We foiled attempt to kill former military ruler Ibrahim Babangida and Ibrahim Dasuki by Iranian backed Nigerian terrorists group: Marilyn Ogar SSS spokesperson

Nigeria’s secret police said Wednesday they broke up a terrorist group backed by “Iranian handlers” who wanted to assassinate a former military ruler and gather intelligence about locations frequented by Americans and Israelis.

The State Security Service, responsible for domestic spying in Africa’s most populous nation, offered no details about who actually controlled and bankrolled the group. However, it said it had arrested three suspected terrorists, including the group’s leader, before they could launch attacks.

The leader’s “lieutenants successfully conducted surveillance and gathering relevant data … (for) possible attacks,” secret police spokeswoman Marilyn Ogar said, reading from a statement. “He personally took photographs of the Israeli culture center in Ikoyi, Lagos, which he sent to his handlers.”
The service identified the leader as Abdullahi Mustaphah Berende, a 50-year-old leader of a local Shiite sect in Ilorin. Ogar said Berende was arrested along with two other suspected members, while another remains at large.
Berende first traveled to Iran in 2006 and studied at an Islamic university, said Ogar. He later returned in 2011 and learned how to use Kalashnikov assault rifles and pistols, as well as making and detonating homemade explosives, she said.

Ogar identified high-level targets of the group as former military ruler Ibrahim Babangida and Ibrahim Dasuki, a former Sultan of Sokoto, a major Islamic leader in the nation. The group also conducted surveillance on USAID, the U.S. Peace Corps and other targets, she said.
Berende also received some $30,000 in cash to fund the group’s planned operations.

Ogar did not take questions, nor did she elaborate on the statement. It remains unclear how close the group was to actually making any attack.

Nigeria, home to more than 160 million people, is largely divided into a Christian south and a Muslim north. Nigeria’s Muslims are predominantly Sunni, though there is a Shiite community in the country. Iran has backed Shiite groups in Nigeria in the past.

Iran has previously been involved in police actions in Nigeria. In 2010, authorities at Lagos’ Apapa Port found a hidden shipment of 107 mm artillery rockets, rifle rounds and other weapons from Iran. The shipment was supposedly bound for Gambia. A Nigerian and an Iranian with alleged ties to the country’s Revolutionary Guard face criminal charges over the shipment. VIA Fox News

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wind of change as Gov. mu’azu babangida (Talba) reshuffled cabinet| Suleja Sky

Gov Aliyu Names New SSG, HOS, Chief of Staff
Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State on Monday announced the appointment of a former Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Hon. Idris Saidu Ndako as the new Secretary to the State Government.
He also appointed the Permanent Secretary of Niger State Law Reform Commission, Barr. Abbas Bello as the new Head of the state’s civil service, while the Director General in charge of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) office, Mr. Joshua Bawa is the new Chief of Staff, Government House.
A statement signed by Governor Aliyu’s Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo said the Governor has also approved the appointment of a former member of the Niger State House of Assembly, Hon Mohammed Saba Usman as Deputy Chief of Staff in the Governor’s Office.
The statement said the changes were in furtherance to the ongoing efforts to reposition and strengthen the Governor Aliyu-led PDP government for enhanced service delivery and the attainment of Vision 3:2020.
Born in January 1965, the new Secretary to the State Government holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Bayero University, Kano. The SSG-Designate was until his appointment the Commissioner of Planning and Deputy Chairman, Niger State Planning Commission.
The government statement says the new appointees would be sworn in later in the week.

Danladi Ndayebo
Chief Press Secretary

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APC Will Win Anambra In 2014 – Gov. Rochas Okorocha| Suleja Sky

Gov. rochas okorocha

Gov. rochas okorocha

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has said the All Progressive Congress will win the polls in Anambra State next year and the South-East in 2015 general elections.

The governor spoke through his Special Assistant on Media (Print), Mr. Ebere Uzoukwa, after a meeting with his political associates on Saturday.

Uzoukwa, who described Okorocha as the beautiful bride in the APC merger said, “He remains a brand well respected by the Igbo owing to his uncommon leadership qualities, and as such APC will definitely win Anambra in 2014 and other South-East states in 2015.”

According to him, Okorocha, who is coordinating the APC activities in the South-East, has started putting the necessary structures on the ground toward strengthening the party for victory in the forthcoming elections in the zone.

On the controversy surrounding the All Progressives Grand Alliance’s involvement in the merger, Uzoukwa said, “The real APGA people, otherwise known as APGA-APGA, are part of the merger, while the APGA-PDP led by our brother, the Anambra State governor, Peter Obi, will join later.”

He added, “We really understand his (Obi) predicament and as an appointee of President Goodluck Jonathan, you do not expect him to declare open support to whatever move that is targeted at sacking the People’s Democratic Party. However, the spirit of Governor Obi is with us in APC and at the appropriate time, his body, which is presently with the PDP, will definitely join the spirit in APC.”

Okorocha’s associates at the meeting, in a unanimous vote, endorsed the governor’s involvement in the merger, describing the move as “visionary, timely and an important step towards dislodging the PDP and making APC a household name in Imo State and the South-East”.

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31 Years after NYSC, Jonathan Honoured at Place of Primary Assignment

Thirty-one years after he observed his one-year mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme at the school, President Goodluck Jonathan was at the weekend honoured by the old boys of Ebekun Secondary Commercial Grammar School, Iresi, Osun State.

Speaking at the occasion, Jonathan reiterated the commitment of his administration to institutionalise the framework that would ensure the availability of qualitative education in different levels in the country.

The president also called for more involvement of old students in the provision of amenities to make teaching and learning conducive in schools.

The president in a letter he personally signed, which was read by the chairman of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Dr. Jide Adeniji, praised the courage of the old students of the school for remembering their alma mater and collaborating with government to improve amenities available for teaching and learning.

Jonathan noted that he used to remember with nostalgia the period he worked with the school, stating that Iresi will always be his second home after Otu Oke and thanked the host community of the school for their hospitality towards him during his service year.

He enjoined the students to be committed to their studies and properly leverage on the sincerity of purpose of his administration to improve the standard of education in the country, being a key component in his transformation agenda.

However in his address, the National President of Ebekun Secondary Commercial Grammar School Old Students Association, Alhaji Ibrahim Moronfolu, said since 1997 when nine old students of the school came together to form the association, its membership had continued to grow.

While enumerating some of the achievements of the old students association of the school, Moronfolu said leaking roofs of two classrooms were repaired and books worth N100, 000 covering core subjects were donated to the school.

He stressed that a computer set with printer and generating set were also donated for the use of students by the association.

According to him, the responsibility of repositioning the school has gone beyond what old students alone could cope with, making it pertinent to get other stakeholders and friends of the school involved in the task.

Source : This Day

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2015 Presidency: PDP Plots Automatic Ticket For Jonathan| Suleja Sky

Jonathan pose at the villa

Jonathan pose at the villa

There are strong indications that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may have settled to give President Goodluck Jonathan the right of first refusal in the contest for the party’s ticket in the 2015 presidential election.

The import of this development is that the president would emerge as the party’s sole candidate irrespective of the interest of other candidates. In that case, the party would skip primary election for that office.

A source in the party, who sought anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter, confided in LEADERSHIP last night that the party’s top hierarchy had agreed to amend its constitution to accommodate the new thinking.

The idea, the source said, is to pattern the presidential contest after that of the United States of America, where an incumbent is given express ticket to contest the election. He also declared that the move was a done deal.

“As it is now, the plan is a fait accompli: the constitution of the party would first be amended and ratified in the next non-elective national convention. Nothing will stop the move. The top echelon of the party has endorsed it and what remains is for it to be adopted by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, which is likely to hold a meeting sometime next month,” he said.

However, the source revealed that the sudden move may not be unconnected to fears that the president could face a steep battle going into the primary contest, a development that is capable of tearing the party apart. “We don’t want an implosion,” the source said. “The party will be thoroughly weakened if that becomes the case, and, of course, it is situation we cannot afford in the light of current realities.”

The party, he further said, is positioning itself to counter the surging wave of the newly announced opposition merger platform, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

PDP leaders, LEADERSHIP learnt, are not unmindful of the strength that the APC could muster and the likely apathy of PDP members after the primary elections, which could “not only empower the APC, but spell doom for the PDP.”

 

It’s not true, primary must hold – PDP

But reacting to the story last night, PDP’s national publicity secretary, Mr Olisa Metuh, denied that the party planned to amend its constitution, saying there is no truth in the story.

Metuh said: “I can tell you that under the constitution of this party, and the way we run our programmes, we are going to have primaries in 2015. We are completely unaware of any move to change the constitution of the party.

“The constitution that we have, which was passed at the last national convention, provides that we must have state and national convention.”

Metuh, however, maintained that party could amend its constitution if it wanted to do so.

According to him, “A constitution can be amended at any time if the members decide to do so, or when the need arises. I’m just telling you what the law is at the moment. Even the constitution of the country is being amended; the constitution of the party can be amended if they (party leaders) decide to.”

We are guided by the law of the land – INEC

When contacted, the director of publicity, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Emmanuel Umenger, retorted: “What does the law say in such circumstances? Does the law allow them to do that? Look, we are guided by the laws of the land.”

There have been debates as to the propriety or otherwise of President Jonathan contesting the 2015 election. The latest was the comment credited to the governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, wherein he was quoted as saying that the president ‘signed an agreement to serve for only one term’. The emergence of the APC, sources said, might have ignited the new thinking in the ruling party.

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President Made No Single-Term Promise To Us – Sen Kanti Bello| Suleja Sky

Governor Aliyu (TALBA) is a lair by saying that Jonathan agreed or sign anything.
“To be fair to Jonathan, he did not utter a word. And that is where we stopped”.
Gov Shema out of mischief, went and wrote a communiqué that Jonathan was running for only one term.
Writing on behalf of somebody who didn’t utter a word, cannot be seen as an agreement.

Former Senate Whip, Senator Kanti Bello, has accused the Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, of telling a lie over his claim that President Goodluck Jonathan agreed to a single term in 2011.

Bello said, as a principal officer of the Senate in 2011, he attended a meeting of governors and lawmakers where the issue of Jonathan’s single term was raised.

The former Senate Whip told our one of correspondents in a telephone interview on Sunday that he personally raised the matter during the said meeting and that Jonathan did not make any promise of serving just one term.

Aliyu had in an interview aired on Liberty Radio, Kaduna, claimed that President Jonathan had agreed to serve for only one term of four years beginning from 2011.

But Bello, a former member of the Peoples Democratic Party, who defected to the Congress for Progressive Change, dismissed Aliyu’s claims.

Bello said, “He (Aliyu) is being economical with the truth. You see, I will explain clearly what happened.

“When we were having a meeting, then I was in PDP, we were there at the National Headquarters of the Party, we the principal officers of the Senate, governors and some members of the National Working Committee of the Party.

“A discussion arose and President Jonathan complained about the sequence of elections and lack of support as an executive President and member of our party.

“Then, finally I raised the issue that it is not a question of election, you want to run but since you want to run, some of us feel what you want to do is unconstitutional but since a decision has been taken and a primary has taken place, the majority of the people say run so democratically, there is nothing anybody can do since there has been a convention and nobody objected at the convention about your running.

“ I asked him, what are we going to take in return to our people, what do we tell them? Even if we want to convince our people, we have to take something to them, can you please confirm to us here and now that you are only going to run for one term?

“To be fair to Jonathan, he did not utter a word. You get it clear? He didn’t say a word, he kept quiet and that is where we stopped.

“But later, Governor (Shehu) Shema of Katsina State, and his friends, out of mischief, went and wrote a communiqué that Jonathan was running for only one term. He didn’t say it, but they wrote a communique, I challenge anybody to say that was not what happened.

“You cannot say based on that you have an agreement with Jonathan, you cannot say it. Writing a communiqué on behalf of somebody who didn’t utter a word, I cannot see it as an agreement. That was exactly what happened.

“The governors under Shema, particularly Shema being the one who is a lawyer, thinks he is smart. He was the one who wrote the communiqué and gave it to the press, that this is the communiqué of our meeting but to be fair to Jonathan, he didn’t utter a word and it was me who asked that question with Governor Danjuma Goje there at that time.

“He was the one who was even saying Mr. President, we are with you but I was the one who bluntly asked him if he was going to run so that we can go and tell our people.”

When contacted, Shema said comments made by Bello about events preceding the 2011 presidential elections should be taken “with a pinch of salt.”

The Katsina State governor spoke to one of our correspondents through his Chief Press Secretary, Malam Lawal Matazu, via a telephone interview on Sunday.

He said, “The issue leading to the 2011 elections are normal democratic procedures that always involve constructive engagement, dialogue, consensus and internal democracy of political parties.

“Kanti Bello was a loser in that election, therefore anything he said today, after having left the PDP (the party that defeated him) and joined the CPC, should be taken with a pinch of salt given his widely known antecedents of misleading the public on critical national political issues.”

The governor was, however, non-committal when asked whether the said agreement existed and if there was a document to back such a claim.

Calls to the mobile telephone number of Senator Danjuma Goje who attended the meeting as governor in 2011, were not answered. He also did not reply a text message sent to him on the subject.

But a former Senate Leader, Teslim Folarin, said that the issue of second term bid by Jonathan was not raised in meetings held before the 2011 general election that produced him as the president.

Folarin, who represented Oyo Central senatorial district on the platform of the PDP, told our correspondent in a telephone interview on Sunday that the major issue discussed at the caucus meeting that produced Jonathan as the party’s candidate was mainly on 2011 and not second term bid.

He said, “I was at the meeting held on President Jonathan’s ambition to run in 2011 election. That was the focus. Honestly, I cannot recollect any discussion or issue raised about whether he would recontest or not.

“The issue of second term was not our preoccupation at the time. I don’t remember us raising the issue or asking President Jonathan whether he would seek re-election or not. 2015 was not an issue of interest to party stakeholders before his (Jonathan’s) emergence in 2011 I must confess to you.”

A Presidency source also challenged those making such claims to produce the said document if indeed it exists.

The source claimed that Jonathan neither signed any document nor committed himself to serving only a term in office. – Punch News.

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APC to test strength against PDP in Abuja council polls| suleja sky

The council polls of the Nigerian capital will hold on March 16.
When the leaders of four existing political parties announced early February that they were merging to form one party, one major factor influenced their decision; how to defeat Nigeria’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 2015.
Governors of 10 states elected on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN; the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC; and the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA agreed to the merger leading to the announcement of the formation of the All Progressives Congress on February 6.
A week after, the new party rolled out its basic programmes and set up contact and mobilisation committees in the six geo-political zones.
Though yet to be registered, the APC has stated that it is ready to be a viable opposition prior to 2015 with a view to upstaging the PDP in the 2015 elections.
Prior to 2015, however, the new party would have several opportunities to test its strength against the PDP. Gubernatorial and local government elections will be held in some states.
The immediate test before the new party, however, is the Abuja council polls coming up in a few weeks.
The Abuja elections
Elections into the six Area Councils in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja slated for the March 16, 2013 have been described as a testing ground for the workability of the merger of the four parties.
As part of the test of their merger, the parties are already working together to defeat the PDP in the council polls.
One of the councils where the merger is being tested is Abaji Area Council.
We learnt that the parties have all come together to present joint candidates for the polls based on their strengths.
As part of the arrangement, the ACN, whose candidates narrowly lost the council chairman seat to the PDP in the last elections, will present the Chairman and Vice Chairmanship candidate.
While speaking on the plan, the Vice Chairmanship candidate contesting under the platform of the ACN, Ibrahim Mohammed, said in Abuja on Thursday that the chairmanship candidates for the for the CPC and the ANPP have withdrawn their candidature for the polls and have joined forces with the ACN candidate, Abdulrahman Ajiya.
“As I speak to you now, we campaign together in each of the wards in the local government and we have been getting massive support from across all the three parties,” Mr. Mohammed said.
Mr. Mohammed also said part of the deals agreed within the three parties is to share the councillorship seats based on the areas of strength of each party across the wards in the Area Council. The fourth member of the alliance, APGA, has no strong presence in the council.
He added that three wards in the central zone have been allocated to the CPC, while the wards in the south east zone of the council were allocated to the ANPP and the remaining one ward in the North East left for the ACN.
Mr. Mohammed said the merger has made it practically impossible for the ruling PDP to win the chairmanship seat.
“ Even during the last election, PDP only defeated ACN by a little over one thousand votes and with the support we have now, I don’t see how they can beat us this time,” he said.
Mr. Mohammed added that apart from the merger, other factors such as “sympathy of the voters as a result of PDP’s failure, and ethnic demography also work in favour of the opposition alliance”.
The PDP is however undisturbed by the opposition alliance. The party on February 11 flagged of its campaign in the Abuja councils.
It’s Abuja chairman, Yahaya Suleiman, said his party is will puts its house in order to reconcile aggrieved members in order to ensure victory in the council polls.
The election, set for March 16, will be the first test of the merger against the PDP.

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I Want to be President Because Jonathan Signed That he Would Stay for one Term – Babangida (TALBA)

Governor of Niger State Babangida Aliyu has revealed of the existence of an agreement signed between President Goodluck Jonathan and some Northern governors in which Jonathan pledged to do only one term of four years from 2011 to 2015.

The governor said it was on the basis of that agreement that himself and some other Northern Governors, especially those of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party supported the President during the 2011 Presidential election, a decision that majority of the people of the region found offensive.

In an interview he granted Liberty FM which would be aired for the first time tomorrow, Governor Babangida Aliyu who is also the chairman of Northern Governors Forum (NGF) said he and others are with copies of the agreement which Jonathan duly signed, and in which he promised to do only one terms of four years.

The Hausa version of the Governor’s interview is billed to be aired between 11am to 12noon tomorrow while the English version would be on air by 12noon and would be on till 1pm.

The Governor said he and the other signatories of the agreement have no doubt that the President would keep the terms of the agreement. He added that President Jonathan has not told them that he will contest the 2015 Presidential election as is being speculated.

It would be recalled that Aliyu had declared his intention to seek the presidency on February 7th during the launch of The Accidental Public Servant, the controversial book by Nasir Elrufai.

Aliyu had said at that function that “I am not an accidental public servant; I have been preparing myself to be president, I am just not saying anything now.” – Naija Pundit.

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos on Friday fixed April 29 for the hearing of the appeal filed by Hamza Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to late Sani Abacha; and Lateef Shofolahan, former Personal Assistant to late Kudirat Abiola.
The men are appealing a death sentence handed to them on January 30, 2012, by Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos High Court.
Joseph Daudu and Olalekan Ojo, representing Messrs. Al-Mustapha and Shofolahan respectively, on Friday, applied for a regularization of their briefs of argument.
The appellate court, presided over by Chima Centus Nweze, granted both counsels the order as prayed, before adjourning for hearing of the appeal.
Grounds of appeal
Messrs Al-Mustapha and Shofolahan were convicted for conspiracy and murder of Mrs. Abiola in June 1996, along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
 
The victim was the wife of late politician and business mogul, Moshood Abiola, who won the June 12, 1993 presidential election. He was in detention for declaring himself Nigerian president when his wife was killed.
Barely 24 hours after the death sentence was pronounced, the convicts’ counsels filed an appeal challenging the judgment.
The appellants contended that the death sentence by the lower court was “unwarranted, unreasonable and a manifest miscarriage of justice.”
Mr. Al-Mustapha’s four grounds and Mr. Shofolahan’s five grounds of appeal faulted the judgment of the lower court in admitting the testimonies of Ore Falomo, as well as the contradictory statements of Barnabas Jabila (a.k.a Sgt. Rogers) and Mohamamed Abdul (a.k.a Katako).
In his testimony, Mr. Falomo had stated that the bullet extracted from Mrs. Abiola’s corpse was a specialized one; a statement the defence had countered on the grounds that Dr. Falomo qualifies only as a medical doctor and not a ballistician. The doctor was a family doctor of the late Mr. Abiola’s family.
The convicts’ lawyers also accused the judge of the lower court of bias for “rejecting the evidence of Messrs. Jabila and Abdul that were favourable to their clients.”
They urged the Court of Appeal to entertain the appeal, set aside the judgment, and discharge them of the charges of conspiracy and murder.

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PHOTOS: Victorious Super Eagles Returns Home; Meets Jonathan

Nigeria’s national football team, the Super Eagles arrived Abuja on Tuesday afternoon, after winning the country’s first Africa Cup of Nations trophy in nearly two decades and were welcomed by adoring crowds at a huge ceremony inside the National Stadium.

The Eagles are meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday evening. More photos below…

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President Jonathan’s Convoy Involved In Auto Accident In Paris| Suleja Sky

SULEJA SKY has learned exclusively that President Goodluck Jonathan’s motor convoy was today involved in an accident in Paris as the Nigerian president was traveling with his aides to a meeting with the French President Francois Gerard Hollande. Our sources disclosed that the accident occurred 15 minutes away from the Elysee Palace, the venue of the official meeting with the French leader. “The car involved in the accident was the fifth car behind that of President Jonathan,” said a French police source.
Jamilu Waziri, a presidential liaison officer (PLO), was injured in the accident and had to be taken to a Paris hospital where he received treatment for a broken ankle. As a result of the accident, Mr. Waziri was unable to attend the meeting.
Our source said Mr. Waziri later flew with President Jonathan who is due to arrive in Abuja shortly. The wounded officer walked with aid of a pair of crutches.
A French official confirmed the accident
The large size of the Nigerian delegation meant that Mr. Jonathan’s aides could not fit into the official vehicles provided by the French government. According to the French source, a car rented by the Nigerian embassy in Paris to convey some of the Nigerian delegates was involved in the accident. Asked who was liable for any damages that resulted from the accident, the source disclosed that French authorities “would not be liable for injuries or damages from the car crash.

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How Ribadu Tried to Incriminate Yar’Adua to Make President ––El-Rufai| Suleja Sky

This guy is enjoying the controversies raised by his book as it’s encourages more sales:
Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has alleged that Mallam Nuhu Ribadu tried to incriminate former President Umaru Yar’Adua with spurious petitions. 
This he said happened when ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo showed a preference for Yar’Adua as his successor and not himself (el-Rufai) or the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Ribadu).
El-Rufai made this disclosure in his controversial book, The Accidental Public Servant.

El-Rufai also alluded to the insistence of Ribadu to be made Obasanjo’s successor in the book. He said the former boss of the anti-graft agency was livid with anger the day Yar’Adua informed him that Obasanjo had asked him to pick the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential nomination form.

“Well, Obasanjo has not told me, and as far as the Presidency is concerned, I have my candidate for the presidency, and that is Nasir el-Rufai. I am going to speak to Obasanjo about this,” Ribadu had told Yar’Adua, according to el-Rufai.

He said when it dawned on Ribadu that Obasanjo was in support of Yar’Adua, the former police boss started looking for incriminating petitions against him.

El-Rufai wrote, “Nuhu’s instinctive reaction was that of a typical policeman – dusted up EFCC files and combed for petitions against Umaru.

“Nuhu did not realise it at that time, but he was the one in trouble, not Obasanjo or Umaru. He dusted up all his files and found petitions against the then Katsina State governor and launched investigations.

“He was clearly trying to take Yar’Adua out of the race and narrow all options to zero except for el-Rufai,” the controversial minister said.

The investigations, he said, led to the arrest of local government chairmen in the state, on the allegation of diversion of local government funds.

The former minister said he had to persuade Ribadu to stop the investigations, saying that people would read meanings into all his actions.

“Anything you do henceforth will only just confirm what people say about you – that you target people that threaten certain interests. If you had been investigating Yar’Adua for a year beforehand, that would have been different, but you were not. It is too late to start now,” el-Rufai claimed he had told Ribadu.

El-Rufai also said leaving office as the President of Nigeria in 2007 was very painful for Obasanjo.

Writing under the sub-headline, ‘The final breakfast,’ el-Rufai said the former President looked pale and sad the day he was going to hand over power to his successor, the late President Umaru Yar’Adua.

He said rather than being happy, Obasanjo looked as if he was going to be killed.

He wrote, “The sentiment of the breakfast was for the most part upbeat, though it struck me that Obasanjo, that morning, looked like he had grown several years older.

“He looked as if he was about to face death – his skin was sallow and it was very clear that this was difficult for him, like someone in the final hours before heading to the electric chair.

“He did not eat any breakfast, he just had some tea. I never thought of losing power as being that painful, but he was visibly pained.”

However, a source close to the former President said that el-Rufai, who was Minister of the Federal Capital Territory under Obasanjo, said he (el-Rufai) decided to deride the former President because he did not anoint him as his successor.

El-Rufai was disappointed when Obasanjo didn’t make him his anointed candidate, hence the attacks.

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*B*R*E*A*K*I*N*G* NEWS!!! PRESIDENCY ORDERS ARREST OF NIGER DELTA MILITANTS SURRENDERING ARMS

The Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs, Kingsley Kuku, has called on security agencies to arrest any militant group found surrendering arms in Niger Delta.
Mr. Kuku gave the directive on Tuesday in Abuja at a news briefing he addressed in reaction to the submission of assorted weapons by a militant group in the region.
The special adviser, who is also the Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Office (PAO), said the arrest and prosecution of the militants had become imperative since the period slated for disarmament was over.
An armed group based in Bayelsa, last week submitted assorted weapons to the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Yenagoa.
The group, led by its ‘commander’, Inaemi David, 31, was reputed to have carried out numerous attacks on oil pipelines in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
Mr. David led members of his group to the JTF Headquarters in Yenagoa, on February 1 to surrender some weapons.
“Our resolve to embrace peace and the Federal Government’s amnesty programme informed our action,” he said.
Mr. Kuku, however, told newsmen that at the moment, “there is no disarmament exercise in Niger Delta”.
“What happened in Yenagoa was the verification of arms by AVM James Gbum-led Inter Agency Task Force on Disarmament for the Third Phase of the Amnesty Programme,” he said.
Amnesty history
The presidential aide recalled that when the FG proclaimed unconditional amnesty for the militants on June 25, 2009, a total of 20,192 former agitators gave up their arms and ammunitions.
Mr. Kuku said the ex-militants were then enrolled in the first phase of the amnesty programme.
He said the terms of the amnesty included the willingness and readiness of the agitators to surrender their arms on or before October 4, 2009; unconditionally renouncing militancy and signing of an undertaking to that effect.
“In return, the government pledged its commitment to institute programmes to assist the disarmament, demobilisation, rehabilitation and reintegration of the former agitators,” he said. “At the expiration of the 60-day grace period on October 4, 2009, a total of 20,192 Niger Delta ex-agitators had surrendered large number of arms and ammunition to the Federal Government and accepted the offer of amnesty.”
He said “pursuant to the letter and spirit of the Amnesty Proclamation, the Federal Government instituted a Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) package for those who accepted the offer of amnesty on or before the expiration date.
“Another 6,166 were added in November 2010 to constitute a second phase of the programme, bringing the number of persons enlisted in the Presidential Amnesty Programme to 26,358,” Mr. Kuku said.
He said the Federal Government also approved the inclusion of another 3,642 former militants, bringing the total to 30,000 in October, 2012.
Kuku said the PAO was committed to funding the disarmament process of 3,642 former militants newly enrolled for the third phase of the amnesty programme.
He said this was aimed at reconciling the disarmament records of the former agitators, who have surrendered their arms to military formations and security agencies, in the third phase of the amnesty programme
The Inaemi David group on February 1 submitted six wraps of dynamite and one AK 47 assault rifle, three locally-made pistols, one automatic revolver and 12 locally-made single barrel rifles.
Others are two fully-loaded magazines, dozens of 7.62 mm ammunitions and three improvised rocket launchers, six wraps of gun powder, 25 live cartridges, a pot of fetish concoction and a live tortoise.
Source News Agency of Nigeria

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Jonathan: all guile, no leadership says former minister El Rufai| Suleja sky

President Goodluck Jonathan did everything and said anything to win the presidential ticket of the PDP, including empowering the governors whose influence he is now so desperate to curb. He double-crossed such figures as Ken Nnamani, a former Senate President and Aminu Bello Masari, a former House of Representatives Speaker, to appease the party’s governors in 2010, a new book has revealed.
Mr. Jonathan was also desperate to recruit credible northerners who were indifferent to zoning to help him counter the Adamu Ciroma-led Northern Political Leaders’ Forum. He sent Niger Delta Minister, Godsday Orubebe, to persuade Nasir El Rufai to “publicly support Jonathan’s presidential aspiration and join his campaign”.
The book by Nasir El Rufai, The Accidental Public Servant, chronicles how Mr. Jonathan encouraged and supported the activities of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Reform Group, led by Ken Nnamani, which was eager to free the party from the stranglehold of the governors. From May 2010, the reform group began agitating for a biometric register of party members nationwide “to remove the control of the PDP from the godfathers, the governors and the unelected apparatchiks and restore it back to the party membership”.
Mr. El Rufai said he told Mr. Orubebe that even though he had voiced his “opposition to zoning as a parameter in leadership selection, I also believed that merit must then supplant it. I was clear in my view that Jonathan had not shown enough leadership in political and economic matters to earn any public support.” The former Federal Capital Territory, FCT, minister said he further told Mr. Orubebe that he could not join Mr. Jonathan’s campaign as he had left the PDP and wanted nothing to do with the party.
Mr. Orubebe also came with a sweetener, asking Mr. El Rufai what the government could do about the charges the Yar’Adua government had filed against him.
According to the author, he told Mr. Orubebe that the government should let the courts decide, and that he would not accept a withdrawal of the charges. Mr. Orubebe assured that he would not relent in the efforts to bring Mr. El Rufai back to the PDP fold.
Mr. Jonathan’s envoy lived up to his pledge. Mr. Orubebe arranged a meeting between Messrs. El Rufai and Jonathan who sought the former FCT minister’s advise on how to escape the quagmire Mr. Jonathan created when he denied the existence of the zoning provisions that were so explicitly stated in the constitution of the PDP. The blunt memo Mr. El Rufai sent back marked the end of the recruitment effort.
Mr. Nnamani, with Mr. Masari and media mogul, Raymond Dokpesi, briefed Jonathan regularly on how to wrest control of the party from the governors who had steadfastly supported the ailing and absent Yar’Adua against calls for a formal transfer of power to the then vice-president.
Although the forum secured the support of the party’s National Working Committee and its Board of Trustees for the democratization plan, the PDP’s National Executive Committee, dominated by the governors, rejected it on June 18, 2010.
Mr. Jonathan had double-crossed his allies in the reform group by reaching an accord with the governors. He repudiated the reform group, and looked on as the governors took their revenge by suspending the leaders of the reform group from the party, the book stated.
Messrs. Nnamani and Masari both challenged their suspension in court.
Mr. El Rufai said that the politicians involved in that episode learnt that President Jonathan could not be expected to keep a promise.

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EXCLUSIVE: Jonathan spends $60,000 to arrange CNN interview

As the dust over President Goodluck Jonathan’s embarrassing outing in a recent CNN interview is yet to settle,we can report that the presidency actually spends thousands of dollars in public funds to arrange interviews with foreign media outlets.
Mr. Jonathan’s penchant for foreign media has fetched him criticism, with citizens often bashing him for what they consider his unpresidential poise and bad grammar on camera.
Commentators on social media ranked his performance in the interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour two weeks ago amongst the president’s worst yet.
While this newspaper is unable to determine how much was spent in procuring the late January  CNN and Aljazeera interviews with Mr. Jonathan, we are in possession of documents suggesting that the presidency has retained the services of an American lobbying firm, Fleshman-Hillard Inc. to help arrange these interviews.
The firm, which reports to the presidency through Enyi Odigbo, Chairman of Lagos-based advertising and public relations company, Caser’s Group, was hired in 2010, without any formal agreement and budget.
The lobbying firm submits bills to the presidency as it pleases.
In at least one of its bills seen by media, the company requested $59, 200 from the Nigerian government for arranging an interview for President Jonathan with the CNN Nigerian affiliate in late 2010.
The interview, anchored by Isha Sesay, held in Aso Rock in Abuja on September 30, 2010, in preparation for the Golden Jubilee Celebration of Nigeria Independence.
Fleshman-Hillard was also to contact other foreign media outlets such as Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Reuters as Mr. Jonathan planned at the time to announce his intention to run for president in the 2011 presidential election.
But the firm was only able to deliver on the CNN interview. It was unable to get interviews for the president on the other platforms.
It is not known why the President needed to hire a lobbyist to procure interviews for him even when he has a Reuben Abati, a Doyin Okupe, and a Reno Omokri among his numerous media aides.
Since taking office in early 2010, some of the president’s key decisions and pronouncements have been made public via foreign outlets, mainly the CNN.
Mr. Jonathan delivered his first public comments on late President Umaru Yar’ Adua’s health, in an interview with Ms. Amanpour in 2010, where he spoke of how the ailing president’s family blocked him from seeing Mr. Yar’adua.
He would not force himself to see Mr. Yar’adua, he said at the time.
Regardless of the channel through which he opened up, the interview was well-received as the president also spoke on governance, promising improved electricity supply (which he enjoys calling POWER) and security.
Mr. Jonathan has yet to grant exclusive interviews to Nigerian channels. The closest to that is the occasional presidential media chat on the state-run Nigerian Television Authority.
But the president’s preference for the foreign networks has not gone without knocks, with critics often rebuking him for his unassertive demeanor before the camera, and poor quality responses to questions.
Critics say the last interview was even worse.
Fleshman-Hillard was also mandated to hire a trainer to work on the president, to help improve his delivery. The firm was yet to deliver on that as at the time the document seen by this newspaper was filed.
A presidency source said the presidency has continued to retain the company for the foreign interview arrangement.
But Fleshman-Hillard could not be reached for comments Friday. Sarah Vellozi, who was the company’s contact for the project was not available on her desk the two times we called her New York office. She is yet to return the calls.
Presidential spokesperson could not also be reached for comments.

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Boko Haram Hits Police Station, Banks, Churches in Kaduna| suleja sky

Information reaching suleja sky indicates that the cease fire announced by the dreaded Jihadist group, the Boko Haram may have been a hoax.  With just 48hours into the ceasefire, unknown gunmen suspected to be operatives of the Jihadists group struck against sensitive locations within headquarters of the Birin Gwari Local Government Area in northern Kaduna State.

According to the information received, heavily armed gunmen numbering between 20 and 30 pounced and attacked the Birnin Gwari Police Station, burning vehicles and motorbikes. The gunmen commenced to engage the police officers in a heated gun battle for two hours – after which the gunmen lit the police station on fire – with the police officers trapped inside the station.  Eyewitnesses indicate scores of policemen died in the attack – and the police station was reported to have been completely sacked.

In addition to the police station being sacked, the gunmen proceeded to set fire on Churches and Banks located along the Birinin Gwari – Lagos road. It is unsure the names of the Churches/Banks that were set on fire but sources state that three churches are located along the mentioned road – namely ECWA, Catholic and Deeper Life.

According to an eyewitness, the attack began at minutes to midnight on Wednesday January 30, 2013 and lasted till minutes after 2am.

Birinin Gwari is a town dominated by Gwari indigenes who are mainly non-Muslims. The town had been isolated from the violence that have raveled Kaduna State.

The number of casualties remain unknown. Our source confirms that the operatives of the Joint Task Force [JTF] were on their way to the location at about 3am.

Stat tuned.

Boko Haram Hits Police Station, Banks, Churches in Kaduna

Information reaching Suleja sky indicates that the cease fire announced by the dreaded Jihadist group, the Boko Haram may have been a hoax.  With just 48hours into the ceasefire, unknown gunmen suspected to be operatives of the Jihadists group struck against sensitive locations within headquarters of the Birin Gwari Local Government Area in northern Kaduna State.

According to the information received, heavily armed gunmen numbering between 20 and 30 pounced and attacked the Birnin Gwari Police Station, burning vehicles and motorbikes. The gunmen commenced to engage the police officers in a heated gun battle for two hours – after which the gunmen lit the police station on fire – with the police officers trapped inside the station.  Eyewitnesses indicate scores of policemen died in the attack – and the police station was reported to have been completely sacked.

In addition to the police station being sacked, the gunmen proceeded to set fire on Churches and Banks located along the Birinin Gwari – Lagos road. It is unsure the names of the Churches/Banks that were set on fire but sources state that three churches are located along the mentioned road – namely ECWA, Catholic and Deeper Life.

According to an eyewitness, the attack began at minutes to midnight on Wednesday January 30, 2013 and lasted till minutes after 2am.

Birinin Gwari is a town dominated by Gwari indigenes who are mainly non-Muslims. The town had been isolated from the violence that have raveled Kaduna State.

The number of casualties remain unknown. Our source confirms that the operatives of the Joint Task Force [JTF] were on their way to the location at about 3am.

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African Nation’s Cup, 2013. NIGERIAN Prostitutes Congratulate Eagles. | suleja sky

Oya, get ready guys! Pray for Eagles to lift the cup….

African Nation’s Cup, 2013.
NIGERIAN Prostitutes Congratulate Eagles.

**Promise Free Service If They Wins the Cup.
**we want to assure them of our usual support and partnership

The Association of Nigerian Prostitutes (ANP) has congratulated the Super Eagles of Nigeria for moving on to the Quarter Finals stage of the Orange African Cup of Nations, South Africa 2013, urging them to go for gold.

ANP in a statement issued through its national secretary, Jessica Elvis urged the national team to make the country proud by moving on to the finals and bringing back the trophy.

“We want to congratulate the Nigerian National team, the Super Eagles for qualifying for the next round of the competition.

We want to assure them of our usual support and partnership, we want them to bring back our lost glory in football.
Speaking further, Jessica added that the Association would declare one week of free sex if the Eagles win the trophy.

“To show our support for the national team, we’ll be declaring one week free sèx if the Super Eagles can win the trophy,” she added.
Investigations revealed some members of the association are in South Africa ‘supporting’ the national team.

The Super Eagles would be confronting the Ivorian national team, the Elephants in a knockout stage on Sunday.

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Kano Latest: Five People Killed In Drive-By Shooting| Suleja Sky

Five men playing a game of draught have been shot dead by militants in Kano  metropolis around 7:00 PM Nigeria time according to police sources.

The gunmen riding motorbikes attacked young people in Dakata quarters as they gathered around in the area playing the game of draught, killing 5 persons and injuring two others.

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A South African court has found Henry Okah guilty of terrorism charges leveled against him by the federal government of Nigeria.

Okah is accused of masterminding two car bombings in Abuja on October 1 in 2010.

12 people were killed and 36 were injured. He was arrested in Johannesburg the following day.

Okah was allegedly the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend), that claimed responsibility for the blasts.

He was charged with engaging in terrorist activities, conspiracy to engage in terrorist activity, and delivering, placing, and detonating an explosive device.

Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, who was first to give evidence at the opening of Okah’s trial said Okah was a “key figure in the Niger Delta struggle and the militants had a lot of respect for him”.

Okah denied involvement in the attacks, which were claimed by MEND militants, and also denies being the leader of the group.

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TALBA FOR PRESIDENT 2015 2015: Niger Governor, Babangida Aliyu, kick-starts presidential campaign | Suleja sky

The Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, has quietly commenced preparations to run for the presidency in 2015, confirming speculations that he is among the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors getting set to run against President Goodluck Jonathan to get the party’s ticket, Suleja sky has learnt.
PDP Governors are currently in a running battle with President Goodluck Jonathan over control of the party. While the governor’s want the National Chairman of the Party, Bamanga Tukur to exit from office, Mr. Tukur has the backing of the president.
The crisis has already led to the replacement of the National Secretary of the Party, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, with his deputy after a court annulled Mr. Oyinlola’s election.
Mr. Oyinlola, the immediate past Governor of Osun State, is seen as the arrowhead of the anti-Bamanga faction within the leadership of the party, and has gone to the Appeal Court to challenge his removal.
As reported by Suleja sky, the ongoing crisis, though occurring now, is really a battle for 2015 and Mr. Aliyu, who describes himself as the ‘chief servant’ seems ready to start early preparations.
The strategy
The first strategy being adopted by the Niger Governor is to send the State Working Committee, SWC, of the PDP on a tour of other state chapters of the party  “on a thank you tour over the election of Umaru Chiza as National Youth Leader of the PDP.”
Mr. Chiza was elected almost a year ago in March 2011 at the same time as other PDP leaders like Messrs Tukur and Oyinlola ridiculing any claim of a thank you visit on his behalf.
The delegation, which commenced the tour from the North Central states, was at the PDP secretariat in Jos, the Plateau State capital, on Monday, and was led by the Niger State Chairman of the Party, Mahmud Abdulrahman.
Mr. Abdulrahman in his short remarks said the aim of their visit was to create a lasting relationship among states within the North Central zone with a view to getting their support  to “contesting key positions come 2015 general elections”.
However, in a chat with newsmen after the event, Mr. Abdulrahman denied that Mr. Aliyu is nursing the ambition to contest the presidential race.
 
Our campaign has started 
But a source among the delegation confided in Suleja sky that the real mission of the group s to solicit for cooperation of state chapters in favour of the governor’s presidential ambition, adding also that should that fail, the state plans to present former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, as a presidential aspirant.
“Our goal is to make sure that the next president comes from Niger State,” he said.
Also speaking, PDP National Youth Leader, Umaru Chiza, debunked insinuations of any disharmony in the party over crisis within the NWC and the election of a chairman for the party’s of Board of Trustees, BOT.
“The so called crisis in the PDP is just being over blown out of proportion, yes we have little issues here and there but I can assure you that we have the capacity to overcome these minor challenges and come out stronger, “ he said.
In his own remark, the SWC Chairman of Plateau State, Haruna Dabin, assured the delegation of Plateau’s support, and acknowledged that the two states share a lot in common.  He therefore, called on other states in the zone to team up and present a credible candidate who will be acceptable by all.
The delegation will is also billed to visit Lafia, the Nassarawa State capital; and Makurdi, Benue State; for the same purpose, while the journey of the team will terminate in Abuja on Wednesday, after they might have visited Kogi and Kwara States respectively.

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9m children begging on streets of the North – Professor Ahmed Okene | suleja sky

(After ruling Nigeria for 4 DECADES???)

A recent research has revealed that 70 percent of the nine million almajiris who engage in street begging across Nigeria are from north west geo-political zone,

The Dean of Post Graduate School, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, Professor Ahmed Adam Okene, who disclosed this during a workshop on street begging yesterday in Minna, also noted that 30 percent of children in Northern Nigeria were out of school and engaged in street begging.

The state government had organised the workshop to seek solutions to the problem of street begging in the state.

Professor Okene, who was a chairman of the event, further said that the only way to reverse this appalling statistic was through robust collaboration among governors in the region to check the abuse of the almajiri system in particular and street begging in general.

The dean lamented that the situation had made the region vulnerable to security breaches, like the one facing the nation at present, and noted that it could be better if efforts were made to integrate Islamic and western education.

He explained that Malaysia and Thailand had walked the path of the north in the past, but were able to overcome the situation with diligence and political will.

According to him, ‘applicable education’ would solve the problems of the country was facing, while the country needed reformation in all facets of its life to achieve the desired development.

An Islamic scholar and the Head of the Department of Languages, NDA, Dr Ibrahim Husam Imam, contended in his own submission that the problems of street begging could not be resolved without the involvement of Qur’anic teachers, who, he said, needed assistance from government and non-governmental organisations to keep their pupils off the streets.

The Niger State attorney-general and commissioner for justice, Alhaji Abdullahi Bawa Wuse, on his part disclosed that there were more than nine million almajiris in northern Nigeria. – NaijaPundit

Now It is a shame that these same helpless kids whose elders left them astray to feed on craps and crumbs are clamouring for power to return to the NORTH. For what? To expand the range of more beggarly youth who should be more useful to the society than being used as WILLING TOOLS FOR LYNCHING?

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Gunmen kidnap Bayelsa Speaker’s mother | Suleja sky news

Gunmen on Monday kidnapped the mother of the Speaker of Bayelsa House of Assembly, Betinah Benson, at her residence in Korokosei, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.
The 70-year old woman was abducted at 12.30 a.m.
A statement by the Media Assistant to the Speaker, Piriye Kiyaramo, said the gunmen stormed the residence of the woman and forcefully took her away to an unknown destination.
“Information reaching the Office of the Speaker indicates that the gunmen, who came in two speed boats, shot sporadically into the air to scare away people before going away with their victim,” Mr. Kiyaramo said.
He said the incident has been reported to the police.
When contacted, the Bayelsa State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, Fidelis Odunna, confirmed the report, saying that the command had launched a manhunt for the kidnappers.
“It is confirmed that the speaker’s mother has been kidnapped.
“We learnt of the kidnapping early this morning, but we have swung into action to see what we can do to free her,” Mr. Odunna said.
He assured the public of the command’s determination to rescue the victim.
Mr. Odunna said the command had since dispatched a team of crack detectives to track down the criminals.
The victim’s son, Konbowei Benson, is the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly. He is currently enmeshed in a corruption scandal as the police seek his prosecution for fraudulently obtaining millions of Naira from the Bayelsa government for a seminar he did not attend.
Kidnapping has been on the increase in several states across Nigeria. The victims have been diverse and include political office holders, their families, as well as businessmen and women.
Many of the victim’s families pay ransom to free the captives based on the lack of confidence people have in Nigerian security agencies

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*F*U*N*N*Y!!! Obasanjo Acolytes Plan Two-Day Birthday Celebration | suleja sky

Acolytes of former Nigeria President, Olusegun Obasanjo, plan a two-day long birthday celebration for him despite not knowing his real date of birth.
,The group will hold a series of events on January 18 and 19, at his presidential library in Abeokuta in Ogun State.

As part of the event, former Ghana president John Kuffour will deliver a public lecture entitled, “Obasanjo in the eyes of history.” the former president is also working hard to launch another international foundation to rival that of former US president Bill Clinton to revamp his badly battered international repution after he failed in a bid to stand for third term in office in 2006.
President Goodluck Jonathan is recorded on the invitation card as the “guest of honor” in an event that is being viewed as a political gathering of Obasanjo loyalists, but sources close to Obasanjo said Jonathan has not responded to the invitation.  Vice President Namadi Sambo has indicated he will attend.  
Bankrolling the event include some state governors, such as Delta State governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Akwa Ibom governor, Godswill Akpabio, Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido, and several others.
The former Nigerian leader had recently engaged in public spat against Mr. Jonathan over his plans to run for office again, publicly criticizing him for poor governance and incompetence.
The celebrations also come at a time Obasanjo’s reputation has taken considerable hammering.  Following Ghana’s recent presidential election, he was roundly criticized and disowned by the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS), for which he had served as head of an election observer mission, for his anti-democracy activities.

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PATIENCE JONATHAN FOR TREATMENT Nigerian First Lady Heading To Spain For Treatment | Suleja sky

Nigerian First Lady, Patience Jonathan, is scheduled to visit hospitals in Germany and Spain in a few days, according to medical sources in Abuja.
Mrs. Jonathan, who returned to Nigeria last year after a prolonged stay at a German hospital, is officially headed for Spain but our source said she is scheduled for medical treatment in Germany to ready her fit enough so that she can attend an African First ladies event  scheduled for Addis Ababa later in the month.
Since her tumultuous return from her extended trip abroad last year, Mrs. Jonathan has remained largely marooned inside the Presidential villa only attending few public events and church services in Abuja.  Although SaharaReporters fully reported on her medical excursion in Germany throughout her absence from Nigeria, she claimed not to have been in a hospital.
Our source said the First Lady has been struggling with a variety of ailments that have refused to go away, some of them being complications relating to the surgery she embarked upon during her medical trip abroad.
Concerning Mrs. Jonathan’s trip to Spain, it is known that she had previously attended “health farms” in the Malaga area of the European country.  It is there that a former Nigeria First Lady, Stella Obasanjo, tragically lost her life in a cosmetic surgery operation in 2005.

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ABEG MAKE UNA SETTLE OUT OF COURT Presidency Begs Buhari| Suleja Sky

The presidency has convinced former head of state General Muhammadu Buhari to settle out of court the libel suit he had initiated against the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Dr Reuben Abati.

Abati had on page 51 of the April 22, 2011, edition of The Guardian newspaper, written an opinion article entitled “For the attention of General Buhari”. In it, he claimed that Buhari made an inciting statement which led to the post-election violence that rocked some parts of the north.
The former presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), however, regarded the publication as defamatory, intended to lower his integrity and to bring him into public ridicule. Buhari consequently dragged Abati and The Guardian to court via suit no. ID/837/2011 and demanded N1billion damages from them.

But in a copy of the Terms of Settlement exclusively obtained by LEADERSHIP SUNDAY and filed before a Lagos High Court in Ikeja, the parties have agreed to settle the matter out of court.

In the terms of settlement dated December 2012 and filed before the administrative judge of Lagos State, Justice Opeyemi Oke, the claimant (Buhari), Mr. Tope Adebayo ( lawyer to Buhari), Abati and Mr. Kunle Sanyaolu (lawyer to The Guardian) signed the terms of settlement. But the lawyer to the first defendant (Abati), Dame Carol Ajie, declined to sign the document.

The document quoted the claimant and defendants as having explored the option of amicable settlement of the suit and agreed that, by virtue of the execution of the terms of settlement, all issues relating to the suit should be determined.

The parties further agreed that Abati and The Guardian should retract and apologise to Buhari in certain form and contents.

The terms of settlement reads in part: “The claimant (Buhari) and defendants (Abati and The Guardian) have agreed that the defendants should publish a retraction and an apology to the claimant on the Opinion Page of the newspaper, to be printed in reverse line black (RLB) within seven days of entering the Consent Terms as the judgment of the court in two editions of The Guardian.

“The claimant and defendants have agreed and resolved that the retraction and apology shall take the following form and contents: ‘Re: For the attention of General Buhari’- On April 22, 2011, The Guardian Newspaper published an article on Page 51 titled ‘For the attention of General Buhari’ where certain allegations were made against General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), GCFR, concerning the 2011 election and General Buhari’s alleged role in the violence emanating from the elections.

“The publication was based on information which we believed to be reliable at that time. Since the publication, however, we now have reason to believe that certain parts of the story were not verified to be correct before the publication.

“We assure General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), GCFR, of our highest esteem and regret any distress or embarrassment which the said publication may have caused him.

“The claimant and defendants agree that on the execution of these Terms of Settlement, the defendants are discharged from all or any liabilities or obligations arising from the said publication.”

Abati had stirred the hornet’s nest in the said column when he wrote that Buhari made an inciting statement after the 2011 presidential poll thus: “You should never leave polling centres until polls are counted and the winner declared and you should lynch anybody that tries to tinker with the votes.”

Phones And Planes, The Nigerian Government Goes Shopping Again By Japheth J Omojuwa| Suleja Sky

If you are ever in doubt with the notion that big governments fail big time, the current Nigerian government will shove that doubt down your mind. If there ever was a bad advert for government, the Nigerian government would serve as the poster brand. Over the past few months the largesse of public funds have found their way into private pockets and enterprises like stockbrokers, airlines, banks, textile companies even as farmers will likely get their own token – if the phones reach them – as government looks to share phones worth about N60 billion – pre denial – or at least 10 million phones amongst as many of them. One expects that with the popularity of ghost workers in Nigeria’s public companies, ghost farmers are certain to fill up a lot of that space. While all of these attempts at “saving the economy” always have attempts at logic in defense of them, they often fall flat in the face of common sense, rational economic decision making and at least when put against the test of scale of preference and government’s history of pumping money into private interests.
84 stockbrokers enjoyed N22.6 billion pre-Christmas cheque from the government last year. This was touted as a forbearance of margin loans but was in effect an incentive to take risks that the public will always come to bear. The same companies were only a part of companies that had refinanced their debts by, in some cases selling off their assets. The 84 companies bailed out are not likely to be seen as the moral hazards they truly are, in a country where government officials and their cronies are bailed out on everything from organizing weekend parties to flying all over the world to treat headaches, fix tummies and the other nameless diseases. The message here is clear enough; no matter how irresponsible your firm has been, the government will give you a clean state. In Nigeria today, it is essentially more profitable to be irresponsible than to do things right.
The aviation sector survives almost entirely on government’s subsidies.  The government had released N300 billion (just about $2 billion) to according to its own words “save the aviation industry.” Of course years after, the industry remains unsafe and unsaved. One of the beneficiaries of the fund, Air Nigeria who got N35.5 billion has since been disbanded. The owner of the company Bar. Jimoh Ibrahim was accused of using the money to purchase banks in Sao Tome and Principe – where he doubles as some sort of envoy to Nigeria – and other properties in UAE’s Dubai. Hard to doubt these allegations, because just before the airline finally died on the weight of mismanagement it did not even have enough money to fuel a Lagos bound flight from London. Passengers were appealed to fuel the plane despite having paid the full cost of the flight. Absurd yes but absurdity has become normalcy in our climes.
As if obsessed with failure, the government has new plans to buy 30 aircrafts as part of its “plans to boost the operations of the aviation industry.” How many Nigerians can afford air travel let alone do that regularly? It costs some $500 at times to fly to and from Lagos to Abuja. The industry is the reserve of the rich yet government “is leaving no stone unturned” to ensure privileged Nigerians enjoy smooth and safe flights. The Textile Industry enjoyed a N100 billion bailout but it remains in jail. The monies as usual have not been accounted for and no one is asking questions because the government keeps throwing new distractions anyway. The latest in this distraction ballad is the N60 billion phones for farmers.
After the Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development came up with what she probably thought was a Thomas Edison-esque idea, Nigerians spared no words in their condemnation of government’s continued effort at always getting the simplest things wrong. In a face saving attempt, the Minister of the said ministry Dr. Adesina said his PS was quoted out of context. According to him, “N60 billion to buy phones for farmers is a lie” but 10 million phones for farmers is true. Of course, at the end of his statement – which can be found here http://shar.es/4fp1d one is left wondering what the minister had said differently from his PS. It sounded like the same song by different musicians. One only sang it for longer. Is the government trying to procure 10 million phones for farmers? Are we saying that in a country with 110 million phones, farmers do not have phones of their own? Are we saying that were Nigerian farmers to release a document containing their scale of preference, phones will be number one? With some 60 per cent post-production waste, inadequate irrigation, bad road, not to talk of inhibiting export policies, farmers would rather the government thinks with its head and not its stomach. If government must spend, it should at least spend with priorities in mind. Farmers already spend a lot of money on middlemen to access government support, it would not hurt them to spend one final one to acquire phones for themselves if truly it would help cut out these middle men.
Nigeria’s fuel subsidies often peak during election years. Bailouts are also rampant in the run up to elections. Many claim these monies are a reflection of efforts to build election war chests. This has not been proven but what has been proven is that the Nigerian government remains clueless at getting the right things right. Like the money released for national security year after year with the nation grappling with kidnappers, armed robbers and terrorists, funds released for food security have only left Nigeria with 112 million poor people, 70 million jobless people and fat politicians with fat foreign accounts. One of them – Governor of the least populous state – had 48 posh properties in FCT Abuja seized from him recently. He was Governor for only four years. That’s 1 house for every month he spent in office and those are the identified houses for Abuja lone! Incredible! The mathematics is pretty simple, the bigger money available to Nigerian public office holders to spend, the bigger money they spend on themselves, friends, cronies and relatives. This has been proven over and again. As the government goes shopping again, one only wonders who the beneficiaries are this time; agricultural farmers or political farmers?

EFCC Takes Possession Of Ex-Gov Sylva’s Properties| Suleja Sky

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, January 3, 2013 took possession of 48 properties of the former governor of Bayelsa state, Mr. Timpre Sylva who is being prosecuted at a Federal High Court in Abuja for alleged misappropriation of N6.46 billion state funds when he was governor of the state.
The interim forfeiture order to attach Sylva’s properties was granted by Justice A. R Mohammed on December 28, 2012.
Assets belonging to the former governor against which a forfeiture order was obtained by the EFCC include a mansion at 3 River Niger Street, plot 3192 Cadastral zone AO, Maitama District Abuja; nine units (comprising six one bedroom and 3 two bedroom apartments) at 8 Sefadu Street Wuse zone 2, plot 262 Cadastral zone AO2, Wuse Abuja; 2 units duplexes at 5 Oguta Street, plot 906 Cadastral zone Wuse 11 Abuja.
Others are a duplex at Plot 1271 Nike Street Cadastral zone AO5, Maitama District Abuja;   a duplex at Phase 1 Unit No. 1 (Villa 1) Palm Springs Gold Estate, Cachez Turkey Projects Limited, Mpape, Abuja;  10 units of one room apartments at 8 Mistrata Street plot 232 Cadastral zone Wuse 11 Abuja;  5 units duplexes at Plot No 1070 Dakibiyu District Cadastral zone B10, Abuja; 16 units service apartments at Plot 1181 Thaba Tseka Crescent, Off IBB Way, Wuse 11, Abuja and  3 units of three bedroom flats at No. 1 Mubi Close, Plot 766. Cadastral Zone A01, Garki, Abuja.
Sylva was first arraigned on Tuesday June 5, 2012. The first three of the six count charge against him reads: “ That you, Timpre Sylva, as Governor  of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, sometime between October, 2009 and February, 2010, at various places in Nigeria, including Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court did conspire to commit a crime to wit: conversion of properties and resources amounting toN2,000,000,000.00 (Two Billion Naira) belonging to Bayelsa State Government and derived from an illegal act, with the aim of concealing the illicit origin of the said amount and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act), 2004 and punishable under Section 14(1) of the same Act.
“That you, Timpre Sylva, as Governor of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, on or about the 22nd of January, 2010, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, converted the sum of N380,000,000.00 (Three Hundred and Eighty Million Naira), property of the Bayelsa State Government, through the account of one Habibu Sani Maigidia, a Bureau De Change Operator with Account No. 221433478108, in Fin Bank, Plc, which sum you knew represented the proceeds of an illegal act with the aim of concealing the nature of the proceeds of the said illegal act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act) 2004 and also punishable under section 14(1) of the same Act.
“That you, Timpre Sylva, as Governor  of Bayelsa State, with others now at large, on or about the 5th of February, 2010, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, converted the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira), property of the Bayelsa State Government, through the account of one Enson Benmer Limited with Account No. 6152030001946, in First Bank, Plc, which sum you knew represented the proceeds of an illegal act with the aim of concealing the nature of the proceeds of the said illegal act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act) 2004 and also punishable under section 14(1) of the same Act.”
The substantive suit is adjourned to 10th January, 2013.

The Jonathan-metricks of Fuel Subsidy Scam – Ogunyemi Bukola | Suleja Sky

One of the factors that encouraged my failed attempt at studying Medicine at the University is my passionate dislike for mathematics. I literarily can’t stand numbers and the magic that comes with mathematical procedures. But President Goodluck Jonathan in his infinite capacity for the miraculous sent me back to school for extra classes in Basic Arithmetic on Tuesday 11th December when I read a report that the President had made a request to the National Assembly for a Supplementary amount of N161 billion as fuel subsidy payment for the remaining three weeks in this year as, according to him, the original N881 billion budgeted for that purpose for the whole of the year had been exhausted.

Now, there is no reason to suspect our dear President of falsehood, but the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had on October 21 said the N888 billion allocated for subsidy payments in the 2012 budget should be enough to pay petroleum product importers and that government might not need supplementary appropriation for subsidy payments in 2012. So I thought maybe Mr. President had been misled, yet again, by his retinue of ineffective, over-paid aides into submitting a supplementary budget request for the wrong purpose, or maybe there was a typographic error on the request paper and Mr. Jonathan meant to ask for N16.1 billion, or N1.61 billion. Anyway, I brought out my calculator to crunch some numbers to see where lays the error.

Just so you know how big N161 billion is, at least in budgetary terms, consider how it compares to some selected allocations in the 2013 Budget Proposal presented by President Goodluck Jonathan to the National Assembly some weeks back:

The N161 billion for 3 weeks fuel subsidy is: almost twice the total allocation for Agriculture in 2013 (N81 billion times 2 = N162 billion); more than twice the total allocation for Power in 2013 (N74 billion times 2 = N148 billion); more than thrice the total allocation for Water Resources in 2013 (N47 billion times 3 = N141 billion); more than twice the capital allocation for Education in 2013 (N60 billion times 2 = N120 billion); almost thrice the capital allocation for Health in 2013 (N55 billion times 3 = N165 billion); more than the capital allocation for Works in 2013 (N151 billion); more than twice the total allocation for Niger Delta in 2013 (N63 billion times 2 = N126 billion).

The N161 billion for 3 weeks fuel subsidy is more than twice the Statutory Transfer for Universal Basic Education in 2013 (N72 billion times 2 = 144 billion); more than twice the Statutory Transfer for Niger-Delta Development Commission in 2013 (N57 billion times 2 = N114 billion), more than the Statutory Transfer for the National Assembly in 2013 (N150 billion). Indeed, the N161 billion for 3 weeks fuel subsidy is more than the sum total of the 2013 total allocation for Science and Technology (N31 billion), Mines and Steel (N13 billion), Environment (N21 billion), Lands and Housing (N24 billion); Aviation (N53 billion) (sum total = N141 billion).

 

Now that we know just how big the additional N161 billion Mr. President is asking for is, please follow me diligently as we go through the arithmetic of year 2012 fuel subsidy payments. Please note that some of the figures used here are approximates.

 

First let’s go through the basics:

There are 52 weeks in year 2012, out of which we have spent 49 weeks, with 3 weeks left.

So far, we have spent N881 billion on fuel subsidy for 49 weeks, which translates into about N18 billion per week, N2.6 billion per day, N107 million per hour, N1.8 million per minute.

According to Mr. President, we need an additional N161 billion to pay for fuel subsidy for the remaining 3 weeks in the year, which translates into about N53.7 billion per week, N7.7 billion per day, N319 million per hour, N5.3 million per minute.

 

How much is fuel subsidy?

On January 1st 2012 when the government of Goodluck Jonathan decided to completely remove subsidy on fuel, one litre of PMS sold for N141. After the OccupyNigeria nationwide protests and help from Labour Unions, government agreed to a partial subsidy regime, with PMS to sell for N97 per litre. This means that actual subsidy on one litre of PMS is N44 (N141 minus N97).

 

How much fuel can we subsidize with N881 billion?

How many litres of fuel can we subsidize with N881 billion at the rate of N44 subsidy per litre?

N881 billion divided by N44 = 20 billion litres.
So the federal government has used N881 billion to, benevolently, subsidize 20 billion litres of fuel between January and now, which puts consumption at 20 billion litres in 49 weeks, 408 million litres per week, N58 million litres per day, 2.5 million litres per hour.

 

How much fuel can we subsidize with N161 billion?

So how many litres of fuel can we subsidize with N161 billion at the rate of N44 subsidy per litre?

N161 billion divided by N44 = 3.7 billion litres.

So the federal government is going to use N161 billion to, benevolently, subsidize 3.7 billion litres of fuel between now and the end of the year, which puts projected consumption at 3.7 billion litres in 3 weeks, 1.2 billion litres per week, 174 million litres per day, 7.3 million litres per hour.

So government estimates that Nigerians are going to consume three times more fuel in the next three weeks than they did at any point during the past 49 weeks.

 

How much is fuel subsidy for the entire year?

If the National Assembly approves the N161 billion Fuel Subsidy Supplementary Budget request as made by Goodluck Jonathan, total amount spent on fuel subsidy in year 2012 would be:

Amount spent on fuel subsidy for 49 weeks (N881 billion) plus Amount to be spent on fuel subsidy for 3 weeks (N161 billion) = N1.042 trillion

N1.042 trillion spent on fuel subsidy in 52 weeks translates into about N20 billion per week, N2.85 billion per day, N119 million per hour, N2 million per minute.

 

How much fuel can we subsidize with N1.042 trillion?

So how many litres of fuel can we subsidize with N1.042 trillion at the rate of N44 subsidy per litre?

N1.042 trillion divided by N44 = 23.7 billion litres.

So the federal government is going to use N1.042 trillion to, benevolently, subsidize 23.7 billion litres of fuel for the whole of year 2012, which puts consumption at 23.7 billion litres in 52 weeks, 455 million litres per week, 65 million litres per day, 2.7 million litres per hour.

 

How much fuel do Nigerians actually consume per day?

The answer to this question depends on the source you consult. According to Mr. Enoch Kenawa, the Secretary of the Oil Marketers Association, it is 35 million litres per day; according to Mr. Reginald Stanley, the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Nigeria imports 59 million litres of fuel per day, but Nigerians only consume 35 million litres, while the remaining 24 million litres are unaccounted for; while the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation puts national daily consumption figures between 30 and 33 million litres.

So we can safely assume Nigerians consume 35 million litres of fuel per day, which translates into about 245 million litres per week and about 13 billion litres for the entire year.

 

Subsidy figures based on national daily consumption:

If Nigerians consume 35 million litres of fuel per day, and government pays a subsidy of N44 on each litre:

Subsidy payment per day: 35 million litres times N44 = N1.54 billion per day

Subsidy payment per week: 35 million litres times N44 times 7 = N10.8 billion

Subsidy payment for 3 weeks: 35 million litres times N44 times 7 times 3 = N32.3 billion

Subsidy payment for 49 weeks: 35 million litres times N44 times 7 times 49 = N528 billion

Subsidy payment for a year: 35 million litres times N44 times times 365 = N562 billion

* Please note that the combined daily fuel productions of Nigeria’s four refineries, which are not subsidized, were ignored in this calculation to avoid complications.

* Also note that fuel was not subsidized for the first 3 weeks of year 2012.

 

Summary:

The federal government claims to have spent N881 on fuel subsidy for the past 49 weeks when in fact that actual amount should be N528 billion

The federal government proposes to spend N161 billion on fuel subsidy for the next 3 weeks when the actual amount should be N32.3 billion

If request for supplementary fund is granted, the federal government would spend a total of N1.042 trillion on fuel subsidy in year 2012 when the actual amount should be just about half of that (N562 billion).
The difference between government’s claims and actual amount is: N480 billion. Haven taken you through the rigours of how big, in budgetary terms, N161 billion is, I won’t take you through that stress for N480 billion. But do note that N480 billion is almost 3 times N161 billion.

Every single day in year 2012, for all of the 365 days in the year, including public holidays, and Sabbaath days which God asked us to keep holy, Goodluck Jonathan is short-changing Nigerians to the tune of N1.3 billion. N1.3 billion disappears from the coffers of the nation, goes into the pockets of the croonies of the criminals in power, and someone somewhere writes on that monumnetal fraud: Fuel Subsidy!

Every single hour in year 2012, N55 million disappears under the government of Goodluck Jonathan. Mr. President has installed an Automated Looting Machine into the cashware of the nation’s finances., he called it Fuel Subsidy. The machine dispenses N55 million every hour, almost N1 million per minute, round the clock. And that machine is about to get really busy in the next three weeks, if the National Assembly rubberstamps that N161 billion request.

Mr. President has declared an end of the year bonanza for his friends, it would cost the nation N161 billion.

 

Closing:

In closing, I bring you the words of Mr. Enoch Kenawa, the Secretary of the Oil Marketers Association via the Punch, he said: “We have said it continuously in the past that the N888bn fuel subsidy budget for 2012 was inadequate but the finance minister has been proving stubborn and deceiving Nigerians that the amount would be enough. We have been in this business for a long time and we know what the trends are. I am happy that our position has been justified. We are calling on the National Assembly to quickly pass request of the President so that supply of products can increase. Once the money is approved, Nigerians are assured of a good holiday period to ensure adequate supply of fuel during Christmas.”

There, brethren, is the handwriting on the wall, in bold letters for all to see.

 

Key Actors:

Oil Marketers: The bride of a looting regime; wants business to continue as usual.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: after the resurrection of her conscience, refused to release funds for the yuletide looting bonanza.

Diezani Alison-Madueke: Daddy’s girl, angry with her born again sister, reports her to big daddy.

Goodluck Jonathan: promised to create wealth, presents an end of the year, chop make I chop proposal to the National Assembly.

National Assembly: asking “what’s in this for us?”

Nigerians: Cheated, deceived, robbed and raped, suffering diligently, smiling cheerfully.

“2015: OBJ seeks accords against GEJ | Suleja Sky

IT WAS a very different Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who was in Ibadan to meet with a frontline politician in the capital city of Oyo State recently.

Unlike his usually boisterous, self confident mien, former President Obasanjo appeared humble, perhaps for the first time, in his life.

During the Ibadan visit, last, the Owu Chief appeared to have a very good reason to be worried as it was obvious that he is, perhaps, faced with a formidable fight that could be as immense as the horrifying experience he had in prison during the reign of General Sani Abacha.

In Ibadan, he made his equally worried friend, a leader of an opposition party and former governor of Oyo State who received him along with political associates, to know that things were really being made to turn bad for him at the moment and blamed President Goodluck Jonathan whom he called unprintable names for his woes.

He hinted that the president, whom he committed everything to help into power, has bitten the fingers that fed him.

A source in the gathering quoted the former president as saying saying: “Jonathan… has betrayed me.”

According to the former president, it was unthinkable that the president could turn against him after all he had done for him, bringing him practically from obscurity to limelight to become the president. He was said to have vowed to do everything in his power to ensure his discomfort does not continue in 2015.

At that stage, the political leaders moved to the inner recesses of the house for a strategy session which, obviously have to do with how to engage the impending battle.
Sources from the meeting said the former president was not leaving anything to chance in the struggle to engage Jonathan squarely, in the 2015 race.

According to the sources, in his calculations, the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) would likely, field Jonathan as its candidate for the 2015 Presidential election, in spite of any opposition within the party.

The President, Obasanjo was cited to have said, has pocketed the national executive members of the party. Hence, they will do his bidding any day.

Consequently, the only option left to stop Jonathan is for politicians of like minds in PDP as well as the opposition to come under one umbrella to stop him.

It was learnt that a major plank of Obasanjo and his associates disagreement with the President, which will also form the thrust of their campaign against his candidacy in 2015, is an alleged non-performance of the Jonathan administration, especially, in the area of security, in spite of the immense amount of resources available to it. Besides, the former President is reportedly, miffed that the President does not consult him on crucial issues neither does he listen to his advice when offered.

What is said to have pained the former Obasanjo most is the attempt by the Jonathan administration to discredit most of his administration’s programmes some of which had been discontinued while the impression is also being created that he was responsible for the woes of the country.

The retired army General was said to be particularly, unhappy with the loans Jonathan’s administration was taking, only half a decade after he (Obasanjo) had cleared the nation’s huge debt and received debt forgiveness from creditor countries. He was also said to have complained of the growing spate of insecurity in the land especially with the macabre rave of Boko Haram attacks in up country.

All these blames he was said to have laid squarely on Jonathan’s shoulders whom he described as somewhat weak and undecisive.

He was said to have lamented the dire situation which the PDP in the South West found itself, currently, stressing that it was a ploy by the President to ensure that the party in the zone which championed his emergence in 2010 is kept perpetually in disarray to prevent it from providing a credible opposition to his re-election bid within the fold.

The former president was particularly piqued that despite the fact that it was the South West that was instrumental to his rise into power since 2010, the zone had nothing to show for bracing all odds to ensure his success.

According to the former president, the zone is nowhere to be found in the current political calculations of the country. Hence in places where decisions that affect the existence of the nation are taken, the highest decision levels at the executive, legislative and judiciary arms of government, the South West is not represented. He added that the same thing obtains at the top management level in the federal civil service and even in the military top brass where they have become the underdog.

This development, he noted, is further worsened by the fact that in the entire South West, there is no high-ranking political figure in office that could serve as rallying point for it’s PDP chieftains to counter the antics of the opposition in the zone.

As a result, he said the zone was left at the mercy of the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria, (ACN) which has been given free reign to roam the zone such that it had the temerity to be broaching the idea of a regional exclusion in the zone.

He specifically, blamed President Jonathan for this development, as he allowed the North to hijack the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives which, according to Obasanjo, was allocated to the South West zone.

The former President reasoned that if Jonathan was keen on retaining the equation, he could have stopped them in order not to allow the South West to be relegated to the background in the national political equation.

He therefore deemed it a game by Jonathan to keep the zone down so that he can use it for his own advantage.

Consequently, Obasanjo is said to be forging an alliance with the north, preying on that zone’s disdain and disenchantment with the Jonathan administration. Sources said the former president has been criss-crossing the country, especially, parts of the north, holding consultations with leaders across board on the way forward.

He is said to be touting the idea that the Presidency should go to the north in 2015, while already shopping for a credible candidate of northern root that would confront Jonathan.
If he succeeds and the North backs his initiative, this will be one of the rare times in Nigeria’s post-independence history that the two regions will broker a political alliance.

It is yet to be seen how far the former president can go given the fact that most of the people he has been holding consultations with tend to be cautious about jumping into his wagon, considering especially, the way he dealt with the north during his eight years in power.

Indeed, many of the northern elders tend to read the current situation as some kind of nemesis that is catching up with the former President whom they believed betrayed them in 1999 after they had helped him into power in spite of spirited opposition from his people in the South West and the South East who did not want him as president or had better candidates to push.

Some of them even queried his credentials to condemn Jonathan for non-performance and his hints of corruption in the current administration, insisting that he was not better when he was in power.

Perhaps more damning for the ex-president is that some of the people he had contacted within the PDP and had reportedly, touted for replace Jonathan as President in 2015, have come out to turn the idea down. One of such persons, the governor of Rivers State, yesterday disclosed that the story being spread that he is going to run in 2015 as a vice presidential candidate is not true as he habours no such ambition. Similarly, others have said in several fora that they had no agreement with him.

The Nigerian Compass learnt that some of them, mostly serving governors, were said to have towed the path of the Rivers governor, in order not to incur the wrath of President Jonathan, who may appear lame but is capable of acting decisively, when matters get to a head.

Those who flee from being counted were said to have cited the cases of former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, who is now languishing in jail in London on corruption charges as well as former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, who was denied the PDP ticket for a second term in office over irreconcilable differences with the President.

President Jonathan may also have scored a bulls-eye against Obasanjo during his last media chat when he nailed the former president in a succint refrence to the oddities of the invasion of Odi, Bayelsa State by the military during the administration of the former president, saying only women, children and old people were killed instead of the militants who were the targets.

The reference to Odi, many analyst note, is a veiled but unmistakeable threat that the ex-president may be dragged before the world court of justice for war crimes if he does not allow Jonathan a peaceful reign.

The coming weeks will definitely witness more of the battles ahead. Whether the former president still has the guts and courage to continue to confront Jonathan after this is yet to be seen.” – Nigerian Compass

Suleja Bombing: Suspects Meant To Produce 200 Explosives – Witness | Suleja Sky

An Army Officer told the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday that the bomb components seized from four suspects of the Suleja bombing could produce 200 explosives.

The officer,a prosecution witness, whose name was not given for security reasons, revealed this when crossed examined in the case filed by the State Security Service against the six accused Suleja/Madalla bomb attack.

He had on Dec. 5 in his evidence-in-chief testified that Salisu Ahmed, Umar Babagana-Umar, Mohammed Ali and Musa Adam were arrested on July 28, 2011 at Gumel Junction, Kachia in Kaduna with the items.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Umar Ibrahim and Shuaibu Abubakar, were also standing trial for alleged multiple bombings and killings in Suleja and Madalla both in Niger.

When asked how he concluded that the items were components for making explosives, the officer explained that the materials were subjected to expert scrutiny.

He further said that “as an army officer exposed to proper training I could tell from my experience and exposure on warfare that the items are for IED’’.

Countering, Mr Emeka Okoro, Counsel to the accused persons’ claimed that the items were not complete explosives at the point of his clients’ arrest, the witness said “I guess it was deliberate to transport them like that in order to beat security and to guide against untimely explosion before reaching targets’’.

The officer further countered Okoro’s submission that the suspects were quarry workers who used similar explosives to blast rocks, as according to him, “the mission of the suspects was to cause mayhem’’.

He said that the other items seized from the suspects were indicative of the fact that they were out to cause destruction of human lives, adding that “they had departed from Madalla and Suleja and taken delivery of the consignment in Azara in Nasarawa State’’.

NAN recalls that the witness had during his evidence in chief, read two messages from the phones confiscated from the suspects containing secret code to arrange and detonate explosives.

The other message was a promise of 72 virgins to each of the suspects as incentives for carrying out the “deed’’.

Justice Bilkisu Aliyu adjourned the trial to Dec. 20 for continuation. (NAN)

Jonathan Cautions Aides Against Attacking Obasanjo| Suleja Sky

President Goodluck Jonathan has directed his aides to stop the media war against former President Olusegun Obasanjo with a warning that any aide that errs will lose his job.

The PUNCH learnt in Abuja that the presidential directive came on the heels of intervention by some unnamed chieftains of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party. The party lords were said to have asked the President to caution his aides.

A Presidency source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said some members of the party felt that the exchange of words between the President, his aides and the former President was not good for the image of the party.

The source said, “The party informed the President that the members of the opposition could capitalise on the disagreement to cause a major friction between the two leaders of the party.

“The President has directed his aides not to speak either directly or indirectly on anything that is injurious to the former President on any issue. This is because some leaders of the PDP have advised him not to take on the former President in a fight.

“Apart from the political implication of such, we also believe that it could heat up the polity and cause tension in both the party and the polity.

“Moreover, the party has seen that the opposition is already trying to make gains from the fight and that will not be a good thing either for the two leaders or our party.

“The President respects Obasanjo. He will not do anything that will widen the gap between them. I am sure that the disagreement will be settled.

“Besides, there are no plans by the President to witch-hunt Obasanjo with any probe.”

A member of the National Working Committee of the party, who spoke with selected journalists in Abuja on Sunday, said the party was worried about the increasing animosity between the two senior members of the party.

Obasanjo was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP until April this year when he resigned his appointment.

Obasanjo stirred a hornet’s nest recently when he gave an indication that Jonathan might be a weak leader because of the way he had been handling the security challenges facing the country.

The former President said he directed the security agencies to fish out the militants who killed some security men in Odi, Rivers State, during his tenure as President.

Jonathan however used the occasion of his Media Chat to respond to Obasanjo’s comment, saying the invasion of Odi during Obasanjo’s presidency did not solve the problem.

Rather, he said, innocent lives were lost as the security operatives did not succeed in killing the militants that were suspected to have killed the security men.

Breaking News: Explosion Rocks JTF Checkpoint in Kano, 3 dead | Suleja Sky

Information reaching Suleja Sky indicates that an explosion has rocked the city of Kano at a junction along the popular textile market in the commercial city this morning at 9am. The explosion struck the junction where the operatives of Joint Task Force [JTF] had set up a security checkpoint. The checkpoint is located near a Mosque.

The checkpoint was set up last week against the protest of the textile merchants.

The bomb explosion was said to not pack the gravitas of a major explosion. Unofficial statement by eyewitness account indicate that three people may have died as a result of the bombing.

The textile market comprises of predominantly northern traders.

Stay tuned.

The activities surrounding the renewed attempt by the office of the presidency in showcasing the good administrative efforts of the Goodluck Jonathan administration via the Good Governance Tour under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Information may have opened a Pandora’s Box that may spell doom for the continued stay of the Information Minister at the Information Ministry.

Information available to 247ureports.com obtained through a top sensitive source within the Presidency reveals the uncloaked perception of Mr. President towards some of the Federal Executive Cabinet members – particularly the Federal Minister of Information, Malam Labaran Maku. The source who is a national player in party politics of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] quotes the President as saying that Labaran Maku as the “most corrupt Federal Minister” following a brief ‘behind-closed-door’ discussion between the source and Mr. President recently.

From discussions with the President, the source understood that the President was livid over the ill performance of the Good Governance Tour – in terms of the limited waves/impact made in the print and electronic media. It was learnt that Mr. President was elated over the idea of a Good Governance Tour when it was initially proposed at the Federal Executive Council meeting by the Information Minister – partly because the Tour would enable uplift a fast dwindling political currency. Mr. President was also pleased the Tour was suggested by a former Information Minister, Jerry Gana.

Pleased with the prospects of having a Tour to showcase the developmental strides of the federal government – of which may result to a good ‘Public Relations’ job for the president, Mr. President immediately bought into the idea – and tapped his men to help make available the necessary logistics to facilitate the Tour. The Information Minister was given the go ahead – along with the authority to approach the various Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies for financial support – and a list of their various projects. The information Minister also approached each state governor for the same.

But with roughly over one month into the tour exercise, the initial elation felt by the President evaporated as the media headlines appear to have not carried the efforts in the manner he [presidency] thought was fitting. “The president was disappointed at the exercise”. Specifically, according to another source within the presidency, the president thought that with the monies raised for the Tour – that the Honorable Minister should have been able to ‘force’ the findings of the Tour into the Headlines of many Newspapers or Magazines. Rather, the Honorable Minister opted to focus primarily on federal government owed media houses for the dissemination of the Tour findings and developments. Of which our source indicates the President was grossly unimpressed.

On the part of the reporters – who had tagged along the entourage of the Tour – as official selected reporters to report on the findings along the Tour – the matter appears uneasy.

The reporters, according to the Tour details, were selected from a wide variety of media houses and embedded with the Tour. They were to receive a daily allowance of N100,000 from the Ministry of Information. Also, to augment their daily allowance, the reporters expected to receive monetized goodwill messages from the various State Governors following the completion of each State tour. But the reporters have yet to receive the monetized messages – of which 247ureports.com gathered were regularly given to aides to the Information Minister for onward transmission to the Minister. But the Information Minister hoards the money without distributing the monies to the Reporters. As a result, the Reporters remain unhappy.

But the Director of Press at the Ministry of Information, Mr. Dama disagrees. In a text message to 247ureports.com, he termed the allegation against the Information Minister false and untrue.

In his words, “There is no truth in these allegations. Mr. Labaran is prudent with the good governance tour expenditure and no reporter has been short changed as alleged. All reporters are being paid their duty tour allowances as and when due as we went on the tour. You can call any one of them on tour team and they will confirm that to you. Again the allegation that the presidency is unimpressed is equally not true. This is because Labaran briefed the Federal Executive Council on the tour two weeks ago and it was adjudged to be good. If the presidency has found any fault with the good governance tour it would have said so and even be reflected on their resolutions for last week that he briefed council but nothing of such was reflected. Please ignore all the lies being spread about the good governance tour. We are ready to open up our books for you to see please”.

Meanwhile, preliminary investigation carried out by our correspondent indicates the Information Ministry to be administered under a less prudent administrator. Our investigation showed the Information Minister as a familiar player in the art of funds misappropriation. Specifically, the 2011 budget for the Information Ministry earmarked N65.68million for upkeep of Utilities at the Main Ministry, it earmarked N261.6million for Maintenance, N69.1million for Other Services, and N5.4million for Repairs – totaling to a grand total of N401.9million for building maintenance and upkeep. However a visual inspection of the building facility [both external and internal] shows a disparity – a structured disparity

Obasanjo’s call for revolution | Suleja Sky

During a recent conference on youth employment in Dakar, Senegal, former President Olusegun Obasanjo shocked his audience by openly calling for a revolution in Nigeria.

Also, it will be recalled that the former President called Nigerians to come out en masse for a Nigerian type “Arab spring (revolution)” during a workshop on economic diversification­ and revenue generation in December 2011 at the June 12 Cultural Centre in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Obasanjo’s call was hinged on the prevailing high rate of youth unemployment, which he estimated to be about 72 per cent. If the audience in Dakar was shocked, then the residents of Warri in Delta State were utterly astonished when he commented on President Goodluck Jonathan’s handling of the crisis in the North.

Most Nigerians are unable to understand why and how a former President could incite the people to the path of revolution as a measure to check unemployment.

They become jittery when such comments come from a retired Army general of the calibre and stature of Obasanjo. His insistence on a revolution has become an unpalatable cliché that Nigerians must decipher.

Obasanjo’s statements are more unsettling because he has unrestrained access to Aso Rock to advise and even brief Jonathan on such issues relating to national security.

Also, he has the opportunity to meet Jonathan one-on-one during their monthly National Council of State meetings in Aso Rock. And so why does the former President rage and attempt to pull down what he has helped in building?

Like all human beings, the former President has his own shortcomings. The most prominent of these is his pay-back mentality for any request scorned or denied.

He believes so much in the myth that he is a superhero. As Nigeria’s patron saint, he believes that he is the best President this country ever had.

Today, Obasanjo’s call for a Nigerian type Arab Spring has revealed his short-sightedne­ss.

The Arab Spring or Arab Uprising started in Tunisia on December 18, 2010 when a Tunisian unemployed graduate Mohamed Bouazizi set himself ablaze to protest police corruption and brutality.

The ensuing protest spread throughout Tunisia with increased violence. The result was that the then Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced to flee to Saudi Arabia on January 14, 2011.

The protests spread through North Africa and the Gulf States engulfing Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria. Echoes of the Arab Spring resounded in Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Djibouti, et cetera.

Today the dregs of the Arab Spring are yet to settle. President Hosni Mubarak was forced to flee on February 11, 2011. And till date, Egypt does not have a stable government as Tahrir Square has become a symbol of the peoples’ solidarity.

Even with the democratic election of President Mohammed Morsy of the Moslem Brotherhood, Egypt is as unstable as an ancient blackboard standing on three legs, with the hind leg broken off.

Obasanjo’s call for a revolution because of youth unemployment is misplaced. People like him should not pray for a revolution, not even for their children because revolutions are cataclysmic, destructive and unpredictable. The no-nonsense former President needs some tutorial on revolutions.

In his recent role as the moderator for Bishop Ayo Oritsejafor’s 40th anniversary on the pulpit, he lambasted President Goodluck Jonathan’s weak response to the Boko Haram crisis.

Obasanjo flaunted his genocidal and criminal demolition of Odi in Bayelsa State, where unidentified militants killed 19 soldiers. Some day, he will appear at the War Crime Tribunal at the Hague to answer for heinous crimes against the residents of Odi.

The former President speaks of unemployment, but he has forgotten that he laid a solid foundation for this by wasting $16bn on electricity generation without any impact on Nigeria’s electricity generation and distribution.

At the time he handed over to the late Umaru Yar’Adua, Nigeria’s electricity megawatts was a paltry 2000 for a population of 140 million people while South Africa boasts 50,0000 megawatts for its 45million people.

Industries started folding up and relocating to Ghana during Obasanjo’s government with hundreds of thousands of workers thrown into the unemployment market. He built a personal library in Abeokuta worth N7bn and coerced Nigeria’s richest businessmen, some of who are his business partners, to bank-roll the project which he cunningly named the Presidential Library Project.

What more can we mention now? Is it the pauperisation of Nigerians due to the increase in the price of commodity items like rice, sugar, cement, flour and noodles, which were licensed to only one man to import, or the quarterly increase in the price of petroleum products?

God save Nigeria.

Taraba Governor Danbaba Suntai Brain-Damaged, Can’t Recognize Visitors |Suleja Sky

Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State, who was seriously injured when his plane crashed on October 25 in Yola, capital of Adamawa State, has suffered extensive brain damage and failed to recognize members of a presidential delegation that visited him at a hospital in Hanover, Germany, an authoritative source has told SaharaReporters.

A source close to a senior member of the delegation described the trip to see Mr. Suntai as highly secretive. SaharaReporters learnt that members of the delegation had officially traveled to Vatican City in Rome to witness the consecration of Archbishop John Onaiyekan as a Cardinal of the Catholic Church. After the ceremony in Italy, the delegation then made a quick detour to Germany to see the injured Mr. Suntai.

A trip put together by Gladys Modupeola Quist-Adebiyi, a staff of the Protocol Department at the Presidency was led by Senate President, David Mark, the delegation included Governor Ibrahim Yakowa of Kaduna State, President Goodluck Jonathan’s chief of staff, Mike Oghiadomhe, also on the delegation was John Kennedy Opara, the secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) and the Chaplain of the Presidential Villa Chapel, Venerable Obioma Onwuzurumba.

Our source said members of the delegation were shocked to see Mr. Suntai in a vegetative state. “His condition was so bad that they could not publicly disclose his condition after they returned to Nigeria,” said the source.

We gathered that Mr. Suntai suffered brain damage in the crash of the small plane he was piloting. The crash happened a short distance from the Yola airport. Initial reports from eyewitnesses said Mr. Suntai had died, but it later emerged that he had survived the crash, albeit with critical injuries. He was transferred to the National Hospital in Abuja before being airlifted to Germany after President Jonathan had visited him and given a rosy picture of his condition. Four state officials traveling with Mr. Suntai in the crashed plane were treated in hospitals in Adamawa and later transferred to Germany for treatment after a public outcry.

Since Mr. Suntai’s airlift to Germany, officials of the Taraba State government have engaged in propaganda, claiming that the governor was making remarkable recovery. But our sources, including an official of the state government, admitted that Mr. Suntai’s mental faculty had deteriorated since the accident and that his memory was virtually impaired.

“It is possible that he suffered brain damage because there was some delay before he could be taken abroad,” said a state official.

Contacted by SaharaReporters, a Taraba-born political activist who is based in Abuja said he had also heard about the visit to the ailing governor by Senate President Mark’s delegation. He wondered if Mr. Mark’s silence on Governor Suntai’s health status signaled a scheme by President Jonathan to delay the swearing in of the deputy governor as the substantive governor.

“We all know how President Umaru Yar’Adua’s people continued to deceive Nigerians that the man was recovering well and how they even brought him back in a comatose state and declared that he was in control of Nigeria,” said the activist. He added: “I hope President Jonathan and the PDP are not planning a similar scenario whereby they will declare that Governor Suntai is in control – until they find a malleable successor who suits them.”

The activist stated that the Presidency should state the truth about the injured governor’s condition to enable the people of Taraba to move ahead with a new administration. “The fact that the people of Taraba have not heard from or seen the governor since the air crash on October 25 2012 means that the man is no longer fit to govern them,” he said.

Boko Haram: 20 Arrested As Soldiers Raid Hideouts In Abuja | Suleja Sky

Barely four days after a deadly attack on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) office in Abuja, soldiers yesterday stormed suspected “cells” and hideouts of suspected members of Boko Haram in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Some of the suspected cells and shanties were burnt in Apo and Guzape districts.
Also, security agencies have arrested more than 20 suspected members of Boko Haram members in the last five days in and around Abuja, following intelligence alert.

Yesterday’s raid took about five hours with more than 100 cells and shanties buried in hills and valleys in the city destroyed by gun-wielding soldiers.
It was gathered that the combing of the cells is part of a new pre-emptive strategy adopted by the government.

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that FCT Minister Senator Bala Mohammed had on Tuesday and Thursday held “crucial” meetings with security chiefs in the area.
Soldiers were drafted to the marked cells in the hills and valleys following intelligence report.

Our correspondent was trapped in the heavy traffic snarl generated by the “emergency” combing of the cells.
Soldiers and some security officials in mufti declined to speak with our correspondent.
A soldier shouted at this reporter: “Leave this area now. This is a special operation.”
A source said: “We got intelligence report that some Boko Haram members and armed robbers have cells around this area and we decided to take pre-emptive steps. This particular area is notorious because of its hilly terrain but we will not relent until we clean the hills and valleys of criminal cells.
“We have burnt more than 100 cells, make-shift camps and shanties locked in the hills and valleys. Some of these cells were not faraway from SARS office.

“The armed raid will continue. If they could attack SARS, they can also storm any of the military and intelligence agencies in this area.

“You can see that armed soldiers were involved in the combing to underscore the importance attached to this action.”

It was gathered that security agencies have arrested more than 20 terror suspects in the last six days.
Those arrested are undergoing interrogation in some detention facilities.
Another source, who spoke in confidence, said: “We have made some useful arrests. At least more than 20 suspected members of Boko Haram are undergoing interrogation. So, we have foiled plans by some terror groups, including Boko Haram, to strike.
“As a matter of fact, we received report of plans to disrupt the just-concluded Abuja Carnival. We were able to do some surveillance and ensure that the carnival was hitch-free.

“What we have adopted now is to be proactive. If we know that they want to carry out an operation, we burst it. This method has been helpful.”

Major Al-Mustapha Revisited | Suleja Sky

Despite the seeming apathy attending the plight of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, the late General Sani Abacha’s Chief Security Officer, advocates of mercy should never give up the efforts in the struggle to get clemency for this young northern army officer. Why is this officer forgotten and abandoned to his fate? Is his situation not important enough to deserve the attention of Northern Senators’ Forum, Northern Governors’ Forum and the Arewa Consultative Forum?

We are all aware of the roles played by Niger Delta governors, lawmakers and other opinion leaders to get amnesty for former militants. Despite large-scale economic sabotage which weakened Nigeria’s oil production output and other criminal acts, including kidnappings for ransom, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua administration succumbed to pressure from the Niger Delta leaders and granted amnesty to the former militants.

No reasonable and right thinking northerner would have opposed the amnesty deal for Niger Delta former militants. Nigeria is now better off for the policy of amnesty and reconciliation. In fact, nobody focused on the past criminal activities of the militant because the greater good of Niger overshadowed the desire for petty vengeance, which only sows the seeds of bitterness among members of the society.

One has not as yet come across any arguments to prove that vengeance is better than clemency. Major Al-Mustapha having spent 14 years in detention, facing a trial within a trial, was finally convicted to death by hanging by a Lagos High Court on January 30th this year.

The death sentence was greeted with outrage by leading Nigerians, including former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode and the factional leader of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Dr. Frederick Fasheun. According to Fasheun, the inconsistencies in witnesses’ accounts and their recantations at different stages of the trial didn’t justify the verdict of death passed on Major Al-Mustapha. In fact, the medical doctor-cum-activist, bought advert spaces in the newspapers to express his disagreement with the harsh verdict.

The position of these two Yoruba leaders discredits the arguments that the Yoruba are vindictive by nature and, for the reason, they want Major Al-Mustapha dead at all costs. Let us not forget, however that the sentiments of mercy respect no ethnic boundaries. As a Yoruba man, I gain nothing from the death of any man, whether he is a northerner or easterner. Former President of South Africa, Dr. Nelson Mandela, spent 27 years in agonizing detention under the collapsed apartheid rule.   

However, when Mandela regained freedom in 1990 following the emergence of a reform-minded White President of South Africa, Mr. Frederick De Klerk, he pushed vengeance aside and put the future of a united and multi-racial South African society before any petty sentiments. He pursued national reconciliation instead of rounding up white rulers for trial and hanging.

Mandela’s exemplary statesmanship should be a lesson to countries and leaders that elevate vengeance above higher national interest. The problem of Nigeria is selfishness, especially when an issue doesn’t affect us or one of our own. A senior advocate of Nigeria, who was frequently opposed to freedom for Major Al-Mustapha, suddenly changed his tune when former Governor James Ibori of Delta State was convicted by a London court for corruption. This senior lawyer criticized the London judge for being too hard on Ibori. Curiously, he saw nothing wrong for Al-Mustapha spending 14 years in detention and being convicted to death on the grounds of contradictory witnesses’ evidence.

If Ibori deserved fairer deal from the Judge in London as argued by this senior advocate in Nigeria, why did he find it difficult to make the same humane case for Al-Mustapha? Is Al-Mustapha’s crime the worst in Nigeria that he should be excluded from the policy of amnesty and national reconciliation through forgiveness? In what way can discriminatory application of amnesty help the interest of Nigeria? If the amnesty for the former Niger Delta militants and pardon for leaders of the Oodua People’s Congress, who were once arraigned for mass murder, including the killing of 12 police officers, wasn’t bad for Nigeria, why would Al-Mustapha’s freedom harm Nigeria?

It is apparent that President Jonathan is under pressure from forces driven by petty and base motives not to free Al-Mustapha. President Jonathan should ignore these vindictive forces and act courageously like a statesman and release Al-Mustapha. Former British Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Blair, noted that one of the qualities of leadership is the ability to take difficult decisions. In this regard, therefore, President Jonathan should act boldly and pardon this young Army major. The callous indifference of northern leaders to the fate of Al-Mustapha is shocking and incredible. South-South, Southeast and Southwest leaders would not have treated the fate of their own people this way. Northern leaders should not abdicate their responsibility at a challenging moment like this. Their active voice is essential to tackling Al-Mustapha’s case.

Jaji Church Bombing: Why NSA, Army Chief must take the blame and resign | Suleja Sky

The embarrassing bomb explosion at the highest level of the military yesterday left many to wonder how did the suicide bombers managed to penetrate such a highly secured place at a time billions of naira is being spent on security in an effort to contain the Boko Haram insurgency. Yesterday’s attack on a military church in Jaji is coming barely 48 hours after the JTF in Borno promises to pay N50 million to anybody with useful information that will lead to the capture of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau and his other top commanders. The JTF’s indiscriminate arrest in Maiduguri did not stop the violent attacks that affect mostly the poor people leaving GRA areas highly secured in most instances.

The nagging questions are if the Boko Haram did not claim responsibility of the Jaji attack as has being their tradition to accept such responsibility whenever they do who then is who is behind the deadly attack that killed and injured many innocent people? Is there any conspiracy from the above as being insinuated by many that the government knows those that are behind some of the bombings and the killings like that of General Mamman Shuwa the sect disclaims responsibility? Who is actually benefitting from the war against the Boko Haram sect and are the beneficiaries willing to sacrifice the millions in security votes they get every day? It is the general believe that once suicide bombing and other related killings is contained their won’t be need for the massive security votes and the billions of naira to be spend on security in the 2013 budget. Is the National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki really committed to end the security challenges particularly in the north eastern part of Nigeria? Are the military authorities willing to sacrifice what they are allegedly benefitting from the multibillion naira security jamboree and pursue genuine peace and reconciliation with the sect? Who are those discouraging the president from going into dialogue with the sect and why? The victims of such insensitivity are mostly the ordinary people. The politicians, the authorities, the emirs and those in power with their families are protected from the killing machinery of the Boko Haram sect and other criminal elements that are killings and bombing in the name of the sect. Who is the sensitive and responsible leader that will save the masses and block all conduit pipes that are being used to siphon our money in the name of providing security? For how long will this injustice continue? If at the end the Boko Haram sect did not claim responsibility for the Jaji church attack as they did during the killing of Gen. Shuwa, the authorities under the office of the NSA must give Nigeria’s convincing explanation on who actually did what and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice. It amount to embarassing failure and indictment too on those incharge of the security of the nation to always alow acts of terrorism and killings to go free. If it were in countries like the United States the NSA and the Chief of Army Staff will have resigned by now for failure to apprehend those that killed a civil war veteran, Gen Shuwa and the circumstances he was killed (close to the JTF check point). If they cannot as well tell Nigeria’s who or which group masterminded the Jaji bombing with convincing evidences after investigation and arrest the sponsors, we strongly call on not only the president to resign but the NSA, Chief of Army Staff and the Director General of the SSS for woeful failure to protect innocent Nigeria’s despite the billions at their disposal. The time to act to serve the nation is now.

By PUNCH

Military authorities on Sunday barred rescue agency officials and journalists from entering the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, where twin bomb blasts killed and injured scores of worshippers in Jaji near Kaduna.

The rescue officials from the National Emergency Management Agency and the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency, on hearing of the blasts had raced to the college but were not allowed to enter by stern-looking soldiers .

Two car bombers had struck at the St. Andrew Military Protestant Church in the college which houses the officers and men of the Infantry Centre and School, the Nigerian Army Peace Keeping Centre as well as the prestigious Armed Forces Command Staff College.

An official of the State Emergency Agency, who did not want his name in print, confirmed that NEMA and SEMA officials were sent back from the barracks.

Even the police authorities could not provide information on the blasts. The Commissioner, state Police Command, Mr Femi Adenaike, when contacted, had referred journalists to the military authorities, whom he said were in a better position to give details of the incident

Army Director of Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Bola Koleoso, put the number of the dead at 11 and injured at 30, but witnesses claimed the casualties were far more.

One of the eyewitnesses, who did not give his name, said, “Many people were killed. I saw many dead bodies. I think the people that died may be in the region of 40 or 50. Even some of those who were injured, I am not very sure they will survive it.”

The incident occurred less than a month after the St. Ritas’ Catholic Church, Ungwan Yero, Malali was bombed and barely 48 hours after the Federal Government offered cash rewards for information that could lead to the arrest of the leaders of the Islamic fundamentalist group, Boko Haram.

Another source at the prestigious military institution said the first blast occurred at about 12:15pm when the church service was over and the congregation had dispersed, leaving only the elders of the church who were holding meetings.

He claimed that the bombers arrived in the college where the nation’s anti-terrorists squad is trained in a Volkwagen Golf 3 and a Toyota Camry.

Our correspondents was told that just as worshipers surged to see the wreckage of the car, the second bomber arrived and detonated his bomb which killed several people.

Bombers beat military security

A military source also told one of our correspondents that in spite of the heavy security at the main gate of the college, the first bomber beat the military personnel and on getting to the church , parked his car beside one of the windows where the choir stand was before detonating his bomb.

The second explosion happened shortly after at about 12.35 in the church “where many bodies were seen on the ground.”

“The incident happened directly opposite the Directing Staff (Brigadier Quarters). A senior officer was believed to be among the dead,” the military source added.

Those injured in the attack were said to have been taken to the 44 Army Reference Hospital, the Nigerian Air Force Base Hospital in Kaduna and the Ahmadu Bello Teaching Hospital, Zaria for treatment.

Army reacts

But Koleoso, who in a statement on Sunday, said that investigations into the blasts had begun, added that a bus and not a Golf 3 was the first vehicle that was used in the attacks.

He said, “There were twin suicide bombings today (Sunday) at St. Andrew Military Protestant Church, Jaji Military Cantonment at 1205hrs.

“A bus first ran into the church and exploded about five minutes after service while a Toyota Camry parked outside the church detonated 10 minutes later.

“Figures of casualties were 11 dead and about 30 injured. The injured are receiving treatment at military hospitals both in Jaji and Kaduna.

“Investigations into the bombings have commenced and the area has already been condoned off.”

The AFCSC’s Public Relation Officer, Lt. Col Mohammed Dole, also told reporters that 11 people, mostly worshipers and commercial bike riders doing business in the cantonment died. He added that eight vehicles and many motorcycles were destroyed.

http://desertherald.com/confusion-as-to-who-actually-hits-military-church-at-jaji/

By DESERT HERALD The embarrassing bomb explosion at the highest level of the military yesterday left many to wonder how did the suicide bombers managed to penetrate such a highly secured place at a time billions of naira is being spent on security in an effort to contain the Boko Haram insurgency.

Boko Haram attack police base in Abuja as police declare manhunt | Suleja Sky

The group said it has put its house in order.
Gunmen, early Monday, attacked the headquarters of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, in Abuja leading to a shoot-out for many hours.
The men are believed to be members of the Boko Haram who attempted to free their members being held by the police.
We learnt that the attack was repelled by the police. No casualty has been reported
This daring attack is coming less than 24 hours after suspected Boko Haram members detonated explosives at a church in a major military training compound in Jaji, Kaduna State.
A man, who claimed to be a senior member of the sect told us, Monday, that “we (the group) have put our house in order and Nigerians have not seen anything yet.”
Police Force spokesperson, Frank Mba, could not be reached for comment.
Security operatives have already cordoned the Apo area of Abuja where the attack occured. A manhunt is already being carried out to locate the attackers who may still be in the area according to security sources.
The security forces last week declared the leaders of the sect wanted, placing a bounty on them.

Rapists May Lose Manhood In Osun | Suleja Sky

The Osun State government has sent a bill to the House of Assembly, seeking stiffer penalties for rapists, including the cutting off of the penis.

Mrs. Mofolake Adegboyega, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, told newsmen yesterday in Osogbo that the bill recommended among other penalties, the cutting off of the “third leg.’’

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the commissioner as saying that the “Violence Against Women and Children Bill,’’ was aimed at reducing the cases of rape in the state.

The commissioner, who expressed sadness at the increasing trend, especially, that of minors, said the state government was working out possible solutions.

According to her, one of the ways of curbing the problem is the bill, which has been sent to the House of Assembly. She said the bill would spell out details of punishment for culprits within the confines of the law.

Adegboyega cited Saudi Arabia, where legs and even heads of culprits are cut off for serious offences, stressing that it would not be too much to cut off the manhood of a rapist.

Oyo Gov’s Daughter In Mu*der Scandal!…In Alleged Complication In Ex Lover’s Death | Suleja Sky

According what National Enquirer Magazine reported, the daughter of the executive governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Abiola Ajimobi, Bisola is at present enmeshed in an alleged murder controversy involving her ex-lover, Adeola Randoph who died early this year. And from family sources, it has taken this long to discover Bisola`s alleged involvement in the sudden death of this youngman because the Ajimobis were said to have allegedly been pressing buttons to sweep the case under the carpet.

This office gathered reliably that, Bisola now a married woman was said to have sneaked into the flat of her ex-lover without the consent of her husband the previous night to his death, although, the deceased was asthmatic, sources including the gateman at the Magodo home of the amiable young man disclosed that, Bisola sneaked in the evening and left in the wee hours of the fateful day, only to discover that, the man, Adeola gave up the ghost the second morning after the strange visit.

What a coincidental and unfortunate visit you would say.

Unconfirmed report has it that the daughter of the Oyo state Governor Gov Ajimobi, Bisola though now married to the son of respected Nigerian businessman, Chief  Kola Daisi, Kolapo has some explanation to make concerning the death of Adeola Randolph her ex lover who died in a mysterious way on the wee hours of 7th of Febuary 2012.

Though there are rumours that the deceased, a staff of a company based in Abuja called-PetroEnergy and graduated from the Coventry University in the UK had an attack at home in the early hours of the fateful day and was rushed to the hospital where he later gave up the ghost, some have said Governor Ajimobi’s daughter and Personal Assistant might have some explanations to make.

The pretty mother of one according to family sources was said to be the last person with the deceased as she allegedly sneaked into the country from the UK to Adeola’s Magodo home on the 6th of Febuary 2012 a night before the deceased passed on though didn’t spend the night there.

Adeola and Bisola we authoritatively scooped were lovers known to families and friends until the relationship crashed due to accusations of infidelity on both parties especially Bisola and other issues before she later got married to Chief Kola Daisi`s son in an elaborate wedding on the 5th of November 2010 in Ibadan.

The late Adeola, a popular student of the Atlantic Hall, Ikoyi who just acquired a Range Rover SUV and Bisola were said to still be in love as they secretly rekindled their affair from ordinary to seeing each other secretly. This we gathered explained the reason Adeola invited Bisola over though they both agreed to be extra careful and thus her reason for leaving his place that night, those who were aware of the his health conditions vowed that, Adeola was hale and hearty on that night and also had enough inhalers to attend to himself. What is causing the eyebrow is the reason behind the strange visit of the Governor’s daughter who`s a married woman the night before, they`ve ceased to stop talking about it.

In our facts finding mission, we got in touch with one of the aides of the State`s First lady for their own side of the story, the lady however promised to get back to us having pleaded to temper justice with mercy on the story.

Whilst we were still expecting her response, she however tried to network by finding a way of getting in touch with our editor who has been out of the country through another powerful source, just in order to stem the story, she did present the matter as if we have been on her neck but our editor sent back the middle man for them to react officially to the story but we never heard from them till we went to press.

We have set up a meeting with the deceased family and we shall let you know as events unfold

Culled from National Enquirer Magazine

Abuja woman bites off neighbour’s nipple | Suleja Sky

The nipple is missing and lost.
A 28year-old woman, Hawa Musa, of Kurudu village, Abuja, on Thursday told a Karu Senior Magistrates’ Court how her neighbour bite off her nipple during a scuffle.
Hawa in her evidence-in-chief said “I came out of our room that morning to throw away the water I used to wash my face.
“Mistakenly, I threw the water away in front of my neighbour, Anastasia Uche’s, house, who came out and started raining insults on me.
“I told her I was sorry and even swept the area where I poured the water. She then attacked me and tore off my cloths, including my bra.
“As I was trying to run for cover, she grabbed me and bit my nipple.
“I was immediately rushed to the hospital where it was discovered that my nipple was missing,’’ she said.
Lost nipple
Hawa said a team have thoroughly searched for the nipple but the nipple was not found.
The accused, Anastasia pleaded not guilty and could also noit account for her neighbour’s missing nipple.
Hawa may have to live without one of her nipples as a medical doctor at a hospital in Gwagwalada said that the affected part required disinfection – because it already had pus – before a surgery can be performed next year January.
The Counsel to the accused, Michael Ejeh, was not in court and no reason was given for his absence.
The prosecutor Pascal Njoku, told the court that the offence contravened Section 241 of the Penal Code.
The case was adjourned to December 10, for the defence to open its case..

Senate Set To Battle Jonathan | Suleja Sky

The Senate, yesterday, drew the battle line when it threatened to over rule the President should he not assent to a bill asking him to make the State of the Nation Address annually.

The bill requires the President to address the National Assembly on the affairs of the nation annually.

In an apparent reaction to President Goodluck Jonathan’s rebuff of an earlier version of the bill forwarded to him two years ago, the Senate vowed yesterday to override him should he again veto the bill.

The bill on the State of the Nation Address which was forwarded from the House of Representatives was presented to the Senate by the Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba.

In his lead debate, Senator Ndoma-Egba, noted that the bill would neither foreclose presentation of annual budgets nor duplicate its functions, adding, that ”the idea of the Bill is to take stock of the nation, its condition, the governments and its performance; the people and their well being”.

Contributing to the debate on the bill, Senators said the bill would give legal muscle to the crave by lawmakers for the president to brief the legislative arm on the affairs of government, even as they submitted that specific details on what steps the National Assembly would take should be included in the bill.

In his remarks, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, PDP, Abia North, however, cautioned that the address should have thematic guidelines which should cover the economy and social stability.

For Senator Magnus Abe, PDP, Rivers South East, ”we should not look at this bill for just for today. I don’t see any challenges in the implementation of this, it would give Nigerians an opportunity to hear directly from the president.” He however said that he has an issue with the article that says the National Assembly may summon the president using two thirds if he doesn’t address the nation.

Opposition derserves right to react

On his part, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, ACN, Osun Central, advocated that in the aftermath of the president’s speech, the opposition should be given an opportunity to react to some of the issues that would be raised by the president.”

The Bill, which scaled the second reading was referred to the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs to look at and report to the entire house in the next two weeks.

Speaking after discussions on the Bill by senators, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over yesterday’s plenary, said the National Assembly would heed the advice of the President’s Special Adviser on Political Matters, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak who had earlier dared the National Assembly to invoke its powers if the President refuses to assent to the Bill.

Ekweremadu said: “We decided that there is need for us to make it compulsory for the President to appear before the National Assembly and present a state of the Nation Address. When that did not happen, we again introduced it in 2008.

“To make sure that the Bill sails through, I discussed with President Umaru Yar’Adua the difference between the Bill and what the Constitution says and Yar’Adua was excited and looked forward to being the first President to present the State ofNation Address.

“Unfortunately by the time the Bill was passed he had died. It was then President Goodluck Jonathan who had the opportunity to preside over the issue of signing the Bill. He did not sign the Bill. It happened during the closing days of the last Senate. We didn’t have the opportunity of bringing the Bill back to over ride the veto of Mr. President.

“We would have over-ridden the veto if we had enough time to do so. But technically, at the end of the session, the Bill lapsed and we needed to start afresh. It was not as if we did not know what to do with the Bill.

“We believe that this time the president will sign it but if it is not signed, you know the Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs, Ahmed Gulak, advised us that if the President refuses to sign our Bill, we know what to do. So that might be the first time we heed the advice of the Political Adviser to the President. This Bill will be considered by the appropriate committee and returned in good time so that the country will begin to benefit from the very important provisions of the Bill in line with the practice in most other countries including our own sub-region. Even in Ghana there is a provision for State of the Nation Address.”

Bauchi Facebook Scandal: Governor Isa Yuguda, dismisses civil servant for posting “Monumental Corruption” FB note | Suleja Sky

Abbas Faggo, a Bauchi State Civil Servant has been dismissed from the state civil service for posting a Facebook comment questioning the financial integrity of the government.

In a letter signed by Ibrahim Shehu on behalf of the state head of service, the government gave reasons for his dismissal saying his “service is no longer needed”.

Mr. Faggo had sometime ago accused the governor of corruption, questioning the source of funding of the governor’s son’s wedding which which was recently celebrated via a Facebook note.

Faggo was arrested and arraigned by the Police before the chief magistrate of the state for the same ‘offence’.

However, the chief magistrate, Adamu Madaki, on Friday November 16, struck out the case against the civil servant saying “it was not properly filed”.

Read the appointment termination letter below:

TERMINATION OF APPOINTMENT

I am directed to refer to the civil service commission’s letter No. CSC/PRO/S/001/T.V dated 1st November 2012 to convey the commission’s approval of your suspension and termination of appointment from Bauchi State Service with effect from 10th October, 2012 as your service is no longer required, please.

Signed:

Accept You’ve Failed Nigerians, CNPP Tells PDP | suleja sky

The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to accept failure by all indices of national development as evidenced by insecurity and gross unemployment in the midst of unprecedented oil revenue.

In a statement issued and made available to newsmen by its National Publicity Secretary, Osita Okechukwu, CNPP said “Instead of playing the blame game, PDP should accept that the party has failed the country”.

Okechukwu, who was reacting to the allegation that the PDP has uncovered plot by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) to destabilise the PDP led Federal Government, challenged PDP to apologise to Nigerians for its ineptitude, lack of planning  and squander mania.

He averred  that as long as PDP’s philosophy remained share the money, “with motto of Food is Ready, anchored on a nebulous dictum that government has no business in business, no meaningful development will come under PDP leadership“.

The CNPP National Publicity Secretary wondered what on earth prevented President Goodluck Jonathan from utilising billions dollars in Excess Crude Account and Foreign Reserves to build refineries, modernise rail lines, and develop Mambilla and Coal Power Plants.

 “How can Nigeria waste billions, year-in-year out on importation of refined petroleum products? It is only a PDP led Federal Government which will wait for over a decade for captains of industry without even sachet water factory to drive their economy, as exemplified by the Bi-Courteny scandal”.

Reacting to the PDP’s position that the merger of ACN, CPC and ANPP would fail, Mr Okechukwu said that it was the unholy wish of the PDP to entrench a one party state in Nigeria.

 “The merger talks have advanced to a point of no-return. The leadership of the parties is made up of patriots, ready to put the interest of the country above personal interest. There exists a national consensus that without regime change in 2015; Nigeria’s dangerous slide to a failed state, God forbid, will come to pass,” Okechukwu stated.

UniAbuja Closed Indefinitely | Suleja Sky

The authorities of University of Abuja yesterday closed down the University indefinitely over students’ rampage that prevented the conduct of the Second Semester examinations.

The Second Semester exams were billed to commence on 19th of November, but could not hold because of the two-day protest that led to the shutdown of the institution by the University management.

What started as a protest by students of Engineering Faculty over the failure of the University management to secure accreditation of their programme suspended by the Federal Government, had yesterday snowballed into serious demonstration and barricades of major roads in Gwagwalada town by the students.

Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor James Adelabu in a terse statement signed by the University Registrar, Mallam M.B. Modibbo in Abuja, said the university was closed down to forestall unpleasant consequences. He, therefore, ordered all the students to vacate the two campuses of the university before 4pm yesterday.

The statement reads: “Giving the prevailing situation on the campus and potential threat to the peace and security, the Vice-Chancellor on behalf of the University Senate has approved the close down of the university.

“All students are therefore, directed to vacate the university campuses before 4pm today (yesterday),” it said.

SULEJA SKY reports that the programmes suspended by the Federal Government are Engineering, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.

Information Officer of the University, Mr. Waziri Garba told SULEJA SKY that the Management of the university met and took decision to close down the university as the situation was getting out of hand.

He disclosed that the protest, which started on Monday, was mainly by students of engineering, who claimed that other faculties were ahead of the Engineering Faculty in the accreditation process.

He said the protest came as a surprise to the university management in spite of all efforts being intensified to ensure the accreditation of all the faculties as promised by the vice Chancellor.

Plateau lawmakers jump over fence to escape lynching by workers | Suleja Sky

Local Government workers scared members of the Plateau State Assembly away.
The Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, John Dambwan, and other members of the House, Tuesday, escaped being mobbed by local government workers in the state.
The aggrieved workers have been on strike for about seven months over the non implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage.
At about noon, hundreds of local government workers in Jos North Local Government Area besieged the Assembly with the aim of compelling the government to pay their entitlements, but the lawmakers scampered for safety.
Witnesses told that some members scaled the fence of the Assembly complex in a bid to escape the mob attack. The other members who had not arrived the Assembly stayed away.
The speaker, Mr. Dambwan, and a member representing Pankshin North, Diket Plang, narrowly escaped being mobbed by the striking workers last week. The workers were aggrieved that the lawmakers refused to comment on the matter during their sittings.
Council workers across the seventeen Local Government Areas of the state had embarked on a stay-at-home strike since June this year over the refusal of the state government to extend the implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage to local government staff after approving same for other civil servants.
During the strike, government and Labour, through a committee of eminent elders of the state, reached an agreement on the new wage. The bone of contention, however, is Governor Jang’s refusal to pay the staff for the five months they were on strike, insisting on a “No work, No pay” policy.
Labour, however, said such a policy is a “mere convention” that is not practicable in Nigeria, insisting that the governor must pay the local government workers their full entitlement before the strike is called off.
At the weekend, the commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Paul Wai, told journalists in Jos that worker who refused to resume work this Monday would be sacked.

Democracy was never Meant for the Poor. By Abdulbaqi Jari Democracy is often defined as ‘the government of the people, to the people, and by the people’ among the major characteristics of democracy include; timely election, right to vote and be voted, campaigns, and parliament. looking critically at democracy in Nigeria, the developing world, and indeed the whole world, one will tend to understand that ‘ democracy was not meant for the poor’|Suleja Sky

Democracy was never Meant for the Poor. By Abdulbaqi Jari

Democracy is often defined as ‘the government of the people, to the people, and by the people’ among the major characteristics of democracy include; timely election, right to vote and be voted, campaigns, and parliament. looking critically at democracy in Nigeria, the developing world, and indeed the whole world, one will tend to understand that ‘ democracy was not meant for the poor’.
This is because, from setting up of political parties, primary elections, campaigns, up to general election, it is all about money, power and what both can do. from the registration of political parties, buying of expression of interest forms, campaign and travels, democracy did not make any arrangement for the poor except voting which he has no another option. just recently, the APC presidential candidate complain about high price of forms at the cost of 27.5 million naira, that is to high, not for the poor, with the poor and not by the poor.
According to media reports, the sum of 21 billion naira was “donated’ to president Jonathan during the lunch of his campaign funds, that is nearly one third of the budget of some states of the federation, those that look like that was meant for everybody. I wonder whether Nigeria’s democracy was meant for the cabals. Why on earth will a rich country like Nigeria ever have poverty of to about 50 percent of the population?
Whether monarchy, socialism, military dictatorship, democracy, or another system of government, what is most important is that, the government should be able to protect the lives and properties of people, their welfare and their overall interest. If the government cannot do that, then anarchism may triumph over the interest of the nation.
therefore, 2015 must be a different year for Nigeria. a year of hope, reflection, peace and centenary year for rekindling a better Nigeria.

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MEND Endorses Buhari For President, Says Voting Jonathan Is Biggest Mistake Niger Deltans Ever Made The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) today threw its support behind the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), General Mohammadu Buhari, saying Goodluck Jonathan deserves “not a second more” in the presidency.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) today threw its support behind the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), General Mohammadu Buhari, saying Goodluck Jonathan deserves “not a second more” in the presidency.

A statement signed by Jomo Gbomo said the group’s decision to support General Mohammadu Buhari arises from the pathetic state in which the country has been put by the government of Mr. Jonathan and its strong belief in General Buhari as the man and change the country needs.

“It is very clear that the Niger Delta region now regrets voting a corrupt and incompetent leader who they believed would [bring] transformation to the region, in spite of our earlier warnings about Goodluck Jonathan,” MEND said. “He (Goodluck Jonathan) has only succeeded in infecting the region with poverty, corruption and mal-administration. This is our chance not to repeat this costly blunder of 2011.”

It challenged every Niger Deltan to ask themselves if the region is any better under Goodluck Jonathan than it was under a sick Late President Musa Yar’Adua. We are convinced that the people of the Niger Delta have woken up to realise that voting Goodluck Jonathan simply because of tribe, was the biggest mistake they made.”

MEND said President Jonathan does not deserve a second more in the presidency as soon as his tenure expires as he has continuously and blatantly disregarded the very people who voted him into office.

“A President that told Nigerian to their faces that he does not “give a damn” when asked to declare his assets. A requirement that is constitutional on assuming the office of the President.”

It recalled that Mr. Jonathan, since assuming his office, has setup countless number of “Committees”, none of which their reports has ever been implemented. From the Nuhu Ribadu report to the KPMG and Fuel Subsidy reports, just to mention a few.

“How can Nigerians expect a highly corrupt person like Goodluck Jonathan to fight corruption when he believes that “stealing is not corruption”, as he shamelessly told the Nation?” the group asked. “He has proven beyond all reasonable doubt, his inability to tackle corruption or prosecute a single government official in his six (6) years in office.”

MEND described as “laughable” the recent statement by Goodluck Jonathan on his government’s plan to fight corruption, adding that it not only smacked of ignorance to the highest order, but also shows just how stupid he thinks Nigerians are.

It pointed out that Jonathan has had six years to tackle corruption but who chose to shield corrupt government officials and joined in the looting of Nigeria’s resources now has the temerity to say his government “has a plan” to fight corruption, describing it as a big slap in the face of every single Nigerian.

“We re-state our disregard and lack of confidence in President Goodluck Jonathan. Rather than address the perennial issues in the country responsible for his administration’s failures, he is concentrating government funds in a campaign of misinformation intended to hoodwink Nigerians who, unfortunately for him, are now wiser and smarter than he is.”

Towards the forthcoming election, MEND urged Nigerians to ignore the empty threats and provocative comments from political thugs parading themselves as “ex-militants” and “Freedom Fighters”.

“These spineless cowards want Nigerians to believe that there will be no peace if Goodluck Jonathan is not re-elected into office despite the billions of dollars spent on the “Amnesty Programme” to reform these miscreants,” it said.

“Nigeria needs change, the Niger Delta needs change and General Mohammadu Buhari is the change the Country desperately needs,” it declared. “For our Freedom and Yours.”

Full text of the statement:

Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has, upon careful consideration of the state of the Nation, endorses and fully support the Presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), General Mohammadu Buhari.
Our decision to throw our full support on General Mohammadu Buhari stems from the pathetic state in which the country has been put by the government of Goodluck Jonathan and our strong believe in General Mohammadu Buhari as the man and change the country needs.
President Goodluck Jonathan does not deserve a second more in the Presidency as soon as his tenure expires as he has continuously and blatantly disregarded the very people who voted him into office.
A President that told Nigerian to their faces that he does not “give a damn” when asked to declare his assets. A requirement that is constitutional on assuming the office of the President.
President Jonathan, since assuming his office, has setup countless number of “Committees”, none of which their reports has ever been implemented. From the Nuhu Ribadu report to the KPMG and Fuel Subsidy reports, just to mention a few.
How can Nigerians expect a highly corrupt person like Goodluck Jonathan to fight corruption when he believes that “stealing is not corruption”, as he shamelessly told the Nation? He has proven beyond all reasonable doubt, his inability to tackle corruption or prosecute a single government official in his six (6) years in office.
MEND finds it laughable the recent statement by Goodluck Jonathan on his governments plan to fight corruption. This statement not only smacks of ignorance to the highest order, but also shows just how stupid he thinks Nigerians are. A president that had six years to tackle the problem but chose to shield corrupt government officials, joined in the looting of our resources and now has the temerity to say his government “has a plan” to fight corruption. This is a big slap in the face of every single Nigerian!
We re-state our disregard and lack of confidence in President Goodluck Jonathan. Rather than address the perennial issues in the country responsible for his administrations failures, he is concentrating government funds in a campaign of misinformation intended to hoodwink Nigerians who, unfortunately for him, are now wiser and smarter than he is.
Goodluck Jonathan’s actions, utterances and arrogance prove that he is totally disconnected with the situation facing the ordinary Nigerian and completely out of touch with reality.

OFFICE OF THE FIRST LADY
MEND commends General Mohammad Buhari for his plans, when elected as President, to scrap the so-called “Office of the First Lady”. This is obviously an irrelevant, fraudulent and unconstitutional office, whose only purpose is to further plunder the resources of the country.
Nigerians and the EFCC appear to have forgotten that this “First Lady” Mrs Patience Jonathan was in the process of being charged with attempts to launder stolen money to the United Kingdom, barely a few months after President Jonathan was sworn in as President. The same offence former Governor James Ibori was charged with.

In the wake of the still-missing Chibok school girls abduction, the “First Lady”, rather than being embarrassed by her husbands inability on how to handle the situation, was instead worried about his tarnished legacy and even considered the Bring Back our Girls Campaigners a nuisance and upsetting to their daily exercise of redirecting Nigeria’s resources to the their private coffers.

President Jonathan and the PDP have continuously exploited every national tragedy for political gains. They have politicised the Boko Haram insurgency for political gains. They used regional and religious sentiments as a cheap strategy but Nigerians know better.

THE NIGER DELTA REGION

Since President Goodluck Jonathan assumed office, the Niger Delta region has experienced excruciating poverty faced by the people, worse pollution and environmental degradation and not once has he ever come out to openly condemn the destruction of our environment by the activities of irresponsible oil companies.

Recent reports confirm the country is losing billions of Dollars in oil revenue due to oil theft. This theft has been aided by the pot-bellied Nigerian Army generals, in connivance with corrupt Nigerian government officials, the Joint Task Force and the Nigerian Navy. It is no wonder the once respected Nigerian Military has been reduced to a ragtag Army by the Boko Haram Terrorists. It can only take a bold and courageous man like General Mohammadu Buhari to tackle the insecurity and oil theft plaguing the nation. He has done it before and he will and can do it again!

The Niger Delta region has the Ministry of the Niger Delta, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) and the largest percentage in oil revenue allocation, yet the region has nothing to show for all these due to a very corrupt government and system in place. We are confident that a General Mohammadu Buhari presidency would probe these agencies and divert all stolen revenue back to the development of the region and Nigeria as a whole.

Regrettably, our so-called “Freedom Fighters”, “Niger Delta Activists”, “elders”, Royal Fathers and politicised groups such as the Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC), United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDESS) and several other castrated and myopic groups from the region have lost focus. Rather than speaking out against corruption, impunity, underdevelopment, degradation of our environment, unemployment and the impoverished living of the ordinary Niger Deltan, prefer to turn themselves into political praise singers of the government to enrich themselves while the region is still licking the wounds of marginalization. We say you are all cowards and shame unto you all! You now feast on the sweat and blood of great Niger Delta leaders like Isaac Adaka Boro and Ken Saro-Wiwa while the region remains impoverished, underdeveloped and polluted.

It is very clear that the Niger Delta region now regrets voting a corrupt and incompetent leader who they believed would transformation to the region, in spite of our earlier warnings about Goodluck Jonathan. He (Goodluck Jonathan) has only succeeded in infecting the region with poverty, corruption and mal-administration. This is our chance not to repeat this costly blunder of 2011.

We challenge every Niger Deltan to ask yourself if the region is any better under Goodluck Jonathan than it was under a sick Late President Musa Yar’Adua. We are convinced that the people of the Niger Delta have woken up to realise that voting Goodluck Jonathan simply because of tribe, was the biggest mistake they made.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) urges Nigerians to ignore the empty threats and provocative comments from political thugs parading themselves as “ex-militants” and “Freedom Fighters”. These spineless cowards want Nigerians to believe that there will be no peace if Goodluck Jonathan is not re-elected into office despite the billions of dollars spent on the “Amnesty Programme” to reform these miscreants.
Nigeria needs change, the Niger Delta needs change and General Mohammadu Buhari is the change the Country desperately needs.

For our Freedom and Yours.

Jomo Gbomo

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AirAsia flight found upside down at the bottom of the sea, passengers found holding hands Indonesian search officials have now confirmed they have located the fuselage of AirAsia flight 8501 on sonar radar, upside down on the sea floor, not far from where three of the bodies from the doomed AirAsia flight were found holding hands when discovered floating in the Java Sea. Officials from Basarnas, Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, say the plane wreckage has been located in 24 to 30 metres of water and one of the seven confirmed recovered bodies was wearing a life jacket.

AirAsia flight found upside down at the bottom of the sea, passengers found holding hands

Indonesian search officials have now confirmed they have located the fuselage of AirAsia flight 8501 on sonar radar, upside down on the sea floor, not far from where three of the bodies from the doomed AirAsia flight were found holding hands when discovered floating in the Java Sea. Officials from Basarnas, Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, say the plane wreckage has been located in 24 to 30 metres of water and one of the seven confirmed recovered bodies was wearing a life jacket.

Lieutenant Airman Tri Wobowo, who was co-piloting Indonesia’s C130 Herclues aircraft, was the first to discover debris from the plane and witnessed the tragic scene.

‘There were seven to eight people. Three of them held hands,’ he told a local newspaper.

A plane door, a blue suitcase, oxygen tank and the remnants of an emergency slide were among the objects found about 10km from where the plane was last detected on radar. But the most harrowing discoveries were the corpses floating in the Java Sea – about 100 miles off the coast – and search chiefs fully expect none of the 162 passengers and crew on board made it out of the wreckage alive.

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Pastor Popoola: President Jonathan Is Not Like Jesus Christ, Okupe is Wrong

A couple of days ago, the nation became agog with the news that Presidential aide, Dr. Doyin Okupe, likened his principal, President Goodluck Jonathan, to Jesus Christ. In his attempt to ensure that Nigerians see more than enough reasons to support and vote for the PDP in the coming elections, Dr. Okupe simply redefined sycophancy, took servility to a new height, and introduced a new interpretation of groveling ingratiation.okupe jonathan

Before pointing out Dr. Okupe’s obvious wrongness in his labour of thralldom, which peaked days ago in his imprudent testimonial of President Jonathan being comparable to the Lord Jesus Christ, it is important to say a few words about this man who, for reasons beyond human explanation, has intentionally refused to grow into a man that he ought to be. It is the nature of a child to go with just anyone, including a stranger, who holds a jar of candy or chocolates in their hands, even if that stranger is the number one enemy of the child’s father, and one who seeks to destroy the child’s life. The kid’s concern, against all judgement, is just to grab and enjoy the offer. This is Dr. Doyin Okupe’s manner of living, in a nutshell.

Listening to Dr. Okupe as he goes about his business of trying to justify his pay, an essential revelation about him stares one in the face – he is a child, wearing an old man’s body. I’m aware that in the enterprise of politics, partisanship is a must and political actors often do foolish things. But as it has been observed all over the place, their foolish acts are often covered in inviting and enticing robes of choice words and appealing gestures; but not Dr. Okupe. He goes about his business totally naked and striped of all forms of decorum. If he is not abusing critics of Mr. President, he is asking Nigerians to rename him Bastard if the APC, the opposition political party, does not go into extinction within its first year of existence. This is tragic.

To support his infantile spectacle of repulsive jabs, Dr. Okupe claims he is a firm believer in certain ideals espoused by Mr. President. This is total poppycock. Recall that when President Obasanjo held sway, Dr. Okupe was everywhere praising the former president to high heavens. At that time, OBJ was the best thing to have happened to Nigeria. What ideals did Okupe believe in at that time? Now that President Jonathan is in power, Okupe has shifted his loyalty to Jonathan, claiming rather ridiculously that President Jonathan is the best president Nigeria has ever had! Really? That must be some great news! The truth is that Dr. Okupe is not governed by any ideology, philosophy or creed. If he has any motivation in life at all, it is filthy lucre! He is ruled by money!

I believe in loyalty. The Bible teaches it. It is a good virtue – one that grows the follower into a leader, and causes the master to give all manner of support to the loyal disciple. But loyalty and foolishness are not spelt the same way; neither do they mean the same thing. Okupe totally misapprehends the concept of loyalty. Loyalty is determined devotion to a course or an individual for a good end; it is an attachment to something or someone with a view to enhancing, promoting and securing the success of the thing or person. As it can be clearly seen, this is not what Dr. Okupe is engaged in. He seems set to destroy whatever remains of his principal’s diminished goodwill.

If Dr. Okupe must know, he is President Jonathan’s number one foe. His garrulousness, tactless effusiveness, and unabashed loquaciousness are atypical. But then, in this open show of witless chattiness that has come to define his humanity, the person who takes all, not just much, of the entire blame is Mr. President himself. Truth be told, President Jonathan’s ability to hobnob with, entertain, and accommodate men of base character is more than legendary. Think about Okupe’s partner in shame, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode.

Months ago, Femi Fani-Kayode wrote to viciously lampoon President Jonathan. In the damning article, he stated, among other things that,

“If Goodluck Jonathan wants his fortunes and the fortunes of his party to change and if he wants peace to return to our shores he simply has to do twelve things. Firstly, he has to resign as President forthwith and undertake to stay out of Nigerian politics for the next ten years and confine himself to fishing in Otuoke. Secondly, if he cannot step down, he must give a public undertaking to the Nigerian people that he will not run for re-election in 2015 and tell them that if he changes his mind and decides to do so at the last minute they should stone him.

Thirdly, he must go and prostrate flat on the floor with his face touching the ground before seven of the most respected and distinguished men in this country and tell them that he is very sorry for the mess he has created and he must refuse to get up until they swear by the Holy Bible or Holy Koran that they have truly forgiven him for destroying our country. Those men are President Olusegun Obasanjo, General Ibrahim Babangida, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, General TY Danjuma, General Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Fourthly, he must write an open letter of apology to the 36 Governors of the Federation, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House and the Chief Justice of the Federation for his manipulative ways and the gross incompetence and ineptitude that he has displayed whilst running the affairs of this country over the last three years”.

Please observe that one of those respected and distinguished men that, according to Femi Fani-Kayode, President Jonathan must prostrate flat on the floor with his face touching the ground before and tell them that he is very sorry for the mess he has created is General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB). Today however, Femi Fani-Kayode is singing a new song; essentially because he must curry the favour of the man in power. He now wants us to believe that the same man he described as being manipulative, just months ago, is now a thoroughly refurbished man that Nigerian must wholly embrace again. To think that such an unstable man is in the embrace of a President who wants to succeed is utterly terrifying!

These two unconscionable and extreme souls – Dr. Doyin Okupe and Chief Femi Fani-Kayode – are part of the reasons why Nigeria is what it is today. They help to further divide the country along ethnic and religious lines, all in an attempt to create some political advantage for their principal, and then to guarantee the continuous inflow of their own income.

And just like Femi Fani-Kayode, Okupe has gone to town to announce the wonderful similarities between his paymaster in Aso Rock on the one hand and the Lord Jesus Christ on the other hand. One is compelled to ask whether Okupe gave his allocution a thought before presenting it.

It is imperative to remind Dr. Okupe that the Lord Jesus Christ laid down his life for the human race; and He did so willingly (John 10:17-18). Is Okupe’s paymaster – Dr. Jonathan – ready to sacrifice anything for the welfare of Nigerians, not to talk of dying for the nation? Considering the way and manner the president has holed himself up in Aso Rock, paralysed with fear, and unable to venture to even Chibok, where over 200 school girls were seized by the gun-wielding, throat-slitting rogues, it is obvious that the President is not the kind of leader willing to risk his comfort and safety for anyone.

If Dr. Okupe must learn anything however, it is this: President Jonathan actually has a doppelgänger in the Bible; but that character is not the Lord Jesus Christ. That character is King Saul, the son of Kish – Israel’s first king ever.

Their first similarity is in their emergence as leaders. In 1Samuel 8:1-22, the Israelites had, arising from certain national issues, asked Prophet Samuel to give them a king. But the old prophet, being not in a position to unilaterally give them a king, talked to the Almighty God about this demand. In response to Prophet Samuel’s prayer, God divinely chose Mr. Saul Kish as the king over Israel. It must be noted that Saul, who was busy about his father’s animal business, contributed nothing at all to his emergence as King of Israel (1Samuel 9:15-17). Nigerians have not forgotten how President Jonathan, against all odds, and without any dream in his heart, suddenly became the vice presidential candidate to late President Musa Yar’adua. And then eventually, the nation’s president.

Their second similarity is their style to leadership. Shortly after being anointed and pronounced king, Saul, who earlier appeared to possess a lot of prospect, began to incline towards rashness, misjudgment, disobedience, and eventually spiritism. As king, all he was supposed to do was to follow divine orders as laid down in the Law of Moses and as divinely directed from time to time by the able Prophet Samuel. But Saul failed. He went into establishing a code of operation for himself, different from what God prescribed. This continued until God had to totally reject him (1Samuel 15:1-28).

President Jonathan is one president that assumed office with a lot of goodwill and expectations. Like King Saul, all he was expected to do was to uphold the nation’s Constitution and obey other extant laws; do what is right in all situations, eschew all forms of evil – pettiness, corruption, deception, sycophancy etc. –, and move Nigeria up in the right direct. But what do we have today? The very opposite of all that he should have stood for. Under President Jonathan, Nigeria has been pushed to the very edge of disintegration. Under him, financial recklessness of unimaginable proportions has occurred, and is still occurring. Under him, and just like King Saul who, again and again, pointed in the direction of the “people” as his reason for failing (1Samuel 15:21), we have had more untenable excuses thrown at us as the reasons why the C-in-C, with all the powers and resources at his disposal, could not perform his constitutional duties. Everyone and everything, apart from Mr. President himself, have been blamed for his failure. Very much like King Saul indeed!

The third similarity touches on the uncanny ability of King Saul to hide under the pretext of his closeness to Prophet Samuel to maintain his high rating before the people of Israel. Except one reads this particular portion of the Bible carefully; one is very much likely to miss this point. This is crucially important, and this is how the Bible puts it:

1Samuel 15:30: Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God.

1Samuel 15:31: So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the LORD.

The above situation occurred just immediately after King Saul had received a damning judgment from God, and his rejection announced to him. Saul, a man wholly preoccupy with peoples’ rating of himself, wanted Prophet Samuel to still move around with him so as to give further impression of continued acceptance.

It is like this: “I know I’m already rejected; I know I have failed the LORD and His people; but these people are gullible, they will continually accept me if you keep up with me openly. You are a prominent prophet, and associating with you is very important; just move around with me and my subjects will continue to believe that I still remain the divine choice”. This was King Saul’s devious appeal to religion. Well, Prophet Samuel granted his one request, but that did not change the mind of God. God eventually reminded His prophet that He had rejected King Saul (1Samuel 16:1).

It is open secret that President Jonathan, despite his dismal performance and inability to stir Nigeria and Nigerians towards tangible developments, has continued to hobnob with leading and powerful spiritual leaders to shore up his rating. But I’ll like to say that leadership goes beyond serving just the people only; God, whether this is believed or not, is keenly monitoring affairs of the world. When a leader steals, embezzles, deceives, kills, destroys, and then pushes his nation into a backward movement, God sees and records. And no amount of prayers (wherever it is offered) or laying on of hands, will bring divine blessings until the leader repents and does what is right! This is the Bible and nothing changes this!

As long as Nigerians are suffering as a function of the actions and inactions of President Jonathan, God cannot be expected to suddenly break his Word and continue to support him. God honours his Word. God’s mercies can be sought and received, but the receiving heart must be ready to change. With our national wealth being gleefully stolen; with our patrimony being squandered by a few at the top; with millions of Nigerians being daily driven deeper into despair; with funds meant for security agencies being diverted into private pockets; with the word “shame” daily become more conspicuous on the faces of Nigerians; it is certain that President Jonathan’s approach will not work for him, just like it did not work for King Saul, his real look-alike.

Dr. Okupe must therefore tell his leader that Nigerians have wised up. They won’t accept, any longer, some empty religious lines delivered by some empty fellows. They won’t accept that he is similar to the Lord Jesus Christ, except they see real changes. However, I doubt if any change will occur now, given Aso Rock’s preoccupation with winning 2015 presidential election. A preoccupation that is bound to end in whispers and tales!

Pastor Gabriel Olalekan Popoola, a former University of Port Harcourt Students’ Union Leader, worships with Living Faith Church and can be reached by email (gabrolap@gmail.com) and Twitter (gabriel_popoola)

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Thank You President Obasanjo, Now I’ll Need You To Take A Seat! Or …Take Responsibility By Hannatu Musawa I would like to take this opportunity to thank former President Olusegun Obasanjo who, of recent, published a three-volume autobiography titled ‘My Watch,’ which contains several national issues from past to present and chronicling his life from birth till date. While I haven’t had the inordinate pleasure of reading this apparent masterpiece, from excerpts, I understand in this autobiography, President Obasanjo made earthshattering statements in regards to a number of public personalities

I would like to take this opportunity to thank former President Olusegun Obasanjo who, of recent, published a three-volume autobiography titled ‘My Watch,’ which contains several national issues from past to present and chronicling his life from birth till date. While I haven’t had the inordinate pleasure of reading this apparent masterpiece, from excerpts, I understand in this autobiography, President Obasanjo made earthshattering statements in regards to a number of public personalities. They included the current President, his numerous aides, former President Umaru Yar’Adua, former Vice President Abubakar Atiku, Senator Bukola Saraki, among some of his other political Frenemies.

Hannatu Musawa
Hannatu Musawa
Now I have to say, I don’t know the former president, I’ve never met him but I did catch glimpses of him twice at 2 public gatherings. And as a consistent and active member of the opposition since 2002, I have never been on the right side of Obasanjo’s tantrums and his decisions have put me and other members of the opposition in situations where we have had difficult, challenging and uphill struggles. So whatever judgment I have made of him has been one that was formed from the ‘other side of the fence’ and from afar, thus might not entirely be an accurate assessment of him. Nonetheless I will say, as a patriotic Nigerian well into her prime, I have always had a distant ‘like-dislike’ relationship with the former president. A like relationship-because up until 2003, I have revered him as a father figure and a leader and admired the courageous sacrifices he made for the nation in the past. And a dislike relationship-because from 2003, I have detested a lot of the decisions he made on my behalf, in my capacity as a Nigerian and the direction he choose to eventually steer our very delicate federation to. In my overall assessment of him, I regard President Obasanjo as the Quintessential-Nigerian-Enigma; he represents the very best of Nigeria, yet he also represents the very worst of it.

Even without knowing the internal intrigues and wrangling that went on during the Obasanjo regime and even without fully reading ‘My Watch,’ from the few excerpts already released, such as the statement allegedly made by the former president purporting that he was never interested in pursuing a third term while in office, I felt a burning and innate need to thank President Obasanjo on giving us a ‘perfect example’ of how ‘not’ to write an autobiography which is meant to be an accurate reflection of a legacy of, not just one man, but 170 million people.

I would like to thank the former President for being the perfect example for our younger generation of how not to try and tell a story from the fallacies of Mr-Victim-Of-The-Year but instead tell it from the objective reality of what really went down in the corridor of power. As long as we yearn for the progress and advancement of everyone in this country, then the ‘Oh Woe Is Me…” bellow exhibited by Mr Obasanjo in this autobiography and his hoopla over some of his more undesirable policies should be taken as an exercise in imprudence.

To be honest, it is an insult to the intelligence of every right thinking person and shocking that President Obasanjo would try and blame his infamous third-term-agenda in the twilight of his presidency on what he termed, Selfish PDP Governors. “Ummm…, are you serious Mr President?” Was Mr Obasanjo really trying to tell the world that the venal third-term agenda to extend his tenure in office was masterminded and stuffed down his throat by selfish PDP governors who were ‘so desperate’ for him to remain in office and he had absolutely nothing to do with it? Now, if we didn’t know any better, we could be mistaken in thinking that President Obasanjo was trying to tell us how innocent he was in the third term matter in this autobiography of his. “No, I don’t think so Mr President… I don’t think any Nigerian recalls you carrying any cross in exchange for anyone’s sins during that period!” President Obasanjo can try to absolve himself all he likes of the third term agenda till every single one of the cows come home but hardly anyone is likely to believe him.

For all this and so much more, I really do have to continue thanking President Olusegun Obasanjo. Without a doubt, while it has not been a total disaster and this country had recorded a great amount of development and victories under his stewardship, we have also witnessed colossal under-development, endured torment owing to nothing but corrupt and bad leadership. Nigerians of all faiths, ethnicities, regions, zones and political inclinations have suffered equally. Instead of offering Nigerians an apology for taking away our right to decide our future and choosing our leaders, President Obasanjo sits in his comfortable, air-conditioned and well furnished ivory tower up in the Otta Hills, typing a self-indulgent autobiography and totally insulting a people, starving and sweltering under the scorching sun; a people who were rendered helpless by him. Instead of rising up to encourage those same long suffering people and offering us gratitude for our service to him, President Obasanjo actually expects Nigerians to sympathize with his travails! “Eeerrr… You are kidding me right, Sir?”

In case it was ever lost on our dear former president, while him and his happy-go-lucky group of Umpa-Lumpas and Machiavellian-Midgets tried to perfect his third term agenda, it was a fight for the life of Nigeria for those of us in the Labor and Student Unions, those in the National Assembly and those in the media. For weeks, our students, our civil groups stood against it, the members of the National Assembly resisted it and for months those of us in the media wrote consistently against it. Back then; there was a period when, week after week, the only topic I personally wrote as my op-ed was the ‘third term agenda’ up until a point when I almost became exhausted. I know this was the same for many of my colleagues, many journalists and columnists.

Thank you, President Obasanjo for illustrating so perfectly for many ambitious Nigerians how wrong things go when a leadership participates in forcing and foisting a reckless and tactless personal agenda to control the destiny of 170 million people. Back in 2006, when ‘his’ bid for a third term failed so woefully, he took it upon himself to decide who he should hoist upon the mantle of leadership. When it was decided by the misplaced and insulated arrangement of the ruling party that the presidency would be zoned to the North and the vice presidency would be zoned to the South-South, President Obasanjo so valiantly decided to make the choice for Nigerians himself. Across the length and breath of Nigeria, he gallantly passed fitting and great Northerners such as Bashir Tofa, Abubakar Rimi, Sunday Awoniyi, Hakeem Baba Ahmed, Ibrahim Shekarau, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Mahe Rashid, Ghali Na Abba, Nuhu Ribadu, David Mark, Sanusi Lamido, George Akume, Muntari Shagari, Ahmed Muazu, Abdullahi Adamu, Audu Ogbe, Sule Hamman, Bashir Yusuf, Nasir El-Rufai and so many others and zeroed in on Late Umaru Musa Yaradu’a (a good and great but sickly man). Then in the South-South, he sifted and shuffled the deck and leap-frogged over Donald Duke, Tonye Princewill, Celestine Omehia, Adams Osiomole, Rotimi Amaechi, Nnduka Obaigbena, Precious Sekibo, Goodswill Akpabio, Henry Ajimogbia, Lee Maeba, Liyel Imoke, Reynolds Bekinbo Dagogo-Jack, Mike Adenuga, Joy Yuwika, Ken Wiwa, Peter Odili and so many others and allegedly selected a quiet and unassuming Mr Goodluck Jonathan.

This was a decision that he, together with the Umpa-Lumpas and Machiavellian-Midgets that surrounded him back then took. When he converged and presented the duo of late President Umaru Yaradua and President Goodluck Jonathan to the ruling party, few of the party members all over the country made an input. How can anyone forget the surprise and confusion that met the announcement of Umaru Musa Yaradu’a and Goodluck Jonathan as the President’s choice to be the PDP flag bearers? “But hey…, that’s what Bubba wanted and that’s what Bubba got!” The former president chose for about 170-million Nigerians. He went ahead to deliberately impose the Yaradu’a candidacy on Nigerians, evident in the highly controversial 2007 general elections which saw the emergence of Yaradu’a as President, viewed by local and foreign observers as the worst elections they had ever seen anywhere in the world, with rampant vote rigging, violence, theft of ballot boxes and intimidation. The Late Yaradu’a on assumption of office also acknowledged this.

Now in his book, President Obasanjo moans about how late President Yaradu’a deceived him about the gravity of his illness and how he was given the impression that Late Yaradu’a had overcome his health challenges. Ideally, Mr Obasanjo does not have anymoral right to play the victim here and accuse the late president of deceiving him. As far as this deception that President Obasanjo speaks of goes, correct me if I’m wrong, but I could have sworn it was a well known fact that late President Yaradu’a was regularly ill even while he was the governor of Katsina State. In fact, if memory serves me well, was there not an incident during the 2007 presidential campaign when President Obasanjo had to address a rumor that late Yaradu’a had died by calling him on the phone to ask, “Uoommarrrooo, are you dead?” To which the then presidential candidate replied, ‘No Sir, I am not.” I mean, what information exactly did President Obasanjo expect late President Yaradu’a to give him? An X-Ray of his Pancreas… or maybe a printout of the number of T-Cells in his blood? “Common now, President Obasanjo, you do not have to be a genius who solves Simultaneous-Partial-Differential-Equations and speaks 17 languages to know that if, in the middle of a presidential campaign, you are forced to call the often sickly presidential candidate to ask if he is still alive, the likelihood is that, he is probably a person dealing with a serious illness!”

No! President Obasanjo does not have any moral right to cry foul when he, as the C-in-C, failed to oversee a free, fair and credible election, which brought the ailing president into office! It is simply ridiculous for President Obasanjo to cry over the tank of spoiled milk that he purposely and singlehandedly spilt. It is an insult to the intelligence of Nigerians for him to try and absolve himself of responsibility in the tragic events that led to Nigeria loosing a sitting President yet again. President Obasanjo needs to take ownership of the fact that he was not only instrumental to late President Yaradua’s ascension to the presidency but he was careless in not doing his due-diligence as far as the candidate that he chose to impose to rule over 170 million people was, at the very least, of good health.

However, even if Late President Yaradu’a was healthy, President Obasanjo needs to understand that he had absolutely no right to single-handedly choose for
the most populous nation in Africa who their President and Vice President should be. It was not his decision to make!

Thank you, President Obasanjo, for giving our discerning and perfectly great Nigerian populace a shufti of appreciation into how much they could lose if they allow someone else to make their decisions for them. When he thrust on us his personal and selfish choice to lord over the affairs of Nigerians, he executed the greatest injustice to this nation as evidenced by his own words… in his own book.

Cry out as he may, I just want to remind President Obasanjo, in case he forgot, that he was also responsible for bringing Goodluck Jonathan onto the national scene. (I would also want to ‘immaturely’ rub this fact in a little.) The death of President Yaradu’a in 2010 (Obasanjo’s anointed candidate), paved the way for current President Goodluck Jonathan to become acting president and now president. Ultimately, the former president cannot extricate himself from the responsibility of inadvertently sponsoring President Jonathan’s rise to political prominence and the Presidency. Maybe he should make his complaint of President Jonathan and warning of the danger of having Mr Goodluck rule over Nigeria to the offspring of the bellboy!

Mr Obasanjo must not have a very high opinion of Nigerians. He must think that not very many cells in our brains actually function. As far as we know, the President Jonathan Mr Obasanjo is complaining about is the same Goodluck Jonathan that was chosen by President Obasanjo. As far as we know, Goodluck Jonathan did not have a body transfer and it’s the same animate-being that was supported by Olusegun Obasanjo in 2007. So, as far as most Nigerians are concerned, nothing much has changed. The fact that President Obasanjo likely had a falling out with President Jonathan is neither here nor there and of no concern to us, if that is what happened.

He supported our present President; He empowered him, pleasured him and watched his aides, as President Obasanjo claims, bleed this country dry. President Obasanjo complains that Goodluck Jonathan’s companions taunt the rest of Nigeria, ridicule every region, exploit the whole nation, splinter accord and abuse liberty. But when a particular Repugnant-Blubbering-Babylon-Beast and some other unscrupulous characters issued threats and viciously castigated anything and everything that does not emanate from the ‘Our Oil…Our Oil region,’ President Obasanjo was as quiet as a Church-Gerbil, he never cried out in support of the rest of country. He didn’t split hairs about the insolence of those few towards everything that represents the greatness of this nation, with all its character, diversity and glory. Now after the damage has been done, he emerges from the negative energy he once hid behind to preach to the nation on what we should take as the hub of our unity, of our salvation? Mr Obasanjo’s agitations must not be misconstrued as representing his genuine hopes for this country but as a thorn he created and nurtured and which no longer serves his purpose. His grievances must not be accepted by virtue of the fact that it is a glitch with a potential of becoming an even spikier thorn for Nigeria as a nation.

I thank President Obasanjo for reminding the voting public to open up a dialog that must address the disgraceful derision of our pseudo-democracy, a dialog that must attend to the failure and malfunction of our social structure. A dialog that has to query a man like President Obasanjo, who continued to hide behind the make believe notion that Nigeria had been operating a democracy, not because he honestly believed it but because the denial of his own carnage in the past elections demanded that he continued with this game of pretend democracy. A pretend democracy that has now boomeranged back in his face and forces him to confront his wrongdoing and irritation that men who directly benefited from his choice no longer jive to his waned tune.

Without a doubt, Mr Obasanjo’s public accusations portend a presumption that he feels slighted that those he hoisted onto power are not giving him the due respect and duty required in a master-servant relationship. But what on this earth would make him think that those he might have given a heave-ho into Aso Villa would respond to him any differently than the way he responded to the ‘Men-In’Grey-Suits’ that gave him a heave-ho into the same Villa back in 1998? For long, it has been speculated that the meteoric rise of President Obasanjo from an Adamawa jail cell during the tenure of late President Abacha into the Glass House of Asso Rock in 1999 was engineered by a Collective who know all too well the motions that President Obasanjo is presently going through because they had the exact same experience with Mr Obasanjo when he turned his back on them and their alleged Northern-Agenda.

I want to thank President Obasanjo profusely for showing us the importance of prohibiting the overlap of national and personal affairs. Should the Grapevine be given a platform, the former President is not altogether devoid of a personal portfolio, which, at times, boasts of salacious tales of depravity. Now, in the autobiography, ‘My Watch,’ President Obasanjo scandalously and disappointedly exposes, that the reprehensible pursuit of ungodly undertakings with Floosies, Jezebels and Hussies was a main feature in the body politic of Nigeria during President Yaradua’s tenure. One shudders to think which is worse; that President Obasanjo felt comfortable enough to impetuously blab sordid and unsavory tattletales of those once in power or the assumption that significant decisions and policies actually yielded to the consequence of the sinful temptations of a few philandering lot.

Please excuse me, while I step out of character for a second to ‘Genuinely’ thank President Obasanjo for being one of the only leaders that have made a real effort to try and arbitrate in the growing insurgency in the North East. In 2011, before the world realized that the Islamic insurgents were an evil and unreasonable bunch of barbaric, mass murdering lunatics, President Olusegun Obasanjo made a brave effort to try and negotiate for peace when he travelled to Maiduguri to visit the family of the founder of the Boko Haram sect, Mohammed Yusuf. Unfortunately his effort did not breed success, as the insurgents responded by murdering Babakura Fugu, the brother-in-law of Yusuf Mohammed that President Obasanjo had visited. It is examples such as this that show glimpses of Matthew Okikiolakan Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo, the Nigerian Hero who was always ready to give his life for his nation as opposed to the dribbler that ‘My Watch’ reveals.

That being said, as far as the up rise of the insurgency goes, President Obasanjo remains culpable in contributing to the chain of events that have led to the crippling situation Islamic Extremism has bought us to. When, in 1999, Obasanjo failed to intervene when Religio-Political prevaricators & bilkers introduced a Sharia that was for political and not genuine purposes, he opened the gate to the slope that has invariably led to the institutionalized extremism we are presently facing. When, under his ‘Watch,’ the security failed to identify the threat of a rising Islamic radical group founded back in 2002 despite the warnings issued by and assassination of Sheikh Ja’afar Mahmud Adam, President Obasanjo allowed a manageable group of impoverished radicals to morph into the gargantuan centrifugal force it is today. But, perhaps, in the greatest transgression of all, when General Obasanjo used his Military prowess to suffocate, shuffle and retire some of the best of our armed forces, possibly out of fear of a coup d’état, he contributed to reducing a large portion of our renowned militia to a group of squaddies unable to confront the insurgents, petrified to venture deep into Sambisa Forrest!

Thank you, President Obasanjo, for being the ideal example of how malevolence, selfishness, greed, deception, manipulation, and viciousness can hide behind the cloak of leadership and look and sound a lot like a unit we should respect and trust. Thank you, Sir, for being a great example that a person in power can make statements that render a whole collective misunderstood. While he purports to speak on behalf of Nigeria, he renders the whole nation and the decisions he made an object of odium. As a Nigerian, I hear President Obasanjo speaking out for our rights and our best interest but it just sounds like vacant, monotonous rhetoric to me. It sounds disingenuous, almost wounding, because as a Nigerian, the last 14 years have left me feeling angered and cheated. For 14 years, I have tried to express my views, tried to exercise my rights as a Nigerian through the polls, but for 14 years I feel like I have been denied…under ‘The Watch’ of President Obasanjo. It is gravely unfair for President Obasanjo to speak about how he feels he was mislead in the backdrop of many Nigerians who also feel that they were mislead by him.

Thank you President Obasanjo for being an example of egoism, his choices and inability to empathize with the true plight of the ordinary Nigerian. The selfish choice of President Obasanjo serves as a true perversion of the democratic principle that has given our future leaders all the tools they require to evaluate their actions and the long-term effect of those actions. When in the last two elections, he endorsed what he now describes as a deceitful team; he failed to stand up for the right of the ordinary Nigerian. His moans and wails of how much he was wronged in this autobiography is certainly not one that I, as a Nigerian, am willing to give my sympathy to. I don’t believe I will be pulling out a violin for President Obasanjo anytime soon.

Finally, President Obasanjo, I ‘don’t’ thank you because you have left rather cheeky, insolent and vociferous children and citizens like myself no choice but to be uncharacteristically discourteous towards you, instead of defending your dignity, honor and position as a Nigerian father and leader the way President Shagari, President Babangida, President Shonekan, President Abdulsalam, Chief Ekweme and General T.Y Danjuma have so graciously done.

Pardon me for a minute folks while I try to take ‘my tongue out of my cheek’ so I can say that, as a democrat, an activist, a proud Nigerian, a believer in humanity and most importantly as a human being, I really would like to thank President Olusegun Obasanjo for ‘absolutely nothing’ and plead with him to think back in earnest about everything that happened, all the choices he made during ‘His Watch’ and Tap-Out of the self pity. While he is one of the few people that have truly served and given benefit to Nigeria… He is also one of the few people that Nigeria has served and benefited!

I don’t personally know President Obasanjo but I have always had a distant ‘Like-Dislike’ relationship with him. I like that he is my father, my leader and a man that has given Nigeria a history to be proud of. But I dislike that he, as my father and leader has participated to create a present that I am, at best, a little ashamed of.

“Thank you very much President Obasanjo. Now, pardon me but with all due respect Sir, as far as ‘Your Watch’ goes, Imma need you to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY OR… TAKE A SEAT!”

Written By Hannatu Musawa

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Boko Haram Attacks Damagum, Casualty Level Unknown Our source, a military officer of the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri, Borno State, but who is currently on operations in Yobe State, confirmed to Us that the militants attacked the town

Boko Haram militants have in the past hour launched an attack on Damagum, Yobe State, We learned, leaving several people dead.

Boko Haram militants
Our source, a military officer of the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri, Borno State, but who is currently on operations in Yobe State, confirmed to SaharaReporters that the militants attacked the town

He said the level of casualties was unclear, but the military is working to obtain further information.

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Call him professor osinbajo, call him pastor osinbajo, but u can’t call him thief or looter osinbajo

“We are a mission and we do not meddle in politics” — RCCG

The Redeemed Christian Church of God has dissociated itself from rumours making the rounds that its General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, gave his blessings to the vice-presidential ambition of a former Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

The All Progressives Congress had on Wednesday named Osinbajo, who is said to be Adeboye’s close ally, as the running mate of its presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

The RCCG denied celebrating the emergence of the law professor who pastors its Olive Parish located on Banana Island, Lagos.

Writing on its official Twitter page on Wednesday, the church said it does not dabble into politics in any shade or colouration.

“We are a mission and we do not meddle in politics,” the RCCG stated while urging Nigerians to be wary of fictitious and misleading social media accounts dragging its name into the murky waters of politics.

Meanwhile, reactions have begun to trail the emergence of Osinbajo as Buhari’s running mate for the 2015 presidential election.

While many applauded the opposition party for coming up with Osinbajo, a cross section of Nigerians disagreed with his emergence.

Leading the pack of Nigerians who kicked against the emergence of the former Lagos State justice commissioner on Wednesday was R &B Singer and founder of Empire Mates Entertainment, Banky W.

According to the award-winning musician, there were better experienced hands than Osinbajo in public administration that the APC could have picked from.

He lamented that the “crap” called religion had robbed the opposition party of fielding Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, who he described as more eminently qualified than Osinbajo.

“It (Buhari’s running mate) should be Fashola. They use religion as a tool to control us. I don’t care about my leader’s tribe, religion, or whatever jargon they keep feeding us. Zoning ‘religioning’ are all crap. Who cares if Fashola is a Muslim? Didn’t we vote him into power in Lagos? Did the fact that he’s a muslim affect the way he lead the state?

“They brainwash us into thinking these things (religion, tribe) really matter and then we wonder why we’re still here facing the same problems as a nation. We wonder why people still kill each other in places like Jos.

“Some of my mentors, clients, business partners and colleagues are from different tribes and religions than mine. What difference does it make? I don’t choose who to do business with based on if they’re from my village. I don’t choose who to associate with based on their religion,” Banky W said on Twitter.

But supporters of Osinbajo have disagreed with those questioning his emergence. Online commentator, Dipo Awojide, expressed confidence that the APC presidential candidate being an academic, would bring dynamism to governance, at the national level.

Awojide described the law professor as an upright Nigerian and a role model who has mentored scores of young men and women on ways of “building careers without stealing.”

Describing him as a man of deep intellectual persuasion, Awojide tweeted, “As a Nigerian and as a member of the RCCG, I’m proud of Prof. Osinbajo. No apologies.

“Call him Prof. Osinbajo, call him Pastor Osinbajo, call him all you like, but you know you can’t call him a thief and a looter.

“Being neutral in an era of misgovernance and misrule is unwise. You don’t have to join a political party, just vote for the best man.”

Online activist, Gbenga Sesan, also hailed Osinbajo’s emergence, stating that the Buhari-Osinbajo ticket would form a government that would “demonstrate the capacity for competitive action over mediocrity.”

According to Sesan, unknown to many, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria is much more than a pastor.

“He (Osinbajo) is a Professor of Law, reformer with a track record in Lagos and Abuja, and a fine administrator. I’ll say APC made a smart move and got a great man,” he tweeted.

Arguing that Osinbajo was a good choice, Abuja-based public affairs analyst, Waziri Adio, explained that the university teacher would add value to the Buhari presidential ticket.

He said that Osinbajo co-founded Integrity, a premier pro-accountability non-governmental organisation before he became Lagos Attorney-General. He has since been active in civil society after office.

“I think he’s a good choice. He’s calm, articulate, cerebral, and reform-minded. He complements GMB both on his strengths and weaknesses.

“True, Osinbajo is a pastor at Redeemed Church, but I do not think he was chosen only to appeal to that church. But his value on d ticket is because the South West will be the battleground in 2015,” he wrote on Twitter.

But the Presidency has insisted that President Goodluck Jonathan will coast home to victory in 2015. Special Assistant to the President on New Media, Reno Omokri, insisted that despite the opposition party’s alleged grandstanding it had yet to unveil its programmes.

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PHOTOS: Forgive Goodluck Jonathan! PDP Govs Go Flat Begging Obasanjo to support Jonathan

Five governors under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Thursday traveled to Abeokuta, Ogun State to plead for the support of former president Olusegun Obasanjo for Jonathan’s 2015 re-election bid.

The governor namely Liyel Imoke of Cross River State, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Babangida Aliyu of Niger and Isah Yuguda of Bauchi State were sent by the president to meet with his former godfather on his behalf.

While such move is normal in politics, what was however surprising was the level of desperation displayed by the governor on behalf of President Jonathan.

The governors according to a photo tweeted by Kayode Ogundamisi went flat on their bellies begging Obasanjo to support Jonathan in 2015.

It is however unclear if the former president accepted their desperate plea as he was said to have told journalists when they emerged from the closed door meeting that they had only discussed the insecurity in the country.

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Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi Reveals Those Behind Kano Bomb Blast An Islamic Cleric, Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi has accused politicians of perpetrating bombings in the north, also slamming the Federal Government for not living up to expectation in itS responsibility of protecting lives and Property of its citizens.

An Islamic Cleric, Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi has accused politicians of perpetrating bombings in the north, also slamming the Federal Government for not living up to expectation in itS responsibility of protecting lives and Property of its citizens.

Dahiru Bauchi made the accusations yesterday in Bauchi while offering a special prayer for the repose of the souls of victims of the Kano bomb blast.

According to him, “ we heard some politicians were responsible for escalating senseless killings in the north so that there will be insecurity in the country in order not to conduct the 2015 elections on order for them to continue in power, the killings and insecurity in the north relate with their actions, May Allah not to give them what they want”
“The federal government is not doing enough to see that lives and properties of the citizens are protected; how many soldiers do we have in the country that they cannot contain the insurgents”?

He added his voice to the call on brave hunters to cooperate with military to protect the people, and also advised securities in the Mosques and other places of worship to be more vigilant.

He urged Muslims to intensify prayers and to protect themselves in order to put a halt to the incessant killings in the country.

– See more at: https://sulejasky.wordpress.com

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