Tuesday, 16 January 2018
Items filtered by date: August 2017

Xclusivenigeria Foundation campaign: Be a good samaritan. Help save this young boy. Donate your widow's mite.


He is just three years old and there is no way anyone, even with a heart of stone, would not melt at the sight of little Godwin Nna. The child who is diagnosed of hydrocephalus (water in the head) has been battling to stay alive for the past two years.

And when our correspondent visited the Akure home of his parents earlier in the week, it was a heart-wrenching sight as the little boy, looking so helpless, lay at one corner of the room while crying intermittently.

According to his father, Godspower Nna, the ailment has made the little boy to be retarded in growth. And to add to that, he doesn’t talk or walk.

Godspower, 26 lamented that the little boy had been taken to various hospitals when the ailment started in 2015 but there was no solution to the problem. He added that the family had spent a lot of money on drugs and operations but there hasn’t been any improvement as the head keeps swelling up.

He said, “The problem started when he was one year old. We just observed that he always had high temperature and was always crying. We thought it was malaria, we gave him malaria drugs, but the problem persisted. So we went to the hospital here, they only prescribed malaria drugs which we gave him but this didn’t help.

“Later, we discovered that his head was swelling every day. We did not know the cause, so we took him to a teaching hospital where series of tests were conducted on him and we were told that he is suffering from a disease called hydrocephalus.

“They told us that there is water in his head and that the water that is supposed to go through his body is stored in the head and that is why the head is swelling up increasingly. We were told that he would undergo surgery and we were asked to pay a sum of N600, 000 for the operation, which we did. We were told by the doctors there that the head would become normal after the operation but unfortunately it was not corrected.”

Godspower who works as a bar attendant in a hotel in Akure further stated that in search for solution to the ailment of his only child, somebody advised him to take the boy to the National Hospital, Abuja , where he went and he was asked to come with a sum of N800,000 for another surgery.

“But we have practically spent all we had when we went to the teaching hospital. Since this sickness started, we have spent over N1m. There is no way we can afford anything else again. We are just begging well meaning Nigerians to help us so that my child doesn’t die.

“They told us that it is only the National Hospital, Abuja that tackles such a case successfully, so we took him there. They too also conducted tests on him and diagnosed hydrocephalus. They said we should come back for the operation with N800,000. I could not go back to the hospital because there is no money again. That is why we are appealing to Nigerians to help us out. This is the only child I have and I don’t want him to die, the head is so heavy that you can’t carry him for five minutes; you will feel the pain because it makes him very heavy.”

The distraught father gave the account details Nna Blessing, 2082214074 United Bank for Africa, for Nigerians who wish to come to their aid.

PUNCH

Published in Headliners

A coalition of civil society groups on Thursday said they would commence a two-day sit-out to press for the extradition of the former Minister for Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke.

The movement in a statement said the #BringBackDiezani sit-out would hold in front of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission headquarters in Wuse, Abuja on August 28 and 29, 2017.

It was signed by the convener, Charles Oputa (Our Mumu Don Do), Deji Adeyanju (Concerned Nigerians) and Adebayo Raphael, Publicity Secretary, OurMumuDonDo movement. 

The coalition called on the EFCC to apply for the ex-minister’s extradition from the United Kingdom to face prosecution in Nigeria.

It added that the call for Allison-Madueke’s  extradition was informed by her roles in the wanton looting of the nation’s treasury and the failure of the Federal Government to push for her repatriation.

The CSOs noted that a Federal High Court had ordered Allison-Madueke to permanently forfeit several luxury properties in several high brow areas across the country to the FG. 

They said, “It is therefore unimaginable that the Federal Government is not pushing for Mrs Allison-Madueke’s extradition to face punishment for her alleged crimes.

“In the light of this, we will be holding a two-day day sit-out in front of the EFCC Headquarters to demand that the Federal Government applied for her extradition and prosecution in Nigeria. 

“We will also be highlighting the level corruption at the Central Bank of Nigeria.”

The protesters called on Nigerians to participate in the event.

Published in Business and Economy
Friday, 25 August 2017 12:10

Buhari signs anti-graft, other agreements

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday signed instruments of ratification for some bilateral agreements.

One is to strengthen the government’s anti-corruption battle. Others cover Tax Administration and Intellectual Property Protection.

Ratified are Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters, Agreement on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and Extradition Treaty.

Other instruments of ratification are Charter for the Lake Chad Basin between Nigeria, Cameroun, Central African Republic, Libya, Niger and the Republic of Chad; African Tax Administration Forum Agreement on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters; World Intellectual Property Organisation Performances and Phonograms Treaty; The World Intellectual Property Organization Treaty on Audio-Visual Performances and Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise.

The President said: “I am delighted to perform today, the duty of executing Instruments of Ratification of certain Agreements on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, pursuant to the powers conferred on me by Section 5(1) (a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Article 7 of the Vienna Convention on the law of treaties of 1969.

“Today’s ceremony marks a very important milestone in our demonstration of sovereign capacity to fulfill our international obligations and take important steps for the benefit of our economy, security and the anti-corruption war within and outside Nigeria.

“The full implementation of the Agreements has, however, been delayed due to the need by both sides to conclude their respective ratification processes.

“I am happy to note, therefore, that pursuant to a Memorandum presented to the Federal Executive Council by the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Council has approved the ratification of the said Agreements, thus paving the way for today’s ceremony.”

“With this sovereign act, which has been replicated in the United Arab Emirates by their responsible authorities, we are now in a position to utilise these Agreements fully to foster cooperation between our respective authorities particularly for the purpose of prosecuting the anti-corruption campaign of this Government,” Buhari said.

The President added: “It is my hope that these Instruments which are signed today will reinvigorate the anti-corruption war and check the illicit flow of funds out of our country to other jurisdictions, improve national security, food security, boost our economic and tax regimes and improve the overall well-being of our creative community.”

Before the signing of the instructions, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, explained the agreements.

The Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters “is between Nigeria and United Arab Emirate and it is to create a broad legal platform for cooperation between both countries in the administration of criminal law generally and other matters related to the investigation and prosecution of crimes and sharing of information and experience between authorities of notice countries”.

“It is our expectation that this agreement will constitute a core component for our anti corruption strategy, given the prominence of the United Arab Emirates as an investment destination for many Nigerians some of whom have unfortunately seen that country as a haven to invest illicitly acquired wealth.”

On the Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Civil and  Commercial Matters, Malami said: “This agreement created a platform for assistance between both countries in civil and commercial matters which will in essence assist to institutionalise support for the Nigerian business community through commercial and civil protection and thus engender massive growth on both sides.”

“This agreement has a strong potential to promote commerce between both countries by strengthening the legal framework for the settlement of legal dispute and execution of court judgement in civil and commercial matters,” he said

The Agreement on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons “ will grant our country the privilege of bringing back sentences persons of Nigerian origin serving their terms in the United Arab Emirates to serve the same terms in Nigerian prisons and, where applicable, face investigations and prosecution for the crimes, inclusive of financial crimes that are committed in Nigeria before their apprehension in UAE.”

“The Extradition Treaty will create a legal platform for either country to make requests for the extradition of fugitives from justice found in each other’s territories.

“Recall, that Mr. President personally led a delegation to the UAE in January 2016 during which the said agreements were signed on the 18th of January 2016.

“Both counties agreed that there was a need because of the positive relations between them to encourage and boost each others’ commercial transactions in Nigeria and UAE through all legitimate channels,” Malami said.

“There is however concurrent imperative to discourage and mutually convert illicit financial dealings by criminal elements who are engaged in financial money laundering and other financial crimes.”

On the charter for the Lake Chad Basin between Nigeria, Cameroun, Central African Republic, Libya, Niger and the Republic of Chad, he said: “This charter is a political, legal instrument for equitable water sharing, common investment and environmental management for the Lake Chad Basin.

“Our decision to ratify the agreement is in recognition of the need for the responsible management of Lake Chad Basin area, which has historically supported one of the world’s richest eco-system and provided employment for millions of people but is now being ravaged by the effect of climate change.

“A revitalised Lake Chad Basin will not only boost the security situation in the region but also demonstrate the commitment of the government in  sustainable development goals on the management arrangement of the environment.”

On African Tax Administration Forum Agreement on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters, Malami said: “This agreement is designed to contribute to the efficacy of tax administration and improve public accountability. This is consistent with the vision of this government to significantly diversify our revenue resources away from oil by aggressively expanding the taxation rate through various strategies.

“It will also boost continental cooperation with our sister African countries and thus cultivate sources of tax revenues which were hitherto overlooked for greater mutual assistance in Nigeria and other countries.”

On World Intellectual Property Organisation Performances and Phonograms Treaty and the Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise, Malami said: “These two treaties will in various dimensions protect the rights of Nigerian performers, actors, singers and others in the visual environment on the one hand and producers of kenetic abstract art and music or sound set in relation to each other on the other hand.

“The decision to engage in these agreements is a bold step in recognition and importance which the present administration accords to the protection of intellectual property in the Nigerian jurisdiction.

“It is intended to protect the works of creative industry, including Nollywood, which has been expanding the components of our gross domestic products.

“Nigerian youths who have ventured into the creative sector can be rest assured that the Federal Government will continue to support their aspirations and protect their source of livelihood through the vigorous protection of their intellectual property rights as these instruments are intended to approve that protection.

“This ceremony today demonstrates the national resolve of this administration to continue to play our role as a responsible member of the international community.”

Published in Headliners
•‘It’s FG’s ploy to destroy public varsities’

SOME Vice-Chancellors and the Academic Staff Union of Universities have rejected the decision of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board to peg admission cut-off mark at 120 for universities and 100 for polytechnics, monotechnics and colleges of education.

ASUU said the action, which it described as a “sad policy decision,” was in tandem “with the dream of the present government to destroy public universities in the country.”

Most of the vice-chancellors our correspondents interviewed on the issue maintained that they would not lower admission standards in their respective varsities.

The vice-chancellors stated that the decision would add no value to the nation’s university system.

For instance, in a statement issued by the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, on the issue and released by his Media Assistant, Mr. Sunday Saanu, on Thursday,  the premier university stated that it would never admit any candidate that scored 120 in the UTME.

The statement added, “It should worry us as patriots that candidates who scored just 30 per cent in the UTME can be admitted into some of our universities. Yet, we complain of poor quality of our graduates. You can hardly build something on nothing. The consolation here is that since JAMB started conducting this qualifying exam in 1978, UI has never admitted any candidate who scored less than 200 marks out of the maximum 400 marks.

“This translates to a minimum of 50 per cent. This remains our position as an institution aspiring to be world-class. Reality is that only about four other universities in the country have such high standard. To that extent, apart from being the oldest, we are an elite university in the country at least judging by the quality of our intakes.’’

Olayinka, however, commended the decision of the Federal Government to re-introduce the post-UTME test and exonerated the incumbent JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, from the cancellation of the test two sessions ago.

“It is gratifying to note that the Honourable Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who chaired the meeting, apologised publicly for canceling the post-UTME screening last year.

“In effect, universities are now allowed to conduct the test using modalities approved by the Senate of each institution.

“To be fair to the incumbent Registrar of JAMB, he was not the Registrar when the policy somersault of cancelling the post-UTME test was made last year. As strongly canvassed by us at every opportunity, for UI, the need to admit the best admission seekers is the primary motivation for the test and not money, even though we do not pretend that you can run any university so properly called without funds.”

Speaking to one of our correspondents on Thursday, the Vice-Chancellor, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ogun State, Prof. Oluyemisi Obilade, said that the onus would ultimately fall on parents and employers of labour to decide “between a first-class graduate of a university which takes 120 as its cut-off mark or one that takes 180 as its cut-off mark.’’

Obilade, who said that TASUED would never go below 180, insisted that many of the VCs at the Combined Policy Meeting during which the 120 benchmark decision was made, said they would not go below 180.

She said, “But some universities chose 120 at the meeting. What the JAMB has done is to transfer power back to the Senate of universities to decide their cut-off marks.  What I can tell you is that many public universities and even private universities will not go below 200. We were told that some universities were doing what they called ‘under the table admission’ and then come back to JAMB after four years for regularisation.

“TASUED will not go below 180, not under my watch. Even in the United States, there is what we call Ivy League universities, and there are those you can call ‘Next Level Universities.’ There are also those that are termed community colleges. At the meeting, the outcome is that universities have been given the freedom to decide. It is not general legislation and it is not binding on everybody.’’

Speaking with journalists in Ibadan, the Chairman of ASUU at the University of Ibadan, Dr. Deji Omole, said it was the dream of the present government to destroy education in the country.

He said, “Rather than sanctioning the identified universities that admitted over 17,000 students illegally, the JAMB registrar simply regularised illegality and lowered cut-off marks to favour the interests of the friends of government who own private universities and are hell bent on destroying public education.”

Omole said it was vital for JAMB to be scrapped in order to save the nation’s education and its future. He said the board had outlived its usefulness and that prospective students should apply directly to universities of their choice for admission.

He said, “Where are the students that the JAMB registrar said entered universities illegally? Which universities admitted them? If 30 per cent did not take JAMB and found their way into the university system, is that not corruption and a message that JAMB is not significant anymore? What sanction did those who did the illegal thing receive other than regularisation of illegality.

“We are watching because long before now we have said that JAMB has outlived its usefulness. Let the universities set their unique standards and those who are qualified can come in. Scoring 120 out of 400 marks is 30 per cent. Even in those days, 40 per cent was graded as pass. But now JAMB said with F9 which is scoring 30 per cent you can be admitted.

“They deliberately want to destroy education. Even for polytechnic, 100 marks is 25 per cent. It is sad. And that is where we are in Nigeria. They want to destroy public education at all costs. This is not setting standard for education in Nigeria. It is purely lowering standards and digging grave for the future. This is why ASUU is currently on the struggle to influence the government to do the needful for education in Nigeria.”

Also, the Dean of Students Affairs, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Prof. Kayode Alese, who spoke on behalf of FUTA management, said that the institution would soon unveil its cut-off mark.

“However, I can assure you that FUTA has never gone as low as 120. It has never happened and it will never happen,” he said.

Alese added, “Having spoken for the university, my personal opinion is that the 120 cut-off mark will not add value to our education system.  The Federal Government has just increased the pass mark from 40 to 45 in universities. What that means is that you must score at least 45 for you to pass any course. We have enough candidates and yes you may try to increase access but tertiary education should be for those who have the capability.’’

Also, the Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Tope Ogunmodede, said the institution would not admit any candidate with 120 UTME score.

He said, “Traditionally, OAU has never admitted students who scored below 200 in the UTME. For us, we are sticking to 200. The minimum benchmark is 120 but you can go higher than that. I expect that an institution should be able to determine the quality of its graduates because there are internal exams. What has been done is to provide a leeway for universities to decide their cut-off marks.”

Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students has described the reduction of the cut-off marks for admission into tertiary institutions as “a gross misplacement of priority and an exercise in futility.”

The organisation said that the reduction by JAMB, from 180 for universities and 165 polytechnics, to 120 and 100 respectively for the 2017 UTME, would translate to a disastrous outcome in the future.

The President of NANS, Chinonso Obasi, in a statement on Thursday, threatened that the decision would be resisted if JAMB refused to adhere to the status quo.

He said, “As critical stakeholders in the educational sector, NANS will vehemently resist the review and call on government to maintain the status quo and endeavour to conduct a comparative study and analysis of policies from other climes that support functional learning and production of young people that can compete with their peers globally.

 “Even with the current status, the general phenomenon is that Nigerian graduates are not employable. The lowering of standards will translate to a disastrous outcome in the future by churning out young people who cannot fit into the demands and expectations of the 21st century.’’

According to him, since the 21st century is being driven by innovation and competitiveness, lowering the entry level into tertiary institutions would only further contribute to reducing the productivity and peak performance of young people seeking admission into the country’s higher institutions of learning.

However, the Vice-Chancellor of the Christopher University, Ogun State, Prof. Friday Ndubuisi, said the new admission benchmark would have no negative implication on the quality of education.

He said, “This is not an imposition.  The cut-off mark is a minimum benchmark for admission. This idea of taking the UTME every year without getting admission is worrying. About 1.6 million candidates sat for the examination this year and about 500,000 will be admitted mostly because of the cut-off mark. Most universities will not go below 200, but with five credits obtained in two sittings, a person should be qualified for admission.  This is, however, not an imposition.  Universities still get to decide on whom to admit through the post-UTME.’’

Published in Business and Economy

Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) poses the trophy after he was awarded the title of “Best Men’s Player in Europe” while standing alongside ” Best Womans player in Europe” Netherlands Lieke Martens at the conclusion of the UEFA Champions League group stage draw ceremony in Monaco on August 24, 2017. VALERY HACHE / AFP

Cristiano Ronaldo was named UEFA Player of the Season for 2016-2017 on Thursday after a campaign which saw the Portuguese superstar help Real Madrid to the La Liga and Champions League double.

It was the third time that Ronaldo had won the award which was presented on the sidelines of the Champions League group stage draw.

His great rival Lionel Messi has won the prize on two occasions and could pave the way for him to capture a fifth Ballon d’Or title.

“There are the same goals every year, to meet the same challenges, win everything if possible, qualify for the World Cup with my national team,” said Ronaldo.

“This trophy will give me the motivation to keep working hard, never to give up. I am blessed and delighted to be with Real Madrid.”

Ronaldo won the UEFA award in 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 and in the Champions League last season, where Real defeated Juventus 4-1 in the final, he finished as top scorer with 12 goals.

Juventus goalkeeper and captain Gianluigi Buffon was second in the voting ahead of Messi.

Published in Headliners

THE ASSETS

• 29 terrace houses comprising eight four-bedroom penthouse apartments
•Six three-bedroom apartments
•Two three-bedroom maisonettes
•Two twin bedroom apartments
•One four-bedroom apartment.
•No. 7, Thurnbull Street and 5, Raymond Street, Yaba
•16 four-bedroom terrace houses in Heritage Court Estate, Plot 2C, Omerelu Street, Diobu, GRA Phase 1 Extension, Port Harcourt
•13 three-bedroom terrace houses
•Six flats of three bedrooms and one boys’ quarters each, a lawn tennis court, a gym and “matured garden”.

Court orders forfeiture of mansions valued at N3.3b

A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of 56 houses allegedly bought between 2011 and 2013 for $21,982,224 million (N3,320,000,000 billion) by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Justice Abdulaziz Anka, a vacation judge, made the order yesterday following an ex parte application filed on August 16 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Anka authorised the EFCC to appoint a firm to manage the property and gave the respondents 14 days to show cause why the property should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

The judge directed the agency to publish the order in any national newspaper and adjourned till September 8.

The application, brought pursuant to section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Fraud related offences Act 2006 and Section 44(2)(k) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) sought a temporary transfer of the property to the Federal Government.

Listed as first to sixth respondents in the suit are Diezani, Donald Chidi Amamgbo and four firms— Chapel Properties Limited, Blue Nile Estate Limited, Azinga Meadows Limited and Vistapoint Property Development Limited.

EFCC counsel Mr. Anselem Ozioko told Justice Anka that Mrs Alison-Madueke paid $16,441,906 (N2.6billion) cash in several tranches and another $5,540318 (N840,000,000) cash for the properties through four “front” firms which held the titles in trust for her.

The firms are Chapel Properties, Blue Nile Estate, Azinga Meadows and Vistapoint Property Development.

Ozioko said the commission had discovered 14 other firms incorporated for the ex-minister for holding the titles to those property.

Mrs. Alison-Madueke, he added, bought the properties from the proceeds of suspected unlawful activity during her tenure as minister.

The properties include 29 terraced houses comprising eight four-bedroom penthouse apartments, six three-bedroom apartments, two three-bedroom maisonettes, two twin bedroom apartments and one four-bedroom apartment.

The houses, located at No. 7, Thurnbull Street and 5, Raymond Street, Yaba, were allegedly bought by Mrs. Alison-Madueke for the US dollar equivalent of N937,000,000 through Chapel Properties Ltd.

Others are 16 four-bedroom terrace houses in Heritage Court Estate, Plot 2C, Omerelu Street, Diobu, Government Residential Area (GRA) Phase 1 extension, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, bought for N928,000,000 through Blue Nile Estate Ltd.

The former minister allegedly bought 13 three-bedroom terrace houses with one-room maid’s quarters ensuite for N650,000,000 through Azinga Meadows Ltd.

The commission also stated that Mrs. Alison-Madueke paid N805,000,000 through Vistapoint Property Development Ltd for six flats of three bedrooms and one boys’ quarters each, a lawn tennis court, a gym and “matured garden”.

According to an affidavit in support of the application by an EFCC investigative officer, Mr Sombori Mayana, the commission got wind of the properties in 2016 following its execution of a search warrant on the office and premises of the former minister’s acquaintance, Mr Donald Chidi Amamgbo.

Mayana said: “…among the documents recovered from the office of Mr Donald Chidi Amamgbo was an undated report titled ‘HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL ATTORNEY WORK PRODUCT – AUGUST REPORT’

“The report contained a list of 18 companies and several properties located in the United Kingdom, Nigeria and the United States of America.

“During the course of his interview, Mr Donald Amamgbo told us that he registered the 18 companies to assist Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke in holding titles of the properties.”

On August 7, Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the permanent forfeiture to the Federal Government of a $37.5million Banana Island property bought in 2013 by the former Petroleum Minister.

The property designated as Building 3, Block B, Bella Vista Plot 1, Zone N, Federal Government Layout, Banana Island Foreshore Estate, consists of 24 apartments, 18 flats and six penthouses.

The judge also ordered that $2,740,197.96 and N84,537,840.70 realised as rent on the property be permanently forfeited to the government.

On August 8, Justice Obiozor ordered Sterling Bank Plc to temporarily forfeit to the Federal Government a sum of N7,646,700,000 said to have been illegally kept in the bank’s custody by Mrs. Alison-Madueke.

He adjourned till August 28, for the bank and any other interested party to appear before him to show cause why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

Also on August 8, The Nation revealed that the EFCC had traced N47.2 billion and $487.5million to the ex-minister.

The agency also claimed that Mrs. Alison-Madueke has N23,446,300,000 and $5milion (about N1.5billion) cash in various banks which are yet to be forfeited.

The commission is also investigating properties in Britain and the United States allegedly purchased with stolen government funds.

Mrs. Alison-Madueke has consistently denied the allegations.

Published in Headliners

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said the unity of the country would not be open to any negotiation.

The President, in its first statement to Nigerians since he returned to Nigeria after a 104-day medical vacation in London, added that political mischief makers who were fuelling ethnic violence would be dealt with.

Buhari, who said he was not against legitimate concerns, noted that different groups must air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.

“The National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse,” he added.

The President said he had been monitoring developments in Nigeria from London, adding that some comments, especially on the social media, crossed the national red line by questioning the nation’s continued existence.

Apparently making a reference to the recent quit notice to people of Igbo extraction by some northern youths, Buhari said “every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance.”

He said terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of Nigerians could live in peace and safety.

The President said his administration would reinforce and reinvigorate the fight against elements of Boko Haram, which he said, were attempting a new series of attacks on soft targets.

The speech read in part, “I am very grateful to God and to all Nigerians for their prayers. I am pleased to be back on home soil among my brothers and sisters.

In the course of my stay in the United Kingdom, I have been kept in daily touch with events at home. Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far.

In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura. Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analyzed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.

Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.

Every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance.

I believe the very vast majority of Nigerians share this view.

This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.

The National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse.

The national consensus is that, it is better to live together than to live apart.

Furthermore, I am charging the Security Agencies not to let the successes achieved in the last 18 months be a sign to relax.

Terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of us can live in peace and safety.

Therefore we are going to reinforce and reinvigorate the fight not only against; elements of Boko Haram which are attempting a new series of attacks on soft targets, kidnappings, farmers versus herdsmen clashes;  in addition to ethnic violence fuelled by political mischief makers. We shall tackle them all.

Finally, dear Nigerians, our collective interest now is to eschew petty differences and come together to face common challenges of; economic security,       political evolution and integration; as well as lasting peace among all Nigerians.

I remain resolutely committed to ensuring that these goals are achieved and maintained. I am so glad to be home.”

Published in Business and Economy
My dear citizens,

I am very grateful to God and to all Nigerians for their prayers. I am pleased to be back on home soil among my brothers and sisters.

In the course of my stay in the United Kingdom, I have been kept in daily touch with events at home. Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far.

In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura. Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analyzed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.

Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.

Every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance.

I believe the very vast majority of Nigerians share this view.

This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.

The National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse.

The national consensus is that, it is better to live together than to live apart.

Furthermore, I am charging the Security Agencies not to let the successes achieved in the last 18 months be a sign to relax.

Terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of us can live in peace and safety.

Therefore we are going to reinforce and reinvigorate the fight not only against; elements of Boko Haram which are attempting a new series of attacks on soft targets, kidnappings, farmers versus herdsmen clashes, in addition to ethnic violence fuelled by political mischief makers. We shall tackle them all.

Finally, dear Nigerians, our collective interest now is to eschew petty differences and come together to face common challenges of; economic security, political evolution and integration, as well as lasting peace among all Nigerians.

I remain resolutely committed to ensuring that these goals are achieved and maintained. I am so glad to be home.

Thank you and may God bless our dear Nation.

Published in Headliners
Sunday, 20 August 2017 21:42

Full-time: Tottenham 1-2 Chelsea

GOAL! Tottenham 0-1 Chelsea (Alonso, 24 min)

Updated 

Team news

Preamble

Published in Business and Economy

The return of President Muhammadu Buhari to Nigeria from the United Kingdom on Saturday caused celebration at the Aso Villa Chapel on Sunday.

Worshippers, during the Sunday Service, expressed their joy in songs and dance.

They sang various songs in Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba languages to give glory to God for healing the President.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who had acted on behalf of the President for 103 days when Buhari was in the UK on medical ground, was among the worshippers.

The Aso Villa Chapel’s Administrator, Rev Isaac Ambi, who presided over the service, said the church was happy that the President had a safe return.

He said “We want to rejoice with our father, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, for the safe return of our President and our father, Muhammadu Buhari. And we also want to thank God on how He has used you in piloting the affairs of Nigeria while the president was away,”

Prof Durosinmi Etti, urged the worshipers to celebrate the Lord for what He has done in the President’s life.

He then sang the popular song: “What shall we say unto the Lord, All we have to say is thank you Lord..,” to rejoice with the President.

Prayers of thanksgiving were also offered in the three major languages by the immediate-past Chairman of the Federal  Civil Service Commission (FCSC), Deaconess Juan Ayo; Reverend Ambi and Mr King Opuru.

A special ministration with the title: “All Things are Working for My Good” was also rendered by the choir to honour the Lord for spearing President Buhari’s life.

In his sermon entitled: “What is New for a Christian,” the church Administrator, Rev Ambi, urged everyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour to continue to live according to the dictate of Christ.

He cited John 15:1-11 and Psalm 23 in the Holy Bible.

He said “A Christian life is a matter of relationship; knowing the rules and the regulation. So what is your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ?

“We are supposed to have a kind of relationship that draws our strength from Jesus Christ,” he said.

He said that the new things a Christian has include a new position, a new possession, a new product and new focus.

“As soon as we receive Christ, we will experience the great exchange  according to 2 Corinthians 32. So you have a new position because Jesus has taken the centre stage in your life and that is why a Christian must not engage in shady deals. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature,” he said.

Conspicuous absent during the service were the Wife of the Acting President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo; the Chaplain of the Aso Villa Chapel, Pastor Seyi Malomo and his wife.

Published in Headliners
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