Yusuf Buhari is alive- Presidency

Ebun Francis || Yusuf, the son of President Muhammadu Buhari is alive, the Presidency has said.

The Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie debunked rumours claiming that President Muhammadu Buhari’s only son was dead.

Yusuf was involved in a bike accident on Tuesday December 26,2017 .

After he was treated at Cedarcrest Hospital in Abuja and later flown to Germany for further treatment, according to reports.

Onochie described as fake news reports about Yusuf’s death.

She tweeted: “The news making the rounds regarding Yusuf Buhari, son of Pres. Buhari & Aisha Buhari is Fake.

“He is very alive, to their shame.”

The rumour began on the number one Nigerian online platform, Nairaland with a story credited to a Mohammed Ogundele. The fake news was published on 20 February.

2 Nigerians among the victims of Italian gunman

Agency report || Two Nigerians, a man, and a woman were among the six African victims of the lone gunman, who went on shooting spree in the central Italian city of Macerata on Saturday.

Italian newspaper Le Stampa, identified the two Nigerians, with their first names, Jennifer and Gideon.

Gideon is 25 years old, while Jennifer is 29. Both are now receiving treatment at a hospital in the city. Hospital officials said Jennifer suffered a fracture to her humerus bone in her arm and is facing an operation Sunday.

As reported by Le Stampa, Jennifer is still wondering why the gunman, identified as a right-wing extremist, Luca Traini hit her.

“I never hurt anyone. I was talking and laughing with three other people when I was struck by the bullet”.

She said she will no longer feel safe walking around the city “with peace of mind” after the attack.

“We foreigners are the first to want justice, we have come to Italy to live in peace, it is inhuman to shoot at random on innocent people, I have never wanted trouble with anyone”, Jennifer said.

Her boyfriend told La Repubblica they were waiting at a bus station when he saw a man pointing something at them from a car.

Ogie Igbinowania said “I gave Jennifer a push to get her out of the way and threw myself down. And I heard a shot: Boom.”

Gideon also told Le Stampa that he had always considered Macerata a safe city. He still wondered how he managed to survive the gunshot.

“I thought I would die. I do not know who attacked me. I would ask only two things: why he did it and what he has against me”.

“Those who do something bad must be afraid, not those who behave well,” he says.

“In three years I have never had any problems with anyone, either with Italians or with other foreigners. I worked in a supermarket and now I’m looking for a new job. I’m someone who minds my business. I do not get into trouble. I never imagined I could find myself in this situation. Now I do not know if I’ll manage not to feel in danger”.

Luca Traini, driving in a black Alfa Romeo, caused panic in Macerata Saturday morning, as he randomly attacked African migrants, in an attack that has been confirmed to be racially motivated.

Six Africans were hit before he was arrested at 12.45pm, at a monument in the city, after he gave the Nazi salute.

The shooting happened just days after the body of an 18-year-old Italian woman Pamela Mastropietro, was discovered dismembered and hidden in two suitcases.

A Nigerian migrant, identified as Innocent Oseghale, 29, with a history of drug dealing, was arrested in connection with the death. According to Picchionews, published in Macerata, the Nigerian has denied the charge.

“I did not kill her,” he was reported to have told the police repeatedly.

Oseghale is said to be an asylum seeker with a residence permit, which expired last year. He is married and has a daughter. He, however, stays alone in an apartment, not rented in his name. Police, after searching his flat found 70 grams of hashish, but not heroin.

The shooting put the city in a virtual lockdown as the Mayor ordered people to stay indoors.

IPOB launches Hausa service

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has launched “Radio Nigeria Hausa service”.

IPOB made the announcement on Thurday via a statement issued by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful.

The group noted that the Hausa Service was created to communicate ideologies of liberation to “oppressed indigenous northerners”.

IPOB stated that it would begin broadcast of the Hausa Service on Saturday, January 6 at 7PM Nigerian time.

“The broadcast will have the widest coverage of any radio signal in Africa,” the statement noted.

“It will be received all over West, East and Southern Africa. Every Hausa speaking community in Africa will be able to receive it.

“In our opinion, we feel it has become imperative to educate the poor masses of northern Nigeria. The ruling class cleverly enslaved and impoverished ethnic populations of the north by keeping vital information and knowledge away from them.

“This information deficit is what Radio Nigeria Hausa Service has come to remedy.”

IPOB noted that its mission is to ensure that Radio Biafra is perceived as unselfish in its liberation movement as opposed to the wrong perception that it was out only to help liberate people of Biafran association.

“Regardless of ethnicity, religion or creed, IPOB is pursuing an agenda of freedom for all,” he said.

“Our message is very simple, 2018 will be like no other in the history of Nigeria and will prove to be the year of liberation for those brave enough to confront the evil that Nigeria has become in the lives of millions of people.”

It added that those “deluding themselves” with the notion that IPOB has been weakened because of the absence of Nnamdi Kanu, its leader, “are in for an almighty shock”.

“This move today is the beginning of a mass revolution against our oppressors that will spread outside the borders of Biafraland.

“Every Hausa speaking northerner is advised to tune into 15110 KHz every night at 7PM, starting from this Saturday 6 January 2018, to be educated in order to be liberated.”

It’s a sad situation Nigeria can’t refine its oil – Kachikwu

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has bemoaned the country’s inability to refine its own crude oil despite four decades of operations in the downstream sector.

Kachikwu made this statement before the senate committee on petroleum on Thursday, noting that the ministry he presides over and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) were working actively to provide lasting solutions to the current fuel crisis in the country.

Kachikwu, however, noted that Nigeria’s refineries need to be functional in order for fuel crises to be resolved totally.

“In what I might call an emergency before the work that we are doing on the refineries that would be finished sometime in 2019,” Kachikwu said.

“I want to remind that over two years we haven’t had queues. We are spending night and day to find solutions to nip this in the bud.

“Ultimately what this country needs is to have its refineries working and I have said that it is shameful that after 30, 40 years of activities in the downstream, cannot produce sufficient [petroleum products]. I have said nobody sells crude in its form in the world and we have to have the technical capacity to do this.”

The minister also listed non-payment to marketers as one of the reasons for the scarcity. Kachikwu expressed regrets that some people took advantage of the situation.

 

Nigerians are suffering; change or be removed from office! – Mbaka warns Buhari

The spiritual leader and general overseer of Adoration Ministries in Enugu, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari about that he may be removed from office in a shameful manner.

Mbaka, a staunch supporter of Buhari in the months up to the 2015 presidential election, warned the president not to consider seeking a second term in office. Mbaka noted that his warning is premised on indications and stories making the rounds about the president’s intention to run for presidency in 2019 even though he has not made this public.

“I had wanted to pray for you (Buhari) and go because I don’t want anybody to attack me, I don’t want the Bishop to invite me, I don’t want politicians to attack me anywhere. But God forced me, you must say it,” Mbaka told his congregation at the first service of the year.

“Listen to me – 2017 became one of the most horrible years in this country.

“The Lord says captive Nigerians, you will be speedily rescued. Things are very very difficult, hard and tough nowadays. The hardship is not from God, they are man-made.

“The wicked cabal and satanic agents in this country have wickedly kidnapped the goodwill and good intentions of Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari. His good intentions have been kidnapped.

“President Buhari must wake up and sit up immediately. Heaven demands Buhari, our president, to change all those who are holding and caging him in captivity. If he will not change them, he will be changed.

“Mr. President, wake up, sit up. God said you are toying with the privilege given to you. There is no time. Nigerians are dying in your hands. People are not happy with your system.

“Change or you will be changed – God said that Buhari is in trouble. Buhari is hypnotised. Buhari is in a horrible bondage. Buhari’s mantra has been cannibalised.

“Unless President Buhari quickly and strategically positions the right people and changes the former ones inaugurated by him, the wind of change, that he himself inaugurated, will blow him away shamefully.

“The wind will be too strong that Mr. President and the cabal will be blown out of office shamefully.

“The wind will be irresistible for it will come like a hurricane. Buhari can handle this problem but his office, if he is not careful, another will take.”

Mbaka reportedly said Buhari had himself to blame for his problems, especially after “failing to heed the advice of his wife, Aisha”.

“Mr. President, as I was waiting on the Lord, I am asked to advise you, don’t come out for second tenure, after this, retire peacefully,” he was quoted to have said.

“Mr. President, you are the cause of your own problem. God gave you an adviser, a wonderful mentor, a visionist, a matriarch, in the person of your wife, Aisha, but you don’t want to listen to her; that woman is heartbroken, because she understood that you are not yourself.

“Come back to yourself or you will cry by the time you will be sent out of office. Those who are encouraging you to come out and run again, they want to disgrace you shamefully and publicly.”

Mbaka adviced Buhari to take responsibility for the problems in the country.

 

“Mr. President, you are to be blamed, not your cabal. You have your brooms, but the cabals have their bags; either you sweep them away or they throw you into the bag,” he said.

“Heaven cried that your methodology is not just archaic but too sluggish, very slow. The situation in Nigeria needs speed but you are too dull.

“His (Buhari’s) pattern of battling corruption is not just archaic and barbaric; it is a witch-hunt, terribly selective.

“Mr. Buhari, as the President, why should you be picking and choosing those that you and your so-called EFCC man would want to arrest, so that your party becomes a hideout for criminals, so that any person who does not want to be arrested will become an APC person? Is that not corruption in itself?

“It is the same people that go to the APC, they drop their umbrella and pick the broom, but instead of using the broom to sweep away corruption, they are using it to sweep money into their pockets.

“Your change mantra is questionable. You are to change your change or you will be disgraced out of office.”

George Weah pledges grassroots social transformation

Liberia’s President-elect, George Weah, has declared that social transformation, especially at the grassroots, would be the “singular mission and focus’’ of his administration.

Weah made the promise while delivering his victory speech at his party’s headquarters in Monrovia on Saturday.

He pledged to improve the lives of ordinary Liberians through the instrumentality of pro-poor governance.

He also promised to tackle corruption, which is a big issue in the country and improve the business environment to attract investments.

“I declare publicly today that transforming the lives of all Liberians is the singular mission and focus of my presidency.

“Over the next few days, we will assemble the government that is committed to fighting for the ideas that inspired our campaign and dedicated to delivering for the Liberian people.

“Those chosen to serve will and must be dedicated to the ideas of grassroots social transformation.

“Partisans looking to cheat the Liberian people through the menace of corruption will have no place in my administration,’’ he declared.

Weah thanked outgoing President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for sustaining peace in Liberia over the last 12 years, and for her commitment to the first democratic transfer of power in 73 years.

He said his administration would build on the institutional gains made by Sirleeaf, but quickly assured that change would be made where necessary.

The president-elect said the country was open and ready for business, calling on investors, partners and Liberians in the Diaspora to join hands with his administration to build the economy.

“We will work to relax constraints to private investment, strengthen the business, legal and regulatory environment, and protect business profits,’’ he said.

Weah extended a hand of fellowship to his rival in the just-concluded presidential runoff election and outgoing Vice President Joseph Boakai, saying he will be counting on his advice and contributions.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that expectations are high especially among young Liberians, his support base, for job creation and poverty reduction.

While he was delivering the address from the party’s conference room, a crowd of singing and dancing youth gathered outside the building.

They held placards and banners bearing inscriptions such as “CDC will support agriculture’’.

Thirty-four-old Lawrence Menden, an IT professional, said he had no doubt in the ability of Weah to “take Liberia out of the woods’’.

“Some people do not believe that Ambassador Weah has what it takes to perform as President, but they should wait and see; the man will surprise them,’’ he said.

NAN

Power Generation climbs to 5,222.3MW

The Transmission Company of Nigeria has announced that power generation across Nigeria has attained a new peak of 5,222.3 megawatts.

The TCN made this announcement on December 18 through a statement from Ndidi Mbah, its General Manager of Public Affairs. Mbah credited the new milestone in power generation to the strategy developed by the present administration to improve supply in the country.

Mbah noted that the TCN’s ability to key into the FG’s plan for the power sector enabled it to develop the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP), which would empower it to execute transmission projects nationwide.

She added that the project required the clearing of TCN’s containers [housing various transmission equipment] stranded at the seaports, in order to enable it complete previously abandoned projects to further expand the transmission grid.

A total 759 containers were abandoned by contractors at the seaports within the last five years and 454 have been cleared by the TCN from March to date. Mbah noted explained that payment for 193 containers have been made and are in the process of being cleared. However, she said that payment for the outstanding 112 containers are yet to be made.

She further explained that all the 454 containers cleared from the ports had been taken to various construction sites of the TCN in Yola, Gulak, Katsina, Jos, Dambatta, Ganmo, Abeokuta, Onitsha and Benin, as well as to Odoguyan, Ede, Igangan, Okene, Walalambe, Akwanga, Kachia, Kumbotso and Kaduna.

She added that the containers had been abandoned at the ports for between two and six years by contractors for various reasons, including suspension of TCN’s Import Duty Exemption Certificates (IDECs) in 2013 by the Ministry of Finance, slow processing of the IDECs by TCN in the past, and inefficiency of the contractors.

“The result was several uncompleted transmission projects in various parts of the country,” Mbah stated.

Mbah reiterated TCN’s commitment to stabilise, rehabilitate and expand the national grid and called on the public to work with it to safeguard transmission facilities across the country.

Corruption has made Nigeria ‘Laughing Stock’ – Magu

Chidi Samuel || The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has on Monday said that corruption in Nigeria has defied efforts at eradicating it and is making the country a laughingstock in the world.

The anti-graft czar said this in Abuja at the 68th General Assembly of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria, which had the theme, ‘The Nigerian Media and The War Against Corruption’.

He said, “Corruption in Nigeria is cancerous and has defied every effort at eradicating it while making the country a laughing stock in the committee of nations. There are few nations that are as rich as Nigeria, yet poor.”

“Poverty in the midst of wealth is the paradox of our existence, and corruption is the culprit.”

Magu blamed corruption for a majority of the country’s problems.

“We have never been in doubt that checking corruption is the fast way to escape from poverty and squalor. This is the reason why successive administrations make the fight against corruption a priority programme. But success in the endeavour has been mixed,” he said.

According to him while some Nigerians are content blaming successive regimes for lacking the will to tackle corruption, the majority of citizens share in the blame.

“As citizens and professionals, we have roles to play. The question is, how effectively have we played our roles of helping to fight corruption in Nigeria?”

While praising the theme of the BON General Assembly as apt, timely and evidence that “the media appreciates the fact that the anti-graft war is arguably the most urgent issue in our national agenda”, he challenged the media to better play its role.

He said, “As media practitioners, for instance, how effective have we been in helping to fight corruption? Unlike other professions, the media occupy a unique place in the fight against corruption and impunity in Nigeria.

“As the fourth estate of the realm, the media is the only profession that is constitutionally mandated to hold the nation’s leaders to account. How has the media fared in the discharge of this mandate?

“The roles which the founding fathers of the modern journalism played in the anti-colonial struggles are very well documented. The media was also at the vanguard of the struggle for the liberation of the country from the shackles of military dictatorship.

“But since the return to constitutional democracy in 1999, what has been the experience? As an observer, I will say the experience has been mixed. We have seen flashes of courageous reporting that have strengthened our public accountability architecture even as we also continue to be assailed by pedestrian performance by renegade section of the media involved in cronyism, sycophancy, and outright graft.”

Army Launches ‘Operation Egwu eke'(Python Dance2) in South East

Chidi Samuel || The federal government on Friday moved to tackle violent ”secessionist” agitation in the south east by deploying troops in what the army has called ”Operation Egwu Eke” ( Python dance2).

The Nigeria army chief of training and operations, DD Ahmadu who announced the deployment of the troops on behalf of the chief of army staff, Lt Gen. Buratai at a news conference on Friday, said the military exercise would commence in the five southeastern states from September 15.

According to the army, the security operation in the south-east is aimed at stamping out kidnapping, armed robbery and violent secessionist agitations.

Ahmadu said, “The commencement of Exercise Egwu Eke II, (python dance II) to be conducted in 82 division area of responsibility, covering Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states. The exercise is scheduled to take place from Friday 15 September to Saturday 14 October 2017,” Ahmadu said in a statement he delivered at the news conference.

“As you are all aware, a similar exercise nicknamed Egwu Eke I, (python dance I) was conducted from 27 Nov – 27 Dec 16 within the five south-eastern states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo. The objective was to effectively contain the reported cases of kidnapping and other vices prevalent in the south-east region every Yuletide. The effect of the exercise yielded tremendous results as law abiding citizens in the area celebrated the Christmas festivities of 2016 in safer environment than what it used to be.

“Building on this achievement, Exercise Egwu Eke II has become more expedient due to the mindless assassinations (even in religious places), attacks on security personnel and theft of weapons, kidnappings, armed banditry and violent agitations by secessionist groups, amongst other crimes that have recently bedevilled the region.”

He said during the exercise, “emphasis would be placed on raids, cordon and search operations, anti-kidnapping drills, road blocks, check points, patrols, humanitarian relief activities such as medical outreach and show of force to curb the rising threat to national security in the south-eastern part of the country”.

Ahmadu also said brigade headquarters would be established in all the southeastern states.

The Nigeria Army first held operation Python dance in November and December 2016.

Nigeria set to benefit from deep sea mining –  Dakuku

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside has stated that Nigeria is set to benefit from the deep sea mining through effective harnessing of the opportunities by working with the International Seabed Authority (ISBA).

The NIMASA DG who made this known at the opening ceremony of the 23rd Assembly of the International Seabed Authority (ISBA) held in Kingston, Jamaica said that irrespective of the numerous resources in Nigeria, there was the need to work more closely with the ISBA in the area of seabed resources exploration.

Peterside, who led the Nigerian delegation to the event, commended ISBA on its role in the optimal utilization of seabed resources among maritime stakeholders and solicited for assistance in the area of capacity building to survey deep sea and establish data base of mineral resources available for the benefit of all mankind.

He stated further that the Federal Government is currently developing policies that will aid the harnessing of seabed resources and will be working closely with the ISBA.

According to Peterside, “the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Transportation is developing a country blue economy policy and strategy which will incorporate the sustainable development of the country’s deep seabed resources”.

Speaking further, he said at the moment the Nigerian Navy Hydrographic office has been undertaking hydrographic survey and charting of our maritime area, and added that in the same vein NIMASA is working with Nigerian Navy to effectively enforce the United Nations Convention on the law of the sea and other relevant international maritime instruments to which we are a party around our continental shelf.

He also noted that, while seeking exploitation of the mineral resources within the Seabed off our national maritime jurisdiction, marine environment preservation and protection will continue to be given top priority.

Dakuku used the opportunity to congratulate Mr. Michael Lodge of the United Kingdom on his appointment as Secretary General of ISBA Council and Eugenio Joao Muianga of Mozambique on his election as President of the Authority’s 23rd session.

He added that Africa is proud of the feat of Eugenio Joao Muianga and pledged that Nigeria is ready to cooperate with and support the work of the Authority while looking forward to benefiting from available opportunities.

The International Seabed Authority is an autonomous international organization established under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The Authority, which has its headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica, came into existence on 16 November 1994, upon the entry into force of the 1982 Convention and as at July 25, 2016 it has 168 member countries of which Nigeria is one.