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Showing posts from February, 2015

Enugu Gov’s aide in soup for allegedly impregnating student

A middle-aged man who narrowly escaped death in the hands of angry teachers for allegedly impregnating a secondary school girl was on Wednesday confirmed to be a Personal Assistant to the Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime. Our reporter gathered that the true identity of the man (names withheld) was found in his Kia car impounded by the angry teachers. The car was still lying at the premises of Metropolitan Girls Secondary School located at Ogui New layout Enugu as at the time of this report along with his Permanent Voters Card (PVC) and other documents found in the car. However, indication were rife that the powers that-be have intervened and directed the officials of National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) presently handling the investigation to soft pedal. When our reporter visited the Enugu zonal office of NAPTIP located at GRA in Enugu yesterday afternoon, a top female official of the command who refused to disclose her identity said, “we don’t commen

Jonathan to kick-start N700b Abuja City Centre project

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has concluded plans to kick-start the development of the Abuja City Centre, which will cost 3.5 billion US Dollars (about N700 billion) before May 29, 2015. Disclosing this yesterday in Abuja when investors in the Abuja City Centre project made an in-depth presentation to the FCT Administration’s team, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Senator Bala Mohammed noted that the project was one of the milestone achievements of the Transformation Agenda of President Jonathan in the Federal Capital Territory. Senator Mohammed explained that Chicason Group would execute the multi-billion-naira project in partnership with an international developer, Eagle Hills, adding that the Federal Government under President Jonathan was determined to make Abuja a tourist destination of Africa. He said that it explained why the development of the 17 hectares of prime land was on the front burner of the government. The Minister revealed that the Abuja

2015: With me as governor, Jonathan can’t lose in Bauchi – Yuguda -

B auchi State Governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda, a close ally of President Goodluck Jonathan, is one of the outgoing Peoples Democratic Party governors, whose political sagacity is being tasked in the bid to re-elect President Goodluck Jonathan come March 28 this year. By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North Although he has won many political battles in the past, the forthcoming election remains a test case that may push his political wizardry to the limit given the challenge being thrown at him from within and without his party.   But in this interview, the two-time governor boasts that he is equal to the challenge, insisting that Jonathan cannot lose in Bauchi with him presiding over as the governor of the state. *Gov. Yuguda Excerpts: From your assessment of the political atmosphere in your state, can you say with confidence that Bauchi State is ready to re-elect President Goodluck Jonathan on March 28 this year? The question is pertinent given suspicion that some northern governo

Jonathan’ll not sack Jega but… – FG

T he Minister of Culture and Tourism and the Supervising Minister of Information, Chief Edem Duke, has debunked the rumour making rounds that President Jonathan has an agenda to sack the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, illegally. The Minister spoke during his maiden meeting with information correspondents at Radio House, Abuja, adding however, that ‘’this is not to say that, if it is time for INEC chairman to naturally exit his office, then the natural course of public service rule will not take place when he has reached age of retirement or exhausted his tenure.” Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega He said, “I align myself with Mr. President that he has no plan to sack the INEC chairman. President Jonathan reaffirmed the confidence reposed on the INEC chairman and reiterated that the administration has no plan whatsoever to send the electoral umpire illegally packing. Bu noth

‘Why Obasanjo is having issues with Jonathan’

C hief Augustine Onyemaechi Mazie, is the Chairman, Board of Trustees, New Paradigm Transformation Initiative, NPTI, and strong advocate of unity, peace and progress of Nigeria. A retired Air Force personnel, he served as the Chairman Unity Campaign Team for the Election of the National Chairman and National Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2001 and is a two-time Principal Secretary of PDP, 2001 and 2005. In this interview, he bared his mind on the chances of the presidential candidates of the two major political parties in the forthcoming elections, saying that Gen. Muhammadu Buhari would have toppled Jonathan’s administration if he was still in the military. He also spoke on why former President Obasanjo is having issues with President Jonathan . Excerpts. What is NTI’s assessment of Jonathan’s re-election bid? The New Paradigm for Transformation Initiative, NPTI, is a socio-economic and Non-Governmental Organization, committed to the improvement and sustenance of

Lessons from Forensic Audit report on NNPC

Finally, the PricewaterhouseCoopers Forensic Audit Report draws the curtains on the fifteen-month drama in which the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was docked in the court of public opinion. The allegations that NNPC was not faithful to its fiduciary responsibility to the Federal Government and the people of Nigeria began like a child’s play. Initial steps taken to douse the issue including the inter-agency reconciliation committee led by the Ministry of Finance failed to get Nigerians to give NNPC a clean bill of health. NNPC From exchanges back and forth during the long drawn drama, it was clear that Nigerians were angry with NNPC. Some, in bitter postulations imagined that the Corporation was a haughty, profit-minded, slave-driving multi-national. However, nothing would obliterate the fact that the giant National Oil Company is 100% a Nigerian baby established and managed by Nigerians for Nigeria. But it bears observing   that the Corporation   over the years h

Mugabe turns 91 with million dollar birthday bash

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Saturday will celebrate his 91st birthday will a million dollar bash attended by thousands of faithful party supporters. As elephants are slaughtered for the feast at a luxury hotel in Zimbabwe’s famed Victoria Falls, critics are questioning the scale of the festivities, calling them “obscene” in a country where millions live in poverty. Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, is the world’s oldest leader. While he is hailed by many of his African peers as a liberation hero, critics say that over the following decades he turned the “breadbasket of southern Africa” into a basket case, trampling human rights, justice and democracy. Mugabe’s violent seizure of white-owned farms triggered food shortages and hyper-inflation, while Europe and the United States imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe over elections seen as rigged.

Obama condemns ‘brutal, vicious’ Nemtsov killing

US President Barack Obama condemned what he called the “brutal” and “vicious” murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin who was shot dead in Moscow on Friday. “We call upon the Russian government to conduct a prompt, impartial and transparent investigation into the circumstances of his murder and ensure that those responsible for this vicious killing are brought to justice,” Obama said in a statement. “Nemtsov was a tireless advocate for his country, seeking for his fellow Russian citizens the rights to which all people are entitled.” “I admired Nemtsov’s courageous dedication to the struggle against corruption in Russia and appreciated his willingness to share his candid views with me when we met in Moscow in 2009,” added Obama, calling Nemtsov a “dedicated” and “eloquent defender” of rights. -

Bangladesh protesters denounce killing of blogger

Hundreds of protesters have rallied in the Bangladeshi capital to denounce the murder of a prominent Bangladesh-born American blogger, who was hacked to death outside a university in Dhaka. Students, activists and journalists gathered at Dhaka University on Friday to demand quick police action, a day after the attack on Avijit Roy and his wife Rafida Ahmed, who remains in critical condition. The protesters said the killing raised questions about the government’s ability to protect its citizens from crimes, and uphold democracy and freedom of speech. In an interview with Al Jazeera, human rights activist Khushi Kabir questioned police inaction during the attack. Witnesses have told Al Jazeera that police and onlookers were present during the attacks, but no one came to help the victims. Police were not immediately available to comment on the accusation. The couple were coming from a book fair at the university, when a group of men ambushed them, with at least two of the at

Mexico captures most wanted drug kingpin

Mexican authorities have captured the top leader of a major drug cartel, who has been wanted for years, Al Jazeera has learned. Servando Gomez Martinez, also known as “La Tuta”, was reportedly captured on Friday in the city of Morelia, in Michoacan state, according to local media. Al Jazeera’s John Holman, who is reporting from Mexico City, said that Martinez was arrested “without an incident.”  Our correspondent said Martinez is now being transferred to a detention centre in Mexico City.   He has been wanted by both Mexico and the US, and authorities have offered a reward of $2-million for his capture.   Martinez is identified as the head of the cartel Caballeros Templarios, or Knights Templar, one of the leading drug gangs that has been involved in violent operation in Mexico. Martinez was once a school teacher, thus earning him the name “La Tuta.” The 49-year-old cartel leader was the prime target of President Pena Nieto’s drive to regain control of Michoacan, whic

Somali pirates release fishermen held for five years

Four Thai fishermen held hostage by Somali pirates for nearly five years have been released, local officials said. “We collected the four Thailand men from a remote area,” Omar Sheikh Ali, an official in Somalia’s central Galmudug administration told the AFP news agency on Friday. The four fishermen were among 24 crew members seized in April 2010 when Somali pirates hijacked the Taiwan-flagged fishing vessel FV Prantalay 12. Their nearly five-year captivity is one of the longest suffered by any victims of Somali piracy. Ali said the freed men were able to contact family members soon after their release on Wednesday. “They called their families by phone and cried and cried and cried,” he said. Residents of Galkayo, where the Galmudug administration is based, said a $150,000 ransom was paid but the information could not be independently verified. After its capture the FV Prantalay was used as a pirate mother ship to launch attacks far out to sea before it capsized in J

India to cut corporate tax, increases farming subsidies

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Saturday presented the first full-year budget of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, in which, the taxation for corporations will be dropped from 30 percent to 25 percent in four years. He ruled out cutting subsidies for farmers as has been demanded by the U.S. at the WTO talks, vowing to reinforce support to the agriculture. “When world is in crisis, India rises at the same time. World is predicting, it’s our chance to rise,” said Jaitley, adding that the country has registered a 7.5 percent growth in the passing fiscal year ending March 31, the highest in the world. He said the latest inflation rate is 5.1 percent and the whole sale price inflation is negative, while the rupee has become stronger by 6.4 percent. “I am presenting the union budget in an economic environment which is far more positive than in the recent past. While major economies of the world face difficulties, India is poised for higher growth trajectory,” Jaitley said

US to reopen embassy in Cuba April

The United States and Cuba said they made progress Friday in talks on restoring diplomatic ties and Washington could reopen its Havana embassy before a key April summit if differences are overcome. After a second round of historic meetings, negotiators from both countries appeared optimistic about the road ahead, but cautioned there were still outstanding issues to resolve in order to restore diplomatic ties frozen for half a century. “Today was productive and encouraging. In open, honest and sometimes challenging…conversation we addressed the requirements of each side and the differences we identified in our first discussion in Havana a month ago,” said top US diplomat for Latin America, Roberta Jacobson. “And we made meaningful progress in resolving them,” she said, cautioning that “serious disagreements remain.” The head of the Cuban delegation, Josefina Vidal, at a press conference at the State Department, also said she believed progress had been made. But she renewed a cal

Kurdish fighters rout IS militants from town near Iraq

Kurdish fighters Friday fought their way into a northeastern Syrian town that was a key stronghold of Islamic State militants, only days after the group abducted dozens of Christians in the volatile region, activists and Kurdish officials said. The victory marks a second blow to the extremist IS group in a month, highlighting the growing role of Syria’s Kurds as the most effective fighting force against the Islamic State. In January, Kurdish forces drove IS militants from the town of Kobani near the Turkish border after a months-long fight, dealing a very public defeat to the extremists. But it is also tempered by this week’s horrific abductions by IS militants of more than 220 Christian Assyrians in the same area, along the fluid and fast shifting front line in Syria. The town of Tel Hamees in Syria’s northeastern Hassakeh province is strategically important because it links territory controlled by IS in Syria and Iraq. The province, which borders Turkey and Iraq, is predominant

Photos: Thousands march in Cameroon to show support for troops fighting Boko Haram

Thousands of people took to the streets of Cameroon to march in support of troops fighting terror, extremist group, Boko-Haram. How noble of them. I think they're planning one in Nigeria. Another pic after the cut...

Photo: Mobile policeman shoots police boss to death in Bauchi

A mobile policeman in Bauchi state shot dead his superior and former ADC to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Superintendent of Police, Chris Eza (pictured above), yesterday February 26th in Bauchi. According to family sources, Chris Eza had gone out to get food at an eatery along Ahmadu Bello way around 9pm when he saw some police officers on patrol. On observation, he found out that one of them, the suspect, was not properly dressed and immediately cautioned him. The junior officer, a Corporal, got angry and began to grumble for being told to dress properly. An angry Chris felt his action was unacceptable and warned the officer that he was going to disarm him if he didn't take care. Instead of apologizing, the junior officer cocked his gun and threatened to shoot his boss. He told Eza that if he came close to him, he would shoot. Calling his bluff, Eza moved towards the officer, who immediately opened fire. Other officers around rushed Chris to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University

The blue/black, white/gold dress sales are through the roof

Remember the dress that went viral online that I posted this morning asking you guys if the colour was blue/black or white/gold? (read here ). Well, according to TMZ, half the world now wants the dress - which is actually blue and black. Read the report below... "The company behind #TheDress has put the debate to bed -- it's blue and black -- and the hubbub has done wonders for its business ... thanks to the hashtag hysteria.   #TheDress phenomenon began after a woman posted a photo of her mother's dress for her wedding ... asking people to ID the color. From there...explosion  with the likes of Justin Bieber (blue and black), Kim K (white and gold), and Taylor Swift (blue and black) all weighing in. Continue... A rep for the company that makes the dress, Roman Originals, tells TMZ the dress is blue and black, but it also comes in pink and black, white and black and red and black. There isn't a white and gold option yet ... but Roman is looking to

Nightmares over for student, mother who lost 3 kids on Benin-Ore Road before Goodluck came along

Sponsored post 26-year-old TimiAdeoye graduated two years ago from the University of Benin and was a frequent user of the Benin-Ore route. According to him, “traveling on Nigerian roads used to be a nightmare for me; I still remember spending twelve long hours on a trip from Lagos to Benin regularly since I got admission eight years ago. The memory of those trips still leaves a distaste in my mouth”, he continues, “but I had to continue because I had to go school." Being a road that is the major link road between the West and South of Nigeria, it was appalling that it was in that state of decay. From 2006 to as recent as 2012, anyone who plied the Benin-Ore route would have e asily testified to its horrific state.  The deplorable condition of the road aside, there were daredevil armed robbers who were lords of the night and perpetual residents of the area and it was inevitable that travellers inclined to always say a prayer to avert terrible traffic jam lasting hou