Monday, 29 July 2013

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  Again, Nigerians say ‘No’
Again, Nigerians say ‘No’

Again, Nigerians say ‘No’

WHAT on earth would make the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) seek to exhume the plan to redesign the naira so soon after Nigerians resoundingly rejected it? The pull of exigency or the lure of institutional hubris? Whichever it is, the attempt by the CBN to revisit the naira redesign issue at this time is both inexplicable and wrong.
Ten months ago, precisely on September 20, 2012, President Goodluck Jonathan had, in the height of the opposition to the measure ordered the apex bank to halt its earlier announced currency restructuring to allow for further “enlightenment and consultation”. We consider it unimaginable that the CBN would, in less than one year, seek to upturn the order. Worse however is that the apex bank has remained far less convincing on a project expected to gulp billions of taxpayers’ funds now than it was 10 months ago.
We consider it worrisome that Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s CBN wants the naira redesign project so bad – so bad it would go against the grain of public opinion as it is wont to do. Clearly, this is the only way to make sense of the statement credited to him while appearing before members of the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency last week that “one of the reasons we wanted to have a restructuring of the redesign of the currency a few months ago was because many of our notes had been in existence for upward of eight or even 10 years… the best practice is that within a period of five to eight years you redesign the currency, after which counterfeiters tend to catch up”. That was hubris at best.
Why are Nigerians opposed to the idea of wholesale redesign of the naira? This, unfortunately, is where the CBN chooses to misrepresent the argument. Just as nobody questions the exercise as the prerogative of the CBN; the issue is the apex bank’s unconvincing statement on the relationship between the cost of the exercise and the benefits. Aside being a drain on the public till, it promises to be a major source of capital flight. We do not see anything of the so-called best practices argument as obviating these facts. Indeed, we suspect that the only reason the idea keeps popping up is because the CBN has inexhaustible funds to play with.
Shouldn’t the nation by now have learnt enough from such costly experimentations? The lesson of the nation’s romance with Securency International, manufacturer of polymer notes scandal is still fresh. A bribe of N750 million was said to have been paid to some Nigerian officials by the Australian firm. Whereas their foreign counterparts have been convicted, their Nigerian accomplices are walking free. That is not even all; only recently it was revealed that the polymer was a far poorer alternative to what was previously in use.
Is someone again attempting to lead the nation by the nose?
The point is that the CBN admits that only a fraction of the processed notes in circulation is fake. It’s percentage of fake notes processed was given as 3.9 per cent in 2007, six percent in 2008, 8.4 percent in 2009, 7.4 per cent in 2010, 5.4 per cent in 2011 and 8.4 percent in 2012. If this is the case, why go the whole hog of redesign?
Shouldn’t the addition of extra security features have sufficed if it is about curbing the menace of counterfeiting? Wouldn’t that be far less costly?
At this time, Nigerians ought to worry about the apex bank’s fixation with currency restructuring. Redesigning the naira seems to us as the least of the problems that the CBN has to contend with; if the apex bank is in doubt of where to start, a good place is the current out-of-reach cost of funds.
ACN to INEC: you’ve no reason to deny APC registration
ACN to INEC: you’ve no reason to deny APC registration

ACN to INEC: you’ve no reason to deny APC registration

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has met all the requirements to consumate its merger, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) said yesterday.
The party said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has no defensible reason not to approve the merger.
In a statement in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said despite recent media reports concerning the antics of some negative forces within INEC over APC’s registration, the emerging party’s leadership has no doubt that in the end, the electoral body will do what is right in accordance with the law.
It, therefore, dismissed as a mere speculation the report that INEC was planning to write a letter to the proponents of APC to find another name because of a court case instituted by a political association over the APC acronym.
‘’We are convinced that INEC has no discernible reason to write such a letter to us. In the first instance, there exists no court injunction anywhere restraining the commission from registering APC. There could be many court cases, but until there is a court order, no one can pre-empt what a court will do and act on that basis.
‘’Again, we have met all the stipulated requirements. INEC has also inspected our proposed headquarters in Abuja and sighted all our interim officers. The merger process may be novel, but we have played according to the rules and we expect nothing less from INEC,’’ ACN said.
The party expressed satisfaction with the statement credited to Mr. Kayode Idowu, spokesman for the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, that there is no court injunction compelling the Commission to stop the merger.
‘’We believe we are on the same page with INEC as far as this trail-brazing merger is concerned, and that has been confirmed by the INEC spokesman, and we therefore call on the Commission to do the proper thing right now – which is the registration of APC.
‘’There is no doubt that INEC is under tremendous pressure, from both the card-carrying PDP members of the Commission and their collaborators who are mortally afraid of the merger, and who will want the electoral body to commence, right now, the process of rigging the 2015 election in their favour.
‘’But we urge INEC not to compromise its neutrality and integrity by acting contrary to the law. We remind the Commission that Nigerians are keenly watching how it will handle this merger issue, and whatever it does will determine whether or not Nigerians can count on it to organise a free, fair and credible elections in 2015.
‘’Given the already over-heated polity ahead of the 2015 elections, we believe INEC will not do anything that will aggravate the situation,’’ it said.
Meanwhile, the ACN has appealed to all the supporters of the emerging APC across the country to remain calm over the registration.
‘’We know that many of our teeming supporters are upset by the report of the shenanigans in INEC over this issue. But it is important for them to remain law-abiding as we await the decision of INEC.


  Rivers crisis: Anxiety over House Leader’s health
Rivers crisis: Anxiety over House Leader’s health

Rivers crisis: Anxiety over House Leader’s healness

RIVERS State Assembly Leader Chidi Lloyds is going blind, his colleagues have said.
Lloyd, a lawyer, who represents Emohua Constituency, has been moved from the Police Officers’ Mess, Old Government Reservation Area (GRA), Port Harcourt, where he was detained on Friday, to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID). He is not allowed to receive visitors and has got no medical help, his colleagues claimed.
Speaking yesterday in Port Harcourt on behalf of the 27 lawmakers loyal to Governor Rotimi Amaechi, the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Leyii Kwanee, said Lloyd’s health was deteriorating. He needs medical attention.
Kwanee, a lawyer, who represents Khana Constituency 2 and also the Chairman, Parliamentary Exchange and Mentorship Programme of the Pan African Parliament, revealed that the Speaker, Otelemaba Dan Amachree, was away in Namibia for the conference of Commonwealth Parliamentarians.
The 27 lawmakers said: “We need to ensure that democracy is respected in Rivers State. Hon. Chidi Lloyd reported himself to the Force Headquarters, Abuja on Tuesday. He was flown into Port Harcourt on Friday. We thought he would be charged to court that day.
“As I speak with you now, he is being held up at the State CID by the same police authorities under the leadership of Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu.
“Hon. Chidi Lloyd was blindfolded, tortured and teargas was sprayed all over him. We have been refused access to him. We have just been informed that Hon. Chidi Lloyd is going blind, occasioned by the teargas that was sprayed all over him, particularly in his eyes. Medical help has also been refused him.
“Today (yesterday), the 27 pro-Amaechi lawmakers have met in all the churches. We have been praying, seeking God’s intervention. We all know that Nigerians are prayerful people. We are also not losing sight of the fact that Nigeria is a signatory to a lot of conventions and treaties bordering on human rights.
“We are assembling a team of lawyers, who will look at the possibility of putting together all the human rights abuses that have been inflicted on Hon. Chidi Lloyd, the leader of the 7th Assembly, with a view that if justice cannot be got on the shores of Nigeria, human rights transcend borders.
“We may seek justice to ensure that Hon. Chidi Lloyd’s rights are protected and his cause is also ventilated, probably in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), if it comes to that. The Speaker will also draw the attention of the Commonwealth to the ugly development.”
The pro-Amaechi lawmakers also lauded Senators for concurring with the members of the House of Representatives in taking over the Rivers Assembly, which they described as a welcome development and in the best interest of Nigerians.
They described the commissioner of police as a “major” problem in the deepening political crisis, insisting that the decision of the National Assembly to advise that he be redeployed should be heeded.
The 27 lawmakers noted that with a “neutral” police commissioner, they would be able to sit. To them, the reconciliation committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), headed by Bayelsa Governor Seriake Dickson, will not serve the interest of Rivers State.
Earlier, in a statement issued yesterday, 25 of the 27 lawmakers said Mbu should be held responsible, should anything happen to Lloyd.
The pro-Amaechi lawmakers also said: “The Leader of the Rivers House of Assembly, Hon. (Barr.) Chidi Lloyd had earlier in the week reported to the Force Headquarters, Abuja and had what the Force Headquarters described as ‘meaningful interactions’ for four days.
“Since his arrival in Port Harcourt, the Rivers Police Commissioner, Mbu Joseph Mbu, has assaulted and tortured him (Lloyd) like a criminal. They have been moving him from one station to another since he reported to CP Mbu’s office on arrival from Abuja.
“As his lawyer, Bello Olisa Nwofor, stated: ‘the continued blindfolding and detention of Hon. Chidi Lloyd by the police is emphatically dangerous to his health and life.’
“We have also heard from the lawyer who accompanied Lloyd from Force Headquarters to Port Harcourt, Barr. Emenike Ebete, that over 500 riot policemen escorted Chidi Lloyd from the airport to CP’s office and transported in a ‘Black Maria’ as authorities would move criminals.
“As a House, we are indeed saddened to note that the Leader of the Rivers House of Assembly was blindfolded, tear-gassed and handcuffed. As victims of this scripted and staged crisis from Abuja, with a junior minister playing a major role and the police commissioner, Rivers State, as key actor, our worry:
“• Is Mbu aware of Chidi Lloyd’s medical history? This calculated poisoning of Chidi Lloyd reminds us of the assumed circumstances leading to the death of our one-time Senate President Dr. Chuba Okadigbo.
“•Why the blindfold? He is only alleged to have committed an offence. He is not a terrorist nor an armed robber; neither is he a kidnapper. He is a representative of Emohua Constituency of Ikwerre ethnic nationality at the Rivers State House of Assembly and a legal practitioner, who will stand for truth and justice, even when the truth is too much for those bent on destroying our hard-earned democracy, with unnecessary impunity.
“•Why the handcuffs, when he submitted himself to the police?”
The pro-Amaechi lawmakers also stated that they were “genuinely” anxious over the life of Lloyd, whose whereabouts they claimed remained unknown.
The lawmakers who signed the statement are: Golden Ngozi Chioma, Innocent Barikor, Josiah John Olu, Ibiso Nwuche, Belema Okpokiri, Legbosi Nwidadah, Andrew Anderson Miller, Augustine Ngo, Ben Horsfall, Okechukwu Nwaogu, Victor Amadi, Azubike Chikere Wanjoku and Victoria Nyeche.
Others were Benibo Anabraba, Irene Inimgba, Felicia Barizasi-Tane, Aye Atamah Pepple, Onari Brown, Gift Wokocha, Ewor Nname Robinson, Lucky Odili, Chigbo Eligwe, Leyii Kwanee, Ikwunyi Igbani, Tonye Harry and Otelemaba Amachree.
Mbu, however, insisted that he remained a professional police officer, not taking sides and not a politician, as alleged in some quarters.
Boko Haram kills 20

Boko Haram kills

Suspected Boko Haram members at the weekend shot dead more than 20 civilians in northern Borno State, a military spokesman said yesterday.
“The suspected sect members came armed and fired sporadic shots that killed over 20 innocent civilians,” Lt. Haruna Mohammed Sani, spokesman for the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) said.
The violence took place on Saturday in Dawashe village, the army lieutenant said in a statement.
He said men from the Civilian Joint Task Force, a vigilance group formed in Boko Haram’s bastion Maiduguri, to combat the Islamist gunmen who have been terrorising the region for many years, entered Dawashe to search for suspects.
The suspected Boko Haram members subsequently opened fire in the village, the spokesman said, adding that the 20 victims were mostly fishermen and traders.
Sani said a dozen other civilians sustained gunshot wounds during the incident but provided no information on casualties among the belligerents.
The toll and circumstances of the incident could not be immediately verified independently.
Among those killed were five members of the “Civilian JTF” who were on a manhunt for Boko Haram in Mainok town, 58km west of Maiduguri.
The attack on the “Civilian JTF” was the first since the group took courage to hunt down Boko Haram in the state in the last two months.
It was also confirmed that a heavily armed Quick Reaction Squad from MNJTF had been deployed to ensure the safety of lives and property in the area.
Dawashi, Daban-Masara and Malan karanti villages are believed to be the stronghold of the insurgent.
The MNJTF said: “As part of the excellent Civil-Military Relations and humanitarian gesture demonstrated by Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), a dozen of Boko Haram victims affected by the attack in Dawashe District of Kukawa Local Government, got medical treatment in the Headquarters Field Ambulance in Baga town”.
Some members of the “Civilian JTF” also confirmed to reporters in Maiduguri that five of their members who were killed are from Ajilari, Ngomari Airport and Bulumkutu Ward of Maiduguri Metropolitan.
A member, Aliko Musa said: “it was a huge loss to us, some of our brave colleagues were killed yesterday by the outlawed Boko Haram; they paid the supreme price when we visited Mainok village in search of the terrorists but we shall not relent”, he added.
Spokesman for the JTF, Lt Col Sagir Musa however denied the figure even as he confirmed the Mainok attack. According to him, only one of the Youth Volunteers died while another sustained injuries.
The MNJTF, a joint military force set up in 1998 to combat border crimes, consists of troops from Nigeria, Chad and Niger.
UK £3,000 visa bond to begin in Novemer
UK £3,000 visa bond to begin in November

UK £3,000 visa bond to begin in November

Despite British Prime Minister David Cameron’s assurance that he will not sanction the controversial 3000 pounds visa bond, his government last weekend insisted it would begin the trial this November. The visa is to restrict some visitors from India, Nigeria, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
They will have to pay the cash bond in return for visitor visas that allow them to stay in the UK for up to six months.
At the height of the controversy, David Cameron’s administration assured that he would not sanction the policy. But last weekend, FT said: “Britain is pressing ahead with its trial of a scheme to make visitors from six countries pay a £3,000 bond, despite an international backlash and complaints from businesses. The government said it would begin a pilot in November to impose visa restrictions on six Commonwealth nations, including India and Nigeria, even though David Cameron poured cold water on the scheme in June after it provoked uproar in Delhi.”
“The Prime Minister has not cleared this policy. He doesn’t want to do anything that cuts across the message he took to India,” an ally of Mr. Cameron had told The Financial Times at the time.
The British government has reportedly decided to go ahead with it though the Home Office insisted that it was meant to target only “high-risk” applicants.
An official told media that the scheme would be “highly selective”, targeting only “suspicious” applicants.
Under a “pilot” scheme, to be introduced in November, first-time visitors from six non-white Commonwealth countries, including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, will be required to deposit a cash bond of £3,000 for a British visa. It will apply only to those seeking a six-month visitors’ visa.
According to the government, these six countries pose the “most significant risk of abuse’’ of visas by their citizens.
“In the long run, we are interested in a system of bonds that deters overstaying and recovers costs if a foreign national has used our public services,” the Home Office said.
The move comes barely weeks after Mr. Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg were reported to have refused to clear the scheme in its present form, fearing that the backlash in India and Nigeria threatened to damage bilateral relations at a time when Britain is desperately trying to woo Indian investors and tourists.
Cameron was reported as saying that he would “not sanction’’ any policy that was likely to undermine his push for investment.
The Financial Times said that the u-turn had provoked anger in Britain’s business circles, who described the plan as an “insulting deterrent” to wealthy tourists from countries like India and Nigeria.
“They are urging the government to drop the pilot, saying the restrictions will damage their business if Commonwealth tourists, particularly Nigerians, now the sixth biggest spenders on luxury goods in Britain, are put off,” it said.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Troops Withdrawal From Mali: Nigeria Petitions Ban Ki-Moon, UN Sec. Gen



Contrary to the mis-conception that the Federal Government of Nigeria is withdrawing its troops from the United Nations, UN, peace-keeping force in Mali because of pressing security challenges at home, Sunday Vanguard has authoritatively learnt that the action is a protest against the UN for naming a Rwandan army general as the force commander instead of a Nigerian officer.
photo Contrary to the mis-conception that the Federal Government of Nigeria is withdrawing its troops from the United Nations, UN, peace-keeping force in Mali because of pressing security challenges at home, Sunday Vanguard has authoritatively learnt that the action is a protest against the UN for naming a Rwandan army general as the force commander instead of a Nigerian officer.
The Rwandan is 50-year-old General Jean-Bosco Kazura and he has been appointed to command the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Nigeria’s Major General Shehu Abdulkadir, who was the force commander of African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) from inception in January 2013, was said to have come out tops in the interview for the appointment of the force commander but was sidelined, a source said.
This is the first time Nigeria would be unilaterally recalling its troops from any UN operations.
Nigeria is the fourth largest troop contributing country under the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations – and no Nigerian has had any appointment as force commander in any of the UN peace keeping missions.
“Kazura is to assume command on 1 July 2013” which is “in accordance with the Security Council resolution 2100 of 25 April 2013,” Eduardo del Buey, deputy spokesperson for Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary Generay of UN, said at a briefing. The Council resolution stipulates that the 15-member body will review the transition of authority to Kazura and “the transfer of authority is to take place from the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) to MINUSMA,” del Buey  added. In April, the UN Security Council approved the 12, 600-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation to take over in Mali on July 1 for an initial period of 12 months.
The main task of MINUSMA is to support the political process in Mali, in coordination with the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The UN currently has 15 peacekeeping operations and one special political mission – the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
Sunday Vanguard was told by a very dependable source privy to the goings-on, that Nigeria had, indeed, earlier sent a protest letter to Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the UN, when the idea was being mooted that General Kazura would lead the force.
The letter, it was learnt, expressed, in both strong and persuasive terms, the incongruity in appointing a Rwandan to lead a force that is preponderantly populated by Nigerian military personnel.
In fact, “Nigeria had expected a favourable response from the Office of the Secretary General on the matter but going ahead with the appointment of the Rwandan suggests that the Sec. Gen. was not persuaded”, the source said.
Of note, diplomatic sources said, is the fact that “Kazura fought in the 1990s in the ranks of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the rebellion led by now President Paul Kagame, who took power in Kigali in 1994 to end the genocide.
In 2010, he was briefly arrested for “insubordination” after travelling without permission to South Africa to watch the football World Cup and he has over 24 years of national and international military experience, as well as command and staff experience. In February, Nigeria sent 1200 troops for AFISMA.  In terms of hardware contribution, the Nigeria Air Force deployed two Dassault-Breguet Dornier Alpha fighter jets and two Mi-35 Helicopters, the C-130 transport Hercules and the medium carrier, the G222, among oth
Despite dwindling oil revenues that have drastically impacted Bayelsa State as well as N4 billion pension liabilities, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa has just lavished public funds on a beauty pageant that was supposed to be the private affair of the Murray-Bruce family in Yenegoa.
This is despite the governor saying recently said that the sponsorship of entertainment awards by the state government was not in the interest of the state’s oil-dependent and consumption economy.  It was also gathered that the state currently has a pension liability of about N4 billion, which compelled pensioners to stage a public protest a fortnight ago.
The justification for the policy summersault to permit expending state resources to fund a beauty pageant in a state where basic social amenities are non-existent is unclear, especially coming from Dickson, who claims to run a prudent and transparent administration.
It would be recalled that earlier this year, the Bayelsa Government had to embark on a fundraising dinner to raise part of the sponsorship funds for the African Movie Academy Awards hosted by the state.
Observers of developments in Bayelsa said that beauty pageant sponsorship may be a form of patronage for Mr. Ben Murray-Bruce, the Chairman of the organizing Silverbird Group who contested the gubernatorial election with Dickson two years ago.
“The show was packaged to assuage the carnal lust of the political class and this is very sad development from a government that pledged to deviate from the culture of waste of public resources by previous governments,” an analyst said.  “How can a state where there is endemic poverty and no public water supply and be wasting billions of Naira in sponsoring a beauty pageant where the elites will simply spend one night watching nudity and nakedness of young girls.
Asked Ephraim Johnson, a resident of Yenagoa, the state capital, “Is this the way he will develop the state? It is rather shocking that while the masses are struggling with refuse heaps and crying for basic infrastructure, the politicians are spending the commonwealth of the state on trivial things as beauty pageants.”
The beauty contest itself was marred by irregularities as the organizers, perhaps rewarding the government sponsorship, manipulated the results in favour of the Bayelsa contestant.  Her performance in the interview segment before the live audience was abysmal and clearly inferior to that of the runner-up.
The development drew jeers from the crowd while fans of Miss Omo, who was declared runner up, left the hall in droves.
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READ MORE:  http://news.naij.com/40833.html?sub=1&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=local

Is Denrele Gay? You Won't Believe His Response 

Nigerian entertainer, Denrele Edun has been the source of quite a few controversies.
One of which is the question of his sexuality. Perhaps, due to his feminine and flamboyant nature, a lot of people have wondered if he is indeed homosexual.
He addresses the rumors below;
Is Derenle Gay?
I think people believe what they want to believe.
But a lot of people believe you are. And to prove them right, a picture of you Charley Boy went viral on the internet recently…
I don’t read the news, I make the news. The thing is people tend to look for loopholes when they see you doing well. And since people feel I’m feminine in nature, then they think I’m gay. But the truth is I don’t really care about what people say because I’m not fashioned according to what the society expects. And also I think for my personality, if I were gay, the news would have grown from speculations and would have been in people’s face.
On the part of Charley Boy and me, I was not expecting the paparazzi that came with the picture.
So what was the picture about then?
I really don’t want to go into details, but it could have been a controversial agenda, it could have a been a publicity stunt, it could have been the real deal and it could have been photoshopped, but whatever it was, people should just go ahead and make their conclusions.
So why is Denrele still single?
I’m a hustler and I’m still trying to get myself together. When the time comes, I’ll get married definitely, but there’s no one in the picture now. I’m searching and ready to mingle.
Who is your ideal woman?
"I like someone who would not try to change me and who would understand the complexity that I am. I want someone simple and absolutely free and not intimidated by what I represent."
It will probably be interesting to know that he did not outrightly deny being gay, and he avoided pronouns when replying the question regarding his ideal "woman".
Anyway, check out the infamous pictures of him and Charly Boy below. And as for his sexuality, looks like he will continue to keep us guessing.
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Nobody Can Force Me Out Of PDP – Amaechi

26 July, 2013


Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has said nobody can stampede him out of the Peoples Democratic Party.
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The governor also said he did not have to tell President Goodluck Jonathan or anybody about his ambition before contesting any public office.
Amaechi, who said he had yet to declare his ambition to contest the Vice-Presidency in PDP, spoke in an interview monitored on the BBC programme, Hard Talks, on Thursday.
He said, “You see what you must know is that I believe in the rule of law. Let’s even assume, for the purpose of argument, that an ambition exists, nobody has the right to bring down a state just because an ambition exists.
“It is important to say clearly that everybody should allow 2015 for 2015; it is a bit too early. The President is elected to preside as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and I support that and I want everybody to allow Mr. President to preside over the country for the interest of the country.”
According to Amaechi, there are people around  Jonathan, who abuse and compromise power.
He added, “When the Financial Times reporter interviewed me in Port-Harcourt, I did make that clear. That was the day some hoodlums were hired to stone some northern governors, who visited me to show solidarity.”
On the crisis rocking Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Amaechi said he won his election against Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, who many believed had the backing of the presidency against him.
Asked why he did not tell Jonathan about his intention to contest, he said, “Nobody told me not to run. I challenge anybody. There is no law that requires me to tell anyone that I was going to run.
“That is the freedom we are looking for in the Nigerian Governors Forum. I didn’t need to go to Mr. President to tell him that ‘Mr. President, I want to run for the office of the chairman of the Nigeria’s Governors Forum’. I didn’t have to do that and I didn’t do that. And he, in turn, did not tell me ‘don’t run, I heard you are going to run’. So, I ran, and I didn’t see the President on the ballot, the person I saw on the ballot was Jonah Jang.
“The result was clear that 19 governors voted for me. He didn’t object to the fact that I won.”
On the demand by Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, that he should leave PDP, Amaechi said, “He (Wike) doesn’t have the right to tell me where I should belong to whether I want to belong to the PDP or not. He doesn’t have that right. We have all been in PDP.
“Let’s assume that I remain in the PDP. Let’s assume that I am running for the office of the vice president, would my leaving PDP not enhance that assumption?
“The reason for remaining in PDP is because nobody can chase me out of PDP. I am a member of PDP and I love to be a member of PDP. We must allow 2015 to remain for 2015. Nobody can now state if you want to be president or you don’t want to be president.”the president should allow peace to lead.

FG And ASUU Meet Today Over Strike

26 July, 2013
Education


The Federal Government will meet the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, today on the ongoing strike embarked on by university lecturers over the non- implementation of the 2009 FG/ASUU agreement, which has been on for weeks.
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The meeting comes following the denial of Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu of a newspaper report that the Federal Government agreement with ASUU could not work.
The minister said he never made such a statement and that he only appealed to the union to return to the classrooms while negotiations continued.
Last week’s meeting of the two sides with the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Education had ended in deadlock as both sides seems to be ready to compromise their stands. The two groups were told by the lawmakers, to go back and review their positions, while they choose a later date to reconvene.
Fielding questions from journalists, yesterday, Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufa’I, said that the Federal Government had no other option than to meet with the union to resolve the crisis, so students can return to school.
“Government has no option but to make efforts to resolve ASUU crisis. Mr. President is concerned, everybody is concerned, definitely, efforts will have to be made to have students back in classrooms.
“So we are pleading with our colleagues in ASUU to call off the strike but we are meeting with them, we are meeting tomorrow (today).
Lamenting the state of Nigeria’s economy, President of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Dr. Nasir Fagge, said Nigeria’s economy had been taken over by Chinese, as leaders in Nigeria have refused to provide quality education to the people, while the Chinese government trained its people in all sectors with the necessary facilities.
Fagge said Nigeria’s economy will continue going down the sorry path it is on now, except leaders of the country provided universities with adequate facilities to give qualitative education to the youths.
“The thing about it is that, if other countries are investing about 28-30 per cent of their annual budget in education, typically Ghana–even this year, Ghana has committed 28 per cent of its total budget to education, if they can do it, why not Nigeria.
“Even now, what is happening is that the Chinese have taken over our economy simply because they have trained their people, they have educated their people and their people can compete any where in the World that is why our President is going to China to go and sign MoU (Memorandum of Understanding).
“Why cant we do the same, why cant we train our people and give them quality education so that we will also be exporting them to go and carry out assignments in other countries and then bring foreign exchange for our country and then we will not need to be importing people to come and do some sundry projects in our country."
He however expressed optimism that the agreement the union entered into with the federal government would be implemented.
“This thing that they are saying agreement cannot be implemented, we have heard it before. Prof. Ben Nwabueze was always in the media when he was the Minister of Education saying that it was an agreement of imperfect obligation,” he said.
The outcome of today’s meeting will determine the fate of students who bear the brunt of strike actions like this.please students should be calm

REVEALED: "Jonathan, Tukur Freed Al-Mustapha From Jail"

26 July, 2013


The leader of Northern Elders and Youth Forum, NEYF, Dauda Birma, said on Thursday that President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, provided the enabling environment for the release of Hamza Al-Mustapha, the Chief Security Officers, CSO, to the late Head of State, Sani Abacha.
photo
He also said that his group would support Mr. Jonathan for the 2015 presidential election, insisting that the president was credible and qualified to run.
Mr Birma, a former Education Minister in the administration of Mr. Abacha, stated this during the group’s visit to Mr. Tukur at the PDP national secretariat in Abuja.
Members of two other groups – Fresh Air Youth on Continuity and North/South New Nigeria Forum – accompanied the NEYF to the party’s secretariat.
Mr. Birma, who was a presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, in 2011, praised Messrs Jonathan and Tukur for the roles they played in securing freedom for Mr Al-Mustapha two weeks ago.
According to him, the army officer couldn’t have regained his freedom by mere pronouncement of judiciary without the concurrence of the executive arm.
“I know how much the chairman has been working hard to get Al-Mustapha released,” the former minister said.
“I know that someone who has worked with a former head of state and was incarcerated for 15 years cannot be released by mere pronouncements of the judiciary without the concurrence of the executive.
“I must thank Mr. Chairman for getting the ear of the President for this gesture. I must also thank the Nigerian women: three staunch women sat on the judgment and we want to thank the Nigerian women.
“Goodluck Jonathan’s leadership has been rated as the best administration so far. With what Jonathan has done in Maiduguri, I can affirm that the city is now safer than most parts of the country”.
Two members of the groups, Muhammed Waziri and Aisha Abdulkadir, who also spoke during the visit said Mr. Tukur was facing criticisms from some members of the party because of his insistence on fairness and truth.
They assured that the groups would mobilise support for Mr. Jonathan during the 2015 presidential elections.
Responding, Mr. Tukur promised to inform Mr. Jonathan about their promises.
He said the party would no longer condone divide and rule tactics and would ensure equity and fairness for its members.
Mr. Tukur also asked Nigerians to work harmoniously to achieve progress, adding that what the president had done so far would secure Nigeria a permanent seat of the UN Security Council.our president is some how corrupt
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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

How Banna emerged Most Beautiful Girl winner

With elegant display of contemporary traditional costumes, depicting the peculiar symbol of each state in Nigeria, erotic see-through dress parade and the dreaded IQ test, a personality quest session for 32 young girls  in the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) pageant, 18-year-old Anna Ebiri Banna was Saturday night crowned the queen.
Coincidentally, Banna, who was crested Miss Bayelsa, after her home state, stunned the crowd in the banquet hall of the Bayelsa State Government House with poise each time she appeared on stage. The State was hosting  the contest for the first time.
Close to Banna’s success as 1st Runner Up was Okwu Stephanie, representing Imo State.
Banna who also won the best traditional costume award at the show got an addition from Governor Henry Dickson, who immediately announced her as Special Assistant on Culture and Tourism.
The new queen who took over the reigns from MBGN 2012 winner, Isabele Ayuk, will be representing Nigeria at the Miss World pageant, holding later in the year in Takarta, Indonesia, while the 1st Runner Up will be representing Nigeria at the Miss Universe contest holding in Moscow, Russia in November.
As usual, Banna’s crown goes with an undisclosed  cash prize and  a  brand new  car.
The governor praised the dedication of contestants who brought fanfare to the State having lived in Bayelsa for two weeks during the pre-event activities, visiting beautiful tourist sites.
” Only one winner will emerge, but having seen these young girls earlier, I am convinced that they are all winners already,” he said before the verdict.
The governor noted that Silverbird Group has produced several beauties, including Agbani Darego who hails from the South-South and had represented Nigeria as Miss World.
He said his aspiration as governor is that every quarter, there will be major tourism event of international reputation in the State. ‘The new Bayeslsa’ he said, is safe and that he is looking forward to hosting the MBGN pageant every year. He announced that in September, a similar initiative: the Centenary Beauty Pageant will take place in Bayelsa.
MBGN in Bayelsa took place four months after the State hosted the prestigious Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).
“For us, playing host to these historic events within a space of just four months gives credence to the fact that Bayelsa is fast growing to become the next tourism hub of the country. It also speaks volume of the restoration of government unwavering commitments to the promotion of gender equality as illustrated in the national gender policy of our great country.” He said.
Mr. Ben Murray-Bruce, Chairman of Silverbird Group, organisers of the pageant said the essence of the competition is to bring about unity among ladies with different cultural and social backgrounds.
“In over 25 years, we have produced beautiful ambassador who have represented Nigeria at various international events.”
Star actress Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde was among the seven judges of the competition. Adding pep to the show were sterling performances by ‘Limpopo’ crooner;KCee of former Kcee and Presh group and Project Fame star, Timi Dakolo

How First Lady’s mum died in car crash

Details of the accident in which the mother of First Lady Patience Jonathan died emerged yesterday. The car on somersaulted several times before it crashed, it was learnt.
The lone accident on the Elele-Isiokpo road involved only the Toyota Corolla saloon in which the late Madam Charity Fynetaco Kalada and three others were travelling.
They were believed to be heading for Bayelsa State when the accident occurred.
Besides, Madam Kalada, her 14-year-old relative whose name was simply given as Favour, also died in the accident.
One of the front tyres of the car, marked ABU 153 AE was said to have suddenly pulled off when the car was negotiating a bend. The car to somersault many times.
Favour was a student of the Seventh Day Adventist Church Secondary School, Elele, Rivers State.
The driver of the car whose name was given as Stanley Enyinnaya, and the fourth occupant, a woman, are receiving treatment in a private hospital at the Government Reservation Area (GRA), Port Harcourt.
A source in the Office of the First Lady said:
“The First Lady is, indeed, very devastated by the sad news. We are expecting her back in the country tomorrow (today).”
Mama Sisi was in Germany for treatment on an undisclosed ailment about three months ago. The Presidency, following speculations, explained that the First Lady was not sick but went to Germany to attend to her mother.
Favour’s body was also deposited along with the remains of Madam Kalada at the Kpaima Mortuary, Elechi Beach, Mile One, Diobu, Port Harcourt on Monday evening.
Two other occupants (male and female) in the car, who are critically injured are being treated in a private hospital at the Government Reservation Area (GRA) in the Rivers State capital.
Doctors were battling to save the two survivors when our reporter left the hospital at about 3pm.
Rivers police spokesperson Angela Agabe said details of the accident were sketchy. She said investigation was ongoing.
Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC)Sector Commander Dr. Kayode Olagunju said: “We do not speak on certain cases, until all the facts are fully established.”
Madam Kalada was adopted by Dame Jonathan as mother, to fill in for her biological mother, who died during her teen years.
Dame Patience left for home yesterday following the death of her mum. She was away in Geneva when the crash occurred.
The news was said to have been broken to her in Geneva by President Goodluck Jonathan through the telephone on Monday night.
Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke commiserated with the First Family on the death of the mother of the First Lady.
Imoke described her death as painful and unfortunate.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Christian Ita, the Governor said the incident was tragic.
“It is with a sense of shock and loss that I received the sad news,” he said.
He urged the First Family to find consolation in the fact that “she lived an exemplary worthy of emulation.”
Imoke said she will be sorely missed.
Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson described the death as a great blow to her family and the nation
In a statement his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson Dickson said: “The death of Mama is a great blow and an irreparable loss to her immediate family and the nation as a whole. Her motherly and wise counsel will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
“Her demise is coming at such a time when the First Lady and her family needed her support and encouragement most.”
He urged the Mrs. Jonathan, the family and the Oba family of Okrika in Rivers State to accept the “unfortunate incident as the Will of God and take it with philosophical calmness”.
“The Bayelsa State, Governor, on behalf of the Government and people of Bayelsa State prayed God to strengthen and grant Dame (Dr.) Patience Jonathan and the entire family the fortitude and courage to bear the loss” he said.

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