UN Reaffirms Support for Nigeria’s Anti-insurgency Campaign

The United Nations’ Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr Peter Lundberg, has said at a press conference on Saturday in Maiduguri that the UN would continue to support Nigeria to address the major problems affecting education, health, malnutrition and security challenges occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency.

Lundberg reaffirmed that the controversial raid conducted by the military on UN Humanitarian facility in Maiduguri would not affect its relations with Nigeria, adding that the issue had been amicably resolved and its services which were formerly suspended have since resumed.

He said “I am very pleased to inform you that our relationship of collaboration and trust is intact, and at this stage we are focused on the work ahead, to ensure that the millions of vulnerable people in the North-Ea

Ozubulu Brothers’ Drug War Toll Hit 30 Deaths

The drug war between indigenes of the Ozubulu caused by mistrust may have claimed 30 lives in South Africa.

The deaths occurred following a collapsed business deal.

The deaths resonated in Ozubulu community in Anambra state when the Catholic Church was attacked leaving more than 13 people dead on Sunday, August 6.

According to the Vanguard, the quarrel among the indigenes of Ozubulu in residing in South Africa was caused by the suspicion among them over failure to keep to business deals.

The theatre of war shifted to Amakwa village, causing last Sunday’s shooting incident at St Philip’s Catholic Church, in which 27 worshippers were also injured.

The shooting took place during 6.00am Mass.

Five of its indigenes were killed this year in South Africa.

Some of the villagers revealed to Vanguard which visited Ozubulu after the Sunday killings.

“In 10 years about 30 people from this place have been killed in South Africa,” a woman who preferred anonymity for security reasons told us.

“It had to do with one deal or the other”, she said.


NECO Records 1.2 Million Cheats In Seven Years

 The National Examination Council (NECO) has said 1,283,485 candidates committed examination malpractice during the Senior School Certificate Examination from 2010 to 2016.

A total of 7,410,030 candidates sat for NECO examinations during the same period.

The Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of NECO, Prof. Charles Uwakwe, said this in Abuja, on Thursday, during an event organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission.

Uwakwe, who was represented by Dr. Ikechukwu Anyanwu, disclosed that 2010 had the highest number of exam malpractice cases, with 577,139 recorded while the lowest was in 2014 with a total of 34,744.

“Recently, we realised that some of these supervisors allow phones and they are used in taking pictures of question papers and then the candidates send the pictures straight to websites and before you say ‘Jack Robson’, the website would have solved the questions and then they return the answers to them.

“All that is needed to write the NECO exam is N11,350 but many schools charge between N30,000 and N50,000. What do you do with the rest of the money? They call it administrative fee and all kinds of things and yet we get N11,350.

“You go to schools during an examination and the principal will insist that those who haven’t paid school fees will not write exams unless they pay and we insist that we have no contractual agreement with schools,” he said.

Nnamdi Kanu: Why I Rejected Deal for Biafra With Only Five Igbo States

Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), says he was made an offer in detention to secede with the five Igbo states but that he rejected the offer because it did not constitute the complete territory of Biafra.

“They gave me Biafra in prison with only the five Igbo states; I said no, I want Benue and Rivers states inclusive,” Mr. Kanu said, Wednesday while addressing leaders of an Igbo civil society coalition who visited him at his country home in Umuahia, Abia State.

The IPOB leader also said he was offered an oil block and mansions in Dubai to back out of the struggle for Biafra but that had also rejected the “Greek gift”.

He however did not disclose who made him the offers and how.

“Self actualization is not war. We are not for war. We are not talking of war but self actualization. Self determination is not war. Any elite that interprets self determination to be war does not understand English.

“Biafra is coming; there is nothing that can stop it, no matter the level of intimidation and blackmail. Some people are running around, saying why must it be Nnamdi Kanu, why not me. I am not an elite, I was born to restore Biafra,” he said.

The IPOB leader also took a swipe at Igbo elites and leaders for what he described as their anti-Biafra activities, blaming them for the deplorable state of roads in the South-east.

“They can’t buy us with money. If I can turn down oil block, turn down mansions in Dubai, what can they offer us? All the roads in Biafra land are in deplorable condition, yet we have elites who are just interested in their pockets,” Mr. Kanu said.

“All the roads in Biafra are bad. Apart from Okpara (late Michael Okpara), Mbonu Ojike and Sam Mbakwe, I have not seen any elite in Igbo land. Let them show us what they have done, no roads, no water, nothing. Because they are in Abuja, they are now elites, let them show us what they have done for the people as elites.”

Mr. Kanu, who is facing charges of treasonable felony at the Federal High Court in Abuja, has been at the vanguard of the call for an independent Biafra Republic from the Nigerian state.

In granting him bail in April after more than a year in detention, Justice Binta Nyako listed 12 conditions, including an order for Mr. Kanu to avoid being seen in a crowd of more than 10 people.

The court also instructed that Mr. Kanu desists from granting interviews or engaging in any form of rallies as part of his conditions for bail.

Since the IPOB leader was freed, he has not only addressed hundreds of his supporters but has also granted media interviews.

In a 16 minutes, 21 seconds video posted on Youtube, last month, Mr. Kanu who is seen speaking to a congregation of Biafran supporters, warned that elections will be boycotted in the South East states starting with the Anambra State gubernatorial elections scheduled for November 18 if the Federal Government fails to hold a referendum for the realisation of the state of Biafra.

Leaders in the South East have expressed concerns over the unrest and calls by IPOB for elections boycott in the region.

Continuation of Kanu’s trial has been adjourned to October 17 by the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.

Aisha Buhari: Hyenas, Jackals Will Soon Be Sent Packing from My Husband’s Kingdom

Amidst the brouhaha at the Nigerian seat of power in the wake of president’s protracted ailment, the wife of the President Aisha Buhari has said that all unscrupulous elements will soon be kicked out of the current administration.

The wife of the President who was reacting to a post from Senator Shehu Sani who likened President Muhammadu Buhari to a lion in the jungle and added that the prayers for the absent Lion King has waned and that the cabals are currently scheming, talking and whispering to each other, doubting whether the Lion King will be back or not.The Senator also said that it is the wish of the Hyenas and the Jackals that the Lion King never wakes up or come back so that they can be kings.

‘’It is the prayers of the weak animals that the Lion King comes back to save the kingdom from the Hyenas, the wolves and other predators,’’ he said.

In her response to Sani’s post, Mrs. Buhari proverbially averred to his analogy that God has answered the prayers of the weaker animals, and that the Hyenas and the Jackals will soon be sent out of the kingdom.

She also said she strongly believes in the prayers and support of the weaker animals.

According to her, “God has answered the prayers of the weaker animals. The Hyenas and the Jackals will soon be sent out of the kingdom. We strongly believe in the prayers and support of the weaker animals”.

Mrs. Buhari’s post attracted some comments and reactions from her followers on Facebook, who wished husband quick recovery.

Recall that Mrs. Buhari had returned to the UK last week after an earlier trip last month, after which Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, claimed she was not allowed to see the president by an alleged cabal around him.

Upon her return to Nigeria back then, the President’s wife had said he was recovering well and that he expressed appreciation to Nigerians praying for him.

Letter To The Editor: Education An Instrument For National Development

, By IFEOLUWA AFOLABI, Oyan, Odo-Otin North LCDA, Osun.
Education can be used to change the society for better, if the youths embrace it. If education is the culture and heritage that can we bequeath on generations to come and can be used to solve some fundamental problems facing the nation, adequate attention must be paid to it in the society.
However, all major stakeholders in the education sector, ranging from the parents, teachers, government and students must uphold its stem to prevent its continual decay.
While some governments have paid adequate attention to the education system like the one being done in Osun by the state government, under Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, it is unfortunate that some parents are not complementing these efforts. 
Parents need to realise that the only appreciable legacy to leave behind is education, which will eradicate illiteracy and maintain societal peace and stability.
The destiny of nations are built in the classrooms, meaning that what it takes to tackle the monsters of corruption and insecurity must be produced, hence, quality education in whatever form brings fulfilment to the life of students, teachers, parents and the society.
However, teachers who have passion and enthusiasm for teaching must be able to influence attitudes of students and expose them to the best of education.
The country needs creative teachers who will meet the needs of students, in terms of social skills, moral, emotional and intellectual development for them to be useful in and for the society.
Therefore, everyone needs to support the drive to reform the nation’s education sector for better result.

Aregbesola: We Didn’t owe Deji Adeleke Kobo

Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola has debunked insinuations that the Osun State Government obtained a N2b credit facility from Dr Deji Adeleke to offset the state’s workers salaries in 2014.

He described the statement being championed by the Adeleke family as untrue adding that there was no time he or the government solicited such help.

Aregbesola spoke in Ikire during the APC mega rally for Saturday’s by-election in Osun West Senatorial District.

The governor said no businessman can have the conviction to borrow a state N2 billion to pay salaries.

His words “Let me clear the air on one issue they have been promoting. Neither I Rauf Aregbesola or the Osun State Government borrowed from Deji Adeleke to pay salaries.”

“I did not collect anything from them, they collected from me. No businessman can be so buoyant to the extent of borrowing a state the sum of N2b.”

Governor Aregbesola stated that he was maligned by the Adeleke family when he approached to pay a condolence visit to the family of late Senator Isiaka Adeleke.

The Osun helmsman who berated the disposition of the family to the whole scenario said until his death, the late Adeleke and himself were good friends.

The governor said in the history of the Adeleke’s in politics, there was never a time when their father, Senator Ayoola Adeleke nor his son, Isiaka were conservatives but progressive politicians who are concerned about the people.

He said the PDP is a dead party in Osun politics noting that no matter of politicking will make the party succeed in the forthcoming election.

Finance Ministers Failed to Agree on Free Trade Endorsement

Finance ministers from 20 world powers have failed to reach an agreement to endorse free trade and rejection of protectionism in the face of US opposition, according to the communique of the G20 participants.

The ministers and central bank chiefs of the G20 countries ended talks in the German town of Baden Baden on Saturday, making only a token reference for the need to strengthen the contribution of trade to the economy.

“This is not a good outcome of the meeting,” a G20 delegate quoted Germany’s central bank chief Jens Weidmann as saying. Germany has a $65bn trade surplus with the US.

Breaking with the bloc’s decade-old tradition of rejecting protectionism and endorsing open trade marks a win for US President Donald Trump and his anti-globalisation agenda.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday in Berlin that the Trump administration had no desire to get into trade wars but that certain trade relationships need to be re-examined to make them fairer for US workers.

‘Fairer trade’

After a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday, Trump said that he did not believe in isolationism but that trade policy should be fairer.

The G20 financial leaders on Saturday reaffirmed their commitment to refrain from competitive currency devaluation, a key agreement as the US has repeatedly complained that some of its trade partners are using artificially devalued currencies to gain a trade advantage.

G20 also walked back on a pledge to support climate change finance, an anticipated outcome after Trump called climate change a “hoax”.

On Thursday, Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director, said climate change funding would be “a waste of money”.

Nigeria Earmarks N1.6bn Quarterly for Women Empowerment

The Federal Government of Niogeria says it has earmarked N1.6 billion for women empowerment every three months in its Enterprise and Employment Programme (GEEP) and National Women Empowerment Fund (NAWEF).

The Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development, Sen. Aishat Alhassan, made this known to women at the State Banquet Hall, Ilorin during a two-day working visit to Kwara.

The Minister said she was in the state to intimate the women on the various social investment programmes organised by the Federal Government to better the lots of its citizens.

Alhassan further said the programme has five pillars: the Homegrown School Feeding Programme, the Conditional Cash Transfer and the job creation programme known as N’ Power.

Others she said were the Bursary Award System and the Government Enterprise and Employment Programme, aimed at alleviating poverty and reducing unemployment among the citizens.

Credit Loans

The minister also told the women that government was working in collaboration with Bank of Industry to give micro credit loans without collateral to people interested in small scale business and at free interest rate.

She said government would want interested citizens to form cooperative groups before they could be eligible for the loan.

Alhassan said government was considering the option of starting the loan with N10, 000 to 100, 000 for a test-run of the programme but urged those who had taken the loan to repay as and when due.

She also appealed to women to key into the various Federal Government empowerment programmes lined up for them by.

Speaking during the event, the Governor’s wife, Mrs Omolewa Ahmed, commended the minister for the visit.

She called on the women in the state said her office was working in synergy with Bank of Industry to facilitate credit loans for women in the state.

Ahmed described Kwara women as focused, go-getters and highly serious minded people.

The Commissioner for Women Affairs, Dr Asiata Saka, described the minister’s visit as timely.

She said it was an opportunity for Federal Government to make useful contributions to the issues affecting the development and wellbeing of women in the state.

Saka said that empowering women through the various federal government programmes would enhance their full participation in finding lasting solution to the current economic reality of the country.

The commissioner added that the state ministry of Women Affairs had organised skill acquisition and training programmes for women and youths in various skills.

Financial Inclusion

She said the state government had introduced micro credit revolving loan for women through Bank of Agriculture and the Kwara Commercial Micro Finance Bank to improve their financial inclusion.

The commissioner said the state government had empowered the physically challenged by assisting graduates of Farm Craft Centre for the blind with N5 million and distributed mobility aids to them.

She said the state government was committed to curbing the scourge of child abuse, hawking and sexual harassment.

Saka noted that sexual harassment could constitute psychological depression, stigma, pregnancy, infection and damage to organs and eventually lead to death, if not checked.


Governors’ Wives Lift 100 Women

Abia State was agog as members of the Southern Governor’s Wives Forum (SGWF) visited Abia State for their quarterly meeting to deliberate on the welfare of women and also empower the indigent ones among them. They were hosted by the wife of the state governor, Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu.

The women on arrival first called on the state governor Okezie Ikpeazu who commended them for touching the lives of the indigent, downtrodden and voiceless people in the society.

Ikpeazu pleaded with them to use their time during the meeting to pray for the health of President Mohammadu Buhari, stressing that God hears the prayers of women.

He said that it is wrong for people to wish their leader ill health, adding that health related issues of leaders should not be politicised as every leader requires the full support of those he is leading at all times.

The governor assured the members of the SGWF that the state will support them in their programmes and that of the wife of Mr President.

In her response, the wife of Imo State governor and chairperson of the forum, Mrs Nkechi Okorocha said that they were in the state for their quarterly meeting where they hope to empower some women of the state to enable them improve on their lives.

Mrs Okorocha appreciated the efforts of Governor Ikpeazu in turning the eyes of the people of the country towards the state through his made in Aba project, “Which has become a beautiful song that everyone is now singing”.

At the meeting the forum which is made up of 17 wives of the governors from the southern part of the country which had 11 members attending where about 100 indigent women of the state were empowered with various empowerment items.

The empowerment items given out included grinding machines, hair dressing materials, bean-cake or akara frying materials, locally fabricated ovens, roadside food vendors materials and sewing machines.

Declaring the meeting open the wife of Imo State and chairman of the forum Mrs Nkechi Okorocha said that they are in the state to ensure that the girl child and women are well taken care off.

Mrs Okorocha recalled that the forum was initiated by the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari which has gone a long way to break the barriers of tongue, tribe, religion and political affiliation.

The wife of the Imo state governor said that the forum is determined to give the girl-child and women pride of place in the country, adding that the country is waiting for the women who are key to fast-tracking the development of the country.

Mrs Okorocha said that the women in the zone are ready to champion the cause of Abia women and also empower them to enable them to become partners in progress with their husbands.

Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu described Abia State as the home of industry, ingenuity and hard work of its people.

Mrs Ikpeazu said, “We are here today for the purpose of empowering our people and those who are benefiting were meticulously selected in such a way to ensure that they are capable of using the items to eke out a living for themselves”.

“The women who will be empowering will thereafter become self-reliant and train others.”


Source: NAIJ.com

Expert Decries Dominance Of Property Sector By Foreign Operators

Nduka, Vice President, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday.

He said that the government, private individuals and corporate organizations were responsible for the dominance of the sector by foreigners.

Nduka said that most Nigerians gave preference to foreign operators while undermining the competence and capabilities of the local ones.

He explained that more than 80 per cent of construction works and contracts were being given to foreign contractors.

According to him, many Nigerians prefer foreign operators to local ones and thereby awards construction contracts to foreigners at the expense of their local counterparts.

“Local operators particularly in the construction industry have the capability and competence to deliver as better as the foreign ones if patronized and encouraged.

“Normally, construction works/contracts are supposed to be given to foreign contractors only when there is no local professional that has the competence to do such work.

“But in Nigeria, due to people’s over preference for foreign goods and services, virtually all construction contracts are being given to foreign companies.

“ And until Nigerians learn to appreciate, patronize, encourage and consume what they have locally, the country may not record significant economic growth.”

Nduka identified lack of adequate funding as a major challenge obstructing effective operation of the local operators in the building construction industry.

He said that some construction works required some kinds of lucrative machines which were too expensive to afford by the local operators.

“What makes foreign operators and contractors seem to be more competent is because they have the financial capacity to secure all kinds of expensive machinery that facilitate construction works.

“Meanwhile, there exists a policy which states that foreign contractors/companies coming into the country should collaborate with a local partner to operate.

“Unfortunately, such policy has not been enforced due to corruption and the local operators are being short-changed.”

Source: NAIJ.com