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41  Forum / Politics / Ekweremadu Trashes President Jonathan's Aide, Gulak on: 29-10-2012 09:31 AM
Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu Sunday urged the presidency to probe the motives behind the constant attack on the National Assembly by some aides of the President, particularly the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Ahmed Ali Gulak.
“It is advisable for Mr. President to review the stewardship and real inner motives of Mr. Ahmed Gulak whom, either oblivious of his job schedule or lacking the competence to undertake it, is preoccupied with fomenting trouble for his Administration”, he said in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Political Matters, Hon. Okey Ozoani.
The call was against the backdrop of Mr. Gulak’s interview published in a national daily newspaper in which he alleged that Senator Ekweremadu said that most National Assembly Members were illiterates.
Besides, he again claimed that National Assembly is responsible for poor budget implementation citing its late passage of appropriation Act.
However, Ekweremadu in the statement in Abuja debunked the allegation saying such claim is ‘no less spurious and insulting’.
The statement reads: “His claims that the Deputy President of the Senate said that most National Assembly Members were illiterates is no less spurious and insulting. To put matters straight, the Deputy President of the Senate, while speaking on the topic “The Political Ideology of the Great Zik of Africa and Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria” at the 2nd Zik Annual Lecture Series organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Awka stressed that the 21st century Nigeria needed knowledgeable leadership at all levels that could effectively drive development and realize the lofty dreams of the nation’s founding fathers.
“It is unfortunate that Gulak who is supposed to be neck deep in gainful political strategies and bridge-building for Mr. President has practically reassigned himself the disreputable role of troublemaking, meddlesome interloping and indeed bridge breaking.
“One would expect Gulak to allow the Presidential Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emodi who is experienced in the matters of the National Assembly, having being a Distinguished Senator of great repute, to continue with her mature handling of matters relating to the institution rather than muddling things up. Or does Gulak also want to take over the job of Presidential Adviser on National Assembly which the President must have put several things into consideration before making a choice for the appointment?
“Let it be made clear, once again, that the National Assembly has no issues with the President and Commander-in-Chief. It is rather people like Gulak that are bent on stage-managing crisis of confidence for reasons best known to them.
“While it is gratifying that Mr President has recently had cause to disown Gulak over his poor conducts and unguarded statements hauled at the National Assembly and its officers, for the umpteenth time, it’s advisable for Mr. President to review the stewardship and real inner motives of Mr. Ahmed Gulak whom, either oblivious of his job schedule or lacking the competence to undertake it, is preoccupied with fomenting trouble for his Administration”, the statement said.
42  Forum / Politics / Shadow boxing in Kogi on: 24-10-2012 02:19 PM
The sack of the former speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Abdullahi Bello is fallout of the intrigues within the PDP that shadowed the emergence of Governor Idris Wada as the PDP gubernatorial candidate last year. An unseen hand beating the drums is said to be former governor Ibrahim Idris. Why?

The sack last Tuesday of the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Abdullahi Bello is turning the political crisis in the state on its head. Bello, is refusing to go away easily preferring to fight a dogged battle against what he and some of his supporters allege to be an injustice.

At the heart of their misgiving is the allegation that only 12 out of the 25 members of the House endorsed the impeachment. They claim that five of the 17 signatures on the impeachment notice were forged.

Remarkably, many commentators are putting the former speaker’s problems at the door of the executive arm of government. It is not surprising given the animosity that has trailed relationship between Bello as speaker and Governor Idris Wada.

Idri: Former Kogi governor and Sacked Kogi Speaker

More incisive commentators, however, put Bello’s problems at the doorstep of the immediate past governor of the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris on one hand and with his kinsmen in Okene on the other hand.

Bello benefited from alleged political manipulation of the system by Idris to achieve his dream of becoming speaker as the position had been zoned to Kogi West and not Kogi Central where he hails from.

With Idris from east, his deputy Philip Salawu from Central political reasoning was that the third ranking position in the state should go to the West.

But three days to the June 6, 2012 inauguration of the present House last year,  the House dramatically amended its rules to provide that the position of speaker and other principals officers would be according to seniority. Then it was unbeknown to the western flank that Idris was up to a game.

The general calculation at that time was hinged on the fact that the gubernatorial primary conducted in January favoured Alhaji Isa Jibril Echocho, who is Igala from the eastern flank, who had chosen Chief Clarence Olafemi(then the Speaker of the House) an Okun man from the Western flank as his Deputy. It was then believed that having a speaker from the central was the right thing to do.

Vanguard gathered that a day to the inauguration of the new House the former governor called all the elected legislators to his residence where he fixed positions for the principal offices.

Only two legislators, Nathaniel Taiwo of Kabba/Bunu constituency and Saliu Akawu of Kogi/Koto constituency, voiced opposition tothe move as others kept mute throughout the meeting.

However, once the Court of Appeal extended the tenure of Idris alongside four other incumbent governors, the chemistry between Bello and Idris began to break.

At the heart of the issue was Idris’ decision to replace Jibrin Isah, popularly known as Echocho with Wada as his successor. Bello on his part was already committed to Isah and refused to go along with his one time political mentor on the issue.

Vanguard gathered that when the National Working Committee of the party called them to Abuja to settle their differences, it was Bello who stood as chief antagonist challenging every move to have another primary until he was shot down by the acting chairman, Baraje.

Throughout the crisis that rocked Wada’s campaign and eventual victory, Bello failed to show up in any of the campaign rallies. Rather, he was alleged to have instigated a number of House members to follow him in scorning Wada.

Since then, the once rosy relationship turned to enmity between the former governor and Speaker Bello. After the December 3 election that produced Wada as the winner, , Bello failed to congratulate Wada over the victory.

From September when the new primary was conducted to January 28 when Wada was sworn in, there was a complete breakdown of communication between Bello and Idris and all efforts to reconcile them also failed.

Also Bello had his problems at home. Immediately, Bello became Speaker, he turned against the former deputy governor, Philip Salawu as the duo engaged in a supremacy battle for the political leadership of the Central Senatorial district.

When on January 28 the Supreme Court brought an abrupt end to the Idris regime the power play came fully into the open.

Bello’s move to be inaugurated as the acting governor was fully resisted by Idris, who was fully determined that Wada would succeed him.

Wada was eventually sworn in by the president of the customary court of appeal after the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Nasir Ajanah demurred. Remarkably, the Chief Judge later that evening swore Bello in as acting governor leading to the situation where two persons were calling the shots in government.

The situation lasted for two days with Wada and Bello countermanding each other on issues of state until Vice-President Namadi Sambo intervened with an order that Bello’s security details be withdrawn forcing a return to the status quo.

From then on, the enmity was extended to Wada, though both men made a show of cordiality in the public.

What finally brought a showdown between the legislator and the state executive was in June when the governor decided to appoint liaison officers for the 21 local government areas.

Bello it is alleged, expressed opposition to the appointment of Yahaya Karaku as the officer for Okene, his local government area. At the heart of the opposition is the fact that Karaku is a strong ally of Idris and could be a potential rival in the 2015 Senate race.

Bello had also long been at war with the former deputy governor of the state, Philip Salawu on account of past collaboration between him, Bello and Idris, who Salawu served as deputy.

Salawu was aggrieved that Idris with Bello in tow had initially favoured Echocho in the January 2011 primaries.

Following that, Idris as governor had also allegedly empowered Bello in the battle with his then deputy governor by giving the former speaker political leverage in such matters as appointments from Kogi Central.

Another internal problem Bello has faced is the alleged distance between him and many House members, who the then speaker is accused of looking down on.

The bulk of the Progressive Integrity Group, which launched the impeachment are believed to come from the group.

Some pundits are, however, calling on the Speaker to challenge the decision in the court of law, which is the only legitimate place to get his position back; a development the first school of thought also punched a hole at.

To them, the allegation of signature forgery is a criminal case that is difficult to prove. And they believe that before the case will be concluded, the crisis would have been given a political solution
43  Forum / Politics / Ondo PDP to approach Tribunal: You are on your own – PDP national leadership on: 24-10-2012 02:17 PM
Mimiko’s victory a pariah – Akeredolu  •Mimiko gets certificate of return, hails INEC
THE Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Tuesday, disagreed with the national secretariat of the party in its assessment of weekend’s gubernatorial election in the state as it moved to contest what it described as a concoted election result in the election tribunal.

The national secretariat in a sharp rebuke to the Ondo chapter disowned the move saying the Ondo chapter was on its own.

Also yesterday, the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, gubernatorial candidate in Saturday’s election, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, pressed on in his rebuttal of the election result with his assertion that the result which returned the incumbent and Labour Party, LP, candidate was concocted. Akeredolu also pledged that the ACN would mount a formidable opposition against the LP from day one.

It would be recalled that the national secretariat of the PDP and the party’s national leader, President Goodluck Jonathan had last Sunday congratulated Dr. Mimiko on his declaration as winner of the election. Disagreeing with the assertions of its officers in Abuja, the state chapter of the party, yesterday, expressed surprise over the way and manner with which members and leaders of the party have been congratulating Mimiko over the result of the election.

A statement by PDP’s Publicity Secretary in Akure, Wale Ozogoro, said the party was complying and collating reports across the state and would go to the tribunal. The statement said: “The party has noticed misapplication of electoral guidelines in the gubernatorial election.

“We are indeed convinced that justice will be achieved as we intend to seek same at the appropriate time. However, the party is not taken aback as to the comments of few individuals who feel that the party should not approach justice to seek redress. We want to put it on record that seeking justice at the appropriate quarter is part of the rule of law, which is the bedrock of democratic ethos .

Available option
“We, therefore, want to avail ourselves of every available option under the law to seek justice and rekindle the hope and aspiration of all Ondo people that democracy built on fairness, equity, and justice can truly be achieved.” The party, however, urged its supporters to remain resolute, determined and keep faith with it and Chief Olusola Oke, saying it hopes to get justice through the court.

Mimiko Oke and Akeredolu

Reacting to the development, the party’s national publicity secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh said the party in Akure was on its own.

Metuh told Vanguard that the national leadership of the Party had already congratulated Mimiko and was not going to court, affirming that the party stood on its earlier position.

Metuh who stressed that the decision of the party and the statement released immediately after Dr. Mimiko was declared the winner of the election was the stand of the National Working Committee, NWC, added: “The party has taken its own position of not going to court by congratulating Dr. Olusegun Mimiko. We stand by our statement, it is the position of the NWC.”

Mimiko’s victory a pariah – Akeredolu
Akeredolu who came third in the result declared by INEC on his part dismissed claims of a landslide achieved by Mimiko as absurd affirming that the incumbent’s share of the votes was proportionately lower than what he achieved in the 2007 election.

Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, the Director of Media, Publicity and Strategy for ACO, said in a statement yesterday: “The Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has given a great show in the election with a remarkable improvement on her previous performances in elections in Ondo State while the lot of the Labour Party, LP, has dwindled as result of the rejection of Mimiko by the majority of the voters.

“It is clear that in contrast with the performance of Mimiko in 2007 in which he was declared winner in 2009 by the court of appeal, where he polled 198,261 which represent 55 per cent of the vote cast, his 260,199 votes represents only 41.7 per cent of the total 624,659 vote cast reflecting a proportional decline meaning that the opposition got majority of the votes.

“Indeed, on the declaration of the election result, Akure city wore a mourning look until their supporters had to be forced out for some sort of celebration as against the spontaneous celebration of 2009 after Mimiko mandate was restored. This speaks volume on the authenticity of the victory which we believe when tested will reveal of what sort it is made, whether it be of sand or solid rock.

“In fact, the ACN gave a good showing in all the local government areas of the state in spite of the massive rigging, intimidation of supporters in the party’s strongholds, cancellation of results in Idanre, Ipele, Okitipupa among others. We are poised to put the LP government on its toes from day one pending the outcome of the meeting of the leadership of our great party to decide on the next line of action on the massive irregularities experienced in the conduct of the October 20 elections.

“The bottom line is sustainable development for our people, progressivism, accountability and transparency which ACN represents and will continue to advocate for Ondo State, the south west and indeed Nigeria.”

Mimiko receives Certificate of Return, hail INEC
Mimiko, meanwhile, yesterday received his Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, just as he advocated the introduction of staggered elections system as a way out of electoral malpractice in the country.

The Certificate of Return was presented to him by INEC National Commissioner in charge of South West, Prof. Lai Olurode in Akure. His Deputy, Alhaji Ali Olanusi was also presented his certificate at the ceremony attended by Mimiko’s wife, Olukemi and Labour Party National Chairman, Mr. Dan Nwanyanwu and hundreds of LP faithful across the state.

At the occasion, Mimiko said: “One critical element of success is these staggered elections. I am sure we did not deliberately craft it, but this has been crafted for us. It appears God has decided to intervene in our electoral affairs through this. I believe that our electoral umpire, INEC should now go to that and create a regimen of staggered elections for Nigeria.

“From my experience in the elections that took place in Edo and Ondo States on these staggered elections option, it will probably be one credible solution to the challenges of electoral malpractice in Nigeria.

Mimiko urged the electoral body to work towards ensuring that logos of political parties that are similar are not very close to each other on the ballot papers to avoid having thousands of voided votes. The re-elected governor also advocated a continuous voters registration scheme to accommodate those who have attained voting age to preventdisenfranchisement of many eligible voters.

He commended INEC for its increased level of commitment to having a credible electoral system and expressed gratitude to President Goodluck Jonathan for delivering on his promise to provide security to secure our votes.

Olurode in his remarks said; “Though INEC is not claiming to be perfect as there are bound to be challenges, the most important thing is to remove what remains of electoral malfeasance.’
44  Forum / Politics / Pope to appoint Nigerian, five other non-European as cardinals on: 24-10-2012 02:09 PM
Six non-European Roman Catholic prelates will join the Vatican’s College of Cardinals in November, Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday, in a move which may affect the election of the future pope.

At the end of the weekly general audience, Benedict said he would be appointing cardinals from the United States, Lebanon, India, Nigeria, Colombia and the Philippines in a surprise consistory, the second to be held this year.

The college, the elite body that advises the pontiff and elects his successor upon his death, is currently heavily weighted in favour of Europe.

The new cardinals will be the American James Michael Harvey, Lebanon’s Bechara Boutros Rahi, India’s Baselios Cleemis, Nigeria’s John Onaiyekan, Colombia’s Ruben Salazar Gomez and Filipino Luis Antonio Tagle.

The announcement follows the death of several cardinals in recent months and will bring the number of those eligible to vote back up to the maximum of 120. Cardinals must be young enough — under 80 — to take part in a papal election.

Religious watchers had not expected there to be another consistory until next year. In February, 22 new “princes of the Church” were created amid criticism at the number of Europeans and poor representation from elsewhere.

While nearly half of the world’s Catholics are in Latin America, there was only one new cardinal appointed from “the Catholic continent”.

The nomination of seven Italians in Benedict’s fourth consistory also brought to 30 the elector cardinals from Italy — almost a quarter of the total, far outweighing any other country.

The nominations sparked rumours of a power struggle at the heart of the Vatican, with some observers saying that Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone was behind the promotion of Italians up the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy.
45  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Is Chelsea FC chasing shadows ? on: 24-10-2012 02:08 PM
Roberto Di Matteo’s thoughts quickly turned to Chelsea’s return game with Shakhtar Donetsk after seeing his side beaten 2-1 by the Ukrainian champions in Champions League Group E.

Chelsea were left chasing shadows for much of the night at Donetsk’s Donbass Arena on Tuesday, and even an 88th-minute consolation from Brazilian starlet Oscar could not disguise the fact that the home side ran out worthy winners.

Mircea Lucescu’s well-drilled team now enjoy a three-point lead over defending champions Chelsea in Group E, ahead of the return fixture between the sides at Stamford Bridge on November 7.

Chelsea will hope to exact swift revenge, and reclaim top spot, by prevailing in that encounter, but they were at least given reason to cheer by Juventus’ unexpected 1-1 draw at Danish debutants FC Nordsjaelland.

The draw left the Italian champions a point behind the Blues in third place, but Juve will expect to win when Nordsjaelland visit Turin in two weeks’ time, so Di Matteo knows that Chelsea cannot afford another slip-up.

“You have to analyse Shakhtar’s performance correctly,” said the Italian, who led Chelsea to their first-ever Champions League success last season.

“They’re a very strong team, particularly at home, and they showed it tonight (Tuesday). Matches in the Champions League are always difficult and competitive. You only have to look at the results in our group to see that.

“But we could have done better as a team. We still have a good chance to qualify for the next round but we absolutely have to win our next match at home to Shakhtar.”

Oscar’s goal, which took his tally in this season’s competition to three, was the only bright moment on an evening when Chelsea lost Frank Lampard to an early injury on the occasion of his 100th UEFA appearance for the club.

By then, Chelsea had already fallen behind to a third-minute Alex Teixeira goal, after a long Razvan Rat throw-in was allowed to reach the edge of the area before ricocheting into the Brazilian’s path via John Terry’s arm.

The visitors were caught cold again early in the second period, with Fernandinho doubling Shakhtar’s lead after robbing Eden Hazard in midfield, and it was only in the closing stages that the Blues began to exert pressure.

Di Matteo criticised his players for being too “individualistic” in the first half, and Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu said Chelsea’s lackadaisical start to the match had helped the hosts assert their authority.

“We’re playing better and better. This is probably the best game Shakhtar have played,” said the Romanian.

“We played spectacular football, and the score could easily have been 4-1 to us. Now it’s time to think about the return match in London.

“Chelsea were too relaxed at the start of the game, but when they started to press and try to score, it was too late. We were already in control of the match.”

Chelsea had scored four goals in each of their three previous games, with Saturday’s 4-2 comeback win at Tottenham Hotspur enabling them to preserve their four-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

The challenge now is to ensure that Tuesday’s setback does not unduly upset their momentum, ahead of back-to-back matches against Manchester United in the Premier League and the League Cup.
46  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / ‘Breakaway union for black players bad idea’-Arsene Wenger on: 24-10-2012 02:06 PM
Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has called for footballers to unite in their combat with racism, and says a breakaway union for black players would be a “bad” idea.

A number of high-profile black players refused to wear anti-racism ‘Kick It Out’ T-shirts prior to last weekend’s Premier League games, in protest at alleged laxity in the football authorities’ attempts to tackle the issue.

The controversy was followed by reports in the British media on Tuesday that Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand — who took part in the T-shirt boycott — is set to launch a new anti-racism union for black footballers.

Wenger, though, believes such a move would undermine attempts to tackle discrimination in the game.

“I think any split is bad,” he said, at a press conference ahead of his side’s Champions League group game at home to Schalke on Wednesday.

“If there is no racism, if you want to fight against racism, you should not create any federation on a difference that you want to fight against. I personally can’t see the logic in that.”
English football has been rocked by a string of incidents involving racial abuse in recent weeks.

John Terry was handed a four-game ban for abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand last season, while England’s under-21 players claimed to have been the subject of racial harassment during a match against Serbia last week.

There have also been reports that abuse was aimed at Newcastle United’s Demba Ba, as well as claims that Bolton Wanderers’ South Korea midfielder Lee Chung-yong and some of his team-mates were targeted by Millwall fans.

As part of an initiative involving European governing body UEFA and Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE), players captaining teams in this week’s Champions League and Europa League games will wear an anti-racism armband.
Wenger said he supported the idea, regardless of the timing.

“I feel it is important to happen at any moment,” said the Frenchman.
“Racism or xenophobia or any other differences that can exist between people, for example different cultures — you have to always show respect for everybody and every culture and every human being, no matter where you come from and no matter when it is in the season.

“That is why I feel that what happened during the weekend is very sad.”
Meanwhile, Wenger called on his players to flush their disappointing defeat at Norwich City out of their system by winning Wednesday’s game with Schalke.

Saturday’s loss at Carrow Road left Arsenal 10 points behind leaders Chelsea in the Premier League, but victory over Schalke would put them five points clear in Champions League Group B and within sight of the last 16.
“We have got over it and we will focus on our next game,” he said.
“That is the only way to deal with it, to put the disappointment behind us and focus on Schalke.

“As a team, we were not as efficient as we are used to. It can happen in the season. It is just of course at a very bad moment for us.

“I expect us to respond in a strong way because this team is very ambitious and wants to do very well.”

Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey echoed his manager’s words and said a third consecutive group-phase win on Wednesday would be the ideal tonic for their domestic disappointment.
“When you have an upset like that, you want to get back out there as quickly as possible and put it right,” he said.

“That is what we hope to do on Wednesday, and put ourselves in a really strong position in this group.”

Arsenal will be without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hip), Theo Walcott (chest) and Kieran Gibbs (thigh), but Wenger is hopeful that Laurent Koscielny will be fit to play despite a back injury.
47  Forum / Politics / Benin arrests doctor, niece over plot to poison President Boni Yayi on: 24-10-2012 02:03 PM
Benin authorities arrested the niece and personal doctor of President Boni Yayi, claiming they had tried to poison him at the behest of an angered businessman, the country’s state prosecutor said.

Doctor Ibrahim Mama Cisse, the president’s niece Zouberath Kora, and former trade minister Soumanou Moudjaidou were arrested on Sunday, while cotton magnate Patrice Talon the suspected ringleader of the poison plot is on the run, Justin Gbenameto state prosecutor told reporters on Wednesday.

“The prosecution has requested that they should be charged with conspiracy and attempted murder,’’ Gbenameto said, adding that the attempt to poison Yayi occurred on Oct. 17 while he was visiting Brussels.

Gbenameto said Moudjaidou is believed to have brought the poison into the country, and that he gave it to Cisse to be switched
with his regular medication.

Kora was meant to have administered it, but the plot was discovered after she told a family member about the plan, he said.

Talon who lost a lucrative port and customs reform contract in the cotton exporting country earlier this year offered two million
dollars each to Cisse, Kora and Moudjaidou for their roles, Gbenameto said.

Yayi 60, a former banker, became president in 2006 and survived an assassination attempt in 2007 when gunmen ambushed
his convoy. He won re-election in March last year following a disputed presidential election. (Reuters/NAN)
48  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Eid-el- Kabir: Free bus ride, trash bags for Lagosians on: 24-10-2012 02:01 PM
Ahead of the Muslim Eid-el-Kabir, Sallah celebration, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, LAMATA, management, has concluded plans to provide free bus ride to residents on its Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, franchise on Friday.

Similarly, as part of measures to ensure zero tolerance on waste accumulation, Lagos Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, is set to distribute about a million free trash bags for adequate waste collection and effective disposal during the period.

The free bus ride, according to the Managing Director of LAMATA, Dr. Dayo Mobereola, will in particular facilitate easy movement of Muslim faithful to different praying centres across the state.

Mobereola, said the free bus service which began in 2008 had helped in reducing congestion and accident on the roads during festive periods, adding that the service would run for 13 hours starting at 7.00a.m. and ends at 10.00p.m.

The First BRT Cooperative, operator of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will offer free services on Mile 12 – CMS, Mile 12 – Obalende, Ajah to National Stadium, Ajah – Obalende, Mile 12 – National Stadium, Mile 2 – National Stadium, Oshodi – Obalende and Oshodi – National Stadium routes.
On the Bus Franchise Scheme (BFS) corridor, free services will be offered on the Ikotun – Ikeja – Maryland, Iyana Ipaja – Maryland, Ikotun – Iyana Ipaja, Igando – Iyana Ipaja, Igando – Ikeja, and Igando – Maryland routes.

Mobereola reminded road users of the existence of the Lagos Traffic Law and warned against flouting the law under the guise of the public holiday.
Also, Managing Director of LAWMA, Mr. Ola Oresanya, said that the 350 Private Sector Participants, PSPs, operating in the state have been mandated with the task of ensuring that every part of the state is rid of waste during and after the celebration.

Distribution of the bags, which commenced five years ago, will be done through the PSP operators to ensure that refuse is properly bagged and disposed in covered bins.
49  Forum / Politics / Workers Protest Disrupt Operations At Ibom International Airport on: 24-10-2012 11:40 AM
Workers at the Ibom International Airport, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Friday disrupted activities at the facility, causing obstruction at the airport entrance.

The airport staff, numbering more than 500 in all, began their protest as early as 5am, blocking the main entrance and urged other members of staff to join in the eight hour protest.

As a result, all Abuja-Lagos flights at the airport were suspended, as workers negotiated with the Akwa Ibom State government.

The placards carried by the protesting workers read ‘5 years of neglect must end’, ‘Give us uncommon transformation’, N10,000 salary is slavery, review our salaries now’, among others.

The workers grievances, it was gathered include; absence of condition of service, non review of salaries since the inception of the airport, irregularities in employment and remuneration and non payment of salaries, allowances and grant arrears to staff.

The Branch Chairman of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, Comrade Edidiong Brendan said ‘ there has not been a salary review for airport staff for almost six years now and it is rather unfair that while government and relevant authorities have eagerly made changes in wages nationwide, the Ibom Airport staff are left languishing in abject neglect, clinging on to meagre wages’.

He further lamented that it has become an unwritten law in the airport that some employees are not paid their full entitlements for upward of 18months after assumption of duties.

He disclosed that most of the staff employed since march last year on grade level four were still being paid pocket allowance of N9,850.00 as against the minimum wage of N21000 paid to other categories of staff in the state civil service.

He also revealed that some certain members of staff in the company were being owed arrears of salaries, allowances as grants adding that most of them were employed and paid training allowance without their salaries for 17 months.

Efforts to get the state government's attention to their plight had fallen on deaf ears hence the decision to protest publicly.

However, Mrs Emah Ebong, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Special Duties, who supervises airport operations, said government was not unmindful of the challenges faced by the workers but was poised to ensure all grey areas are sorted out.

She said a meeting has been arranged for next week between the workers and government to arrive at harmonious relationship such that there would be no disruption of operations at the airport especially during the forthcoming yuletide.
50  Forum / Politics / Nigeria to discuss with Cameroon on Bakassi – Mark on: 24-10-2012 11:36 AM
Senate President, Senator David Mark, on Tuesday declared that Nigeria will initiate discussion with Cameroon on the vexed issue of Bakassi.

Mark stated this in a chat with journalists at the 127th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) conference in Quebec, Canada.

The conference has the theme: “Citizenship, identity, linguistic and cultural diversity in a globalised world.”

The Senate President said that Nigerian delegation would discuss with their Cameroonian counterparts at the conference to iron out knotty issues so as to create a forum for broader dialogue on the Bakassi issue.

He said the discussion would focus on whether to revisit the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision on Bakassi or to ensure that the rights of Nigerians who live in the oil rich peninsular are fully protected.

The Senate President noted that the National Assembly recognised that there is a subsisting judicial decision on Bakassi.

He insisted that once there is a judicial decision on any matter “you must be careful.”

The judicial decision hanging over Bakassi, he said, made it imperative for Nigerian delegation at the IPU to open dialogue with their Cameroonian counterparts at the conference on the future of Bakassi.

He said, “Bakassi is a different story entirely. For Bakassi, there is a judicial decision and once there is a judicial decision you must be careful.

“Revisiting the judicial decision on Bakassi whether it will bring any more profit or whether we should ensure that Nigerians who are in Bakassi have their human rights fully protected and that they are not maltreated in any way by Cameroonians is one of the issues we will sit down and discuss with Cameroonian parliamentarians who are here too.”

In his address at the conference, Mark told the Union of the need for parliaments world over to protect and guarantee minority interests.

“The National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not just in total support of raising the stakes in management of diversities in a globalised world, we are already taking steps to ensure that every minority interest within the Nigerian State is well protected.

“We are working to remove all obstacles that hinder unity and harmonious co-existence,” the Senate president said.
51  Forum / Politics / Taraba grapples with flood, blasts on: 24-10-2012 11:33 AM
Hit by flood and a rash of bomb blasts, fate has been unkind to Taraba State lately.

No fewer than 19 persons died in the flood in the state, which swept through several parts of the country. About 12 people are still missing in the state, while 218 villages were wrecked by the waters in eight of the state’s 16 local government areas. It is reckoned that 69,640 persons were direct victims of the disaster.

The affected local government areas are Ardo-Kola, Ibi, Wukari, Gassol, Lau, Karim-Lamido, Kurmi and Sardauna.

But as the people grieved, Jalingo, the state capital, was rocked by explosions, its fourth experience since the Boko Haram hostilities began. At least eight persons were injured in the blast in Mallam Joda, a rustic suburb of the state capital.

The bomb hit the usually quiet community just a day after another bomb rocked Dorowa, a 24-hour bubbling ghetto in the spine of the capital city.

The victims included petty traders and commercial sex workers in the vicinity. Apart from the building, food, drinks, cigarette, kola-nut, condoms were ruined.

Eyewitnesses said a bomb was detonated at dusk time in a drinking outlet in Mallam Joda in the same fashion as the Dorowa incident.

Police posts and government structures had been the targets of terror attacks, but recently local brew bars, patronised by fun seekers, have become an attraction in the state.

Police spokesman in the state, Amos Alaoye, in a chat with Newsextra, said: “The state command has arrested some suspects who are in the custody, in connection with the bombings”.

Residents think some of the suspected bombers may live in the neighbourhoods, probably making their explosives locally.

Many residents have been living in fear since the area became a scene of bomb blasts.

Grappling with the security challenge in the affected districts has not been easy, it was learnt.

A government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Newsextra how his younger brother may have foiled a bomb attack on his wife’s business joint. He said some suspected bombers first went to his wife’s drinking place but were not allowed to settle down by his younger brother who said he noticed their unusual dressing and behaviour. No sooner had they left the place than the sound of a bomb blast was heard outside the shop.

The source said: “When I was returning home from work, my younger brother called me, saying that he has seen a strange person in my wife’s place. I asked him how strange the intruder was; he said they looked like Boko Haram members, so he chased them away. He insisted I must come back quickly because they were afraid”

“In less than 10 minutes before I could return, I heard a bomb explode close to my wife’s joint and the same person who was chased away by my younger brother was among the two people the youths arrested and handed over to the policemen who rushed to the scene of the blast”.

The explosions have paralysed the Taraba state capital. The bustle that characterised Dorowa, for instance, has vanished. It is said with only N50, one could eat a plate of food in Dorowa and be satisfied. But since the blasts, things have changed, said Agnes, a resident.

Dozens of persons have fled the state capital in the aftermath of the blasts. This is not good for a state that was already traumatised by flood, which destroyed houses and vast farmlands as well as livestock.

The pandemonium resulting from the blasts has refused to leave Jalingo people, who have now moderated their operations, especially at night.

It would be recalled that on April 30, a bomber rode on a motorcycle and hit the convoy of the former state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mamman Sule.

At least 11 persons were killed in the early morning suicide attack, which appeared to be targeted at the police chief who was newly redeployed to Jalingo. Twenty persons were seriously injured, including a police corporal Usman Suleiman who was the outrider on the commissioner’s convoy. The bomber was also blown up by the blast that sent the city to sleep as soon as it woke up for the day’s activities.

There was another bombing on May 11. Although, there were no casualties, the panic paralysed the economic and social life of the once peaceful people. Two suspected bombers reportedly drove past a police van before dropping an explosive. It was gathered that the timing was miscalculated, so the bomb exploded a few seconds after the police van had passed the scene.

After those bombings, the terrorists changed tactics: in the last blasts, they struck at night.

The flood is a different disaster. President Goodluck Jonathan has visited the camps of flood disaster victims in Taraba. He was in Lau, where seven people died.

The president cheered up the people, saying flood is a natural disaster, which ravages even developed nations.

“My personal residence is now under water,” he told the people.

Jonathan put Taraba in category B’, alongside Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi, Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa, Cross River, Edo, Lagos and Imo states in the ranks of desolation by flood.

But Commissioner for Information, Mr. Emmanuel Bello said Taraba was relegated in the grouping.

“We have the worst scenario of the flood disaster and ought to have been in category A or even A plus”, he said, explaining that the longest stretch of River Benue is found in the hinterlands of Taraba which caused devastations that many people especially passers-by have not seen.

Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Nuvalga Dan Habu, said “10 persons were drowned in Karim-Lamido, seven died in Lau, while two perished in Gassol. Twelve persons are still missing; 28,139 persons have been displaced”.

It was gathered that a bridge and 50 culverts collapsed to the flood even as 13 roads were either submerged or covered by debris, affecting the movement of people and traffic. Also 49 schools submerged by the flood, which has kept several pupils and students outside the classrooms.

The flood also destroyed about 3,051 livestock, 80,764 farmlands, 26 churches and 27 mosques as well as 14 clinics in Taraba, said SEMA.

Mama Hebbini Ciroma, an over 100-year-old resident of Karim-Lamido Local Government Area is among the victims. She said the last time she saw flood was about 85 years ago when she got married.

“But the flood wasn’t up to this magnitude,” she said.

Some expectant mothers gave birth in the camps without healthcare services. In 2005, flood destroyed the Nukai-Jalingo Bridge, killing 105 people, including a senior lecturer and deputy commissioner of police.
52  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / ‘Eight oko inmates yet to be captured’ on: 24-10-2012 11:32 AM
Eight inmates that escaped from the Oko Minimum Security Prison in Benin City are yet to be captured.

The inmates escaped on August 19 after using explosives to blow up the toilet section of the prison.

Authorities of the prison are yet to make public the identities of the escaped inmates who were on awaiting trial.

The alleged offences of the inmates were not known but prison officials said they were notorious kidnappers.

Some officials told the Nation that over congestion of the Oko prison might made it impossible for the authorities to identify the inmates on the run.

When contacted for comments, the Public Relation Officer of the Benin Prison, Barr. Theresa Idiake, said they were still searching for the inmates.
53  Forum / Politics / Arik To Explain ‘Incident’ On Abuja Bound Plane on: 24-10-2012 11:21 AM
he management of Nigeria’s largest carrier Arik Airways has refuted reports of a bomb scare on its flight from Maiduguri to Abuja this afternoon.
The airline told aviation correspondents that it was preparing a statement to address the report.
THEWILL has not been able to independently confirm that an unarmed man believed to have boarded the flight was detained at the Abuja airport by security operatives following an incident.


The Minister of Aviation has also debunked claims of a bomb scare:

See statement below:

"Alleged Bomb on Arik Flight a Hoax- Ministry

The rumour making the rounds of a bomb scare on an Arik Airline flight from Maiduguri to Abuja is absolutely false. In fact, it is a hoax as there is no iota of truth whatsoever in this wicked rumour.

A passenger, Aminu Galadima, an indigene of Minna, Niger state boarded a Maiduguri - Abuja bound Arik Air aircraft with registration number 5N MJE after going through all mandatory security screening. Nothing incriminating, no explosives or weapons whatsoever were found on him.

However, mid air the passenger began to act strangely, loudly screaming ''God is Great". Fellow passengers, alarmed by this behaviour rushed to apprehend him. A thorough search by fellow passengers and crew members revealed nothing dangerous on him. The pilot immediately radioed Air Traffic Control and airport security operatives.

The plane landed safely at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at exactly 1253 hrs and the suspect handed over to the SSS at about 1445 hrs where he is currently being interrogated.

We wish to reassure the flying public of the continued focus of the Federal Ministry of Aviation on the safety and security of the nation's airspace, while cautioning fellow Nigerians on the spreading of dangerous rumours. These rumours do not help to make our airspace either safer or more secure.

Joe Obi
SA (Media) to Aviation Minister."
54  Forum / Politics / Abia Government Insists On Orji Kalu’s Probe on: 24-10-2012 11:19 AM
he Abia State Government says there is no going back on the planned probe of former Governor of Abia State Orji Uzor Kalu.
In a press statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue, government says that one of the areas that the probe will focus on will be the activities of the former Governor as far as the Abia State Infrastructural Fund is concerned, as money is believed to have been mismanaged.
The statement maintained that the probe which has been welcomed by Abians, will help in ascertaining the level of corruption during the eight years of the ex governor.
Commenting on the claims by Kalu that Chief T. A. Orji has properties in Abuja and other cities, the Chief Press Secretary challenged him to substantiate his claims by publishing documents relating to such properties.
Mr. Emezue said that rather than explain to Nigerians how he suddenly acquired his multi-billion naira mansions in Potomac which is on sale, Houston, Miami, Atlanta, and the acquisition of Slok airlines, banks and other businesses that are barely paying staff salaries, which he acquired while in office, Kalu is busy playing to the gallery with his deceitful Igbo Presidency agenda in 2015. He stated that Kalu will soon be exposed.
Mr. Emezue insisted that the huge debt Kalu left in Abia has remained a sour point in his existence, little wonder he is always angry when this issue is raised. “This sour point will continue to haunt him,” he said.
The Chief Press Secretary insisted that Kalu who is seeking relevance, having lost out of the power equation in the State, has the penchant of levelling unsubstantiated allegations against those he considers as threats to him as he did to Ohakim, Anenih and Obasanjo.
Emezue stated that it is on record that Kalu and his mother after such media allegations when they were in charge of the state, went to beg Anenih and Obasanjo, hence he should not be taken seriously, since everything about him is “gamji”.
Kalu, the Abia state spokesman hinted is envious of the excellent relationship between the Governor and his aides, which is based on mutual respect, and not mutual “Okijaism” which he used to dehumanize those that worked with him.
The Governor, Mr. Emezue said is not a businessman and has not travelled to Asian countries for any business, as being insinuated by Kalu.
Mr. Emezue stated that Kalu will not be dignified with further response, until the mother Eunice, who in actual fact ruled Abia, comes out from her hiding to speak.   
55  Forum / Politics / 'Sick' Man Responsible For Arik Bomb Scare Released From Custody on: 24-10-2012 11:12 AM
Aminu S. Galadima, an interior decorator with a history of mental health issues has been released from SSS custody, THEWILL can exclusively report.

THEWILL gathered that the man screamed 'ahla a kuba' (God is Great) mid flight when the Arik plane travelling from Maiduguri, the headquarters of the Boko Haram, to Abuja this afternoon, hit turbulence.

A top source at the SSS told THEWILL that he was released after investigators were satisfied that he had no ties with terrorists and had no terror plans for the plane.

A statement from the SSS Tuesday night after an investigation into the incident is reproduced below:

This is a brief highlight of the incident that occurred on the Arik Air flight from Maiduguri to Abuja.

On Friday, 19th October, 2012, Wife of the SSG to the Borno State Government, Hajia Yachilla JIDDA, travelled to Maiduguri in company of one Aminu S. GALADIMA, an interior decorator based in Abuja to do some interior decoration work. On arrival in Maiduguri, he was lodged at Greenland Hotel. During the course of his stay, he exhibited unusual behaviour by smashing a window, and ended up with lacerations on his hands.

The SSG was contacted, and in collaboration with the Hotel management, subject was taken to Atal Hospital, also in Maiduguri, where he received treatment. His family in Abuja was contacted and they gave confirmation that GALADIMA has been mentally unstable. In addition, his elder brother who lives in the UK was contacted and he requested that subject be returned to Abuja for medical attention.

On Sunday, 21st October, 2012, he was taken to the airport to be returned to Abuja, but missed the flight. However, the Airport management was informed of his state of health, and they advised that whenever his return is scheduled, the management should be notified. Unfortunately, when GALADIMA was taken to the Airport on 23rd October for his return trip, the management of the Airport was not informed, and 10 minutes into the flight, due to slight turbulence, his condition was triggered off. Meanwhile, GALADIMA is in the custody of security forces.

This clarification has become necessary to dispel the unfounded rumours concerning the flight.

Marilyn OGAR, msi
Deputy Director, Public Relations
Department of State Services
23rd October, 2012".
56  Forum / Politics / Lagos Assembly Dangles Total Ban On Okadas on: 24-10-2012 11:05 AM
 The Lagos State House of Assembly Monday threatened a blanket ban on commercial motor operators (Okadas) in the state following the destruction of properties by demonstrating operators along the popular Ikorodu Road in Lagos after government banned them from operating on 475 routes in the commercial hub of Africa’s top oil producer.
Speaker of the state assembly, Rt. Honourable Adeyemi Ikuforiji, who made the position of the assemblymen known urged security operatives to step to the plate and deal with the security challenge.
Ikuforiji threatened that if the destructive protests continue like it did today at different locations in the state, the House would not hesitate to slam a total ban on Okadas in the state.
Eyewitnesses counted at least 9 vandalised Lagos state government owned BRT buses around the Onipanu and Palmgrove end of Ikorodu Road as angry okada operators wielded sticks, irons and planks before security operatives dispersed them.
In a related development, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, Monday declared a total war on okadas operating on the 475 routes after the ban.
In his address at an enlightenment forum on the ban to the military in Lagos, the governor, who used the occasion to seek their assistance in the implementation of the ban said, “The military gave us this democracy, so there must be a continuing partnership to keep it going.
“I understand the economics of the okada. But it also has the social effects. Many fathers have lost their children; many husbands have lost their wives; many children have lost both parents.
“All we are saying is don’t go on the highways. Somebody just pulls okada from any parts of the country he likes, gets onto a truck, he’s going to Lagos and then you entrust your life to that man? As if that was not bad enough, he drives against traffic?” the governor said.
57  Forum / Politics / Nigeria not ripe for state police – Maku on: 24-10-2012 11:01 AM
The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, said on Tuesday that Nigeria was not ripe for state police.

Some governors have continued to clamour for state police, using the argument that the step would empower them, as chief executives of their states, to effectively secure their domains.

But Maku, who led the national good governance tour team, currently in Plateau, to a visit to the Police Staff College, in the outskirts of Jos, said that the nation lacked adequate facilities to handle that.

He said the nation’s police force was doing well in spite of the enormous challenges, stressing that advocates of state police had never looked at the area of training.

“Training is key to success, unfortunately those asking for state police have not looked at that area, “the News Agency of Nigeria quoted the minister as saying during the visit.

He rejected incessant allegations of corruption slapped on the police by members of the public, and declared that there was no human institution that may not host some bad eggs from within it.

In his remarks, the Commandant of the college, Mr. Bala Hassan, said that 53 intervention projects were being carried out in the institution.

He expressed optimism that the projects would address the challenges of the 36-year old college.
58  Forum / Politics / Boko Haram: Borno Senator, Ex-Governor Spat Over Arrest Of Kingpin on: 24-10-2012 11:01 AM
… Ex Governor Sheriff Says PDP Borno, Senator Zanna Are Engine Of Boko Haram
… Senator Zannah Says Detained Nephew Is A Drug Addict

Senator representing Borno State, Senator Ahmed Zannah and a former Governor of the state, Ali Modu-Sheriff Monday threw jabs and punches at each other following the arrest and detention of one of the most wanted kingpins of the Boko Haram terror group.
The military said it arrested Shuaibu Muhammed Bama last week at the Damboa Road Maiduguri residence of Senator Zannah.
Addressing journalists in Abuja Monday, Senator Zannah, who was questioned today by the SSS confirmed that Bama is his nephew but denied that he was arrested in his residence and accused the military of witch-hunt.
But Sheriff, who is also the Chairman of All Nigeria People's Party’s (ANPP) Board of Trustees (BOT), has warned Zannah against bringing him into his ordeal over the Boko Haram saga, insisting that "Borno PDP is the engine room behind Boko Haram."
The embattled Borno Central senator said he knew his nephew was addicted to drug use and often behaved badly but denied that he belonged to the Boko Haram and blamed Sheriff for being behind his travails.
He noted that his witch-hunt at the hands of the JTF came barely days after he criticized them over the extra judicial killings in the state and called for their withdrawal from the state.
He said, "I am not surprised. What I am saying is that I don't know him to be a member of Boko Haram, therefore I cannot accept. I know him to be of a bad character and a drug addict.
“I was never told they were looking for him, I was never contacted by anyone. I saw him last six months ago. He lives around that area, although for the last three months, I have not gone home because I went on an operation outside the country," he said.
Recall that last year another serving senator (Mohammed Ali Ndume) was detained and charged over links to the Boko Haram fuelling claims by top officials of the Jonathan administration that northern politicians are using the terrorist group to discredit this government.
Zannah further blamed his travail on his defeat of Sheriff at the poll last year.
"As you all know, I represent the Borno Central Senatorial District in the Senate. My historic defeat of the former Governor of Borno State, in the person of Ali Modu Sheriff at the polls has not and will not go down well with many forces and individuals in this country for some time to come. Therefore, this latest campaign by the Military Joint Task Force in Borno State to disseminate falsehood against me, that is to say that, even though, they arrested Shuaibu Bama at Ali Modu Sheriff's house, they chose to tell the world that they arrested him in my house, is part of the campaign to rope me in to the JTF dragnet, declare me a Boko Haram member, financier, sympathizer, harbourer or even activist and declare my seat vacant, all to pave way for Ali Modu Sheriff to by hook or crook come to the Senate! No more No less.
"Brute force no matter how brutally it is used cannot, I repeat, cannot alter what Allah has decided! I think so, the JTF takes more directive from him than anybody in this country. This is what I have seen because whenever he comes to Maiduguri, the paraphernalia that they use to welcome him cannot be done even to the president.
He also agreed that there is link between politics and Boko Haram saying "yes, of course the spread of Boko Haram is as a result of mixing politics with the security of this country. And that is the reason why until today they are not able to counter this insurgency.
 "All that is happening is not exposed to you. For instance, the JTF about three days ago went and killed 15 boys playing football. They just shot all of them and everybody ran away. They took them to the mortuary. So the JTF is holding this against me because I am exposing them. We have been quiet for some time. We have to speak up, people are being killed unnecessarily."
Meanwhile, THEWILL can however report that Senator Zannah’s denial is coming after earlier admitting to the foreign press that Bama was detained in his home.
In Maiduguri today, the Special Assistant to Sheriff, Comrade Umar Duhu accused Zannah of tainting his reputation.
He said, "It is on record that shortly after the JTF announcement, Senator Ahmed Zannah who represents Borno Central came out publicly in a BBC Hausa service interview to own up that he is the only senator whose house is along Damboa road; he also went ahead to admit that the arrested suspected is his nephew and lives with him in his house.
"It is also on record that the State Security Service has invited Senator Zannah to clarify his involvement with the suspect and his links with Boko Haram.
"Senator Zannah in a comic u-turn, shortly after these developments, told journalists in a face-saving interview that while he could not deny his relationship with his nephew, he disowned his house where the JTF arrested the suspect, stressing that the house belongs to Senator Ali Modu sheriff the immediate former governor of the state."
"Given his recent political encounter with the immediate past governor, now the BOT chairman of ANPP, Senator Ali Modu sheriff, he appears desperate to settle scores by dragging Ali Sheriff into the controversy."
"It is laughable that instead of defending his obvious involvement with Boko Haram, given his past antecedence where people finger him as illegal importer of arms via his Hajj-by-road fame, Senator Zannah is desperately looking for somebody to hang for his sins.  It is common knowledge in Borno state that Senator Zannah takes along some hapless Nigerians on a seeming religious voyage by road only to put some of them into terrorist activity and illegal arms importation. Some of the so-called pilgrims by road have been traced to terrorists’ camps in Afghanistan and Syria, and not Saudi Arabia, their preferred destination. It is very much on record that 27 of such pilgrims are still missing up till date.
"Senator Zannah’s inconsistencies in trying to defend himself are clear indication of a sinking man’s desperate attempt to hang himself on anything available in order to save his neck. If not so, what would his nephew be doing in the so-called house of Senator Ali Sheriff, the man he said is his political rival?
"Contrary to his (Zannah) claims in the media that he had parted ways with the suspect, we can authoritatively confirm that his nephew, Shuaibu, was still his associate up to the time of his arrest."
Comrade Umar also wondered why Zannah has never condemned the Boko Haram for all its atrocities but was quick to call for the disbandment of the JTF in the state.
"Again being the second senator fingered, as having links with Boko Haram, it is a confirmation of the wildly believed theory that the PDP in Borno state is the engine room behind Boko Haram.
"At his age and with the position he holds as a senator of the Federal Republic we felt it is the height of un-patriotism and irresponsibility for Senator Ahmed Zannah to not only fuel the crisis in Borno, but to attempt to drag the names of descent citizens, like Ali Sheriff in the mud."
59  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Police seal off market as committee members’, traders’ clash in Anambra on: 24-10-2012 10:58 AM
The Anambra State Police Command yesterday sealed off Eke-Awka Market in Awka, the state capital.

The action followed a clash between members of the Amalgamated Traders Association (AMATA) and the caretaker committee recently inaugurated by the state government.

It was learnt that the caretaker committee members wanted to hold a rally to announce their assumption of office but the traders resisted this.

The committee, led by Charles Arinze, held its ground and held the rally.

This led to shootings between both camps.

Though nobody was injured, the confusion that followed the shootings forced many traders to close their shops early.

The police deployed 30 of its men to the market and sealed it off.

Police spokesman Raphael Uzoigwe confirmed the incident.

He said the police had restored order in the market.

Uzoigwe said the command deployed it men to the market to avoid a breakdown of law and order.

According to him, the duty of the police is to protect lives and property.

The police spokesman, however, denied an exchange of gunfire between both camps.

He said the story would have been different if the police had not arrived early on the scene.

The caretaker committee, it was learnt, was inaugurated by the government to ensure peace in the market, following a clash in which one person was reportedly killed.
60  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Terror: Military Launch House To House Search on: 24-10-2012 10:57 AM
The military Tuesday launched a massive house to house search in Kano in search of kingpins of the Boko Haram.
The military particularly zeroed on the Hotoro, Tsamiyar Boka and Tishama areas of the metropolis.
THEWILL gathered from eyewitnesses that the search lasted for several hours all through Tuesday night.
The house-to-house search forced Muslim residents to abandon their usual morning prayers in the mosque.
The spokesman of the Kano state branch of the military task force team,  (JTF), Lt. Ikedichi Iweha confirmed the search saying, no arrests have so far being made.
The Boko Haram terrorist group has claimed more than 1000 lives since it launched a campaign against the Nigerian state.
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