UN Commends Jonathan For Promoting Peace In Africa

The United Nations, UN, complimented the former President Goodluck Jonathan for the electoral reforms he initiated during his tenure, and for the good works he has been doing to promote peace and stability in Africa.

Explaining Jonathan’s achievements, the UN prayed that the institutions he built and the high standards he established in organizing credible and peaceful elections are maintained and sustained in Nigeria.

Jonathan the global organization made this known during a courtesy call on Jonathan by a delegation led by Ambassador Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, and Chairman of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission (CNMC).

Speaking of the 2015 general elections, Chambas who was accompanied by the UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Edward Kallon, commended ex-President Jonathan’s roles in stemming the tide of agitations which threatened Nigeria’s unity ahead of the elections.

He said: “What we noticed in 2015 was that there was a display of maturity in the way the elections were handled.

There was hardly any major incident between the then ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC). The problems were mostly internal to parties.”

According to him, the delegation came to express appreciation to Jonathan for the good works he has been doing to promote democracy, peace, and stability in Africa, noting that the ex-President

“still continues to do good with his decision to serve as the leader of one of the election observation missions to the forthcoming presidential run-off in Liberia.”

Chambas further told the former President that the UN was seeking his support to ensure the success of a scheduled all party stakeholders forum similar to the inter-party peace forum which held under the Jonathan Administration.

In his response, Jonathan commended Chambas and his team for the initiative and congratulated the special envoy for moving up to a higher platform, after serving as the President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Ex-President Jonathan also commended the UN for its support in election processes in West Africa and in all of Africa, noting that the efforts of ECOWAS leaders had ensured that West Africa had remained relatively peaceful. He said further:

“First let me welcome you and your team. I believe this is a familiar environment for you because you had been with us in ECOWAS. I am happy that you have now gone higher than the ECOWAS level.

Let me also, through you and your team, commend what the UN is doing in terms of its proactive approach in sanitizing election processes in Africa.”

Jonathan also noted that electoral processes in Nigeria were getting better compared to what it was in the Second Republic when widespread irregularities forced the military to topple elected civilian leaders.

The former President further made a case for credible elections in Africa stressing that tensions arising from poorly conducted elections and other leadership issues were at the heart of most crises on the continent. He noted:

“Elections must be credible. They must not just be free and fair but must be seen to be transparent and credible. That way peace will reign and sustainable development can take place.”

FG Begs Niger Delta Avengers “Just Be Patient With Us”

Federal Government, yesterday, pleaded with militant groups in the Niger Delta region, especially the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, to be patient with the government as efforts were being made to address all their grievances.

Pastor Usani Uguru Usani the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, who made the appeal shortly after having a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said already some of the requests of the people had been attended to.

The appeal came as the rivalry between militants in the zone got messier as one of the groups offered to take security agents to ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo’s hideout with Tompolo saying he has nothing to do with pipeline destruction.

Meantime, leaders of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, and Pan Niger Delta Peoples’ Congress, PNDPC, were locked in verbal warfare, yesterday as Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State also begged the aggrieved youths not resume hostilities in the region.

According to Pastor Usani, the issue calls for patience, “knowing that some of these things have a procedure, and everything has a phase of planning and a phase of execution.”

The minister, who said he was at the Villa to brief the President on the activities in his ministry while he was away, said though the issue of threat by NDA was not part of the discussions, government had started implementing the agreement it entered into with the people of the region.

“For a while, he (President) has not been around and there are things he needed to know from me and so I had to brief him on issues pertaining to the ministry, the projects that are going on and other anthropogenic issues that have to do with general matters concerning the Niger Delta region especially, the concerns bordering on who is right or not right to speak for the zone and the issues of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. All these occupied our discussions with the President today,” he said.

On whether the fresh threats by the Avengers was part of the discussions, he said: “We haven’t discussed the Avengers per se but it is of essence as the President has always shown indication that whatever we need to and can do to sustain peace in the region, we would continue to do it…You are aware that the Vice President (Prof. Yemi Osinbajo) has been chairing the committee that handles the issues they are raising.

“And so, while that goes on operationally, headed by the Vice President, the President just needs to be briefed on our efforts though we know that the Vice President briefs him from time to time but as per the Avengers issue, it was not discussed. On a general note, it is understood that we have to be engaged to be able to sustain the peace that prevailed for a while.”

On his message to the Avengers, he said: “My message is not just verbal but it has been demonstrated by the fact at all times. The government of which I am part, my role as minister in charge of the region, we have been appealing to them to just be patient with us, because, most of the time, the issues that are brought up are those that tend to portray the quest for development of the region.

“And that is all we have been doing, to say, be patient with us, these issues raised genuinely for the benefit of people of the region are being attended to. For instance, the university at Okerekoko, you are aware that the Vice President has directed that that university must take off. And he also directed that a minimum of N5 billion be budgeted for the take-off of the university.’’
On the situation in the region now, he said: “We are glad, so far, that all parties have listened to one another. Government, Avengers, Elders and so on. We would wish that this continues. So, we would advise all of us to remain calm and see the things that we agitated for coming little by little.”

He disagreed with claims of the Avengers that the government has failed in its promises to them, saying the university at Okerenkoko and the communities being part of surveillance of the petroleum infrastructure in the region were promises being kept.

“And of course you know that by the modular refineries which they had also talked about as sub-set of how they can be engaged instead of what is called illegal refineries, are also on, because the process of building a refinery or even getting the necessary procedures to establish such is not just a one day business.

Advertisements have been made, people have indicated interest and of course, to get it sustainable, the government is having the state governments involved but privately driven so that all concerned will be on a common page to ensure that whenever it takes off, there is no frustration or sabotage,’’ he added.

He continued: “Then your second question of meeting with the Avengers, for us as a government, there hasn’t been any group from the region that intended to meet with any arm of government that has been rebuffed. So, if any people make such overtures, we will be happy to receive them. We have been receiving different groups. We are not limiting our dialogue or discussions to any particular group. So anybody that says he is relevant in the process and comes forth, we are ready to engage.”

East West road

He however described as unfortunate the circumstances surrounding the reconstruction of the East-West. “For the benefit of hindsight, the East-West road was conceived and started from the Ministry of Works then transferred to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. But we all have to appreciate one thing. Such physical infrastructure don’t decay over night and so the neglect has continually put continuous liability on us.

Yes, it is true that I met with the contractors and I appealed to them to go back to site, we have also been very conscientious in releasing funds as they are cash-backed for them to continue work. Nonetheless, we are thinking of alternatives for completing that project amid the many issues that tend to be the undercurrents that are drawing back the execution. And such issues are technical and we are tackling them. In due course, you will know the outcome,” he said.

Speaking in like manner, Governor Okowa appealed to the NDA not to reopen attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region.

Okowa in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Charles Aniagwu, noted that “Deltans will lose more if the group make good its latest threat to withdraw from further cooperation with the federal government and begin massive attacks on oil facilities.

“We passionately appeal to the Niger Delta Avengers not to resume hostilities, because Deltans will be the greatest losers. We are barely recovering from the effect of previous attacks and it is our honest appeal that they still give peace a chance by allowing for peaceful engagements with the Federal Government and other stakeholders,’’ he said

Atiku Mourns Death Of British Missionary

The Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has lamented on the murder of British missionary, Ian Squire, by kidnappers in Delta State.

Waziri Adamawa in a statement released by his media office in Abuja described it as horrific and abominable, the news of Mr Squire’s death after three other aid workers who were kidnapped with him was released.

“It is so sad and shocking that a man who left his home country to come to a remote village in Nigeria to perform cataract surgeries and provide free medical aid for other eye conditions could have been so brutally rewarded for his kindness and selfless service,” Atiku said.

The former Vice President added that Nigerians had many lessons to learn from Mr. Squire, who was willing to serve the people who were neither from his part of the world nor from his race.

“That is the kind of selfless service for which Nigerians are crying out,” he said. “We need people who are willing to give their best to all peoples, irrespective of whether they belong to the same group or clan.”

The Waziri Adamawa also commiserated with the family of Mr. Squire and with the government of the United Kingdom. He prayed that they would receive comfort from knowing that the work Mr. Squire did was a legacy that would definitely live on despite his untimely death.

Chelsea Can Overhaul City – Courtois

Manchester City look to be in an “unstoppable” run of form but Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois says there is plenty of time for the London club to reel the leaders in and retain their Premier League title.

City took the early lead in the title race last season and was eight points ahead of Chelsea after the opening six games before Antonio Conte’s team went on a 13-game winning run to climb to first place seal the league trophy.

This season, Pep Guardiola’s team have a nine-point advantage over Chelsea but Courtois said City might lose steam as the season goes on.

“Last year we were eight points behind City at one stage and then we went on a winning run. I hope we can do the same,” Courtois told the club’s website. (www.chelseafc.com)

“We have to hope now they drop points. At the moment they are a bit unstoppable, they are playing very well and scoring goals.

“But the season is very long, they could have injuries, play a bit worse and lose some games. We have to be there and keep winning our games.”

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte also dismissed media reports linking him to AC Milan after Sunday’s win over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea returns to league action after the international break with a trip to West Bromwich Albion on November 18.




Source: SuperSport

PDP Will Lose If…… – Bafarawa

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chieftaincy, and former governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, has posited that until the party was ready to work honestly and collectively, it will not grab the leadership of the country on a platter of gold.

Attahiru Bafarawa He spoke when he received officials of the Sokoto State council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, who paid him a courtesy visit. Speaking further, he said:

“The media is the live wire of any society, but it will only succeed if practitioners are fair and fearless. Democracy without the media is like tea without sugar.

“Journalists that kill stories, kill themselves. What is killing to Nigeria’s democracy is armchair journalism.” Bafarawa, who is also the proprietor of Garkuwa FM, appealed to Nigerian journalists to engage in investigative journalism

Warriors Happy With Coach Amapakabo

El Kanemi Warriors attacking midfielder, Isiaka Olawale has said his side are having the best moment under new manager, Imama Amapakabo.

The former Enugu Rangers manager took over the reign at the Maiduguri Warriors from former junior national team handler and now head coach of FC Ifeanyi Ubah, Ladan Bosso.

Olawale said the new manager, Amapakabo is the type of coach that works very hard to help bring out the very best in their players.

“We trained under him just one week in Maiduguri where he stated clearly his expectations from each and every one of us before we headed to Benin City for preseason camping.

“The few days with him have been quite eventful and revealing, too before he heads off for the national assignment with the Super Eagles.

“He likes intelligent and skillful players as he strives to encourage us to come up with our very best talent. Once you are intelligent, skillful and hardworking you will enjoy him to the fullest.

“Coach Amapakabo is not the type of coach that puts his players under unnecessary pressure he allows us room to express yourselves.

“I think everyone of us is quite happy with him and ever ready to give him the fullest cooperation to succeed in his onerous assignment.

“We look forward to achieving a lot under him, we have the league and Aiteo Cup to play, we are expecting to win titles under his reign.

“We have assured him of maximum cooperation as we pray that God will help him to replicate the performance at Enugu Rangers here in El Kanemi Warriors,” said the former Dolphin goal poacher to supersport.com.

The Maiduguri landlords finished seventh on the 20-team top-flight log on 49 points in the out gone season 13 behind league winners, Plateau United.



Source: Super Sport

Police Arrest, Detain 3 Sacked LASU Staff

The Lagos State Command of Nigeria Police have arrested and detained three sacked academic and non-teaching staff of Lagos State University (LASU) on the request of the institution management.

The three former staffs that was initially invited by the Divisional Police Office (DPO) at Ojo police station on Thursday for questioning based on the LASU management request but were transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID).

It was gathered that the police at Ojo also extended invitation to chairman and vice chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU-LASU chapter, Dr. Isaac Oyewunmi and Dr. Adebowale Adeyemi-Suenu respectively but both went for zonal meeting of the union.

Senior management source at LASU said that the sacked staff wrote another sets of statement, interrogated and were detained till Friday.

The source disclosed that the case file at SCID reads “Lewis, Akinwunmi Oladapo, Registrar’s office, Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos, Nigeria vs Mr. Mubin Raji, (Department of Religions), Mr. Alli Rahman Ajose (machine operator) and Dr. Bankole Odofin Department of Education Foundation Counselling.

He explained that the sacked staffs were accused by the university management of committing several offences such as fraud, alteration of result, academic fraud and award of scores to students who did not sit for exam.

ASUU-LASU Secretary, Dr. Tony Dansu confirmed the arrest and detention of two members by the police at Ojo and their transfer to SCID based on petition by the university management.

He re-affirmed that the arrested persons were taken in as fallout of their recent dismissal by the university and that it is part of management’s efforts to use the police as a possible tool to harass and intimidate its leaders.

According to him, the bail conditions state that a surety must; have a landed property with C of O in Lagos State, located in Ajah, Lekki or Ikeja, level 14 or above in the civil service, have an international passport and must have travelled out of Nigeria before, to the USA or Europe.

Dr. Dansu explained that during discussion for bail, a SCID operative came with another file containing the names of six other dismissed staff, and requested that the union produce them if they were to bail those being detained.

‘’Emphasis was on ASUU-LASU chairman and the vice chairman. The union made the point that they are not fugitives, and therefore have no reason to honour an invitation that we know is baseless and merely calculated to humiliate and embarrass them. However, they are outside the state on union functions, and will be visiting as soon as it is convenient.

He said after heated argument, the three detained persons were granted bail and the SCID operative asked the ASUU scribe to produce them on Thursday including the six others.

The SCID operative, he explained demanded the union to produce six others which are Dr. Oyewunmi (ASUU chairman), Dr. Adeyemi-Suenu (ASUU vice chairman), Dr. Scholastica Udegbe of Department of Marketing, Dr. Sola Ademola of Computer Science, Mr. Ernest Odili, security operative and another non-academic staff.

The ASUU-LASU secretary revealed that their offences as stated in the case file include, corruption, abuse of office, obtaining by pretence and conduct capable of breaching the peace.

‘’Asking the police to commence investigation into the matters after judgement was an afterthought, conceived to further the agenda of breaking our union, ASUU-LASU. The idea is to humiliate and embarrass the leadership so much that people will lack the courage to step forward in the future to lead the union boldly and confront despots in positions of power. Just like those who had to suffer when the PhD certificate of Dr Idris was withdrawn, these ones are mere collateral damages’’, he noted.

The Lagos state Police Public Relation Officer, Olarinde Famous-Cole, confirmed the arrest and detention of three LASU former staff, stating that it was based on the university management request to investigate criminal issues again them.

He also confirmed that the case has been transferred to Panti for further investigation.

The three detained former staff was granted bail on Friday evening after spending one night at SCID

Notorious Armed Robbers, Cultists Escape Police Custody In Bayelsa

An uncertain number of notorious armed robbers and cultists have escaped from the custody of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

The police command in Bayelsa was said to be combing all the nooks and crannies of the state capital to re-arrest the suspected daredevil criminals.

While some said the fleeing number was 10, security sources said the police were still trying to determine the figure.

But one of them, it was gathered, had been rearrested by the police.

David Moyes Named New Manager Of West Ham

The former Everton and Manchester United boss replaces Slaven Bilic, who was sacked on Monday with the Hammers in the relegation zone.

Moyes has been out of work since May, when he resigned as Sunderland manager after the club’s relegation to the Championship.

West Ham joint chairman David Sullivan said the 54-year-old Scot is “the right man to turn things around”.

He added: “We need somebody with experience, knowledge of the Premier League and the players in it, and we believe David can get the best out of the players.

“He is highly regarded and respected within the game and will bring fresh ideas, organisation and enthusiasm.

“He proved with Everton that he has great qualities and we feel that West Ham United is a club that will give David the platform to display those qualities again.”

Moyes’ first game in charge will be at Watford in the Premier League on 19 November.

He added: “I’ve managed five clubs since starting out nearly 20 years ago at Preston and then going to Everton. My period at Manchester United is well documented and I then did something I have always wanted to do by experiencing management abroad, with Real Sociedad.

“It’s only been the last job where I feel it wasn’t a good move and I didn’t enjoy the experience. So I’m hungry to make sure I get things right now.

“I don’t know any manager who hasn’t gone through negative periods, especially in the game today. I hope it gives me great strength and understanding of what is required.”

26 Nigerian Women Found Dead At Sea

Italian prosecutors are investigating the deaths of 26 Nigerian women – most of them teenagers – whose bodies were recovered at sea.

There are suspicions that they may have been sexually abused and murdered as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean.

Five migrants are being questioned in the southern port of Salerno.

A Spanish warship, Cantabria, docked there, carrying 375 migrants and the dead women, following several rescues.

Twenty-three of the dead women had been on a rubber boat with 64 other people.

Italian media report that the women’s bodies are being kept in a refrigerated section of the warship. Most of them were aged 14-18.

Most of the 375 survivors brought to Salerno were sub-Saharan Africans, from Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, The Gambia and Sudan, the daily La Repubblica reports.

Among them were 90 women – eight of them pregnant – and 52 children.

There were also some Libyan men and women on board.

People-smuggling gangs charge each migrant about $6,000 (£4,578) to get to Italy, $4,000 of which is for the trans-Saharan journey to Libya, according to the Italian aid group L’Abbraccio.

Many migrants have reported violence, including torture and sexual abuse, by the gangs.

In the year to 1 November, 150,982 migrants arrived in southern Europe by boat from North Africa, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reports.

Of them, 111,552 (nearly 75%) came via the Central Mediterranean route to Italy. The number who died on that route was 2,639, the IOM says.

The others arrived in Greece, Cyprus or Spain. The total is less than half the 335,158 who arrived in the same period of 2016.

Last year the total for Greece was higher than that for Italy.

Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora Mrs Abike Dabiri said “it is tragic, unfortunate and heartbreaking”.

She said: “We need to step up sensitization and awareness on the dangers of such method of migration.

“The boats being used are now smaller and more dangerous and the people on the other end are not so eager to safe them anymore.

“Don’t forget also, that they pay as much as $4,000 to go on such trips.

“Even if they survive, they only end up as slaves wherever they end up.

“The President Muhammadu Buhari Administration has been working with IOM to bring back volutary returnees.

“About 5,000 were brought back in the last six months, full of regrets and tales of woe that they wished they were never deceived into such trips.

“I condoles with the families of the victims and appeal to our your to stop being victims. It is not worth it, either in the short or long term.”



Source: The Nations

Hazard Lacks Passion – Gary Neville

Manchester United legend Gary Neville has taken aim at the ambition of Chelsea star Eden Hazard.

Neville says Hazard will never reach the elite level of players after reacting to comments recently made by the Belgian.

Hazard stated: “I love to enjoy the game.

“I try to be the best, but if I’m not, then that’s not a problem for me. I just want to enjoy being on the field. I know that you sometimes have difficult moments in football, so I’m trying to play football on the same level. It does not matter in my mind to be the best.”

Neville cannot understand his statement. He believes that the Belgian’s mentality must be to try to become the best of the world.

“That really disappoints me. Really … He is a top player. Look he’d beat me nine out of ten times in a one-on-one situation. But if we try to push him to that category of Neymar. He will never achieve that. He has disappointed with his passion.”