occurred at about 10:30 AM.

Iwelu had travelled with the minister to Kaduna to felicitate with Governor Nasir El-Rufai on his 60th birthday.

The Minister had not spoken about the death yet


Sack security chiefs; Arrest and investigate them – More Nigerians demand ..

Following renewed calls for the sacking of the security chiefs by Nigerians, including some senators and regional groups amid unabated state of insecurity in the country, Saturday PUNCH conducted online polls to gauge the feelings of ordinary Nigerians.

The polls conducted on Twitter and Facebook on Friday indicate that more Nigerians want the President, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to sack the service chiefs, describing them as “failures”.

In the Twitter poll involving 3,137 persons, 82.6 per cent of the voters (2,591 respondents) called on Buhari to sack the service chiefs while 5.3 per cent of the respondents (166) did not support the call. The third option – I don’t care – was the view of 12.1 per cent of the voters (380).

The Twitter poll opened at 11.49am and closed at 5.59pm.

On Facebook, as of the time of filing this report at 8.30pm, the poll which opened at 1.30pm had 2,916 respondents. According to the poll, 91.7 per cent of the voters (that is, 2,674 respondents) called for the sacking of the service chiefs while the remaining 8.3 per cent (242 respondents) voted that they should not be sacked.

Some senators on Wednesday called on Buhari to sack the service chiefs and appoint new ones as they deliberated on a motion on the security challenges and the need to restructure the security architecture.

The service chiefs are Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

Similarly, regional groups including Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere and Pan Niger Delta Forum, recently backed the call by the lawmakers to sack the service chiefs.

Many comments on the pages of Punch newspaper on Facebook and Twitter are also largely in support of the sacking of the service chiefs.

For instance, Nwafor Obiorah in a Facebook post, said, “They have overstayed, a lack of new ideas, they are not supposed to stay for more than three years.”

“They should be sacked because they have failed in their responsibility,” Kenoye Tolukorimi also said on Facebook.

Ezinne Okoro, who expressed surprise at the question posed by Saturday PUNCH in the poll on Facebook, said, “Which kind question be this naa? You don’t need to ask biko (please). They should have all resigned since (Buhari inclusive) if they had shame. But unfortunately, they don’t have.”

Most of the comments on the platform toed the line of Okoro, saying sacking the service chiefs would not be enough. They said Buhari should resign after sacking them.

Om’Oghene Dennis Orido, in his post on the platform, said, “In addition to their sacking, Buhari should as well resign as a matter of urgency.”

Also according to David Omochi, who described killings under the Buhari regime as too much, “after sacking them, Mr President should sack himself for disappointing in five years”.

“PMB should sack them with himself included, they are all failure (sic),” Casmier Anthony Chinonso said on the social media platform.

On Twitter, @Zismark1 noted that sacking the service chiefs was important to discourage complacency and mediocrity.

“Whoever comes next will know that they can be sacked if change isn’t implemented, and that lack of security in unacceptable in such a nation as Nigeria. We have come forward too much to be dragged back by little things as insecurity (sic),” @Zismark1 said.

@FashanuFemi, who also commented on Twitter said, “Sack them and appoint new service chiefs that have modern security experience.”

According to @OnwubikoUche1, new ideas are needed as “you can’t still be doing something in the same way and expect different result”.

However, @fabulouskelechi, who noted that the options provided by Saturday PUNCH in its poll were not enough, said, “Sack them and resign, this list is incomplete. Add resign to it…”

According to @sf_adebayo, beyond sacking the service chiefs, the government should order their probe.

“Sack them all. Arrest and investigate them,” the Twitter user said.

Recently, the Federal Government raised the alarm that Boko Haram’s alliance with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria increased the possibility of it (Boko Haram) deploying chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive attacks in the future.

On January 8, the convoy of the theatre commander in charge of the military taskforce in the North-East, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi, was attacked by the insurgents. A driver attached to the commander was said to have been killed while two other soldiers were injured.

Also, between January 17 and 18, no fewer than 17 soldiers were said to have been killed while many others were abducted by the insurgents in two confrontations with troops on the Bama-Gwoza Highway.

Even though the Nigerian Army dismissed the report as false, the insurgents were also said to have carted away some arms, ammunition and vehicles belonging to the Nigerian Army.

More soldiers were said to have been killed in recent times by the insurgents.

Also, on Christmas Day, the terrorists killed 11 Christian hostages, saying their action was to avenge the killing of their leaders, Abu bakr al-Baghdadi and Abul-Hasan Al-Muhajir, in Iraq and Syria.

On Monday, January 20, as well, the insurgents beheaded the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Rev Lawan Andimi, whom they had earlier abducted.

The CAN Chairman in Adamawa State, Rev Fr Dami Mamza, told journalists that the insurgents had demanded €2m before they could release Andimi, but that they were offered N50m, which they rejected before they killed the cleric. He noted that negotiations were ongoing when they got information that he had been killed.

On January 26, the insurgents also bombed a mosque in Gwoza, Borno State, killing a 12-year-old and leaving many injured.

No fewer than 13 persons were killed on Monday in a fresh attack by gunmen in the Bokos Local Government Area of Plateau State. This came barely two weeks after suspected Fulani herdsmen killed 12 people in the Mangu Local Government Area of the state.

Last week, a renowned alternative therapist, Alhaji Fatai Yusuf, aka Okooloyun, was shot dead on the Eruwa-Igboora Road in the Ibarapa area of Oyo State.

Yusuf was said to be on his way from an outing around 4.30pm when gunmen shot at his vehicle.

Also, bandits on January 16 killed 31 people in two separate attacks.

While 29 people were killed at the Babban Rafi village in the Gummi Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Tuesday, two health workers were also killed at Makosa village in the Zurmi Local Government Area of the state.

The attacks occurred the day before Governor Bello Matawalle, at the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day in Gusua, the state capital, on Wednesday, warned unrepentant bandits to surrender their arms.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Usman Nagoggo, on January 8, said no fewer than 6,319 people were killed by bandits in the state in 2019.

Also, the village head of Rumache in Kukoki Ward, Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, Ahmad Yakubu, was killed by gunmen last week while 17 others were abducted in four other communities of the state.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has repeatedly claimed that Boko Haram has been “technically” defeated as the President corroborated this at the Armed Forces emblem launching in Abuja on October 16 when he said “the Boko Haram terrorists have been substantially defeated and degraded to the extent that they are only daring soft targets.”

Apparently shocked by a spate of killings by the insurgents in recent times, Buhari said on Tuesday when he received a delegation of Eminent and Respected Citizens of Niger State led by Governor Abubakar Bello, in the State House, Abuja, that the recent activities of the terrorist group were surprising.

He had said, “During our campaigns, we knew about the Boko Haram. What is coming now is surprising. It is not ethnicity or religion, rather it is one evil plan against the country. We have to be harder on them. One of the responsibilities of government is to provide security.”

Also, the European Parliament in its resolution of January 16 said there had not been progress made in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents.

And following renewed attacks that have led to the killing of more soldiers and civilians, including women and children, the National Assembly had asked the President to sack the service chiefs or they should resign from office.

At the upper chamber, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, led the discourse by seeking the restructuring of the security architecture while some other senators asked the President to sack the service chiefs. And in a rather different twist, the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, called on the President to resign, a call that angered some senators loyal to Buhari.

Insecurity: PDP reports Buhari, S’ Court to US, UK

Meanwhile, leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party and members in the National Assembly on Friday stormed the United States Embassy and United Kingdom High Commission in Abuja to protest against the security challenges facing the country as well as the January 14 judgment of the Supreme Court sacking Emeka Ihedioha as Imo State governor.

The Supreme Court declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress for last year’s governorship poll, Hope Uzodinma, as the rightful winner of the election.

The PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, submitted their petitions to the two embassies.

Secondus told reporters after submitting the petitions that Buhari must resign because of his government’s inability to protect the citizens, alleging that his regime had lost control of the country’s security.

He claimed Nigeria had the highest number of internally displaced persons in Africa.

Secondus said, “There is a need for the international community to come to the assistance of our dear country because Nigeria is a member of the comity of nations. Nigeria is not an island. It is a member of the United Nations. When things go wrong, the international community can come to advise; that is why we are here.

“The contents of our petition are for the international community to come to the aid of Nigeria and to advise our government to obey the rule of law, especially as it relates to the National Assembly and the judiciary.

“Over the past few weeks, we have passed through very difficult and challenging times. The case in question is Imo State. We have submitted our petition. We have addressed a press conference

“As we speak, Mr President has lost control of security. Our nation is in danger. We are in pain and we are in trouble. As a party, we cannot keep our hands crossed and be waiting for the propaganda of the Presidency. This country belongs to all Nigerians. Today, we backed our Senate Minority Leader (Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe) asking and demanding that Buhari should resign because he has lost control absolutely. It is not the time for propaganda and it is not time for the Presidency to respond to issues that are very sensitive and germane to the foundation of our country.

“The issue is that our people are dying and are in hunger. You cannot travel from Abuja to Kaduna, you cannot go to Minna, you cannot go on the road.

The PDP in their letters of protest titled, ‘Perversion of justice: Deliberate efforts at truncating democracy in Nigeria’, to the US Ambassador, Mary Leonard, and the UK High Commissioner, alleged that there was a miscarriage of justice in the Supreme Court judgment.

The party also alleged that the executive arm and the ruling APC had been influencing the outcomes of election petitions in various courts.

The party said, “On January 14, 2020, the Supreme Court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Muhammad Tanko, in a most bizarre judgment and against the dictates of all laws and judicial practice, overturned the Imo State governorship election clearly won by Emeka Ihedioha/PDP, who had been sworn in, and handed the state over to the APC and its candidate, Hope Uzodinma.

“It is instructive to inform you that this perversion of justice has already sparked protests in various parts of our country and has become a clear threat to peace, unity and stability of our nation and the survival of our democracy.”

The PDP called on the US and UK to take more than a passing glance to this serious issue in order to avoid an imminent breakdown of law and order.

Ex-security chiefs back call for service chiefs’ sacking

Retired military and police officers, as well as other security experts advised the Federal Government to overhaul the counter-insurgency operation and acquire high-grade weapons for the military.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, an ex-general noted that the retention of the service chiefs by Buhari had affected the morale of service personnel.

He said the counter-insurgency war was not recording progress because “there are no new ideas.”

The general added, “The call for the sacking of the service chiefs is very justified. If a service chief stays in office for three years, and if an officer is presented for promotion, he cannot be promoted for those three years.

“The situation has affected a lot of us and it led to our retirement from service; many others were also stagnated on their ranks.”

He added, “I advise the President to review the war and replace the service chiefs with new hands. We are having problems in the North-East because there are no new ideas. How can a man from the North-East as the Chief of Staff be there and there is no progress?”

A retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Austin Iwar, said the service chiefs could be replaced if they had exhausted their capacity, adding that replacing them with new hands was in order if the new hands could bring new inspiration into the war.

He stated, “I think it is good to try new hands. If these people have stayed for too long and there is a lot of noise about their capacity. I believe they are very committed, but whether they have exhausted their capacity is the issue. And if they have exhausted it, we should look for new hands that can bring new inspiration into the war.”

A retired Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Ojukwu, advised the government to consider the demands of the lawmakers and act accordingly.

He said, “The service chiefs were appointed in line with the rules of engagement, the Armed Forces Act and the constitution. If Nigerians are asking for a change of service chiefs, the government should look into it and find out whether the call is legitimate and backed by facts and act as necessary.”

He said it would be unnerving if the terrorists could produce rockets, adding that the security forces must increase their intelligence capability and stop such ‘strange development.’

Also, a security expert and senior researcher at the Transnational Threats and International Crime Programme, Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria, South Africa, Dr Akinola Ejodame Olojo, said to counter the threat posed by Boko Haram and ISWAP’s capacity and capability to build rockets, the FG must urgently supply the military with high-grade weapons.


FG shun protest to fire security Chief over insecurity ..

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and other members of the National Security Council on Thursday met 24 hours after Senators and members of the House of Representatives called for the sack of service chiefs.

The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd.), who briefed journalists on behalf of the council after the meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the NSC did not discuss the call by the lawmakers.

Both chambers of the National Assembly had on Wednesday lamented the rising insecurity in the country and called on the President to sack the service chiefs on the grounds that the security heads, who were appointed in 2015, had outlived their usefulness.

Besides calls for the sack of the service chiefs, the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, on Wednesday had demanded the President’s resignation.

Abaribe had condemned Buhari who, on Tuesday, said he was surprised by heightened banditry in the North-West and other forms of insecurity in other parts of the country.

The service chiefs – the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar – attended the quarterly security meeting, but hurriedly left the venue after the meeting ended, leaving Monguno to speak with reporters on the outcome.

When asked whether the call by the lawmakers was tabled at the meeting,Monguno replied, “The issue of the National Assembly resolution did not come up at the meeting.”

Supreme Court verdicts and defectors’ hunger for comfort zones
He, however, said the council was aware of the enormous security challenges facing the country. He said security agencies needed the collaboration of Nigerians to address complex insurgency the country was facing.

Monguno said the meeting called for “wider collaborations” among security agencies on the one hand and the larger Nigerian society to tackle insurgency, banditry and rising cases of kidnapping in the country, on the other hand.

But the NSA failed to speak on the specifics of the collaboration and how it would be carried out. He merely said the collaboration would involve states, local governments and communities.

We need Nigerians’ collaboration – Security council

The NSA stated, “There were discussions and at the end of the day, the most important thing that we came up with is the need for collaboration both between governmental agencies and the larger Nigerian society, because of the type of insurgency we are faced with, the complexities, the multiplicity of all kinds of issues.

“There is a need for both parties, governmental agencies on one hand and the larger society, to collaborate more vigorously. There is a need for us to deal with these problems in a comprehensive manner.”

The meeting was held amid strident calls across Nigeria on the Buhari regime to restructure the security architecture of the country.

Only on Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a resolution asking Buhari to sack the service chiefs in order to inject fresh hands into the security management system. They also called for emergency to be declared in insecurity.

Monguno further said the Buhari regime was aware that Nigeria faced enormous security challenges, a reason it was seeking collaboration across Nigeria.

He said, “The challenges, all of us are aware of them; that is why in a nutshell, I said, there is a need for this government and the larger society to work together to find a solution to this problem.

“No one is oblivious of the enormity of the problem at hand. Government is aware and that is why we held this meeting at the highest level.”

The security council’s call for collaboration with Nigerians came on the heels of the South-West states’ move to set up a security outfit, Operation Amotekun, to address killings and other crimes in the zone.

The Federal Government, initially opposed the security outfit, but decided to approve it after a meeting on Thursday attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, South-West governors and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN,

Apart from the service chiefs, others at the security council meeting were the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rafa’i-Abubakar; and the Director-General, Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi.

Presidency keeps mum over Reps’ call for sacking of service chiefs

Apart from the security council’s failure to discuss the call for the service chiefs’ removal, the Presidency ignored enquiries by The PUNCH on Thursday, seeking the position of the President on the resolution by the House of Representatives calling on him to fire the service chiefs.

The PUNCH had made several failed attempts to get the two most senior media aides to the President, Mr Femi Adesina and Mr Garba Shehu, to speak on the National Assembly’s decisions. None of them responded to enquiries by the newspaper.

The PUNCH still called Shehu and Adesina at 6.16pm and 6.18pm respectively on Thursday, but none of them picked their calls. Text messages sent to the two earlier were also not replied to as of 6.54pm.

Buhari surprised by banditry in homogeneous Hausa-Fulani N’West – Presidency

But the Presidency rose in defence of Buhari (on Thursday, denying that Buhari said he was not aware of the security challenges faced in parts of the country.

Clarifying Buhari’s statement, it said Buhari expressed surprise over banditry in the homogeneous Hausa-Fulani North-West.

It said Buhari’s comments while meeting with ‘eminent citizens” from Niger State at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday, were “twisted” by some publications (not NobleReporters) to suggest that he was not aware of the security challenges of the country.

His media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement, repeated what he said were the President’s comments.

The statement quoted Buhari, “I was taken aback by what is happening in the North-West and other parts of the country. During our campaigns, we knew about the Boko Haram. What is coming now is surprising. It is not ethnicity or religion, rather it is one evil plan against the country.

“We have to be harder on them. One of the responsibilities of government is to provide security. If we don’t secure the country, we will not be able to manage the economy properly.”

However, the Presidency said Buhari’s comments were slanted the next day by both traditional and online media.

“The reportage of the statement above was slanted to mean that President Buhari said he was unaware of the security challenges in some parts of the country. Far from it, except to the mischievous mind. The President is fully aware and fully in charge of all that is going on”, it said.

The Presidency stated further, “The statement by the President was clear enough, and these are the salient points, in 2015, we knew there was Boko Haram insurgency, particularly in the North-East, and we mentioned it in our campaigns. There are clear economic and cultural factors behind the clashes that sadly rocked many of our communities, be they the Fulani-Tiv or Fulani-Berom conflict, the Tiv versus Jukun and so on. By now, these conflicts are fairly under control.

“By 2019, banditry had surfaced in the North-West. It was surprising, as the area is almost homogeneous, made up of Hausa-Fulani. The combatants are largely Muslim. This is what the President said he was surprised about.

“The point he made was that what is happening in the country is not about ethnicity or religion, it is plainly an evil plan against the nation.

“It is disingenuous that the earlier and latter parts of the statement were downplayed, and the middle part misinterpreted to mean that President Buhari was unaware or surprised by the security situation in the country.

“The traditional media, and commentators on social media, are encouraged to keep fidelity to the truth, and not concoct narratives to suit some sinister motives.

Match words with action, Reps tell Buhari

In the House of Representatives, lawmakers again on Thursday called on the President to show sincerity of purpose on the rising spate of insecurity in country.

The lawmakers decried the insurgency, killings, banditry and kidnapping in various parts of the country. The issues were raised when the lawmakers debated a motion moved by the lawmaker representing Mangu/Bokkos Federal Constituency of Plateau State, Mr Solomon Maren.

The motion, which was unanimously adopted, was titled, ‘The Need to Stop Further Killings in Mangu/Bokkos Communities – Death Toll Has Risen to 32 and Increasing Daily Unabated.’

Adopting the motion, the lawmakers resolved to condemn “these killings and observe a minute silence in honour of those killed.”

The lawmakers urged “the President to show sincerity and commitment in dealing with the matter, match words with actions and save the country from deepening into anarchy.”

Moving the motion, Maren said, “The House notes the deteriorating security situation in my constituency in Plateau State, which has claimed several lives and property worth millions of naira.

“The House further notes that Kulben, Kwatas, Ruboi, Marish, Murish, Lokudung, Sabon Barki, Pil, Mania and Mbiri-Ishala villages were attacked; 32 killed, three churches burnt down, 10 shops looted and over 200 houses burnt down, with foodstuffs and seedlings destroyed worth over hundreds of millions.

“The House is aware that these attacks which occurred within two weeks were unprovoked and went on unabated without any intervention to stop them. The House is concerned that if such continues, it will push citizens to start seeking for self-help, which will compound the security situation in the country.”

Bad governance, cause of insecurity in Nigeria – Secondus

On its part, the Peoples Democratic Party said bad governance was the cause of the rising insecurity in the country.

The PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, during an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, also said it was imperative for the President to declare a state of emergency in insecurity.

He said, “In the last four years of the current regime, we can see that good governance has been a terrible challenge for this country. What we have experienced now is direct dictatorship by the APC government.The lack of good governance in our country is the cause of the insecurity. It is the cause of the underdevelopment and the suffering of the masses.

Insecurity: I am worried, says Jonathan

Secondus spoke just as former President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday said he was worried by rising insecurity in the country.

According to a statement by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathan, however, expressed hope that Nigeria would overcome the security challenges.

Jonathan, while receiving officials of the National Association of Nigerian Students in Abuja, said he was traumatized by killing of a soldier during an attack on a military outpost near his house on December 24, 2019.

He stated, “I am worried that so many people are becoming victims of sporadic shootings, kidnappings and so on. I believe that the country will get over the kind of insecurity it currently faces.”

Senate leadership to meet Buhari on security after panel report

Also, on Thursday, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said the leadership of the upper chamber would meet with the President on the security challenges confronting the country after its ad hoc committee had submitted its report.

The 17-member ad hoc panel, led by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, was constituted by Lawan on Wednesday to interface with military and security agencies in the country on their challenges.

The panel, which is also expected to come up with realistic and practicable solutions to the issue of insecurity, was given two weeks to submit its report.

Speaking further on the issue, Lawan said upon the receipt of the panel report, the Senate leadership would have a robust engagement with the executive.

He said, “We have passed resolutions now. The second step is for the ad hoc committee members to work assiduously to ensure that they finish their work within two weeks. That will be the second step.

“The third step will be the implementation; in that case we have to work even much more closely with the executive arm of government on those things that we resolved to do.

“It is not everything we resolved on that is going to be operated. We pray that whatever we resolve on is a resolution that will bring solution.

“The executive may have their own opinion on the way forward. So, there will be a need for us to marry the two positions between us and them, to ensure that the lives of Nigerians are well protected.

“As we represent people here, we must not shy away from what affects their lives. The reality is that today, the security of our people is the issue that concerns almost every single Nigerian.

“There is nothing we can do better than to discuss it and find solutions to the issues at stake.

“This is not something we can do alone; we have to work with the executive arm of government. Mr President himself has been working very hard to ensure that the security is there to protect the lives of our people.”


[Photos] Buhari meet service Chiefs again

President Muhammadu Buhari, who is billed to depart Nigeria today for an investors’s summit in London met his service chiefs, with observers wondering what they really discuss going by the recent attack on the Emir of Potiskum in Kaduna State, with six people killed and several abducted.

As usual, the meeting was held behind closed doors.

Since the last meeting, the security architecture of the country keeps showing its lines of weaknesses and there is a new controversy whether governors, as chief security officers of their states, can form security outfits to cover the dangerous gap.

On Tuesday in Zamfara, where a pacifist approach had been adopted by the security, appeasing bandits and kidnappers, bandits killed at least 29 people in Babban Rafi village, Gummi Local Government Area.

An indigene of the village, Malam Musa Ibrahim, who narrowly escaped from death, told journalists on Thursday that the bandits arrived the village on the early hours of Tuesday on motorbikes and carried AK 47 rifles.

What a survivor said about the attack, should make President Buhari and his security chiefs do a reality check about the state of security in the country, which has proven a failure in protecting the people.

The surivor said said the bandits stormed the village in a commando-style, shot sporadically and killed many people, while others scampered for safety. Musa said the bandits later pursued those who ran away and killed some of them.

He said: “I was one of those who ran into the bush. I managed to escape because I was able to climb a tree where I could not be seen.”


PMB met with security chiefs, buratai absent.

…Security chiefs brief

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday received security briefing from the nation’s Service Chiefs in Abuja.

The President met with the top military men in the country at the Presidential Villa in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The services chiefs were led to the meeting by the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd).

Those present include the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; and the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas.

Others are the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu; and Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Yusuf Bichi, among others.

However, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, was absent but a senior officer of the Nigerian Army sat in his place.

Government officials also present were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha; and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno.

Before the meeting started, the service chiefs exchanged pleasantries.

See photos from the meeting below:


Get terrorists in confusion – Buratai tasks troops, OPLD.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has charged troops of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD) deployed at Madagali in Adamawa not to give terrorists any breathing space.

Buratai, while addressing the troops during a visit on Sunday, urged them to maintain the current tempo of onslaught against the insurgents.

He said that government would provide the needed supports to enable them prosecute the war against insurgency and other criminal activities in the country.

Buratai commended the troops for their gallantry in dealing with the Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in the region.

“I am glad to be here with you because this is one of the areas that have been quite strategic in the operation of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD).

“You have done great and I want to commend you for standing firm against all the criminals whatever name they called themselves whether Boko Haram, ISWAP or bandits.

“Do not give them any breathing space. That means you must go out at all times, day and night, whether rain or sun shine and make sure you deal with them.

“These criminals want to bulkanise our country and we must not allow it,” he said.

Buratai said that the welfare package of the troops would also be improved on from the 2020 in line with the promise of President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to him, the army authorities will continue to provide befitting accommodation for the troops’ families back in the barracks.

“Schools will also be improved upon and you are very much aware of the improvement in the schools like Command Secondary Schools and Command Children Schools.

Chief Of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai

“Be rest assured that we will do everything possible to improve on them to make them more conducive.

“This is the job and you must do it at all times and I assure you that we will not leave you behind, we will carry you along,” he added.


Open Visa : Nigerians should reject policy – Ezeife said (Reasons)

Elder statesman and former governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, is not happy with the situation of things in the country. He described the situation as very bad, pointing out that it is being suffered more by the Igbo in the country.

He lamented that there have been sustained marginalization and series of attacks on Igbo people and their businesses by the Federal Government for no reason.

He noted that the horrible situation has prompted their youths to agitate for a country of their own where they would feel loved and accepted.

In this interview with Sunday Sun, he also spoke on other issues of national interest. Excerpts:

How in your view have the Igbo fared since after the civil war in Nigeria?

After the civil war, Igbo people have been suffering. Some sufferings resulted directly from the civil war. The others resulted from policy of government which seem directed to pull the Igbo down; P-I-D, Pull Igbo Down. Well, when you fight a war and you come out of it and you are not victorious, there are consequences. We lost people; many people. The Nigerians declared ‘no victor, no vanquished’ yet they gave us 20 pounds for all the money we have in the banks. If you have million pounds, you get 20 pounds. And since then, we have been suffering in every way. Our people are commercial people, businessmen. They are attacked in their businesses. They import goods and the goods are seized and auctioned to other people. Individual business people are attacked. First, Jim Nwobodo lost his bank, Savannah Bank. It was taken from him. Second, Chief Cletus Ibeto, once the greatest importer of cement into Nigeria was attacked and his business crumbled. He is now trying to build up. Ifeanyi Ubah of Capital Oil was humiliated with detention by the EFCC several times. NNPC was owing him. Instead of helping him to recover the money, the government added insult to injury. Innoson Motors, the young man who has the first motor manufacturing company in Africa was dragged from Nnewi to Abuja in pants. Fortunately, the Central Bank has decided on the case between Innoson and GTB and Innoson is the winner. Emzor Pharmaceuticals was closed down because they said that some recalcitrant youths were inhaling some of the drugs which were produced by the factory; which drugs have been in production for decades. The attacks on businesses have continued. I understand that Sunnewspaper was visited by the EFCC. Now, we are hearing stories about Onyema and Air Peace. We are sure that it is a case of selective justice, assuming that there is any justice in it; it has to be a case of selective justice that he is being attacked because people who have done worse things are still in the country. Apart from attack on businesses of Igbo people, there are all kinds of humiliation. Noticed that our boys were asked to lie down in the mud and some were drinking mud water. And then eventually many were killed. The killing has been quite much. When young men wanted to have a memorial of the Biafra war dead ones, they were massacred; first in Aba, and then in Onitsha. The one that is most intriguing was the massacre of young men who were celebrating the victory of Trump in faraway America. Now, humiliations are many. There is Awka-Etiti down there. Awka-Etiti is a very small town in Idemili. Where we are now is Igbo-Ukwu. There is about three miles distance between Awka-Etiti and Igbo-Ukwu. It may be less even. When I was coming back on Wednesday, we passed through four checkpoints between Awka-Etiti and Igbo-Ukwu; a distance of three miles. And, of course, humiliation is obvious. The way you are treated at the checkpoints, not just the way you are delayed. So, the Igbo have been going through hell since the end of the civil war that was declared ‘no victor, no vanquished.’ I must say that our people who import containers are the worst hit because when they import containers, the containers are seized and auctioned to other people.

There has been unending outcry of marginalization by President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government. What do you think is the way out?

Well, first of all, marginalization; for years now, if there is a meeting of the National Security Council, the Igbo man is not represented and he is one of the three largest tribes. Two, if you hear there is a list of new appointments, you will find the Igbo absent from that list or largely absent from that list. But if there is a list of people removed from employment, especially the military, security people, the Southeast people dominate that list. Well, there are so many examples. The recent appointment of commissioners of police was only good for the Southeast. They got one commissioner. Why do I say very good? They normally don’t get any at all. This time they got one while Northwest got 12. There was a time some justices were appointed across the country; 27 justices. No Igbo, two people from Southwest and South-south. I mean, one has to keep a record in order to roll out the many cases of injustices done to our people. So, humiliation, marginalization, and pull them down have been the fate of the Southeast people in Nigeria since the end of the civil war. And the civil war, contrary to the impression people got, did not result from any coup which Igbo organized. The coup was organized for the benefit of the Yoruba, to make Nigeria grow faster by putting Awolowo who was a very good manager of people as Prime Minister of Nigeria. It was not done for any Igbo interest except that Igbo is most interested in the progress of Nigeria.

There have been agitations by the youths for a Biafra Republic. Do you think that the agitation was justifiable?

Because of what I have told you so far; since the civil war, the youths who didn’t even participate in the civil war are calling for Biafra. Calling for Biafra is a reaction to what the Federal government is doing to the Igbo and the youths want fast solution. They want Biafra. But the elders see some advantages in Nigeria that is made to work. Because of the large market and our people are businessmen, the elders are thinking of the economies of scale and they are feeling all the pains the youths are feeling, but they are bearing it a little more than the youths. So, if you want to look at it very well, you will see that the youths are reacting faster to Nigeria’s government pushing the Igbo out of Nigeria. It is the Nigerian government pushing the Igbo out of Nigeria. The youths are reacting to it more than the elders.

Presidents have come and gone in this country. Looking back at the years of the previous administrations and comparing them with the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, do you think things are getting better?

Everybody knows that Nigeria has been taken giant steps backward. It cannot be worse now. Impunity has become the norm in Nigeria. Things are not done according to norm or constitution. And the judiciary has been finally destroyed. The politics has always been down and has been worse in the years. The executive is not making impact. Hunger is taking Nigeria to dark places and it doesn’t appear that anything has been done to improve the welfare of the people. In fact, the welfare of the people has been tumbling; tumbling down in every way. It is not difficult to prove these things. One indication of how you are going is your exchange rate. Your exchange rate has now come to N365 to $1. It is not easy to bear that. Naira was superior to dollar before. Now you have to get N365 to $1. The price of rice and all consumables have gone up. Unemployment has never been as bad as it is now. Security is worse; banditry everywhere, kidnappers, thieves everywhere. And there are many cases. The president is not helping much. The president talked about free visa. I mean, visa not required of Africans and we know whom he is talking about. I think that is the case that cannot be left like that. The National Assembly must act. I don’t believe the president has the power to open the gates of Nigeria and allow everybody to come in. It’s like planning for war; planning for foreigners to dominate us. That cannot happen. We should not allow it. And we are not going to go fighting anybody. But we want good reason to prevail.

Do you think that the closure of the Nigeria’s border is good for this country?

It is not easy to pronounce on border closure because there are many aspects of it. Why should imports come to Ghana, Togo and some other West African countries, and they collect the duties and then send to Nigeria? We lose duties if we allow it to continue that way. But we know we are suffering because of our rice. Even that suffering is temporary. For me, it is alright. I just ordered Anambra Rice for my Christmas. Abia also wrote me that they have rice to sell to me. So, temporary suffering is imposed by the border closure, but there are good reasons for closing the border. And there are serious problems arising from closing the border. It is not something you will just dismiss because…we don’t say something is bad because it is done by a government which has been failing, but make judgment given our understanding.

What is the implication of returning to budget circle of January to December? What implication do you think it would have on the economy?

I don’t see any problem with that; I don’t see any implication. If it is made regular, it will be very good. It is good to have enough time to implement the budget. That is part of planning. I think I should commend it and encourage them to keep it constant like that.

Let us come home. By 2021, Ndi-Anambra will be going to the polls to elect the next governor. Lately, some persons are promoting the issue of zoning. Here in Anambra, before now, we talk about competence. Would you prefer a competent governor who comes from any zone or any governor that must come from a particular zone whether competent or not?

Very good question and very important. In 2021, a new governor must emerge in Anambra State. That governor must be a very competent person, fully qualified, well educated, ready to work, and seriously interviewed and processed to know that he is good enough. There is one good thing about Anambra. The good thing about Anambra is that from any village, you can get competent people to be governor of Anambra State. From any zone you can get, maybe, up to 10 people qualified to be governor of Anambra State. From every local government you can get somebody qualified to be governor of Anambra State. What we are talking about now is that we want to reduce tension. We want to reduce the cost of election. We want to make routine, if possible, the election of governor. And we agreed on zoning. It is an agreement we reached. It is important that is why we are talking about the presidency being zoned. The North has had more than enough. So, with respect to Anambra State and governorship, Anambra Central has ruled for 11 years, Anambra North will soon complete eight years, Anambra South has not ruled for more than five years or five plus. And Anambra South has dominance of qualified people. So, what people are saying is that there is no point going away from equity and justice. We expect the next governor to come from Anambra South. And there is a new element. I was the first governor of Anambra State. I took the whole state as my area of concern. I never did anything for Anambra South because I am from Anambra South. No! But as you know now, everybody who comes as governor pays special attention to his zone. There is no point repeating what you know already. Everybody in Anambra State knows that governors now take special care of their zone and then do something for the rest of the state. So, I support strongly that the next governor should come from the South and I will not be too concerned about the governor paying extra attention to the South because all others are doing it. In fact, I am the person to advocate it because everybody is blaming me for not doing anything for my special area, my zone.

Because I thought, we could not be doing that because of zone.

How would you assess Governor Willie Obiano’s administration so far? How well or badly do you think he is doing?

Well, sometimes we forget; especially we forget the good ones and remember the bad ones. Obiano increased security level in Anambra State. Since Obiano, kidnapping has been low. Since Obiano, Iweka North in Onitsha has been quiet or relatively quiet. He has done so many other things in the medical field, in the education field, in many fields. I have been hearing complaints that the second term hasn’t been as good as the first term. I am hearing complaints about his not being open to people; not listening to people, and not even receiving people as he did in the first term. There may be reasons for that. I don’t know. So, as a matter of judgment, I will say that Obiano performed very well in the first term. And I am not sure I know enough in the second term to make any statement.

What can you say about the level of economic integration in the Southeast? Are you satisfied with it?

Your point is one, that economic integration in the Southeast has not been strong and that it is necessary for it to be strong. When I was sworn in as governor of Anambra State, my inauguration speech was titled ‘think home.’ I asked our people to invest everywhere they are investing, but to remember home also. We must have a strong home base. That helps us to deal with problems from outside. We must have a strong home base. And it is inevitable for our success that we have a strong home base. You gave the example of Enugu Airport being federal and Anambra Airport not making progress; Ebonyi talking about airport, but the one we have in Enugu was abandoned and we are waiting for the Federal Government to come and build it for us. Yes, Federal Government has been building for other people, but we know that Federal Government does not care for Southeast. If the Federal Government does not care for us, should we not care for ourselves, also? This is the point you are making. And I agree totally with it. The economic integration of the Southeast should be very strong; it should be planned. Effort was made before to plan it, but it didn’t go far. Today, we have to find a way to design a commission that plans the development of the Southeast. I am proposing a new leadership model for the Southeast so that even the governors we bring out will be people who know their onions and know what to do to boost the economy of the Southeast. The way things are done now, anybody who has money comes out to contest for governor and when he wins, it is his business. The development of Southeast is the responsibility of Southeast and we can jointly face it. And if you are to be governor, we must approve you as somebody who can help develop Southeast. If you are to just bring money, share it and become governor that will be a thing of the past by the time we get the right leadership which we are now working on.

Chukwuemeka Ezeife

What are your predictions for the year 2020? What do you foresee for Nigeria in 2020?

It is very bad now, 2019; and has been progressively bad for at least four years. As I said in one of my interviews, man has failed Nigeria. What do we do? The only thing is to go back to God and beg Him to produce a change. And we hope that that change will come even within 2019 or not later than Easter 2020. Change that we desire for progress. It can be change of attitude. It can be other changes. But there is need for change and we pray God that change comes before Easter.


Ngige mourns after death of Sen. Uwajumogu, said ‘I thought it was fake’

Minister of Labour and Employment Dr Chris Ngige has said that he initially disregarded news of the death of Imo North Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu. The visibly saddened minster said he thought it was Fake News when he first received news of the Senator’s death.

Ngige made the comment on Friday when he led a high-powered delegation to pay condolence to the family of the late Senator. Among those in the delegation were the Minister of State Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, representative of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and current General Secretary, Barrister Ugbaja, and Directors of the Federal Ministry of Labour.

During his address Ngige described the late Uwajumogu, who until his death was the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labour and Employment, as a friend of the Ministry. He noted that Uwajumogu was a man of peace.

“We are here on a condolence visit by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and our social partners. We won’t have set up this emergency team if the late Uwajumogu was not a friend of the Ministry,” Ngige said.

“If Benjamin was a troublesome person we may have not be here. When the Senate was convened, we were engaged in discussions for leadership positions and other matters, because at that time there were only two Senators from the South East.

“He was at that period a ranking Senator, but he had legal battles to deal with and before he could finish the battle the 9th Senate was inaugurated and principal officers were already elected.”

Recalling his contributions as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labour and Employment, Ngige noted that Uwajumogu was a very competent administrator who never desperate for power or leadership positions.

He said: “Despite that he never lobbied to become the labour committee chairman, he was unanimously posted to chair the Labour Committee, and I was brought back as Labour Minister.

“My staff members and I discovered him as very competent administrator. He was also quick to fuse together the Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Labour and Employment, thereby making it a joint committee.

“He was someone who is not desperate for power, [and] despite being the Senate Committee Chairman Uwajumogu on some occasions would ask, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Labour to preside over meetings and he would be seated in the meeting. That would show you the degree of humility and the way he perceived the work and assignment that was given to him.

“The Labour Ministry enjoys a friendly relationship with the Senate and 9th National Assembly, but we got more and felt the friendship in the Labour Committee, and that is why you can see all of us gathered here to come and condole with you people.”

Recalling Uwajumogu’s last moments with the Senator, Ngige said:

“He was with us on Monday and spent one to two hours, in fact we concluded the session with the Permanent Secretary. When the Permanent Secretary left, we started discussing as politicians. Myself, Benjamin and the Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Labour Committee, Honorable Wudil, concluded our discussions and I saw them off, and I didn’t know that that was the last time that Benjamin had come to show himself. As a matter of fact it was Benjamin that arranged for the meeting to take place at my home.

“I was at the Federal Executive Council and the President adjourned for a break – we don’t normally go into the meeting with our phones – when I came out to make some calls, messages started coming in about his death, and I said, well, this is a Fake News. I didn’t believe it; only for me to confirm.

“We can identify him as a friend of the Ministry and other parastatals. We also want to say that we as a Ministry would support the family in anyway that we can.

Chris Ngige mourn Benjamin Uwajumogu death

“When he was Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, we can vouch that he was a man who believes in leadership, respects leadership and believes that everyone should be given what is due for him or her. He was very democratic and, for us a party, we have lost a democrat and the nation has also lost a very huge democrat.”

The Minister enjoined the family to take heart and to see his death as the will of God.


Ahmed Gaid Salah, Algerian Military Chief Died at 79.

…reportedly of heart attack

Algerian strongman military chief Ahmed Gaid Salah, known for telling veteran leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign, has died at the age of 79.

Gen Salah, one of the last veterans of the 1954-62 independence war against France still in power, died of a heart attack. Bouteflika, who ruled since 1999, resigned in April after mass protests, leaving Gen Salah as de facto leader.

The opposition has been calling for the whole of the old regime to quit power. Gen Salah has been replaced as acting army head by Gen Said Chengriha and three days of mourning have been announced.

Late Salah played a major role in organising presidential elections on 11 December, which were boycotted by the opposition, saying they were necessary to avoid the country descending into chaos.

The election, fought between five candidates closely associated with Mr Bouteflika, was won by former civil servant Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who was dubbed as the “chosen one” on social media because he was seen as being close to the army chief.


Update: Chief Olu Benson Still Holds On To The Corpse of Late Billionaire Husband

It is now almost a year after High Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs passed on, yet he has not been buried.

A court in Ghana yesterday adjourned till next week Monday (23rd December) the case on the release of his corpse.

His family alleged that his body was whisked away from Port-Harcourt and kept at a secret location in Ghana by his widow, Seinye Lulu-Briggs.

Though Seinye denies any wrongdoing in the strange circumstances surrounding the death of her late billionaire husband, the coroner has said that the Chief Lulu-Briggs did not die of natural causes.

Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike and the Chiefs of the Kalabari Kingdom have also asked that his body be brought back home.

One of his sons and Chief mourner, Dumo, says that family’s priority is for their Father to be buried, remembered and celebrated for his virtues.


Edozie Njoku Tells Members To Stay Calm.

Chief Edozie Njoku has advised members of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and its supporters to remain calm and exercise restraint following the party’s leadership tussle.

NobleReporters culled that hearing in the leadership tussle of the party before an FCT High Court, Jabi, was stalled on Friday due to the absence of the trial judge in the court.

The matter, which was slated for hearing before Justice Charles Agbaza, could not go on as the judge was away to attend to an emergency.

N.Rs reports that the case was instituted by Dr. Victor Oye as the plaintiff with APGA and Chief Edozie Njoku as defendants.

Njoku, who spoke with the media on the status of the case, said that he was optimistic to reclaim his seat as the Chairman of APGA.

“There’s a court order which somehow, an order behind our back was instituted.

“That is, an interlocutory injunction that has stopped me from parading myself as the National Chairman of the party.

“And also an order from someone, whose tenure has expired, went forward to bring an order stopping the party APGA from recognising me as the National Chairman.

“There’s a lot of misrepresentation in the APGA crises; people come up from one area or the other and say that they are acting National Chairman or they are this.

“It is clear that there’s supposed to have been two conventions that took place, one was an illegal convention in Awka, which has been made clear in the court; I can’t talk much about it.

“And the convention originally which was slated by APGA which was held in Owerri, where I emerged as National Chairman.

“I would have loved to have said more but there’s a court order on me that I should not parade myself as the National Chairman.

“But I know that by what we have in court, that in the next few months the coast will be clear and I will come back into my office as National Chairman of APGA,’’ he said.

N.Rs reports that the party which had two factions conducted parallel congresses on May 31, 2019, with Chief Edozie Njoku emerging as its national chairman in Owerri, Imo State and Victor Oye emerging as chairman in the Awka, Anambra State faction.

This development led to Oye dragging the defendants before the court, praying for some declarations, orders and reliefs.

According to the 2nd defendant, Chief Edozie Njoku, “though the case is meant to be for hearing, we have filed a motion for the court to squash the order of interlocutory injunction which was placed on me and the party because of lack of service or fraudulent service,” he said.

The court registrar, who informed the counsel in the matter about the judge’s absence, also assured them that they will send out hearing notice of a new date for hearing.

For his part, the National Legal Adviser of APGA, Hamman Ghide, also advised members of the party and all supporters present to be patient and to exercise restraint saying that, no matter how long it takes they will have their time in court.

“We were in court for this particular case, unfortunately the court could not seat, so I expect our members to exercise restraint and not be annoyed; it is one of the processes in hearing.

“So we just have to be patient, time will come whether we like it or not; for every beginning there must be an end,” he said.


Using of Mobile Phones In Checkpoints Is Wrong – Army Chief.

The Chief of Civil Affairs in the Nigerian Army, Major-General Usman Mohammed, has said that the use of phones when approaching a military checkpoint is wrong. According to him, it is security loop for anyone to approach a checkpoint and at the same time, make use of his or her phone.

“It is a security measure for when you are approaching a checkpoint, you don’t make phone calls because the tendency is that if you are making a phone call, you might be communicating with some bad guys or you may use that particular device to set up some certain devices. It is a general convention; it is not peculiar to Nigeria, it is everywhere. People who have travelled abroad know that you don’t make phone calls when approaching a checkpoint” he said.


How issue of insecurity can be a thing of the past – Mbamalu

…says south west needs to curb insecurity

…called federal and state governments to grant security vote for traditional rulers

His Royal Highness, Igwe Gerald Obunadike Mbamalu, has called on the federal and state governments to grant security vote for traditional rulers to enable them secure their domain.

He speaks on various issues in this interview.

In the last interview you granted this paper, you called for security vote for traditional rulers to enable them mobilize the locals to compliment government’s effort in the fight against insecurity; is it similar to the new security arrangement in the South West?

Recently, the South West governors, leaders and traditional rulers met and fashioned out a new security arrangement which involve the locals, vigilant groups and the hunters popularly refered to as the Egbekoyas just to compliment the efforts of security agents on how to end kidnapping, banditry and armed robbery. This could not have happened if the governors and leaders from the zone did not pool their intellect and resources together and also engage the traditional rulers. The new security arrangement on how to protect Yoruba land has also received the support of the Federal Government. So, I want to once again call on the five South-East governors, leaders and technocrats to emulate the South West region in order to protect our people in Igbo land. Security is a collective responsibility of all and should not be left for the three tiers alone. As custodian of the tradition and culture of our people, one of the primary responsibility of traditional rulers is to provide security for their subjects. This was the norm during the pre-colonial era hence, we had well secured communities then, but today we rely completely on modern method of security alone. So, at any occasion that warrants me to put forward the suggestion, I will voice it out. We, the South-East traditional rulers have been mooting this idea to the three tiers of government in the South-East to grant security vote for traditional rulers.

What do you think is the reason the federal and state governments are silent over this noble idea especially, now that the nation is faced with security challenges?

I don’t know why most people in government use the security challenge facing the nation to find favour. They are trying to be holier than the Pope. So, some of them for fear not to offend the government, have refused to say the truth.

Now that South West is doing something about insecurity in the region, what do you think South-East governors, leaders and traditional rulers should do to end killing of innocent people in the region?

I’m against reprisal attack against any one or group suspected to have killed our people in any part of Igbo land because hoodlums could disguise as herdsmen and attack our people in their farms. These miscreants are not happy with those who are engaged in legitimate means of livelihood and trying to revenge; you may end up attacking legitimate people with identity.

Traditional rulers have not done enough to imbibe core values and virtues of the cultural and traditions in the young ones, what is your view?

The traditional institution is up and doing, hence I disagree with the view that we have not done enough to instill in the young generation our core values. I blame politicians for misleading the youth because during campaigns, most of these youths are employed by politicians and immediately the elections are over, whether the politician is successful or not, he will abandon them. They don’t have programme to reintegrate the youth into the society after electioneering. So, after elections, politicians won’t engage these young people they recruited as thugs until next four years when there is another election. What do you think these youths will be doing for the three and half years they were out of job?

In the same vein, some traditional rulers are partisan; you see politicians being endorsed by traditional rulers during campaigns thereby compromising their position as father of all; what do you make of this?

Traditional rulers are human beings like the governors and President, some are incompetent. We have incompetent people in all institutions in this country and that does not mean that all of us are incompetent. Yes, politicians do come to us for royal blessing and we have no option but to give them our blessing. Remember, traditional rulers are not supposed to be involved in politics because we are father to all irrespective of political affiliation.

What is your take on the crowning of people outside Igbo land popularly called Eze Ndigbo in Diaspora?

That is one of the problems of Igbo when they said “Igbo enwe Eze”, meaning Igbo has no king. You cannot go anywhere outside Yoruba land and hear, Oba of Ife, Owerri or Kano. Also, you cannot hear Emir of Hausa Onitsha or Ibadan. You will never hear Oba of Benin in Iyanu Oba or Shomolu. It is only in Igbo land you hear this kind of humiliating behavior and funny names. Nobody in my community, Ojoto will indulge in such act or anywhere the person reside in the world because it is an abomination. You can’t answer such names if you come back home. So, it depends on the community the person hails from in Igbo land. Are you saying that if the so-called Eze Ndigbo in Diaspora comes back, the traditional ruler in his community will give way for him to preside as the monarch? That cannot happen anywhere in Igbo land because every community has one traditional ruler and not two.

What efforts have you and your colleagues made to stop the Eze Ndigbo trend?

We are not bothered because like I said earlier, if they come back to their respective communities, there is a traditional ruler there. It is worthy to note that most of them are not sons of the soil, majority of them are people of questionable character who are looking for undue recognition outside Igbo land. They buy the position with money and they struggle for it unlike the true Igbo traditional stool which is not contested; you are chosen by the gods and the people of the community. You must be transparent, with undoubted pedigree and you must merit it before you will be selected to rule them. So, it is an abomination to crown one king outside Igbo land, it is against Igbo tradition.


Abia: CJ Onuoha expresses worries.

..over dilapidated court infrastructure

Chief Judge of Abia, Justice Onuoha Ogwe, has expressed concern over the poor state of infrastructure in various courts in the state.

Ogwe made the observation in Umuahia, on yesterday, when members of the Abia House of Assembly Committee on Judiciary and Justice visited him.

He decried the level of dilapidation in the courts, saying, “the court halls are in a mess.”

According to him, there are no good court halls in the state and some roofs of the buildings have either caved in or have no functional facilities. The chief judge alleged that the contractor building a court complex in Umuahia was currently being owed by the state government.

The CJ, who said that the state judiciary was confronted with “a generic of problems”, also said that the paucity of funds was threatening its smooth operstions.

He alleged that the judiciary was under funded, adding that it got only two months’ subventions in 2017.

He also said that many months of its subventions in 2019 had yet to be released by the government.

Ogwe said: “Our financial situation is precarious. “Our requests are never funded.

“We can’t even hold sessions for dead or retired members because we don’t have the fund. The only little money we get, we use it well,” he said.

He said that he was impressed with the house for honouring the judiciary with their visit and interaction and pleaded for more synergy with the legislature to make Abia better.

Earlier, the Chairman of the committee, Mr Emeka Okoroafor, commended the CJ for his efforts and pledged the commitment of the 7th Assembly to collaborate with the judiciary.

He said that the visit was in futherance of the committee’s constitutional duties to examine the challenges faced by the judiciary, if any, and see how it could exercise its power to address them.

Okoroafor, who represents Isuikwuato constituency, said that it is the responsibility of the house to find why monies appropriated for the judiciary were not being utilised.


APC Chieftain request Mr. Heineken, Says, “Settle with David Lyon”.

Mr Yekini Nabena, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has called on one of the party’s governorship aspirant, Mr Heineken Lokpobiri, to reconcile and identify with Bayelsa Governor-elect, Mr David Lyon.

Nabena, who made the call on Sunday, while speaking with newsmen in Abuja, urged Lokpobiri, to drop his legal action against APC and Lyon in order promote peace and unity in the party and the state.

It would be recalled that few months ago, Lokpobiri, who is also a former Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, challenged the election of Lyon as APC candidate, after the party’s primary.

He had approached the court, seeking to be declared declared winner of the poll and therefore the party’s authetic candidate.

Nabena said: “It is common knowledge that Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri has refused to congratulate and identify with the governor-elect of Bayelsa, Mr David Lyon, after his landslide election victory.

“Lokpobiri has refused to drop his misplaced and ill-advised legal action taken against the APC and Lyon, with the hope of acquiring the Bayelsa governorship mandate with the support of his sponsors.

“After the Bayesla governorship election, stakeholders have held several meetings with Lokpobiri’s sponsors, who I am not disposed to name for political reasons.’’

According to the APC chieftain, some governors are positioning themselves by scheming to control Bayelsa State through Lokpobiri, and then use that as a springboard into other South South states ahead of the 2023 presidency.

“I will not dwell on the political power play among APC leaders of the South South for the soul of the region ahead of 2023.

“However, my strong advice for the governors is that they should focus on the development of their states and not meddle in the affairs of Bayelsa State and the South South.

“Bayelsa and other oil-producing states of the South South enjoy a fragile peace as a result of the commendable efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to develop the zone and productively engage the youth.

“We will not allow anybody to disrupt the peace of Bayelsa State in furtherance of their selfish political interests,” Nabena said.

According to him, Buhari is a stickler for democratic principles and the rule of law, and so everyone must follow these principles.

“It is Lokpobiri’s constitutional right to approach the court, even if his case has no merit. But I think it is important to let the world know that his actions are sponsored by outsiders in furtherance of their political interests ahead of 2023,” he said.


Breaking – FIFA Bans Ex Brazil Football Chief For Taking Bribe. (He will not return)

World football’s governing body, FIFA has banned a former Brazil football chief for life for taking bribes to award contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to CBF, Conmebol and Concacaf competitions.

Ricardo Teixeira, 72, a former FIFA executive committee and standing committee member who resigned in 2012, was also fined one million Swiss francs (907,000 euros) after he was found guilty of bribery in violation of the Fifa code of ethics.

FIFA said in a statement that its investigation into Teixeira focused on “bribery schemes” carried out between 2006 and 2012 “

“The investigation into Mr. Teixeira referred to bribery schemes, conducted during the 2006-2012 period, in relation to his role in awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to CBF, Conmebol and Concacaf competitions,” a Fifa statement said.

“In its decision, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr. Teixeira had breached article 27 (Bribery) of the Fifa Code of Ethics (2018 edition) and, as a result, sanctioned him with a ban for life on taking part in any football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.”

Teixeira, a lawyer by profession, is also wanted by US authorities for his part in the major corruption scandal in 2015 that implicated the then head of FIFA Sepp Blatter and other top officials in world football.

His successor Jose Maria Marin was later arrested in Zurich during the scandal and extradited to the United States, where he was sentenced to four years in prison by the American courts. But Teixeira and another former CBF chief Marco Polo Del Nero have remained in Brazil and escaped extradition.

“Is there a safer place than Brazil? Which? Why would I run if here I’m not accused of anything? Everything they accuse me of abroad is not a crime in Brazil. Not that I’m saying if I did it or not,” he told the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper in 2017.

Mr. Teixeira is also under investigation in Andorra and Switzerland.


Minister of works, Fashola Commends Chief Michael Ade Ojo. (Reasons)

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has commended business mogul and Founder of Elizade Motors, Chief Michael Ade Ojo for his contributions toward the development of the Ilara-Mokin community in Ondo State.

His commendation was at the recent inauguration of the 6-kilometre road network in Ilara-Mokin, near Akure, Ondo State, constructed by Chief Ade-Ojo.

Ilara-Mokin also hosts Elizade University, also founded by Chief Ade Ojo.

Fashola lauded Ade-Ojo’s commitment toward investing in the development of his immediate community.

According to him, infrastructure development plays a key role in community and national development.

“This 6-kilometre road construction which connects Ilara-Mokin and Ikota will ramp up social and economic growth to both communities, bringing transformation to Ondo State and Nigeria by extension.

“The road construction has also led to the creation of jobs for both skilled and unskilled workers, and other professionals who were involved in the project,’’ Fashola said in a statement by him.

Expressing his gratitude to Ade-Ojo, the minister said that it was remarkable for an individual to embark on an infrastructure development that contributes meaningfully to the speedy actualisation of community growth and the enhancement of the citizens’ welfare.

The occasion was graced by many dignitaries, including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, the wife of the Ondo State Governor, Mrs Betty Anyawu-Akeredolu and the Alara of llara-Mokin, Ondo State, Oba Abiodun Aderemi Adefehinti.


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