The Early Edition: Glancing The Major Headlines For 12th May, 2015

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Jonathan’s Aides Expel Journalist From Aso Rock

President Goodluck Jonathan’s handlers on Monday began what is suspected to be a clampdown on journalists.

Their first victim is Mr. Ubale Musa, the State House correspondent of German Radio, Deutsche Welle.

Musa’s accreditation tag was withdrawn, allegedly on the orders of the Chief Security Officer to the President, Mr. Gordon Obua.

The embattled journalist was expelled from the Presidential Villa, Abuja, for asking visiting Chadian President, Idriss Derby, a question which authority found to be embarrassing.

Musa had asked the visiting President to explain the relationship between the multinational task force fighting in Lake Chad and the South African mercenaries fighting with them.

Derby simply responded that he had no information concerning mercenaries from South Africa.

Shortly after the visiting President left, Musa was invited into the CSO’s office and his tag was withdrawn.





Buhari Must Stop Rice Import, Says Sani

Senator-elect, Alhaji Shehu Sani, has called on the incoming Muhammadu Buhari administration to stop the importation of rice as Nigeria is capable of providing rice for its citizens.

Sani, who posted a message on Facebook, said, “We spend millions of hard foreign exchange earnings to import rice from Asia. We lose billions of naira in tax revenue giving waivers to rich rice importers. Kebbi rice farmers have produced more than enough to feed the country and the problem is no patronage.”

Also speaking on oil sector reforms, the human rights activist said those given approval to build private refineries were not sincere.

He said, “Many Nigerian investors applied and got approvals to build and operate private refineries but they never did. The approval papers became tickets for sourcing loans from banks and monies diverted to other businesses. But whenever the Federal Government announces the auction of our refineries, you will see them rushing in large numbers to buy. However, there is an exception to a few genuine ones making progress.”



APGA To Protest Against Jonathan In Otuoke

The All Progressive Grand Alliance, on Monday, said its members across the country would stage a protest march to President Goodluck Jonathan’s hometown, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, over the alleged refusal of the President to give them their share of election largesse which he promised them before the last presidential poll.

The National Organising Secretary of APGA, Dr. Gbenga Afeni, said this in a statement on Monday.



Petrol: FG Refuse To Pay Outstanding Debt ­– Marketers

The current petrol scarcity across the country may have been aggravated by the alleged refusal of the Federal Government to accede to the demand of the oil marketers for the issuance of Sovereign Debt Notes for their outstanding subsidy claims, our correspondent has learnt.



Another Fire Incident Razes Multiple Buildings In Lagos

Barely six hours after a late night fire gutted nearly 200 shops and buildings at the Ijora area of Lagos, another inferno yesterday razed multiple buildings at the Ilaje area of Costain.

While the Ijora incident left seven persons with varying degrees of injuries, the Costain fire recorded less casualty as only one person was injured.

Initial reports said yesterday’s fire was caused by a candle that was lit on a wooden chair, however reports later said it was an explosion from the kitchen of one of the buildings.

According to the latter report, one of the residents had purchased kerosine, suspected to have been mixed with petrol by some black market sellers.

The explosion was said to have occurred when she lit the stove to cook, which perhaps explains why she was the only one injured in the inferno.

Confirming the incident, the South-west Public Relations Officer of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, said majority of the houses affected were wooden structures while few of them were concrete houses.



Posterity Shall Judge Us Well On Electricity Reforms

The Vice-President, Alhaji Namadi Sambo, monday stated that the decisions and choices made by the outgoing administration of President Goodluck Jonathan to reform Nigeria’s power sector, through the privatisation of successor companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and building of new power plants through the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) would be judged fairly by history in the future.

Sounding philosophical shortly before inaugurating a 330/132/33kV transmission substation built by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC) under the NIPPs in Gwagwalada Abuja, Sambo noted in his remarks that the decisions the outgoing government took in its electricity policy were taken on the basis of sound professional advice.

These decisions, he said were taken majorly in the interest of Nigerians.
He explained that notwithstanding whatever misgivings that the administration might be getting from people, it opted for the best choice of actions that it thought would help it progress the country’s electricity systems with tangible and long lasting impacts.



Buhari Administration Will Not Persecute Anyone – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said the incoming administration of General Muhammadu Buhari will not persecute anyone, contrary to statements credited to President Goodluck Jonathan.

In a statement issued in Abuja monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said, however, that those who have played poker with the nation’s destiny must be willing and eager to clear their conscience before man and God.

‘’That the president-elect is a man of integrity is not an issue for debate, and he has made it clear that he will not be bogged down by endless probes.

‘’However, the hands of the incoming government will not be tied by those who have chosen to play the victim and exhibit a persecution mentality. Whoever has any reason to be afraid must lay bare such reason before Nigerians,’’ the party said.



NCC: Why There Is Persistent Poor GSM Service

The Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr. Eugene Juwah, has attributed the persistent poor quality GSM service being experienced by subscribers to the poor power supply, multiple tax  regulations by governments at various levels and the vandalism of telecommunications infrastructure of the service providers.

He admitted that the recurring challenges that had bedeviled the growing telecommunications sector remained the monster while quality of service remains poor in the country.

According to him, the challenges include inadequate power supply, multiple taxation and regulations, vandalism of telecom infrastructure, right of way challenges, and infrastructure deficit among others.
The EVC, who was represented by the Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Tony Ojobo, made the disclosure in Abuja, in a paper he presented at the second yearly stakeholders’ conference in Lagos.



Police Arraign Student For Stealing Boyfriend’s Phones

The Police on Monday arraigned a student, Juliet Mathew, 22, in an Oshodi Magistrates’ Court in Lagos, for allegedly stealing three phones, belonging to her boyfriend, valued at N90,000.

Mathew, who resides at No. 22, Pipeline St., Iyana-Odo in Igando, near Lagos, is being tried for stealing.

The Prosecutor, Cpl. Kehinde Olatunde, told the court that Mathew committed the offences on April 1 at No. 2, Ilare Close, Mafoluku, Oshodi.

Olatunde said that the phones belonged to one Moses Ogundeyi.

“The accused stole one blackberry Q5 valued at N25,000, a Samsung X3 worth N45,000, a nokia valued at N5,000 and one Spetranet browsing valued at 15,000.’’



Dana Unveil Made In Nigeria All-New Kia Sorento

Dana Motors Ltd, representative of Kia Motors in Nigeria has unveiled the latest edition of the all-new Kia Sorento sport utility vehicle at the just concluded Lagos Motor show. The new Sorento was assembled at Dana assembly plant in Lagos with world-class features. Presenting the all-new Sorento to the Motoring Press, the Chief Operating Officer, Dana Motor, Mr. Sandeep Malhotra noted that for over a decade, Kia brand has remained the leading Korean brand in Nigeria, offering best in class cutting-edge technology at affordable price.



APGA Stakeholder Wants President-elect To Implement National Confab Report

A stakeholder in All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Okoli Akirika, wants the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, to implement the report of the National Conference as a way of addressing vexed national issues.

Addressing newsmen in Awka, Akirirka also advised Buhari to follow due process in the probe of the missing $20 billion in the NNPC which he had promised to further investigate on assumption of office.

“Let Buhari have a recourse to the confab whose report has been submitted and has been accepted to be a working document. It will help us (Nigerians) to heal many national wounds, to take Nigeria to the next level.”



School Return: 91-year-old Threatens To Occupy Fashola’s Office

A 91-year-old woman, Madam Roseline Ololo has given the Lagos State governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, a seven-day ultimatum to ensure the return of Metropolitan College and Isolo Secondary School to her, failing which she will permanently occupy the governor’s office.

Madam Ololo, in a statement by her counsel, Malcolm Omirhobo, threatened to permanently occupy the governor’s office until her demands are met.

Madam Ololo and her late husband, Chief Michael Ololo, had through their company, Akaix West Africa Limited, established Metropolitan College in 1955 with the first batch of 19 students in Surulere area of Lagos.



Jonathan Was Fair To Ndigbo – Igbo Group

Founder of Igbo Youth Movement ,IYM, Mr. Elliot Uko, has dismissed reports that President Goodluck Jonathan deceived the South-East geo-political zone on the construction of the proposed Second Niger Bridge, noting that the President was fair in his dealings with Ndigbo.

Uko also frowned on what he described as the constant demonization of Jonathan and his wife, describing it as unfair.

Uko in a statement said those behind claims that the President failed the Igbo were political jobbers, seeking attention from the President-elect, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd)

His words: ‘’Ndigbo are  proud, courageous people whose world view is built on truth and justice. Whereas political hustlers and job seekers have the inalienable right to lobby General Buhari for accommodation in the APC groovy train, such lobbyists certainly do not have the right to tell white lies, especially when they claim to be speaking on behalf of Ndigbo.

‘’No government in Nigeria since 1960 has treated Ndigbo justly or better than the outgoing Jonathan administration. Therefore, people who use the very strong and negative word ‘deception’ in describing President Jonathan’s relationship with Ndigbo as concerning the 2nd Niger Bridge, simple went too far.



We Have No Problem With Jonathan – Buhari’s Committee

CONTRARY to the position earlier expressed by the All Progressives Congress (APC), chairman of the transition committee set up by the president-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, to work with the Federal Government on the handover to his incoming administration, Alhaji Ahmed Joda, has said it has no problem with the government.

The spokesman of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had, in a reaction to the Federal Government’s complaint about the terms of reference forwarded to it by Buhari transition committee, accused the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration of hampering the smooth handover to the new government.

But, speaking with State House correspondents, after a meeting of the corresponding transition committees, on Monday, Joda denied that his committee was not getting the desired cooperation from government.



Boko Haram Remains Major Challenge To West Africa – Buhari

The president-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, said Boko Haram terrorism activities still remain the biggest challenge confronting not only Nigeria, but the rest of the West African region.

This came just as the president of Chad, Idris Derby, promised continued total support in fighting the Boko Haram, adding that his country would continue to work closely with Nigeria in the area of stability of the region.

Both leaders addressed newsmen after a closed-door meeting at the Defence House, Abuja.

According to Buhari, “the biggest challenge in this region is Boko Haram and we have seen how Chad, Niger and Cameroon have been helping Nigeria to secure the border and we know what effect it had on commerce and industry.

“Some of the bridges were blown off, some of the infrastructure were destroyed. So these are the priorities we have discussed, and God willing, when the government gets in place, we will again see it and make sure that we have a comprehensive review of the situation in that area and how it affects our people. That is the main issue we discussed,” he stated.



Chukwuma, Zik’s First  Son, Dies At 75

The first son of Nigeria’s first President, the late Dr Nnamdi Azikwe, Chukwuma Bamidele is dead. He was aged 75.

Nigerian Tribune learnt that Bamidele, who had been battling with respiratory ailment for some years, was reported dead on Sunday, at Borromeo Hospital in Onitsha, Anambra State.

The deceased, who was fondly known as Bamidele by his associates, and whose quiet lifestyle kept him from public glare, was being  addressed as the Owelle since 1996 when his father died.

He was said to have tried everything within his power to keep the large Azikwe’s family together till his death on Sunday.



Nyanya Bombings: Court Okays Secret Trial Of Ogwuche, Others

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered that prosecution witnesses in the  trial of the alleged mastermind of Nyanya bombing, Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche and others to be completely shielded from public view.

The order of court followed an application by the prosecution counsel, Mohammed Diri, that  the identity of  prosecution witnesses be shielded  with tinted screen to protect their identity.

With Monday’s ruling, the Federal Government is expected to open its case on Tuesday.

Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche, Ahmed Abubakar, Mohammed Ishaq, Ya’u Saidu (alias Kofar Rama); Anas Isa, Adamu Yusuf and Nasir Abubakar are facing terrorism charges and the prosecution team was to call their witnesses.

At the resumed trial on Monday, a representative of the prosecution  moved a motion seeking to modify the order of the court made on March 18, 2015.

The trial judge, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, in his ruling ordered  the use of tinted screens to shield the prosecution witnesses to protect them from public view but to allow only the lead counsel to the accused persons access to view the facial identities of the prosecution witnesses.



We Lose 30 Policemen To Death Every Month – IGP

The acting Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, on Monday announced that the Nigeria Police Forces loses 20 to 30 policemen every month, and this has affected the strength of the force.

The IGP, who spoke when he visited the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mike Okiro, said that these policemen who died in the course of duty are hardly replaced, hence there is an urgent need for recruitment into the force to ensure that it is well positioned to perform its constitutional duties.

The IGP pledged the loyalty of the police management team to the commission and promised cordial and fruitful relationship for the optimal effectiveness and efficiency of the force.

The IGP also complained of stagnation in the force, where some officers had been on one a rank for upward of eight to nine years because of non-availability of establishment vacancies.

Responding, Okiro promised to do everything within his power to raise the morale of officers and men and the overall efficiency of the force.



Lamentations As Fire Razes 109 Shops, Apartments In Lagos

IT was wailing galore for residents of Ijora area of Lagos State as over 109 shops and residential apartments were razed by fire.

Also, no fewer than seven persons reportedly sustained varying degrees of injuries in the incident which occurred on Sunday night and which was said to have started from one of the shops at the 7UP area of Ijora.

Unconfirmed reports had it that the shop where the fire started from had black oil stored in it.

Confirming the incident to the media, the South-West Zonal spokesman of the National Emergency Maintenance Agency (NEMA), Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, said the affected buildings belonged to the Bayelsa State government.

“About 109 shops and residential buildings were consumed in the fire outbreak at the scene, located in open space belonging to the Bayelsa State government beside the 7UP Bottling Company, Ijora,” he said.

“One person who sustained serious burns was rescued and taken to the hospital. The fire started from a shop filled with drums of black oil. People are also using the space as residence,” he added.



8 Injured As Building Collapses In Emir Of Kano Palace

Tragedy struck on Monday  at the palace of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, when eight persons reportedly sustained various degrees of injuries when a mud building which was under construction collapsed  on them.

According to an eyewitness, the incident occurred  at the emir’s palace around 11:00a.m when the workers were rebuilding the mud house‎.

The source added that  the 10 workers were busy plastering the house when the incident happened, leading to eight of them sustaining injuries.

It was gathered  that when the emir was told of the incident, he asked one of the senior emirate officials to find out the cause and report back immediately

The Tribune Online, who was at the palace when the incident happened, gathered that five out of the eight injured persons were rushed to the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital because of the seriousness of the injuries.

As of the time of filing this report, no official statement has been made by the Kano Emirate Council over the incident‎.



APC: Jonathan’ Ministers Must Defend Their Actions

Ministers and presidential aides must be ready to answer for their actions after leaving office, the All Progressives Congress (APC) said yesterday.

But the party of the incoming Gen. Muhammadu Buhari administration will not persecute anybody, contrary to President Goodluck Jonathan’s fears.

The APC was yesterday reacting to Dr. Jonathan’s statement on Sunday at the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Cathedral Church of Advent, Life Camp, Gwarimpa, Abuja during a farewell service in his honour.

The President said: “For ministers and aides who served with me, I sympathise with them; they will be persecuted. And they must be ready for that persecution.”



PDP’s Loss: Two Trek To Kaduna In Sympathy With Governor Yero

As several people trekked long distances to felicitate with winners of the just concluded 2015 general elections, two people have commenced trekking from Makarfi to Kaduna to sympathise with Gov. Muktar Yero.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Yero lost the Kaduna State Governorship seat to Malam Nasir El-Rufai during the April 11 election.

Speaking in an interview with Journalists in Zaria on Sunday, one of the trekkers, MalamRabi’uSarkin-Musulmi, said they started the journey early Sunday morning at about 2:00a.m.



Buhari’s Aide Calls For End To Urhobo/ Isoko Pipelines Bombing

Bibi Oduku, Coordinator of Niger Delta Security, NDS, the safety wing of President–elect, General Muhammadu Buhari Support Organisation, BSO,  has enjoined aggrieved Urhobo and Isoko ex-militants in Delta State to shun further pipeline vandalism and threats of violence in the Niger Delta region.

When Bibi led members of the group on a courtesy visit to the factional President General of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Chief Tuesday Onoge in Warri, alleged that many ex-militants were allegedly shortchanged in the Federal Government’s amnesty programme by the out-going administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, adding that it should however, not be an excuse to go back to the days of pipeline vandalism.



Chadian President  Derby: I Don’t Know Shekau’s Whereabouts

Where is Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau? He was once declared killed by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ). But he resurfaced in videos, threatening more havoc. The DHQ said there were many impersonating the terrorist leader.

In February, Chadian President Idris Derby said Shekau was hiding in Borno State town Dikwa, warning that if he did not come out of hiding, his troops would go after him.

But yesterday in Abuja, President Derby told reporters after a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan that he does not know Shekau’s whereabouts.

“I cannot tell you today that I know where Shekau is hiding even if I knew, I won’t tell you,” he told reporters.

But he expressed regrets that the Nigerian and the Chadian armies were not working together. If they had cooperated, Derby said, the insurgents might have been wiped out.

Henry Igwe

Henry Igwe

Copywriter. Sanguine. God understands me.

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