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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Shake Up in Army


The Chief of Army Staff, Major General Tukur Buratai has appointed new General Officers Commanding the Divisions of the Nigerian Army and other new Principal Staff Officers to run the affairs of Nigerian Army Headquarters.
In what is seen as a massive shake up, Buratai also appointed new Corps Commanders, Special Task Forces Commanders, a new Commander for the Multi-national Joint Task Force to tackle Boko Haram, new Brigade Commanders as well as new Defence Advisers in Nigeria’s foreign missions abroad.
Maj Gen T Y Buratai, Chief of Army Staff
The new General Officers Commanding are Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, GOC ‘1’ Division, Kaduna. He was formerly the Deputy Commandant of the National Defence College, Abuja; Major General L.C. Ilo is the new GOS 2 Division, Ibadan. He replaces Major General SM Muazu who is appointed Commander, Infantry Corps, Jaji; Major General H. Umaru is the new GOC 3 Armoured Division, Jos.
Others are Major General M.A Koleoso, new Commander, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Minna. He takes over from the new Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Olonishakin. He was formerly Director of Administration at Defence Headquarters; Major General H. Edet, new GOC 81 Division, Lagos. He was formerly the Commandant, Nigerian Army Training Center (NATRAC), Kotangora; Brigadier General Ibrahim Attahiru firmerly the Brigade Commander, 13 Brigade, Calabar is the Acting GOC, 82 Division, Enugu. He takes over from Major General S. Yusuf who is redeployed to Defence Headquarters as Chief of Training and Operations.
Among the new Principal Staff Officers at Army headquarters are Major General F.O. Alli, formerly the GOC 3 Division, Jos, now the Chief of Training and Operations (CTOP) at Army Headquarters; Major General Ogunewe, formerly the Defence Adviser New York, is the new Chief of Policy and Plans; Major General Christopher Jemitola is the new Commander, Corp of Signal Headquarters, Laos; Brigadier General A.T Hamman is the new Provost Marshall, Nigerian Army; Brigadier General A.H. Sahad is the new Director of Defence Intelligence (DMI).
The new Commander of the Multi-national Joint Task Force with headquarters in Njamena, Chad is Major General Ilyasu Abbah. He was formerly the Military Secretary (Army). He takes over fromthe Chief of Army Staff, Major General Tukur Buratai.
Major General L.W. Wiwa, formerly the Director of Military Intelligence, is the Deputy Commandant at the Armed Force Resettlement Center, Oshodi; Major General PAT Akem, formerly the Provost Marshall is the new Director of Administration at Army headquarters; Major General B.T. Ndiomu, formerly Commander, Army Headquarters Garrison, is posted to Jaji as Director, Simulation Center; the new Commander of the Special Military Task Force (STF) Jos, is Major Genera C.O Udeh.
Brigadier Genera S.M Bello, formerly Brigade Commander 34 Brigade Owerri, is posted to Army headquarters as Director of Operations; Brigadier General O. Ofoche is the new Brigade Commander, 34 Artillery Brigade; Brigadier General A.O Olabanji is the new Brigade Commander, 2 Brigade, Port Harcourt; Brigadier General AM Dikko is the Acting Commander, Army Headquarters Garrison, Abuja. He was formerly Commander, 31 Brigade, Minna;
A new Acting Director of Defence Information has also been appointed. He is Colonel Rabe Abubakar. He was at one time, Commandant of the Nigerian Army Information School, Bonny Camp, Lagos. He is to take over from Major General Chris Olukolade, formerly the DDI.
At the Defence headquarters, Major General Emmanuel Atewe, formerly Commander of the Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, Yenagoa is the new Chief of Logistics, Major General M.T. Ibrahim is the new Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy.
The 12 senior officers who are to proceed on a one year course to the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) include former GOC’s, former PSO’s, former Commandants of Training Institutions and former Corp’s Commanders.

Uncle Sam: A book launch, day of honour at 80

MR. Sam Amuka, the widely acclaimed doyen of Nigerian journalism, easily comes across as a man who is contented to remain in the shadows of his prodigious achievements. But Uncle Sam, as he is fondly called, certainly will have nowhere to hide tomorrow, Thursday, July 30 when leading media professionals and industry chiefs gather to celebrate and honour him with a book launch and lecture on the future of journalism.
The Vanguard Newspapers publisher and life patron of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria, NPAN, will be the focus of attention at the event holding at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, NIIA, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The book published by Diamond Publications Limited, and titled, Voices from Within: Essays in Nigerian Journalism in Honour of Sam Amuka (2nd Edition), is considered a befitting climax to the outpouring of tributes to commemorate his 80th birthday, which was marked last June. With journalism practice and how to efficiently apply it for greater impact in society as its primary focus, the book features 22 experienced contributors who were selected for their commitment to the continued growth of the media. It is a sequel to an earlier edition published in 2005.

Roll call of contributors

The roll call of contributors include Mr. Frank Aigbogun, publisher, BusinessDay; Mr. Debo Adesina, Editor-in-Chief, The Guardian; Mr. Azu Ishiekwene, columnist, Leadership; Mrs. Tinu Odugbemi, former National Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, chairperson, Lagos State; Mallam Mohammed Haruna, columnist, Daily Trust and The Nation; Mr. Gbemiga Ogunleye, provost, Nigerian Institute of Journalism, NIJ; Mr. Jibade Fasina-Thomas, pioneer editor of Sunday Punch; Mr. Godwin Agbroko (deceased), former Editorial Page Editor, Thisday; Mr. Ebun Aleshinloye, editorial cartoonist; Mr. Tam Fiofori, photojournalist and author; Mr. Ted Iwere, publisher, Business Dispatch and Mr. Stanley Egbochuku, publisher, Manufacturing Today.

Others are Mr. Tony Iyare, editor-in-chief, The Gleaner Online and former SSA Media to Edo State Governor; Mr. Ben Lawrence, former managing editor, Daily Times and columnist, Tell magazine; Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, GM and Editor-in-Chief, Vanguard; Mr. Mideno Bayagbon, editor, Vanguard; Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, former editor, Sunday Vanguard; Mr. Muyiwa Adetiba, pioneer editor of Vanguard; Mr. Tunde Fagbenle, columnist, Sunday Punch; Mallam Ish’aq Moddibo Kawu, columnist, Vanguard; Mr. Kenny Adamson, editorial cartoonist and Mr. Lanre Idowu, CEO, Diamond Publications, who also is the editor of the book.

The lecture entitled, Today’s Newsroom, Tomorrow’s Newspaper: How to Survive and Thrive in the Internet Age, which is a complement to the book launch in celebrating Uncle Sam, will be delivered by Mr Ted Iwere. Given the huge popularity Uncle Sam enjoys within and outside the media, the two-pronged event is expected to draw a significant crowd of admirers and well-wishers many of who will use the opportunity to express their appreciation of his remarkable contribution to the evolution of journalism in Nigeria and the world at large.

Ooni of Ife dies at 85

THE Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade is dead. He was 85 years old.
The revered Oba died in St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London at about 7.30 p.m. last night.
Both palace sources and close associates of the leading Yoruba Oba said he was rushed to London on Friday before he passed on last night.
Oba Sijuwade ascended the throne in 1980 at the age of 50.
Sijuwade was born on January 1, 1930 in Ile-Ife to the Ogboru ruling house, grandson of the Ooni Sijuwade Adelekan Olubuse I.
He studied at Abeokuta Grammar School and Oduduwa College in  Ile-Ife and worked for three years in his father’s business, then for two years with the  Nigerian Tribune, before attending  Northampton College  in the United Kingdom to study business management.
By the age of 30 he was a manager in Leventis, a Greek-Nigerian conglomerate. In 1963 he became Sales Director of the state-owned National Motor in Lagos. After spotting a business opportunity during a 1964 visit to the Soviet Union, he formed a company to distribute Soviet-built vehicles and equipment in Nigeria, which became the nucleus of a widespread business empire.
He also invested in real estate in his home town of Ile-Ife. By the time Sijuwade was crowned Ooni in 1980 he had become a wealthy man.
Sijuwade is a Christian. In November 2009 he attended the annual general meeting of the  Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria accompanied by 17 other traditional rulers. He declared that he a was full member of the church, and said all the monarchs, who accompanied him would now become members.  At his birthday celebration two months later, the Primate of the Anglican Communion described Sijuwade as “a humble monarch, who has the fear of God at heart.”
When Sijuwade became Ooni of Ife in December 1980 he inherited an ongoing dispute over supremacy between the  obas  of  Yorubaland. In 1967 a crisis had been resolved when Chief  Obafemi Awolowo  was chosen as the leader of the Yoruba. In 1976 the Governor of Oyo State, General  David Jemibewon, had decreed that the Ooni of Ife would be the permanent chairman of the State Council of Obas and Chiefs. Other Obas led by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba  Lamidi Adeyemi  said the position should rotate. The dispute calmed down when  Osun State  was carved out of Oyo State in August 1991.
In January 2009 Sijuwade was quoted as saying that Oba Adeyemi was ruling a dead empire (the  Oyo Empire, which collapsed in 1793).[7]  Adeyemi responded by citing “absurdities” in Sijuwade’s statements and saying the Ooni “is not in tune with his own history”.[8]  Adeyemi, Permanent Chairman of the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs, was conspicuously absent from a meeting of Yoruba leaders in April 2010.[6]
Towards the end of 2009 a more local dispute between the Ooni, the Awujale of Ijebuland and the Alake of Egbaland was finally resolved. Sijuwade traced the dispute back to a falling out between  Obafemi Awolowoand  Ladoke Akintola  during the  Nigerian First Republic, which had led to a division between the traditional rulers. He noted that the traditional rulers were an important unifying force in the country during the illness of President  Umaru Yar’Adua.[9]
In February 2009, Sijuwade helped mediate in a dispute over land ownership between the communities of Ife and  Modakeke, resolved in part through the elevation
of the Ogunsua of Modakeke as an Oba.[10]  The new Oba, Francis Adedoyin, would be under the headship of Sijuwade.[11]  Oba Okunade Sijuwade died on July 28th, 2015, after a brief illness at the ripe age of 85 years

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bizarre! 10-year-old boy buried alive in Enugu

  • A shocking revelation has been uncovered in Enugu State following the alleged discovery of a ten-year old boy buried alive as a sacrifice by suspected occult men.
    The gory incident took place at Ngwo community in the State during a just concluded three-day fasting and prayer crusade organized to cleanse the community of evil.
    We gathered that the little boy was allegedly abducted along Independence Layout axis of Enugu State and buried alive by unknown occultists in the community as sacrifice.
    However, by divine intervention, the leaders of the community invited a fire-brand Catholic priest, the Reverend Father Modestus Chilaka all the way from Abia State to assist in cleansing the land.
    Fortunately, it was during the prayer session led by the priest  that the boy jerked back to life from the grave after the priest had prophesied boy used as a sacrifice.
    As at the time of this report, it was not ascertained whether the boy had reunited with the parents or his whereabouts.
    State police command’s spokesman, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu told our reporter that “I am not aware of the incident but I will nose around. May be it happened and it was not reporter. I will get back to know if I have the details”, he stated.
    However, the traditional ruler of Ogwugwu Ebenebe 1 of Ameke Ngwo, Igwe Jerome Okolo  said, “I was here and I saw a small boy who was buried alive as a sacrifice; the priest said there was such thing happening and they have buried a boy for rituals. He prophesied and said he will go there and rescue him. He went and they rescued the boy and brought him to this ground and everybody saw him”.

Gombe Bomb blast: Pregnant woman delivers pre-matured baby

A pregnant woman receiving treatment at Gombe Specialist Hospital Gombe as a result of the twin bomb blasts in Dadin/Kowa Motor Park, has been delivered of a pre-mature male baby.
The Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr Reuben Ardo, who disclosed this to newsmen on Thursday in Gombe, said that the woman was delivered through a Cesarean Section (CS).
Ardo said that the woman was still in the hospital receiving treatment, while the baby was put in an incubator.
“We noticed that the pregnant woman’s baby was going through stress, so, we took her to the theater for an emergency surgery to save the lives of both baby and mother.
“The mother is currently at the hospital receiving treatment, while the baby is in the incubator at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Federal Teaching Hospital (FTH) Gombe.
``From the information we got, the woman was coming back home from the church, when she met the unfortunate incident,’’ he said.
Ardo further said that since the blast, they treated and discharged 56 victims, 15 on admission, 15 bodies deposited at the mortuary, while six were referred to FTH because of their serious bleeding cases, for the attention of experts.
“One has a chest injury, the other one has head injury, one was with multiple injuries and he was bleeding from everywhere, They need specialist attention,’’ he said.
When contacted, the Deputy Director, Public Relations, FTH, Malam Haruna Abdulrasheed, confirmed that the baby was in the hospital.
He said that they recorded 21 dead bodies, 36 on admission and nine who were treated and discharged.
On Wednesday night, a twin bomb blast exploded at Dadin/Kowa and Dukku Motor Parks in Gombe.

NASS crisis: Leadership tussle is shameful — Emir

THE Emir of Lafia Alhaji Mustapha Agwai II has described as unfortunate the leadership crisis rocking the two chambers of the National Assembly, describing it as shameful.
The monarch also chastised members of the National Assembly for allegedly allowing personal interest and ambition to becloud the their sense of nationality and told them to learn how to consider the overall interest of the country before their individual interest.
The Emir who was speaking when the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara paid him a condolence visit in Nasarawa reminded the lawmakers that it was God who gives power to people.
According to him, "Nigerians are watching events in the National Assembly with keen interest which is why leaders must put their personal national interest over and above individual interest."
He said he strongly believe that God made Dogara Speaker because he has the capacity to lead saying, “God will never have made you Speaker if you do not have the capacity to lead the House.
The Emir said Nigerians toiled, sacrificing their comforts in order to effect leadership change in the country with lots of expectations but that the crisis over leadership positions is both disheartening and unfortunate.
He said, “The things we are seeing happening in the two chambers of the National Assembly are not encouraging,”
Continuing he said, people sacrificed even their lives for the present crop of leaders to be elected with the expectation that they will deliver on the mandates given to them and provide good leadership.
He said it will be disappointing if fail to learn from history and provide solutions to the many problems bedeviling the country.
“Recent events in the National Assembly are shameful. When will the crisis and struggle for power be over? People can’t wait anymore for change to take place.
“You have asked us to pray for peace in our land and for all leaders, we are also appealing to you our leaders to put your individual ambitions and interests aside because it is God who gives power to people.”
Speaking earlier, Dogara called on the Emir not to relent in praying to God over the security challenges bedeviling the country especially the North East region.
He said God will not send angels from heaven to solve Nigeria’s problems which is why the people must intensify prayers for God to guide the present crop of leaders.
The Speaker in company of other lawmakers were in Lafia to condole with Hon. Abubakar Sarki Dahiru representing Lafia/Obi Federal Constituency over the death of his father.

Buratai, MNJTF Head of Mission meet over Boko Haram

•As Osinbajo clarifies that insurgents targeting VIPs houses, not VP's house

The Head of Mission, Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) and Executive Secretary, Lake Chad Basin Commission, Engineer Sanusi Abdullahi, yesterday, held talks with the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, on ways to end the Boko Haram insurgency.
Meantime, The presidency has denied saying that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo raised alarm that Boko haram was targeting his house, saying that the statement was made in error.
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande in a statement to correct the error said that the Vice President was meant to say that the insurgents were now targeting the house of Very Important Persons, VIPs.
The statement read in parts" A press briefing note circulated today by the Secretariat of the National Economic Council, NEC, contains a typo on the very last line
of the last paragraph.
That paragraph should read “The Vice President also disclosed that security reports has it that scavengers are now being prepared by insurgents to dump refuse laden with bombs in the houses of VIPs.”
The last line erroneously says “in the house of the Vice President.”
However, according to a statement by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman Engr. Abdullahi assured that his commission would partner with the Nigerian military on the strategies towards making Boko Haram terrorism a thing of the past.
The Head of Mission who commended the Nigerian Army’s efforts in the ongoing fight against the insurgency in the North Eastern part of the country, reiterating the need for the Nigerian Army in particular and the nation in general to fulfill its obligations toward ending the insurgency.
He emphasized that the operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force will be aimed at supporting the Nigerian military to bring peace to the Sub-Region.
Responding, the COAS, Maj- Gen. Buratai expressed appreciation for his support and cooperation during his brief stay as Commander, Multinational Joint Task Force to the Head of mission.
It will be recalled that before his appointment as the Chief of Army Staff, General Buratai was the Force Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force where the Executive Secretary was the Head of Mission.
Present during the visit were senior officers of the Army Headquarters, Major General Mohammed Tasiu Ibrahim, Chief of Army Standard and Evaluation, Major General Alani
Gafar Okunlola, Acting Chief of Operations and Brigadier General Dahiru Abdulsami, Acting Director of Operations.

UNILAG Rejects 59,000 Candidates

University of Lagos, The University of Lagos authorities, UNILAG has rejected about 59,000 candidates who applied for admission into the school through the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB.
In an interview with newsmen, JAMB spokesman, Mr. Fabian Benjamin stated that the board has entered into an agreement with the school to post the rejected students to other schools in Lagos environs.
 Mr. Benjamin  noted that JAMB  has merit and criteria being followed with regards to list  sent to UNILAG

Imo Guber Battle: Decision Of Tribunal Affront On Supreme Court – Ihedioha

... Files 10 Grounds Of Appeal, Seeks Invocation Of Section 16 Of Court Of Appeal Act

The former Deputy Speaker of the 7th House of Representative and Imo State governorship candidate under the platform of People's Democratic Party, PDP,  Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha has described the ruling of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, dismissing their petition as “a deliberate affront on the disciple of the hierarchy of courts in Nigeria”.
Ihedioha has also asked the Court of Appeal to invoke Section 16 of the Court of Appeal Act to determine two pending motions, which the Tribunal sadly abandoned.
Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha
In a ten-ground of appeal contained in their Notice of Appeal dated July 23, 2015, and filed at the Owerri Division of the Court of Appeal, by his lead Counsel, Chief Mike Ahamba, SAN, he contended that the Tribunal erred in law when it subjected the decision of the Supreme Court to its whims. According to Chief Ahamba, "the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal misdirected itself in discarding the decision of the Supreme Court (Per Chukwuma Eneh JSC) in Abubakar V Nasamu (No. 2) (2012) 17 NWLR (pt 1330) 523, that application for pre-hearing notice could be oral, relied on a Court of Appeal decision in Gabi V Dahimi (2015) 12 EPR 239 at 315 to reverse the Supreme Court decision”.
Ahamba averred that “the decision of the Supreme Court is not subject to discretionary acceptance by the Tribunal but is firmly binding”, adding that “letters to registrars in all judicial proceedings though filed in the case file are never assessed or paid for".
He said the “misconstruction of the dictum by Chukwuma-Eneh, Justice of the Supreme Court, JSC, occasioned a miscarriage of Justice”.
In contending that a letter applying for pre-hearing notice is not a judicial process but administrative, Ahamba drew the attention of the Appellate Court to the judgment of Justice Walter Onnoghen of the Supreme Court in Ugba Vs PDP (2013) 4 NWLR (pt. 1343) 486 at 492, positing that the “Tribunal amongst others, failed to take judicial notice of many letters to Registrars of Courts and Tribunals which ignite judicial processes but which are not assessed and paid for”.
He said that “these misconstructions of the law induced the decision of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that payment of a fee for the application letter was mandatory”.
The learned SAN further argued that “there is no provision in the schedule of fees payable under the Electoral Act or Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules for pre-hearing notice application", stressing that "the APC and Rochas Okorocha did not show any provision in the Electoral Act or Federal High Court Rule or practice direction for pre-hearing notice application fee”. He stated that “the Tribunal deliberately ignored the express words of the Supreme Court of Nigeria cited at the tribunal sitting that "application for pre-hearing notice under paragraph 18 (1) of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act is not jurisdictional and thereby occasioned a miscarriage of Justice”.
Ahamba, in praying the Court of Appeal to set aside the decision of the petition tribunal dismissing PDP and Ihedioha’s governorship petition, as well as restore the petition to the cause list for hearing on merit, also demanded that the Court of Appeal invokes its powers under Section 16 of the Court of Appeal Act to determine the two undetermined motions, which sought to aside Governor Okorocha and APC’s joint reply and their motion to amend the said reply filed on June 26, 2015 and July 7, 2015 respectively.
Chief Ahamba then prayed that on determination of these two pending motions and setting aside of the erroneous decision of the petition Tribunal, which occasioned a miscarriage of justice, the Court of Appeal should order the composition of a fresh Tribunal to hear the petition on merit.

NUC disowns Maryam Abacha American University in Niger

The National Universities Commission (NUC) has warned that degrees obtained from Maryam Abacha American University of Niger Republic (MAAUN) are sub-standard and will not be accepted in Nigeria.
The NUC Director of Information and Public Relations, Malam Ibrahim Yakasai, handed down the warning while briefing newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.
According to him, NUC has been inundated with inquiries from some Nigerian students who have been offered admission in MAAUN on part time with a graduation time of four semesters.
He listed some of the programmes as Nursing , Medical Laboratory Science, Public Health, among others.
He explained that ``in Nigeria, the duration for a full-time degree programme is not less than three years for direct entry and at least six years for part-time.
``Professional programmes in Science, Engineering and Health Sciences-Nursing, Medical Laboratory Science and Public Health are not offered on part-time basis in Nigeria.
``More so, their graduation time is far less than the graduation time in Nigeria-they admit students with HND on direct entry and they give them two years to do a degree in Nursing or Health Sciences.
``We wish to restate that as the only Quality Assurance Agency for universities in Nigeria, NUC is maintaining its stand that degrees from MAAUN will not be accepted in Nigeria.’’
Yakasai said that the university admitted students who ordinarily would not get admission in any Nigerian tertiary institution.
He expressed displeasure that rather than addressing the issues raised by NUC, MAAUN resorted to campaign of calumny against the commission.
The NUC spokesman advised parents to always crosscheck with the commission before sending their wards to foreign institutions.
On his part, the NUC Director of Academic Standards, Dr Gidado kumo, urged students to be wary of Houdegbe North American University, Cotonou, Benin Republic.
According to him, Houdegbe is one of the controversial universities that have been having issues with NUC in the last four years.
He said that the institution was once operating in Badagry and Kano and then relocated to Jos; but was recently running Bachelors Degree in Public Health in Gombe State.
``We have made it very clear that any degree obtained in Houdegbe North University within the shores of Nigeria is not accepted.
``In Feburay 2015, we had cause to request for a joint assessment visit to the university with the Council for Legal Education.
``At the moment, the institution has been graduating over 600 students from its law faculty whereas in Nigeria, the highest output from any law faculty is about 200.
``We requested a joint accreditation visit but we were flatly refused by Houdegbe North American University.
`` So, our decision is that no law graduate of Houdegbe University will be moblised for the BL programme with the Council for Legal Education.’’
However, Gidado said that any degree obtained in Houdebge North University within Benin Republic was acceptable if it met appropriate conditions.
He listed the conditions as `` the degree programme must be full time, fully residential and evidence of residence permit at the time of programme must be available at the time of graduation.’’

We lose N20 bn annually over ban of frozen poultry products - Ijora frozen food traders

The Ijora frozen food traders on Thursday said that their members cumulatively lose about N20 billion annually following the Federal Government’s ban on the importation of frozen poultry products.
Alhaja Afusat Popoola, the President-General of the Ajeromi Frozen Foods Market Association, made the revelation in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
Popoola said that before the government banned the importation, they used to receive more than eight trucks of different frozen foods which include chicken, turkey, fish, shrimps, gizzard and prawns on daily basis.
She said that the market was now a ghost of itself, adding that traders who were breadwinners of their families were going through hard times.
Popoola urged the government to provide alternative to the banned poultry products following what she termed insufficient local production capacity.
Also speaking, Mrs Chinyere Egbune, the Chairperson of the association at Ijora, Lagos, urged government to assist local poultry farmers financially to bridge the demand gap created by the ban.
Egbune said that current demand for local frozen foods had in most cases led the 300 per cent increase in the price of the poultry products.
“People prefer to buy imported one because with just N1, 000, one can cook a pot of soup, compared to the local one that costs more than N2, 000.
“If the government insists that we should eat the local ones, they should subsidise the local production so that it will be cheaper in the market,” she said.
Another trader, Mrs Oladotun Oriyomi urged the government to review the ban on frozen food because it had affected the traders negatively.
Oriyomi said that due to the ban, most of the companies that supplied the frozen food had laid off their staff members and many traders had closed their shops.
She said that traders survived on the little supplies some people were still able to get into the country.
NAN investigations in some markets in Lagos showed that one kilo of imported frozen turkey now costs between N1, 200 and N1, 500 as against earlier price of N500 per kilo.
A cartoon of turkey currently sells for N11, 200 as against the former price of N5, 000 per cartoon.
Also, a kilo of frozen chicken costs between N1, 300 and N1, 900 while a cartoon goes for between N9, 000 and N9, 500 compared with the former price of N6, 500 per cartoon about two months ago.
NAN reports that the federal government had banned the importation of frozen chicken and turkey in 2003 but since then the items have continued to be available in Nigerian markets.
NAN also reports that following the recent enforcement activity of the ban on frozen foods by the Nigeria Customs Service, a 35 per cent hike in price has been recorded on them in major markets.

Why we'll probe only Jonathan's govt — Buhari

•Says it'll be a distraction to go beyond immediate past govt

The Presidency, yesterday, said President Muhammadu Buhari will limit his probe to the immediate past government of Dr Goodluck Jonathan. President Buhari had vowed, Wednesday, to arrest and prosecute former ministers and government officials who looted funds and stole Nigeria’s crude oil.
Buhari, who said the suspected officials stashed the funds in foreign bank accounts, spoke during his three-day visit to the United States.
The Presidency which said yesterday that there were trails of monumental fraud everywhere that would be too difficult to ignore, however, explained that it will be a distraction to exceed Jonathan’s regime.
Friendship and agreement broken
Before leaving office, former president Jonathan had said any probe by the new government would be seen as a “witch-hunt” if it fails to go beyond his administration. The Presidency, however, argued that it was not a witch-hunt.
Speaking in an exclusive telephone chat, yesterday, Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the probe was the proper thing to do.
His words: “It is a simple thing. Before he was inaugurated, the President said that it will be a distraction for him to start digging deep into past governments. He said so. I don’t see anything new. But it will be irresponsible of any government to leave things of the immediate past that are glaring and evident and not do anything about it.
“It is not a witch-hunt. You have evidence and they are glaring. A responsible government should do something about it. It is not about the former president. It is about how they acquitted themselves in the responsibility they were given. When you are given a public responsibility, you are responsible to the people.
“You must account. When you bury a corpse and the legs are sticking out, have you buried the corpse? No. Once there are trails of money, in dollars everywhere, a responsible government should investigate. It is not as if they are witch-hunting anybody”, he said.

We are not against it— PDP
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said it was not against President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to single out the past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan for probe.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh, who stated this yesterday in Lokoja during the conduct of the state's delegates congress of the party, said the probe is in line with the party (PDP)’s stand against corruption.
Metuh said: “Corruption is not only a crime against President Muhammed Buhari, nor is it a crime against the All Progressive Congress. Corruption is against the interest of mankind and it's against the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“If President Buhari singled out the past administration and PDP members for probe, so be it. We are not against it. If one is not guilty he has nothing to be afraid of if he or she is singled out; at the end, it will amount to vindication for such persons. Only the guilty will be afraid.
“We (PDP) are not against the selective probe of our members because we, as a party, are against corruption, and this will show that we abhor it. We only urge that the probing is done with ‘clean’ mind and not out to villify the past administration”.
Metuh had during the week accused the Federal Government of treating the PDP as ‘prisoners of war’ in view of the way the party members were being treated.

Buhari will lose credibility if he fails — Gbagi
Also, ex-Minister of State for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, said: "Buhari will lose credibility if he does not bring to book any former minister and any one found to have embezzled the wealth of this nation. It is very important because he has the credibility and the world is watching him. He has to do that because the amount of money that these people stole is so much and can be used to perpetuate criminal activities. Buhari’s searchlight should not be limited to ministers who were involved in oil deals only.
"Anyone found to have robbed this country of its resources should be brought to book according to the law. I must also state that Buhari has no powers under the law to shield anyone from prosecution. He must ensure that there are no sacred cows in the fight against corruption because if he excludes anyone, some of us who have been in the campaign for accountable governance will be forced to seek asylum outside the country, because we will not be safe in a country where corrupt people are institutionally shielded from prosecution. He has the support of Nigerians to embark on the probe because so much was stolen in this country. I also want the President to make sure that our international friends are committed to this task. That should be done by making them repatriate our stolen wealth in their respective countries. We need their support to achieve the desired result."
We should commend Buhari for his courage
– Mohammed
In his response, Second Republic lawmaker, Dr Junaid Mohammed said Nigerians must admit that President Buhari’s decision to probe oil theft is a good example of leadership courage.
He said:
“We must commend him for that decision because what he is talking about, other former presidents like Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan knew about it but did nothing to stop it. What Buhari has said is not only common to the political class or ministers, it is also known to common people in the Niger Delta and other areas where oil is found and oil is stolen.
“Oil theft has been happening for so long and to even control it is a big task because some people in the Niger Delta can tell you who and who among the elite are stealing this crude; military and politicians who are into this oil bunkering and are directly involved. Buhari has only assented to it as a matter of courage and I am glad he said he will investigate, probe and prosecute the people behind oil theft.”
Mohammed added: “I must also say that people complaining that too many probes are taking place should be very careful. Nigerians need to know, you cannot eat your cake and have it. Nigerians need to give time so that things can be properly investigated because oil theft has taken place for so long. So it is now left for Nigerians whether they want the truthfulness and straightforwardness of Buhari or not because there are no two ways about it. If you have to know how our money was packed in billions out of this country, then some of these probes must take place.”
I’m not interested in probes
— Babatope
In his reaction, a former Minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope said: "I don’t have interest in the probes. I am an Awolowo son and we have different approach to such issues."

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Husband seeks dissolution of 11-yr-old marriage

A 53-year-old man, Mr Bankole Agbetuyi, on Tuesday urged an Ado-Ekiti Customary Court to dissolve his 11-year-old marriage to his wife, Bukola.
We gathered that Bankole is seeking the dissolution on grounds of battery, keeping late nights as well as lack of respect for his family and care for the children.
The father of two told the court that he had been cooking for himself and the children because his wife was always keeping late nights.
He also urged the court to grant him the custody of the children.
Bukola, however, denied the allegations leveled against her, saying that her husband was in the habit of beating her always based on flimsy excuses.
She said that her husband sent her and the children out of the house, saying he would set ablaze her belongings.
The 35-year-old urged the court to grant her the custody of the children, saying her husband could not pay their school fees.
The President of the Court, Mr Joseph Ogunsemi, adjourned the case till Aug. 24 for judgment.

Boat Mishap: LASWA recovers bodies of two female passengers

The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) today said it had recovered the bodies of two female victims involved in a boat mishap on Saturday at Ojo.

We gathered that the incident occurred on Saturday in the creeks in Ojo Local Government Area of the state.

The motorised boat was reported to have been conveying 10 passengers who were said to be returning from a party.

Mr Yinka Marinho, the Managing Director of LASWA identified the victims as Temitope Bolarin-Ajayi and Princess Cythia John.

Marinho said that the two ladies were the only causalities.

``On the 20th July 2015 about 0830hrs, LASWA patrol team resumed to the point of incident.

``The dead bodies of the two missing ladies were found floating and pulled out of the water.

``The family members of the deceased were on ground with Mr Olukayode Are, Investigating Police Officer of Irewe Police Command, to identify the bodies,'' Marinho said.

He further said that police command informed the agency that the case had been transferred to the Marine Police at Onikan.

Marinho further disclosed that the mishap was caused by ``reckless driving, lack of life jackets, night travel and coupled with the fact that the captain of the motorized boat was under the influence of alcohol.

``The Captain of the boat (Ola Ayodele), the celebrant (Temitope Omidele) and an invitee/ survivor (Grace Bidoye) are currently in the custody of the Marine Police Head Office Onikan,'' he said.

Marinho added that the ill-fated boat had been impounded by the agency.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Buhari result is a fraud — PDP

The PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation has expressed doubt over the recently released Secondary School Certificate Result of Gen. Mohammad Buhari, the APC Presidential Candidate.

The party described it as a super imposition of documents.

Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, Director of the Directorate of Media and Publicity of the organsation, expressed the doubt at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the result, released on Jan. 21, after controversies surrounding Buhari`s academic qualifications and his eligibility to contest the presidency in Feb. 14, was a fraud.

It will be recalled that hours after Buhari’s press conference in Kaduna, some documents appeared on various media platforms said to be the result released by his old school.

Fani-Kayode said that rather than providing a conclusive proof that Buhari possessed the minimum qualification to contest the presidency, he went into a session of ‘blame game.’

According to him, Buhari is shifting what ordinarily ought to be his personal responsibility to his alleged old school: the Provisional Secondary School Katsina, now Government College, Katsina.

``It is unfortunate that the more Gen. Buhari tries to extricate himself from the crisis, the more he stumbles into a new phase in the unfolding narrative of his obvious complicity’’, he said.

Fani-Kayode said the development bordered on perjury, adding that it had again called Buhari`s avowed integrity to question.

He added that the directorate had carefully studied the purported statement of result, signed by the school’s principal and an examination officer and observed that it was a clear super imposition.

``The result sheet which was attributed to the Cambridge examination body, is clearly a super imposition of one document on another’’, he said.

He explained that the column which lined on the part where names were printed did not align with the blank columns adding that there was an introduction of extraneous lines on some other columns.

He added that the documents contained an obvious alteration on the Mathematics column of the candidate, Mohamed Buhari, who was assumed to have scored an ``F” in the subject.

This, he said, raised a fundamental issue of validity in view of the fact that the accompanying result sheet stated that any alteration or erasure rendered the statement of result invalid.

``Our conclusion from all these is that the documents purportedly released by Government College, Katsina, are forged’’, he said.
He said that Buhari could not use the result ``to bury the doubt about his eligibility for next month’s election as APC Presidential candidate.’’

Buhari pledges to restructure Army, Police, if elected

Meanwhile, the Presidential flag-bearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, has promised to restructure the Nigeria Army and Police, if elected.

Buhari made the promise on Thursday in Gusau at the inauguration of his campaign.

He said that his plan, if materialised, would boost the efforts of the two security institutions to battle insurgency with renewed vigour.

Buhari said that the need to restructure the army and police became necessary because the enemies had become more and highly sophisticated in the use of weapons.

"Our Army and Police will be highly equipped with all the required weapons, educated and uneducated youths will be employed through different programmes that will be created by our administration.

"We will rebuild our educational system and employ youths not on sentiment and god-fatherism.

‘We will as well find ways of restrengthening the country's economy."

He called on the youth to remain vigilant but maintain peace during and after the elections so as to ensure free, fair and credible elections in the country.

The chieftains of the party, including its National Chairman, Mr John Oyegun, and Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, Buhari’s running mate, attended the occasion.

Others were Alhaji Kawu Baraje, Zamfara Governor, Alhaji Abdul'aziz Yar,i and Senator representing Zamfara-West, Alhaji Ahmad Yarima, among others.

Adadama/Amagu war:Another bloodbath looms

By Ishola Balogun

A full scale war is brewing between the people of Adadama Community in Abi Local government area of Cross River State and Ndiagu Amagu Community in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State over land disputes. Before now, about 35 people have been killed, including a Ph.D student and a Youth Corps member beheaded recently by militants who invaded the community.

As at press time, there were reports that the Amagus were allegedly planning another attack on the Adadama community, causing mass exodus from the community. The Amagu and Adadama communities have been embroiled in a land dispute for more than 50 years. Since the recent hostilities in the area broke out, hundreds of lives have been lost while properties worth billions of Naira have been lost.

The Secretary of the Traditional Rulers’ council of Adadama, Chief James Ekoro Edu who spoke with Saturday Vanguard said the community had petitioned the Presidency, urging President Jonathan including security agencies to come to their aid to avert another looming bloodshed.

We got to know of their plans and we have written a letter to President Jonathan and of course, we want the whole world to know what is going on,” he stated.

Speaking to Saturday Vanguard, Chief Ekoro said; “they have chased us out of our farmland, they have overpowered us with their numerical strength and wealth. But we will not succumb to this gross injustice”

According to him, “The security men including soldiers mounted in the Buka zone have been withdrawn exposing us to our enemies.”

In a letter to President Jonathan signed by His Royal Highness, Eval Fidelis Ikor Addu, Chief James Ekoro Edu and other chiefs in the community, it reads:

“On behalf of the traditional rulers’ council of Adadama, we write to draw your attention Your Excellency to the killing of innocent, harmless and voiceless men, women and children by trigger-hungry hired mercenaries from Ikwo Local Government Area (LGA) of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, which started Monday, January 14 – 15, and on Saturday, January 19, 2013 respectively. There was a repeat of the ugly incident in February 14th, March 16thand March 18th, when Chief Edu Nteh’s wife, late Mrs. Catherine Edu Nteh was whisked from her farmland, and again on the 2nd of September, 2013. A total of 16 dead bodies were recovered and five women kidnapped till date.”

“In fact, the September killing actually compelled His Excellency, the Governor of Cross River State, Sen. (Dr.) Liyel Imoke CON to visit Adadama Community, September 18th, 2013. Perhaps, touched by what he saw and heard on his visit to Adadama Community, Governor Imoke promised our people a peaceful and lasting solution to the crisis. Unfortunately, this is exactly 14 months after his visit and nothing has happened up till this very moment. What we hear rather is that the Federal Government is bringing a Police Academy to be sited at the disputed area.

“Interestingly, the Amagus’ of Ikwo Local Government Area in Ebonyi State again beheaded in cold blood the only daughter of our traditional ruler and a serving Youth Corps member, Princess Emame Fidelis I. Addu on May 1st this year. The killing of the Corps member (Princess) led to the withdrawal of all serving Youth Corps members from Adadama community. And not only that, the Amagus’ and their mercenaries are now using Guerrilla tactics to kill innocent and harmless Adadama women as they go to harvest cassava and other crops in their farms. Your Excellency, between May and October, 2014; three women have been beheaded; the last two being Mrs Bassey Ajayi Edu and Mrs Grace Emmanuel Lebo on the 10th of October.

Apart from the alleged orchestrated attack, Chief Ekoro also stated that there were lingering claims that some powerful individuals in Ebonyi have vowed to either annex Adadama Community land or use all resources at their disposal to exterminate the people of Adadama Community.

He said: “The threat seems to be working for them going by what their people are doing. The fact that the Amagus went and cultivated crops in the portion of land that government marked as a ‘No Go Area’ with a standing order that nobody should do anything on it is a pointer to the fact that some powerful individuals are behind this invasion,” he said.

“We are a peace loving people and we have cohabited with the Okpitomos of Ikwo for over 2000 years without a glitch, until the Amagus came from nowhere to reside where they are today. Interestingly, they attempted their mischief in 2001 by exhuming the beacon stone laid by G. G. Shute along the old South Eastern region in 1920 on the flank they are living today”.

On what the Governor Liyel Imoke is doing about the issue, Ekoro said the government seems lame and inactive because of her peaceful and gentle approach to issues.

He stated that the story of the oil rich Bakassi peninsular might repeat itself, if something was not done to bring peace and normalcy to the area.

“We crave your special indulgence to intervene expeditiously because innocent people are often the victims. We hope that the sonorous cries of our people who with Dane guns and cutlasses have to confront hired mercenaries from Ikwo in Ebonyi State armed with sophisticated weapons will prompt you into quick action. We need to also bring to your notice that the several hundreds of innocent women, children are displaced, currently facing the challenge of food and materials,” Chief Ekoro cried.