US Government Shuts Down On Trump’s First Anniversary

The United States government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, halting all but the most essential operations and marring the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

According to Associated Press, last-minute negotiations crumbled as Senate Democrats blocked a four-week stopgap extension in a late-night vote, causing the fourth government shutdown in a quarter century.

Trump’s office issued a statement blaming opposition Democrats for the crisis.

AFP reported that spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the Democrats’ insistence that the interim measure include protection for undocumented immigrants who arrived as children killed the deal.

“Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown,” she declared, referring to the minority leader, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who met with Trump earlier Friday.

“Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country’s ability to serve all Americans.

“We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands,” she warned.

US federal services and military operations deemed essential will continue, but thousands of government workers will be sent home without pay until the crisis is resolved.

The slide toward closure lacked for high drama: The Senate vote was all but predetermined, and since the shutdown began at the start of a weekend, many of the immediate effects will be muted for most Americans.

Still, it comes with no shortage of embarrassment for Trump and political risk for both parties, as they wager that voters will punish the other at the ballot box in November.

Social Security and most other safety net programs are unaffected by the lapse in federal spending authority.

Critical government functions will continue, with uniformed service members, health inspectors and law enforcement officers set to work without pay. But if no deal is brokered before Monday, hundreds of thousands of federal employees will be furloughed.

After hours of closed-door meetings and phone calls, the Senate scheduled its late-night vote on a House-passed plan. It gained 50 votes to proceed to 48 against, but 60 were needed to break a Democratic filibuster. A handful of red-state Democrats crossed the aisle to support the measure, rather than take the politically-risky vote. Four Republicans voted in opposition.

Even before the vote, Trump was pessimistic, tweeting, “Not looking good” and blaming the Democrats who he said actually wanted the shutdown “to help diminish the success” of the tax bill he and fellow Republicans pushed through last month.

Democrats balked on the measure in an effort to pressure on the White House to cut a deal to protect “dreamer” immigrants — who were brought to the country as children and are now here illegally — before their legal protection runs out in March.

Trump watched the results from his White House residence, dialling up allies and affirming his belief that Democrats would take the blame for the shutdown, said a person familiar with his conversations but not authorised to discuss them publicly.

AFP

With Osun APC 2018- The Future Is Bright

By Sodiq Lawal

Fellow brethren, It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Nigeria is out of recession! So, let all men of goodwill clink glasses in celebration of the valuable worth of a
country that will neither wear out nor rust out!

Having said that, to say that all is well with party politics in State of Osun, especially, as 2018 draws nearer, depends on which side the observer is looking at. Like Siamese twins, things are scarily looking up for the ruling party and the opposition is closer to fire than it is to frying pan.

The political lion and the economic bear are strategizing; even the wolves and the hyenas of our ethno-religious belongingness are waiting in the wings, desperately hoping to devour whatever remains of the country called Nigeria. It is therefore time Nigeria’s David woke up to the responsibility of killing the uncircumcised Philistines before they kill Nigeria dead. In my considered opinion, such an important task must start from the State of Osun! For all, I care, Peoples Democratic Party ,(PDP) brought us to this sorry past and it should not be allowed to take us for collective amnesiacs.

All about Osun is not a tale of woes. As a matter of fact, the state has gone too far to look back and credit must be given to the forward- looking governor. Within a very short period of seven years, Aregbesola has given a new hope of a state gloriously conquering, not miserably failing!

For example, while the state continues to pay sufficient attention to the education of its students, every teacher on its payroll now knows that he or she has the potentials to rise up to the topmost level of his or her career. Through activities of the Osun Broilers Outgrowers Programme Scheme, OBOPS, the state has not only “placed Osun second to Oyo State in broiler production in the country” , “about 1,000 farmers and over-3,000 food vendors” have also been gainfully employed.

In Osun, cases of Poliomyelitis are now consigned to the past due to the administration’s effective and extensive immunization initiatives. It will also interest readers to know that the state came 9th in the just- concluded National Youth Games with 9 Gold (including 3 Non- Scoring), 5 Silver and 4 Bronze medals, the first of its kind in a long while.

In ‘Crying: The Natural and Cultural History of Tears’ , Tom Lutz wrote: “Professional mourners have not so much disappeared over the last millennium; they have simply donned robes and stopped crying.” To be fair to posterity, it is because of who we are that we are where we are! For example, even if APC is such “a coat of many clouds” and PDP, “a blind giant groping in the dark” , have we ever tasked those condemning the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to contemplate Nigeria’s present state had Goodluck Jonathan remained in power beyond 2015?

On the other hand, how do we draw a healthy line of distinction between social welfare and ‘stomach infrastructure’ and why should a man with the handkerchief be found in a sweating mode? Again, who is a better politician: one who builds bridges across the Niger through massive investment in his people’s future or one who merely ‘constructs bridges’ across the stomach?

Well, Aregbesola’s strides in the midst of the opposition’s brickbats bring to memory the Story of the Twelve Spies. Of the twelve sent out to “explore the Promised Land and give a report to Moses and the people” , only two – Joshua and Caleb – actually came back with a report of hope and possession as contrasted with the frightening arrogation of largeness, fortification and power to the city and its occupants by the other explorers. But then, God’s promise of giving the land to His chosen ones was not unfulfilled. Even at that, my Bible didn’t tell me that the spies’ return to the Wilderness of Paran at the end of their assignment put a lid on the plight of the Israelites on their way to New Jerusalem. May principalities and powers, assigned to rubbish our leaders’ efforts, backfire!

No doubt, the only party where lies effective transformation like we all are witnessing today in the State of Osun is the All Progressives Congress (APC). The current situation in the state of Osun is progress in all her Sectors. From infrastructural development, to agricultural development, to education, improved health sector, Urban renewal, job creation, youth and women empowerment and many other developmental projects.

With all sincerity, what we need now is continuity to the effective transformational plans of the present Government led by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. He is a good leader which he has demonstrated over the years in deeds, words and actions.

Undoubtedly, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has brought to the doorstep of every household a dividend of democracy. He has made Osun a reference point to effective developments.

It might interest us to know that apart from Lagos State, Osun remains the only State that has concentrated the largest chunk of her resources to bring meaningful development on education. Ogbeni’s administration has constructed new 70-State-of-the-art educational facilities for elementary, middle and high School Pupils/ Students with a complementary renovation of additional 1,500 Classrooms. Timely approval and construction of over 1000kms of rural and Urban roads, programs such as O-YES ( Osun Youth empowerment Scheme) has produced 40,000 jobs to teeming Youths in Osun, which has drastically reduced the unemployment rate according to publication of the National Bureau of Statistics as also recognised by the World Bank.

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has consciously improved Osun in all sectors, hence, the hope for Osun State lies in the continuity of the present APC government and adequate support to whoever wins the ticket to succeed the Governor in Office.

APC Remains The Party To Beat In Nigeria – Oyintiloye

By Nofisat Marindoti

A member of the State of Osun House of Assembly and the Chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Information,
Hon. Bosun Oyintiloye has posited that the ruling party in the state, the All Progressives Congress, APC, still remains a party to beat not only in the State but throughout the country.

“You learn success and failure not only in life but also in politics, you learn from mistakes and adopt a system that makes you take advantage of your experience. I disagree with you that APC is not popular, It still remains the party to beat not only in Osun but the nation.”

Oyintiloye said this during an interview with journalists in Osogbo, the state capital on Friday.

Expressing his gratitude to God for his current social status, Oyintiloye said he had learnt that for any task assignment or profession, there is the need for perception to be clear, adding that one must know the fundamental of what the assignment demands or entails.

Oyintiloye who listed his achievements, stated that as a law maker, he has contributed his quota in business of representation, law-making, and community development.

“I have ameliorated poverty, made myself abundantly available for my people, empowered rural farmers, awakened hope among youths, created opportunities, build confidence and inspired change.

“With every sense of modesty I have impacted on my constituency in divers areas, I have sponsored four bills including the Osun historical sites, structures and items designation and preservation bill 2016 which will pave way for the proper preservation of Yoruba’s historical facts, details and items for the coming generation.

“I have moved a motion on suspended Federal Government projects across the state which is about N20.318 billion. These projects includes road infrastructure, water schemes, and housing, as you are aware some of the projects have been awarded as far back as 2008 and have either been abandoned or slowed down owing to non-disbursement of fund by the federal government.

“Though I am a lawmaker, I have taken bold step to complement the efforts of the state government, especially in the area of human development, capacity building and infrastructural developments. My impact can also be felt in the area of security as I facilitated in the restoration of the Police’s Armoured patrol vehicle to Ibokun

“I believe semi urban communities deserves beautification and face lifting, this motive inspired me to embark on reconstruction and beautification of Obokun roundabout as well played leading role in the renovation of the Ibokun ancient palace.

“In addition, I have renovated over 16 shops and constructed an ultramodern 12-room shop at the Ibokun Central Market and built 8-room stalls in Ibokun Daily Market for the teeming market men and women. In Ipetu-Ile markets, I renovated 40 stalls of market buildings; in Ikiyinwa, I constructed market structures of 10 shops among others, for the betterment of our industrious people.

“Not only that I facilitated drilling of boreholes and hand-pump wells across Obokun State Constituency and installation of transformers in Ajebandele/Oja Tuntun and Kojegbin communities among others.”

Asked about his major challenges as a lawmaker, Oyintiloye said he does not have odd challenges and had always managed the ones he has normally.

“I do not think, I have odd challenges per se, just normal basic challenges, really, I got to learn the rope, procedures and proceedings, lobbying, external communication, managing information, social listening, disseminating information, initiating bill and all the rests.

“Nothing odd, nothing strange. You need to learn how to make yourself to be understood, you need to challenge misconception and listen to and respect the opinion of others. Generally speaking, maturity on the part of leadership and colleagues in the assembly paid off.”

Ajimobi Vows To Appeal Court Verdict On Olubadan Chieftaincy Review

The Oyo State Government says it will appeal the judgment which stated unconstitutional and illegal the Commission of Inquiry recommending the elevation of some Ibadan high chiefs to Obas.

Justice Olajumoke Aiki of Oyo State High Court had on Friday declared the retired Justice Akintunde Boade’s Commission of Inquiry which reviewed the 1957 Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration and other Chieftaincies as unconstitutional and illegal.

The state government had on Aug. 27, 2017 elevated some Ibadan High Chiefs, except one and some district heads (Baales) as obas, an action which pitted them against Oba Saliu Adetunji, the Olubadan.

The Osi Olubadan and former governor of the state, Chief Rashidi Ladoja, had filed a suit to challenge the propriety of the Justice Boade Commission of Inquiry.

Reacting to the judgment of the court on Friday in Ibadan, Gov. Abiola Ajimobi said that the state will appeal the verdict.

The governor made the assertion at the inauguration of a block of classrooms donated by Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN) to Community Secondary School, Ajara in Ibadan.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Olujimi was a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation and an indigene of Ajara community in Ibadan.

“Today’s judgment on the Olubadan Chieftaincy review will be appealed immediately. We have embarked upon the exercise, not for joke, but for the good of Ibadan and the people.

“We will not relent in making Ibadan great and the greatness shall come from various ways, one of which is the review exercise.

“You should not expect people to accept change and radical policy for that matter, but we shall get there.

“ We will not allow the forces of retrogression to overtake the progress Oyo State is making,’’ Ajimobi said.

Osun NDLEA Destroys 77.28 Hectares Of Cannabis Sativa, Arrests 96 Suspects In 2017

By Nofisat Marindoti

The State of Osun Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr Samuel Egbeola has revealed that the agency destroyed 77.28 hectares of Cannabis Sativa farm in the state in 2017.

Egbeola said this while briefing newsmen on the agency’s achievements in 2017 in Osogbo, the State capital on Friday.

Egbeola also disclosed that the agency in the state also arrested 96 suspects and seized 335.311kg of illicit substances made up of 335.13kg of Indian hemp and 175 grams of psychotic substances.

He said the command secured 49 convictions for drug-related cases while 83 drug dependant persons were counselled and also embarked on gathering of actionable intelligence and raid of identified drug spots.

“We always carry out stop and search operations on vehicles and passengers on the roads, embark on drug enlightenment campaigns as well as counselling of drug-dependent persons.

“We also carry out search of premises and houses suspected to be hideouts for illicit drug business as part of the initiatives to reduce drug-related activities in the state,’’ he said.

Egbeola said the agency was able to attain some feats due to the support of the media and other stakeholders in the state.

He thereby solicited for more support from the public to enable the agency do more in ridding the state of illicit drugs.

Osoosi Festival: Ooni Says Religious Intolerance Is Bane Of Peaceful Co-Existence

By Sodiq Lawal

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has identified religious intolerance as the bane of peaceful coexistence among Nigerians, noting that Godliness is different from religion.

The Spiritual Head of the Yoruba race worldwide stated this while speaking on Thursday during the annual Osoosi festival in Ile-Ife.

He urged Nigerians to see the country’s cultural and religious diversity as a great advantage needed to move forward socially, politically and economically rather than using it negatively, the result of which can only be backwardness.

“Nigeria is blessed with cultural and religious diversity which must not be seen as a curse but a blessing”

“What people practice today is ungodly religionism. It is very devilish for anyone to kill or maim in the name of religious differences. Deliberate frustration of peaceful coexistence in a diverse society like ours is an act of sacrilegious dogmatism perpetrated by the victims of religious brainwashing”

“We are all one before the Almighty God and we must remain so to allow for peaceful coexistence if we must progress socially, politically and economically “. Ooni Ogunwusi stated.

Obatala adherents at the event said Osoosi is a festival of African pantheon of divinity, configuration and interchange of power.

The ongoing Obatala Festival with a gathering of hundreds of foreigners especially from Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, Jamaica and United States of America is expected to end on Tuesday 23th of January 2018

“Osun Students Not Sent Home For School Fees”

By Nofisat Marindoti

Contrary to the news circulating that students of the State of Osun Government schools are being sent home to collect their school fees, an online group in the State, Progressives E-group, has stated that no student was sent home because of school fees.

In a statement signed by its coordinator, Hon. Mustapha Mudasir, the group explained that the students were only sent home over non payment of maintenance fees which is N500 per term and N1,,500 per annum.

“We want to reiterate that no student was sent home because of school fees. In our days, we were sent home for PTA levy,harvest items(ikore).

“Students in public schools are being sent for reasons including torn uniforms and non payment of maintenance fees of N500 per term which is N1500 per annum.

“If any pupil tells you he or she is being sent home for school fees, ask for last term’s receipt.

“Civil servants pay tax, and many of them don’t have children in public schools. Plus let us encourage their parents to pay tax of N1500 per annum.”the release added.

Keyamo Asks Buhari To Remove IGP Idris Over Unlawful Arrest Of Elombah Brothers

Human Rights Activist, and famous lawyer Mr Festus Keyamo, SAN, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to remove the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Kpotum Idris for high-handedness and Abuse of office in ordering the illegal arrest and detention of online journalists, Daniel Elombah and Tim Elombah.

Keyamo who made the request in a letter written to President Buhari dated 15, January accused the IGP of displaying personal vendetta by refusing to release Tim Elombah long after the detention order granted by an Area Court Judge has expired.

The Senior Advocate who narrated how the Elombah brothers were abducted from their home town in Edoji, Uruagu Nnewi, Anambra state, said that a situation where Mr President’s appointees ride rough shod over innocent citizens or use the positions to which Mr President appointed them to settle personal scores should, ordinarily, rankle the President and cause him to intervene.

“Your Excellency, it is shocking and alarming, to say the least, that the Inspector-General of Police deployed the officers and men of special police squads like SARS and STS, which are established to fight serious and violent crimes, to settle a purely private grievance with on-line journalists. If at all an offence was committed by the said published article (which is not conceded) a simple civil invitation to our clients would have sufficed. But to use such strong-arm tactics to reign in our clients was a gross abuse of his office and an employment of stone-age tactics in pursuing his personal grievance.

“He has further displayed his personal vendetta by refusing to release Tim Elombah long after the detention order has expired. This is one of the worst forms of abuse of human rights.

“Your Excellency, such practices should be clearly unacceptable under your watch. A situation where your appointees ride rough shod over innocent citizens or use the positions to which you appointed them to settle personal scores should, ordinarily, rankle you and cause you to intervene. It should be more so as the substance of the matter has to do with the criticism of the personal life of a public officer by the Fourth Estate of the Realm, a practice that has come to be recognized as one of the components of a thriving democracy. If a public officer cannot tolerate or stomach harsh criticisms, he has no business occupying public office.

“It is in the light of the above we urge you to use your good offices to order an investigation into this crass display of power and indiscretion by the Inspector-General of Police and mete out appropriate sanctions against him, which may include the extreme step of relieving him of his position.”

Keyamo’ petition further said that “On or about the 1st day of January, 2018, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, caused the men and officers of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad to invade the family compound of our clients in Edoji, Uruagu Nnewi, Anambra State. Six persons (including our clients) were arrested, handcuffed like common criminals and driven to the SARS office in Nnewi. They were subsequently taken to the SARS headquarters in Awkuzu, near Awka. Up till this point, our clients were not informed of the reason(s) for their arrests.

“It was at SARS headquarters in Awkuzu that our clients were handed over to other armed officers who identified themselves as being from Special Tactical Squad, S.T.S, a team that works directly in the office of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris. Our clients and one Izuchukwu Elombah were then taken all the way by road (and in handcuffs) to Abuja.

“It was in Abuja that the officers then subjected our clients to hours of grueling interrogation regarding an article published in another blog called opinionnigeria.com, titled ‘IGP Ibrahim Idris’s Unending Baggage of Controversies”. The article in question was not published by our clients’ blog, Elombah.com, and our clients denied any link to the author, one Ebiowei Dickson. Daniel and Izuchukwu Elombah were eventually released on bail, but have been made to report constantly since then.

“However, the Police got a Remand Order to detain Tim for seven days which expired more than a week ago and the Police are still holding Tim illegally. We now understand that the Police have prepared a Charge against our clients and they would soon be arraigned.”

CAF Player Of The Year: Time For Nigeria To Look Inward By Oluwashina Okeleji

Perhaps the best way to begin this column is to heartily congratulate African Player of the Year, Mohamed Salah. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) confirmed what everyone knew: in 2017, there was no African better.

He edged out Liverpool team mate Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, both superb forwards in their own right, to become the first Egyptian in 34 years to win the award.

The point of curiosity, given the final three, was the clamour for Nigeria international Victor Moses as more deserving. This claim was entirely hinged on a season wherein Chelsea took the English Premier League by surprise, storming to the title after an initial wobble forced a change in team shape. While Moses is an intrepid, roving playmaker by international window, necessity dictated that when Antonio Conte needed a wing-back, he was tapped for the specialist role.

Perhaps the fact that Chelsea’s upturn in performances coincided with Moses playing more regularly led most to credit his influence directly, rather than that of a system that made a previously undisciplined winger into a disciplined defender.

Whatever the case, the argument seems to be that, having won a league title – more than could be said for any of the players in the final three – he should win by default. The fact that he did not has now come to be seen as the furtherance of some ancient agenda against Nigerian footballers. Not since Nwankwo Kanu won the second of his two awards in 1999 has a Nigerian been crowned Africa’s best. That’s a long time, but there is a danger of looking at it from the simple point of demographics.

Nigeria is by far Africa’s most populous nation, and football is by far its most popular sport. Just as science has proven, the human brain can struggle to grasp probability: we tend to think that, just because there are more of us, one of us should at least have won once on the last 19 years.

As such, it is convenient for the average Nigerian football fan to invent another reason for the dry spell. While Issa Hayatou was in power, and perhaps mindful of the (perceived) injustices of years gone by (Exhibit A: 1988/2000 Africa Cup of Nations finals against Cameroon), the narrative was that CAF was partial to Francophone nations.

So we hear that Mustapha Hadji won in 1998 on the back of one bicycle kick. Never mind that he scored at the World Cup as Morocco were hugely unfortunate to be eliminated, and that while he was scoring the bicycle kick in question, his closest challenger Jay-Jay Okocha was missing out on the Cup of Nations thanks to a CAF ban on Nigeria.

Look beyond the self-pitying narrative, and it is clear that, in the timeframe, there have been no viable candidates anyway. The aforementioned Okocha came closest, but was unfortunate to mature at a time when Samuel Eto’o was growing into one of Europe’s most devastating strikers. Should he have won in 2003 anyway? Maybe. But even allowing for that, it was still 15 years ago.

There is also the obvious question: why would CAF, or any footballing association for that matter, devalue its top award by being biased? To do that would amount to sabotage.
The simplest explanation is often the right one, but in this case, it is a rather uncomfortable one: our players simply are not good enough. To acknowledge this is to take responsibility, so you can understand why it’s not an easy pill to swallow.

A lack of ambition is at the core of the problem. The average Nigerian footballer sees football as a means to elevate his social and financial status. While there’s nothing wrong with that at all, it is the enemy of that extra push to true stardom.

It is also antithetical to discipline (once comfort is secured), another area in which our footballers fall down. The ability to delay gratification is a cornerstone of the drive for growth. When did you ever hear a Nigerian male footballer say he seeks to be the best player in Africa?

Yet, when Salah stood on the podium in Accra, he spoke plainly of his long-standing desire for the gong, and his intention to win many more. It is the lack of precisely that sort of ambitious thinking, focus and discipline, that has seen, and will continue to see our footballers come up short among their peers.

Herdsmen Kill Farmer in Ogun State

A farmer in his 60s, Adetona Owolabi, has reportedly been killed by suspected herdsmen who inflicted various machete cuts on him in Afon, Imeko-Afon Local Government area of Ogun State.

The farmer was said to have been working on his farmland located few metres away to the newly constructed bridge at Afon, along Owode/Abeokuta road when he was attacked by the herdsmen for challenging them when their cattle was grazing and destroying his farm produce such as cassava, yam and vegetables.

Ironically, the incident occurred few hours after the State Government held a meeting with security chiefs and representatives of various stakeholders such as leaders of the Fulani, Hausa communities and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigera in order to prevent clashes between herdsmen and farmers and also to ensure safety of lives and property.

Ali Modu Sherif Group In Edo Dumps PDP or F

Edo PDP governorship candidate in the 2016 governorship elections, Matthew Iduoriyekenmwen, the member representing Ikpoba Okha/Egor in the House of Representatives, Johnson Agbonayinma, former member of the State House of Assembly, Blessing Agbebaku have led several others have defected to the APC, saying they left PDP for its impunity.

Iduoriyekenmwen who commended former governor Adams Oshiomole of the APC said “You all know that I resigned from the PDP since September 2017 and I decided to watch and see. I wanted to be governor of the state and if you have somebody that is doing what will do and even doing it better, you have to join him. We believe that our children must have education, government must make life meaningful for the people, I see sincerity in this government, I see sincerity in Governor Obaseki, I see that he doesn’t need distraction, we think that all we can do is to join him ion developing the state. Those of us that will have opposed him, we said we will join him to make the state better so whether you like it or not, Edo state is now a one party state, I want to thank Oshiomhole for providing the leadership”.

The serving Governor Godwin Obaseki welcomed them, “We don’t have new joiners; they are part of us; no difference no demarcation, new comer, everybody is the same.”