Fuel Scarcity Rocks Abuja Harder..Marketers Arrested

There seems to have no definite solution to the unending queue for petrol in Abuja and neighbouring states of Kaduna, Niger and Nasarawa, as the situation bemoans.

Petrol using vehicles and other users have been a regular sight in the Federal Capital Territory and neighbouring states since the end of the fourth quarter of last year.

Many independent stations wereshut down due to lack of  of petrol and the few major oil marketers and mega filling stations belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation that dispensed the commodity had to contend with long queues of desperate motorists.

Despite the many complaints by petrol users and several reports by the media, the situation has failed to improve, as motorists who wish to purchase PMS from filling stations now factor in the hours they will spend in queues as they plan their daily schedule.

Many residents of the FCT and neighbouring states believe that the government and the oil firm, the NNPC, may have run out of ideas on how to handle the situation.

“It is obvious that the Federal Government and the NNPC are currently bereft of ideas on how to handle the scarcity of petrol that we see in many parts of Nigeria and this is so unfortunate,” an angry motorist in one of the queues at the NNPC mega station along Kubwa-Zuba Expressway, Sumaila Khadijah, said.

The NNPC, however, announced on Wednesday that it had stepped up the arrest and prosecution of errant marketers and fuel hawkers across the country.

The corporation said its special task force on filling stations’ monitoring had made a series of arrests, including two filling station managers, who diverted 66,000 litres of petrol, and six illegal hawkers of the product in Abuja.

It stated that the managers of Azman filling stations in Nyanya and Kuje, suburbs of Abuja, were arrested after close monitoring by the team for diverting trucks of petrol meant for their stations to unknown destinations.

The corporation’s spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, said in a statement that the culprits had been handed over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps for prosecution.

He stated, “In addition to prosecution, the filling stations would pay N250 fine for each litre of petrol diverted.”

Police Allegedly Shoots Two Protesters In Abuja

Supporters of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria took to the streets of Abuja to demand the release of their leader Sheikh El-Zakzaky who has been in military custody since December 2015 against the warnings of the police.

In recent report, members of the movement have alleged that the Police, however, opened fire on the peaceful protest, killing two people.

The reports are yet to be confirmed, as no pictures or videos of the victims have been released, and the police have not released a statement yet.


PHOTONEWS: Nigerian Governors Meet In Abuja

The 36 state governors under the aegis of Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) on Tuesday gathered in Abuja to discuss issues of mutual interest.

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the State of Osun was accompanied by the state House of Assembly Speaker, Rt Hon. Najeem Salaam and Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Dr Ajibola Basiru to the meeting.

Pictures taken by the official photographer of the Osun governor, Dolapo;

Artworks Worth N400m Destroyed In Abuja Fire

Several artworks believed to be worth about N400 million were destroyed in the fire at the Abuja Arts and Craft Village Friday night.

Mr Kanayo Chukwumezie, president of the African Arts and Cultural Heritage Association (AACHA) said “We have not ascertained the cause of the fire. When the fire started and the first two shops were burning, our members wanted to rush in to stop the fire, but the security at the gate by National Council for Art and Culture (NCAC) prevented them.

“Before the Fire Service arrived, almost all the shops were burnt: they were only able to extinguish the smoke. Artworks and other products for Christmas sales worth over N400 million were burnt to ashes.

“We use to stay in the village over night, but when they told us to stop staying there and promised to provide security and anti-fire measures, we stopped staying overnight.

“If we were allowed to be staying overnight, this fire accident would have been controlled by those around.

“We appeal to the NCAC to come to the aid of those that lost their means of livelihood in the inferno.”

The fire which is believed to have started between 8:00pm and 9:00pm razed down shops quickly partly because the roofs were made of thatch, but some of the victims insist the incident could have been curtailed if shop owners were still allowed to sleep overnight in their shops.

Police Confirms Terrorists Attack Threat On Abuja 

The Nigeria Police has confirmed the threat to attack the Federal Capital Territory by some unnamed terrorist group but has called on residents to remain calm as the authorities are taking measures to avert it

Speaking at a community stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja, the FCT Commissioner for Police, CP Sadiq Bello, said, “The threat to attack the city is real; however, we want to assure members of the public that we are working in collaboration with other sister security agencies to ensure that we all enjoy a peaceful Yuletide.

A lot needs to be done in order to ensure a safer FCT. As such, I hereby call on members of the public to come and work with the Nigeria Police in order to usher in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility as we go into the New Year 2018. This you can do by providing vital information that could lead to the arrest of criminals or the prevention of crimes.

“We also call on members of the public to feel free to tell us how best to police their communities in the spirit of Community Policing.”

On the reason for the stakeholders meeting, the CP said, “This stakeholders’ meeting is coming up in a sensitive period of the year. I call it sensitive period because of the security challenges associated with it and also due to the current threat on the peace and security of the Federal Capital Territory.

“The essence of this stakeholders’ meeting is for all of us – the police and members of the public – to come together and address these security challenges so that we can make input that will ensure a hitch-free yuletide.

“On our part, the Nigeria Police, FCT Command, we have been working assiduously to bring down the level of crime and criminality in the city. We know that a lot more need to be done, as such, we promise residents of the FCT that we will continue to do our best to improve the security in the territory so that everybody will go about his/her lawful businesses without fear.”

While calling for caution in this period, especially with incidence of the rise in car thefts, CP Bello urged car owners to make sure that anti-car theft devices are installed in vehicles, such as pedal locks, steering locks, trackers, and other safety devices, saying they will help to reduce the incidences of stealing of vehicles from where they are parked.

He also raised the alarm on the increase in the operations of an armed robbery syndicate using tinted vehicles that specialises in going to residential premises in the early evenings, mostly between 6pm to 9pm, and called on residents to be cautious before opening their gates to unknown vehicles.

Terrorists Plotting To Bomb Abuja, US, UK Warn

In its latest foreign travel advice to British nationals,the British government has warned their citizens of terrorist groups’ threat to carry out bomb attacks in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, during the year end festive period.

It stated “You should avoid places where crowds gather, including religious gatherings and places of worship, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, transport hubs and camps for displaced people,” the United Kingdom said in a statement posted on the FCO website.

Government of the United States of America (USA) made a similar move by cautioning its citizens on safe travel and movement in the nation’s capital through its ‘Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Holiday Security Reminder’.

The reminder partly read “The US Mission urges all US citizens to exercise caution in and around shopping centres, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, and other places where crowds gather in and around the Federal Capital Territory, from now through the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season. Terrorist groups have threatened to conduct bombings and attacks in this area during this period.

“The US Mission remains concerned about potential attacks in the states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa and Yobe. Travellers are urged to avoid those states through the end of the year.

“Review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates. Be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security”.

Killing of Twins still practiced in Some Abuja Communities

In spite of stopping the killing of twins at infancy in Nigeria in what seems like centuries ago, an investigation carried out by the News Agency of Nigeria shows that some communities in Abuja still indulge in the practice.

The communities are: Gbajingala clan of Basa Komo, Chukuku, Gaube, Chibiri, Kulo, Kiyi, Gawu, and Sabo in Kuje Area Council. Also Dogon Ruwa, Fuka, Gomani, Lapa, Gurugi, Sadaba, Kwala and Keru communities in Kwali Area Council also engage in the evil act.

The culture, which was practised by the people of Calabar many years ago, was stopped by a Scottish missionary, late Mary Slessor.

It was the belief in Calabar at the time, that if women had twins, one of them was a devil, and so the twins were left in the jungle in clay pots to die.

Aside rejecting or killing twins, the FCT communities also reject multiple births such as triplets, quadruplets, babies born with Down syndrome, and any other form of deformity.

It was also discovered that the communities also reject children who grow the upper tooth first.

They view them as mysterious, evil babies and a bad omen, which was not acceptable and should be killed. While some of the communities engage in the barbaric practice in the open, others do it secretly.

Though, NAN sought to speak with some indigenes of the communities, they declined comment for fear of being found out, but for one Zaka Musa of Kiyi.

Mr. Musa confirmed that the culture was still being practiced, but was being done without the knowledge of the community leaders.

Mr. Musa said families who engaged in the practice had yet to embrace civilisation, in spite of the level of awareness by religious leaders.

Leaders of some of the communities were also contacted. While some denied knowledge of the practice, others claimed it had been stopped some years ago.

Jibrin Sarki, the community leader of Chukuku, said he had not received any such case. He, however, noted that he had passed a message through the town crier to his people to report any family involved in the practice. Also, the community leader of Guabe, Zaki Tanko, told NAN that the culture had been long abolished in the area.

A missionary and founder of Vine Heritage Home, an orphanage in Kuje, Stephen Olusola, who confirmed the evil practice to NAN, frowned at the culture.

Mr. Olusola said that his Foundation had received cases of rejected twins, triplets and multiple children from the communities.

He noted that in spite of the abolition of the barbaric tradition many years ago, it was worrisome that some communities in the nation’s seat of power still indulged in it.

Mr. Olusola said the communities that engaged in the practice believed that twins and triplets and multiple births were evil babies, and should be put away from the people.

“While doing my duty as a missionary, I got to know about the story of certain category of children whose lives are being endangered by some cultural practices within the FCT.

“The major ones we started confronting were children who came as twins or triplets or multiple births.

“The people involved in the practice are the Basa Komo with special reference to the Gbajingala clan in the FCT.

“In these communities, children who come in multiple births are not accepted.

“They also reject children who lose their mothers at birth and children who are born as albinos.

“Children who are born with deformities, such as Down syndrome, and other forms of deformity are also not acceptable to them.

“We discovered that they also reject children who grow the upper tooth first, because they see them as a sign of bad omen.

“Such are the practices we are confronted with and as a missionary, God challenged us not to turn the other eye to the plight of these children,’’ he said.

Mr. Olusola said that the case was once investigated and facts were established by former Minister of the FCT, Bala Mohammed.

He said there was the need for the National Orientation Agency, NOA, to begin an aggressive enlightenment and awareness creation against the evil practices in the communities.

Barnabas Joshua, based in Kuje, described the practice as “ungodly and primitive’’ and wondered why people would still indulge in it.

He said many twins were being celebrated in Nigeria such as the famous P-Square.

Mr. Joshua said that such twins should be engaged by NOA to lead the campaign against the barbaric act in the communities.

Musa Bawa, an Islamic cleric, also in Kuje, said twins were a gift from Almighty Allah and should be accepted in good faith.

He said rejecting or killing twins was not in the interest of human existence as life was a free gift from Almighty Allah to mankind.


Abuja’s Ploy to Diminish Lagos by Emeka Obasi

We all get to learn everyday for knowledge is power. Pretty soon we shall begin to hear agitations from aggrieved Lagosians. This is the season of change, things just cannot remain the same.

When Justice Akinola Aguda was given the task of heading a committee on a new capital for the country in 1975, I doubt if he reasoned that moving from Lagos would leave scars, holes and potholes. Eko today has become the centre of abandoned Federal Government buildings, roads and projects.

Recent revelations by Finance Minister , Kemi Adeosun, that Lagos State generates 55 percent of the country’s VAT should be of interest to all sane minds. The State is also the hub of our Maritime trade, with a huge contribution of 70 percent. The import is that Lagos means a lot to the nation’s survival.

Despite these contributions, Lagos is pathetically neglected by the Federal Government. Honestly, it does not have anything to do with President Muhammadu Buhari. It also does not have much to do with the ruling party. Count tribe out of it. Hausa/Fulani, Gwari, Yoruba, Ijaw, all our leaders are guilty.

Alhaji Shehu Shagari began the move to Abuja. Unfortunately, he lost his position while resting in the new Federal Capital Territory. Maj. Gen. Buhari operated from Lagos where he was toppled by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. The military President was to relocate completely to Abuja after escaping death by a whisker during the Gideon Orkar coup of April 1990.

From December 12, 1991 when Babangida dragged power to Abuja till date, Lagos has remained an abandoned old Lady in the books of Abuja. In fact, Abuja behaves like a gold digger, only interested in the wealth of Lagos. Much of the income from Lagos is spent freely while the provider wallows in broken promises.

It is difficult to understand why Lagos should continue to have 20 Local Government Areas while Kano State accounts for 44. Lagos was one of the 12 States created by General Yakubu Gowon in 1967 just like Kano. That same Kano today, consists of Kano and Jigawa States. Jigawa is made up of 27 Local Government Areas.

In sharing revenue, the number of LGAs counts a lot. The import is that while Lagos makes most of the money, the state gets less from Abuja than Kano, Jigawa and so many others. And when Governor Bola Tinubu created 57 LGAs in Lagos, Abuja starved the state of funds.

Of the 12 states created in 1967, only Lagos has continued to stagnate in terms of expansion. Others were balkanised by subsequent federal governments. This is the height of injustice. At the time of creation, three Provinces: Ikeja, Epe and Badagry were added to the Federal Territory of Lagos.

It should be noted that after the amalgamation on Thursday, January 1, 1914, Nigeria was divided into three. There were the Southern provinces under Lieutenant Governor A.G. Boyle,the Northern provinces led by Lieutenant Governor Charles Lindsay Temple and Lagos Colony under the leadership of Administrator F.S. James.

Going down memory lane, Eko began to gain attention when Portuguese merchant, Ruy de Sequeira named it Lagos de Kuramo which subsequently became Lagos. When the British arrived with their gunboats and warships, the Lagos Act of Cession, 1861,made Lagos their colonial territory. On March 5, 1862, it became a Crown Colony and remained a British colony until 1960.

That was the situation when the three regions were created. By 1963, when Midwest was carved out, Lagos became a Federal Capital Territory. In 1967, it turned to a state taking three provinces from the old Western region. At that time, Abuja was one of the seven provinces of the new North-Western State.

The idea that Abuja was a virgin territory makes no sense. The name had been there before Aguda was sent to look for the centre of Nigeria, to be named capital in place of Lagos. Abuja was coined from Abubakar Jatau, an Hausa Prince from Zaria. One of the early settlers, he was.

It is disturbing that Lagos which had an Acting Governor in William McCoy in August 1861 and a substantive governor: William Stanhope Freeman,as from 1862 continues to be treated with disdain by the Federal Government in Abuja. This policy is not healthy at all.

Recently Senator Oluremi Tinubu’s attempt to free Lagos from Abuja humiliation through sponsoring a bill to grant the state special status was thrown away by majority of her colleagues. It is unfortunate that many of these lawmakers benefit so much from wealth created in the former federal capital.

I am going to throw a challenge to the very powerful Lagosians who are in power today. There is no better time to free Lagos from this Abuja approved underdevelopment than now. Asiwaju Tinubu was governor of Lagos for eight years. I call him the governor general of Nigerian politics. And he is the soul of the ruling party.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was a Commissioner in the Tinubu Administration. Senate President, Bukola Saraki is married to a Lagos woman. Triple Minister, Babatunde Fashola, was governor of Lagos between 2007 and 2015.If all these men do not do something to help our Lagos, their Lagos, it will take a long while to change things.

Yes, Lagos our Eko. There is no village in Nigeria that is not represented in Lagos. It is the easiest place to make it big. There are opportunities for all. It is like the Nigeria of our founding fathers. You have people from various backgrounds making laws. Now tell me why Abuja should abandon the National Stadium, Surulere. The Federal Secretariat, Ikoyi is an eyesore. The road to Apapa Wharf is a Memorial Park. Going to the Murtala Mohammed Airport is like death sentence.

Court To Rule On Dino Malaye’s Recall Sept 11

The Federal High Court in Abuja, on September 11, will decide if the process to recall Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye should be aborted.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba fixed the September date after listening to arguments from all parties involved in the suit.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had commenced the process to recall Mr. Melaye, but the senator went to court, seeking stoppage of the process.

One of the grounds upon which Mr. Melaye, who represents Kogi West in the Senate, challenged his recall, was that the signatures of some of the voters in the petition for his recall were fictitious.

Mr. Melaye who argued his case through his counsel, Nkem Okoro, said majority of the signatures on the petition were dead people.

He added that death certificates were attached to the processes he filed as exhibits to ascertain the veracity of his claim that some of the signatories were deceased.

He further alleged that he was denied fair hearing by both his constituents and INEC.

“The petitioners ought to have informed Mr. Melaye of the facts and circumstances upon which the alleged loss of confidence was based prior to submission of the petition to INEC.

“INEC upon receipt of the said petition only served Melaye a mere notice that it had received a petition for his recall. So we are challenging INEC’s action.

“They should have shown a copy of the petition to Melaye and failure to do so amounts to denial of fair hearing and a violation of the laws of natural justice.”

Mr. Okoro also said his client was challenging the validity of the said petition on the grounds that the petition was based on political animosity, malice and bad faith.

He urged the court to grant the prayers of his motion and stop INEC from going ahead with the planned recall.

Counsel to the other plaintiffs in the matter said they aligned themselves with the arguments of Mr. Okoro.

Counsel to INEC, Anthony Adeniyi, on his part, said Mr. Melaye had failed to show the court the particular signatories on the petition to which the death certificates attached as exhibit belonged.

“If he attached death certificates, he should tell the court that this certificate for example, belongs to signature number 24 on the petition, but he failed to do that.”

Justice Dimgba adjourned the matter until Sept. 11 for judgment.

The judge also fixed Sept.11 to deliver judgment in a suit filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC), also seeking to stop Melaye’s recall.

The judge consolidated the two suits to avoid having conflicting judgments since the subject of both suits were similar.



National Youth Games: Handball Federation Goes Scouting

The Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) says it will use the forthcoming National Youth Games to harness young talents to develop the sport.

The Federation’s Secretary, Mohammed Maigidansanma, disclosed this at the end of a two-day retreat in Abuja.

Maigidansanma said that the federation would design a database for young athletes across the zones using the Games as a case study.

“The federation will set up zonal committees to supervise the activities of the NYG zonal eliminations to identify talents that will be developed in the future for the growth of the sport,’’ he said.

The scribe said that participants at the end of the programme resolved that the federation’s constitution be amended by the secretariat before the end of August for onward ratification by the board.

The association also resolved to organise training programmes for coaches on short and long terms to build their capacity and to properly project them for international recognition.

Maigidansanma said that the participants also agreed that the Federation holds championships in the U-12, U-15, U-18 and U-21 in 2018.

He said that U-12 and U-15 would be Inter-Zonal Competitions, while U-18 and U-21 would be National Championships on Division 1 and Division 2 for National Open Championships.

Ahead of the 2018 Nations Cup in Congo, Coach Mike Tangarhaa, Solomon Yola and Tunji Segun were adopted as the Senior National Team Technical crew.

The Federation’s scribe said that 10 per cent interest was agreed to be given to any successful sponsor/Marketer of HFN activities.

Peace, Conflict Resolution Confab In Abuja

No fewer than 40 experts from different countries will gather in Abuja for peace, conflict resolution conference in July, The Director-General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Prof. Oshita Oshita, has said.

Oshita said in a statement his Media Assistant, Mr. Abu Michael on Wednesday in Abuja, that the experts would brainstorm on the place of restorative and community justice in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

He said intellectuals from Great Britain, U. S., Egypt, Kenya and South Africa among others would be meeting at the 5th International Africa Peace and Conflict Resolution Conference scheduled for July 26 and July 27

He said that the Minister of National Reconciliation, Bangui, Central African Republic was also expected at the conference.

Oshita said that the conference was being planned in collaboration with the Centre for African Peace and Conflict Resolution of California State University and Sacramento, U. S.

According to him, other partners include Institute for Peace Studies and Practice of the University of Ibadan, the Nigeria Defence College; and Society for Peace Studies and Practice.

Others he said are Justice Development and Peace Commission in Kano, and UFUK Dialogue Foundation.

The director-general said that about 50 scholars had submitted abstracts of their presentations, adding that sponsorship for various events and application for participation remained open.

He said the conference was important to Nigeria as a country in many ways, adding that many of the scholars would dwell on the essence of peace, resolution of conflicts and social justice.

The conference, according to him, will also create the desired awareness on restorative and community justice.

The statement quoted Dr Willie Eselebor of the University of Ibadan as commending IPCR for the planning, adding that such conference was important for peace to be guaranteed in the country.

“All hands must be on deck to members of the planning committee and the partners to enhance the image of the government and the country,” he said.

Eselebo said that Nigeria and the entire African continent stand to benefit immeasurably from the conference