TUKUR Buratai, chief of army staff, on Monday, stated that the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, did not declare the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB a terrorist organization in the country. The Army Chief made the denial in Abakaliki during the official launch of Operation Python Dance II, he argued that what the Defence Headquarters did was a pronouncement on IPOB added that the statement of the military gave room for the right steps to be taken on the matter. According to Buratai, the action of the Federal government concerning IPOB was right and that the military did not over step its bound towards the protection of lives and properties in the country. “You have to get it very clear. First of all, what the Defence Headquarters did was to make pronouncement. It wasn’t a declaration per se. But this has given room for the right step to be taken. I think the government is doing the right thing. “It is not that we are overstepping our bounds. We are still within the limits. And I ensure you that what the military said was to set the ball rolling and to bring the awareness to the public that this is what this organization is all about. I’m happy that the government has done the right thing right now. The Chief of Army staff, General Tukur Buratai further assured the people of the Southeast that the Army will abide by the rule of law and rules of engagement in carrying out the Exercise Egwu Eke II which kicked off on Saturday in the region. Also in a courtesy to Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, the Chief of Army Staff noted that the exercise was targeted at improving the security situation of the zone which according to him, was very strategic to the security of the country. According to him the exercise will help to bring about the much needed peace and security and also be used to train the Military in basic internal security. “They army have taken into cognizance the security of the people in deployment of it’s personnel for the operation”. He said the army in carrying out the operation will liaise and work with other security agencies in the region. “The army is very sensitive to the cultural norms of the people and will abide by all the rules of engagement and code of conduct that have been laid down which is quite in tandem with the Constitution”. According to him, some of the activities of the exercise will include Patrols, indoor battle exercises, Civil-Military cooperation activities like medical outreach, sanitation, donation of books to schools etc. He therefore appealed for understanding.View items...
Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe has revealed that his wife, Grace cries daily, over the harassment she receives, especially over her bogus doctorate degree. It was the first time that the former Zimbabwe leader would speak on the emotional torment of his wife, three months after he was forced to step down by the military, according to a report by South Africa’s News 24. Mugabe reportedly gave this insight into the former first family at a meeting with African Union chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat during a courtesy call he made to the Mugabes at their Blue Roof Harare mansion. The former leader also told Mahamat that he doesn’t feel safe and that his pension has not been paid by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. “They told you I was safe, but how can I be in this environment?,” Mugabe reportedly told Faki at the meeting on 19 February. “My wife is crying daily. They are persecuting her… What am I without my wife and family? We are not safe,” the Zimbabwe Independent quoted Mugabe as saying, citing “detailed notes” supplied by officials who attended the meeting. Mugabe said his wife was being harassed over her PhD from the University of Zimbabwe. Last week UZ Vice Chancellor Levi Nyagura was arrested for alleged abuse of office for awarding her the degree in 2014. Critics say her thesis is nowhere near PhD standard. Mugabe reportedly insisted to Faki the PhD was genuine: “I used to see her here working hard day and night. I would assist her here and there, so how can someone wake up and claim she didn’t work for it? This is harassment.” According to the leaked notes, Mugabe told Faki that Mnangagwa’s appointment as president was illegal, and appealed to the AU to help restore democracy in the country. “We want you to assist to restore normalcy and democracy in the country and stop this thing of ruling through guns,” he reportedly said. Mahamat had earlier visited President Emmerson Mnangagwa and tweeted about the double visits.
The Senate on Tuesday urged the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Health, to establish rehabilitation centres for victims of drug addiction in each state of the country. The upper legislative chamber also mandated its Committee on Health to ensure that the government gave the centres needed attention when established. This followed a motion by Sen. Jeremiah Useni (PDP-Plateau) and nine other senators. In the motion, Useni noted that drugs and other substances abuse had become the order of the day in all parts of the country. He said that at least 50 per cent of drug addicts were likely to bear children with same addictive traits in them unless they underwent professional drugs cessation rehabilitation. The lawmaker said that increase in the number of rehabilitation centres would go a long way in reducing drug-related issues such as impairment of memory and paranoid. In his contribution, Sen. Philip Gyunka (PDP-Nasarawa) decried the large number of drug addicts seen on the streets. In his remarks, Deputy President of the Senate, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, said drug abuse negatively affected productivity of the youth. “There is a need to stop the distribution of drugs at both the wholesale and retail levels. “This issue of drug abuse is a threat to youths’ productivity. There is the need to break the chain between the dealers and users as it is fostering crimes in the country. “Security agencies should curb the distribution of drugs,” Ekweremadu said.
Governor Nasir el Rufai of Kaduna State early this morning ordered the demolition of the secretariat of the factional All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state for suspending him from the party. Prom newsonline gathered that the building being used by the APC faction called Kaduna Restoration Group, led by Senator Suleiman Hukunyi, representing Kaduna north central, was pulled down under supervision by armed policemen and soldiers. Senator Hunkuyi accused El-Rufai of ordering the demolition, adding that armed soldiers blocked both sides of the road during the exercise. Though Governor El-Rufai is yet to respond to inquiries on the demolition, a senior official of the Kaduna government who did not want his name in print confirmed that the building was demolished by the Kaduna State Urban and Property Development Agency (KASUPDA) for illegal activities. According to him, the building was allocated for residential purposes and not for political activities. The Senator Hunkuyi faction of the APC in the state on Thursday accused Governor of El-Rufai of anti-party activities and later suspended him for six months.
Chief John Oyegun, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Saturday received 34,826 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Niger, who moved to APC. Among the defectors are the state Deputy Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Aminu Yusuf, former Speaker of the state Assembly, Alhaji Adamu Usman, a former Attorney General, Alhaji Abdullahi Wuse among others. Oyegun said in Minna at a rally to receive the defectors that Nigerians must shun sentiment and support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to set the nation on a new path of growth and progress. He said that the country require “people of principle’’ to help fight for the success of the programmes of the APC. “APC needs sincere soldiers as leaders, people who are ready to join the fight, because God entrusted Buhari to us to salvage the nation and its economy,” he said. He therefore urged the new APC members to support President Buhari in the efforts to restore the economy through the revitalisation of agriculture and solid minerals sectors. Oyegun noted that already, government support to agriculture had helped to drastically bring down rice importation. The APC national chairman stressed that the Buhari administration had also raised power generation to 7,000 megawatts and that the figure would go up by 50 percent after the completion of the Mambila hydro power project. He noted that the increase in power supply would help boost industrialisation and job creation in the country. Alhaji Aminu Yusuf, PDP state Deputy Chairman, said they joined the APC to assist in developing the state. “By the time elections are over, you don’t talk about parties anymore, instead you talk about development of the state. “The party approached me to come and join them and assist the government build the state. We are coming with our skills and experience to assist the government in developing the state,” he said.
The Senate has adopted the conference committee report of the National Assembly on the 2010 Electoral Act as amended, including the section that puts the presidential poll as the last in a general election. This followed the consideration of the report on a Bill for an Act to amend the Electoral Act No. 6, 2010 and Electoral Act (Amendment) Act 2015. Among other provisions adopted are the timeline for submission of list of candidates, political party primaries and use of technological devices among others. Chairman of the Joint Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Sen. Suleiman Nazif presented the report. He said “the Conference Committee recommended that the Senate and the House of Representatives do consider and approve the conference committee report on a bill for an act to amend the electoral Act No. 6, 2010 and electoral (Amendment) Act 2015.” According to Nazif, the Electoral Act No 6, 2010 amendment bill 2017 was passed by the senate on March 30, 2017 and in the House of Representatives on Feb. 1, 2018. “However, some differences were noticed in the two versions of the bill as passed by both chambers. “Consequently, a conference committee was constituted in the Senate on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2018 and the House of Representatives also on Wednesday Jan. 24, 2018 to reconcile areas of difference that appeared in the two versions. “The committee met and deliberated on the two versions of the bill. After exhaustive deliberations, the committee noticed noticed seven areas of differences in section 36 (3), 49(2), 53(2), 63(4), 78(4),” he said. The lawmaker further explained that the committee in considering the House version in sections 25(1) and 8 (9A, a and b) dealing with sequence of elections and political parties primaries, “unanimously adopted the provisions in its entirety to ensure orderliness.” Contributing, Sen. Kabiru Gaya (APC-Kano) said “ we appreciate your concern on the opinion of both sides. “I will like to raise this issue on point of order 87(c) which stipulates that the conference committee shall deliberate only between the Senate and the House of Representatives. “The conference committee shall not insert in its report, any matter not committed to it by either the Senate or the House of Representatives. “Mr President, this report on sequence of elections was never discussed in the Senate. So why are we bringing it here,” Gaya said. Similarly, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu (APC-Nasarawa) raised a a Constitutional Point of Order. “Section 76 of the constitution with reference to the matter in discussion stipulates that election to each houses of the National Assembly shall be held on the date to be appointed by INEC,” he said. In his remarks, the President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki said “as I keep on emphasising, institutions are what are important. “As senators we have to finish our time and go, we must continue to strengthen institutions and by so doing we must follow the procedures that are also laid at all times. “For conference report, it has been the procedure and as such with all due respect I have to rule you out of order. “I know, every politics is local. As much as it is local, we also have to maintain the integrity of these institutions,” Saraki said. Eight Amendments to the Electoral Act: 1. INSTANT TRANSMISSION OF RESULTS: The overarching objective of this new electoral act is to reduce human interference in the electoral process and minimise corruption. In this regard, the Electoral Act amendment mandates the immediate transmission of voting results from polling units to collation centres. This will help to give real-time results and updates and end election malpractice. 2. ONLINE PUBLICATION OF VOTER REGISTERS: This amendment provides a fair and more level playing ground for all contestants by mandating INEC to publish all voter registers 30 days before the election. This will end the manipulation of voter registers. In the case of missing names on the voter register, voters have 30 days to complain to INEC. 3. FULL BIOMETRIC ACCREDITATION: The Electoral Act amendment gives INEC powers to utilise full biometric accreditation of voters with smart card readers and/or other technological devices, as INEC may introduce for elections from time to time. 4. RESTRICTION OF ARBITRARY QUALIFICATIONS: The Electoral Act amendment ensures that political parties can no longer impose arbitrary qualification criteria on candidates. This will encourage younger voters to contest, promote competition in the process, and make elections more free and fair. 5. CONFLICT RESOLUTION MECHANISMS: The Electoral Act amendment sets out a more rigorous process for the determination of candidates, as well as creates dispute resolution mechanisms that will allow those who are aggrieved to petition quickly. 6: MAXIMUM EXPENSES: The Electoral Act amendment sets out the maximum expenses that can be incurred by every politician who is seeking election, as well as designates the fees that aspirants will pay to political parties to purchase forms. This means that our elections will no longer be about money and politics, but about competence. 7. SUBSTITUTION, RESIGNATION & REPLACEMENT: The Electoral Act amendment ensures that the names of candidates must be submitted not earlier than 90 days before the election, and not later than 60 days before the election. Additionally, candidates can only be substituted not later than 30 days before the election. Additionally, in the case of resignations, the person who is resigning must do so physically (in-person) — and his/her resignation letter will be transmitted to INEC. 8. DEATH: The Electoral Act amendment specifies that in the case of a death occurring before an election, such election will be suspended for 21 days and a replacement will be done within 14 days — the remaining the 7 days will be used for campaigning.
he Nigeria Union, South Africa (NUSA) says it has protested alleged beating of five Nigerians, a day after the killing of Mr Olamilekan Badmus, 25-year-old native of Ogun, by Police in South Africa. Its President, Mr Adetola Olubajo, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone from Johannesburg, South Africa. Olubajo said the union received information that the police in South Africa had brutalised another five Nigerians in the same area where Badmus was killed. The NUSA president said information made available to the union indicated that the police were looking for the witness who saw the killing of Badmus. “In the process, some Nigerians were picked up and beaten by the police. “We also understand that the witness, a flat mate of Badmus, was arrested and beaten by the police. “In all, five Nigerians are hospitalised, because of the beating they allegedly received from the police. “The union has protested again this act. We condemn this cruel treatment of our people, because they did not commit any crime,” he said. Olubajo, however, urged Nigerians in the area to be calm and remain law abiding. “Investigation on the killing of Badmus has commenced. “A special police unit, the Independent Police Investigating Directorate (IPID), is handling it. We have met them and on top of the situation,” he said. Olubajo said that the union had reported all incidents to the Nigerian Mission in South Africa. I found this interesting
The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) will hold an emergency meeting tonight inside the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja. The meeting, which was scheduled for 8:30pm, will be presided over by the chairman of the forum, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State. It will take place at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa. The agenda of the meeting was not known as of the time of filing this report.Promnewsonline will publish the outcome of the meeting thereafter.
There was pandemonium in South East on Wednesday as parents and guardians thronged primary and secondary schools to pick-up their wards following the rumour that the Nigerian Army was injecting viruses into school children. Our Sources in Abia, Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi gathered that the development was triggered by a false report published by an online medium. The report alleged that the Nigerian Army was forcefully vaccinating pupils against the Monkey pox disease through its medical outreach and advised parents to immediately evacuate their children. Mrs Bridget Eneh, the Headmistress of Victory Group of Schools, Abakaliki, told NAN that she was shocked to see parents throng her school to pick their wards. “I read an online post that the army was forcefully vaccinating pupils against the Monkeypox disease, with an advice that parents should immediately evacuate their children. “I decided to convene an emergency management meeting; but before this could be done, parents had besieged the school and forcefully left with their children,” she said. Mrs Uchechukwu Ojigwe, another School Headmistress, told NAN that all efforts to assuage the fears of the parents fell on deaf ears. “I tried to explain to them that some security personnel had visited our school to ensure there was no pandemonium but they would not listen to me. “A parent even accused me of supporting the army’s plans to kill children and I find this accusation outrageous and unbelievable,” she said. Mr Nachor Ukonna, a civil servant and parent, who said that he also had to take his child from the school, advised relevant authorities to expeditiously review the dissemination of information on the social media. “This sort of information can lead to stampede in schools with calamitous consequences,’’ he said. Meanwhile, Prof. John Ekeh, the Ebonyi Commissioner for Education, said that the news of forceful vaccination was false and urged parents and teachers to disregard such information. “The purveyors of such information want to truncate efforts by the government to enhance the state’s educational system and we call on the pubic to resist it. “We have gone round the schools and discovered that the army did not visit any school to vaccinate children or conduct any other activity,” he said. Similarly, Commissioner for Health, Dr Daniel Umezurike, also debunked the news, noting that the ministry had refuted the information through appropriate media channels in the state. “We are not conducting any vaccination or any other form of medical outreach in schools in the state and would definitely communicate to the public when we plan to do so,” he said. Col. Sagir Musa, the Deputy Director of Public Relations, 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, in a telephone interview, told NAN that the news was false and dismissed it as “mere rumour’’. “I am presently at Ozubulu, Anambra, where we are conducting free medical outreach in schools but we are not vaccinating pupils,” he said. Also commenting, Chief Ejikeme Ebonna, a Human Rights Activist, advised the army to re-assess its image before the Igbo public, saying that the people were currently living in fear. In Enugu, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Fintan Ekochin, advised residents of the state not to panic. Ekochin told newsmen on Wednesday that the ministry was in constant touch with the media and would always make the situation of things known to them. He said that the disease surveillance officers and other health workers in the state had been mobilised to monitor the development. “We are on top of health surveillance in the state and I can authoritative tell you that there is no cause to worry. “We have alerted all our health surveillance team, health workers and health partners on the Monkey pox virus. “The children and their teachers should return to their classes; what they heard that some people are doing vaccination and injecting the virus in people, especially children, is a rumour and unfounded. “There is no vaccination ongoing in the state for now and we are not planning any in days to come. “As a responsible government and ministry, we have taken out time and energy to keep our health surveillance at the highest level of alert. “Be rest assured that the ministry will respond appropriately and on time to any disease outbreak or even suspected case in the state. That, I will personally assure you,’’ he said. The commissioner, however, said that there was a suspected case of the virus and that the ministry was currently following up the development. “Suspicion does not mean that it has happened; it could, however, be other types of pox and not necessarily Monkey pox.’’ He said that the girl in question had been quarantined for clear monitoring as well as to protect people living around her. In Nsukka, Enugu State, there was tension and panic as parents rushed to schools to pick up their children and wards. Mrs Stella Ozioko, a parent, told NAN that her sister had called her from Umuahia to pick up her children. “I am taking them home; it is better they stay at home alive than being injected to death.” she said. At Township Primary School, a parent who gave his name as Mr Ben Ezema, said he was in the market when one of his family friends called him that he had just rushed to pick up his children, to avoid being injected to death. “I have collected my children and they will stay at home until I am convinced nobody is coming to inject them in school,” he said. Mrs Cecilia Ugwuoke, the Headmistress, Modern Primary School, Nsukka, expressed surprise at how parents embrace rumour. “I tried my best to convince them that their children are safe and that we will not allow anybody to inject their children but they insisted they want to take their children home. “We have opened a register in every class so that parents will sign before taking their children. “This is to ensure that evil people do not use the opportunity to collect children that are not theirs,” she said. NAN reports that students of Urban Girls Secondary School and Government Technical School, Nsukka, were seen rushing home as early as 12.30 p.m. When contacted the Transition Caretaker Committee Chairman in Nsukka, Chief Ejike Asadu, described the vaccination story as untrue. “We have not seen any immunization officer dressed in military uniform. “I urge parents and residents to remain calm as the council will not allow anybody to inject any school children. In Umuahia, public and private secondary and primary schools closed abruptly due to the alleged vaccination. NAN reports that the rumour went virile, forcing schools in the state capital and other neighbouring towns in Bende, Ikwuano and Umuahia South Local Government Areas to stop academic activities and the students and pupils sent home. The development caused panic and tension in the area as parents and guardians rushed to fetch their children and wards from different schools. The principal of one of the public secondary schools in the town told NAN that parents and guardians had besieged the school and demanded to take their children and wards home. “We tried to dissuade them and convince them that it was all rumour to no avail,” the principal, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said. In one private primary and secondary school in Afara, Umuahia, the head teacher said that she was inundated with calls from parents and guardians who were trying to confirm the rumour. “While we were trying to convince them on phone that there was no cause for alarm, many rushed into the school premises insisting on taking their children home.” Reacting to the development, the spokesman of the 14 Brigade of the Nigeria Army, Ohafia, Maj. Oyegoke Gbadamosi, said that the army was not embarking on the vaccination of children in the area. “It’s all rumour and propaganda to tarnish the good image of the Nigerian Army,” he said. Gbadamosi, who wondered about the source of the rumour, said that the military held a successful free medical outreach in Isuikwuato last week and that there was no vaccination.
U.S. and South Korean wartime operational plans, including a plan to wipe out the North Korean leadership, were stolen by North Korean hackers last year, a South Korean ruling party lawmaker said on Wednesday. Some 235 gigabytes of military documents were taken from South Korea’s Defense Integrated Data Center in September last year, Democratic Party representative Rhee Cheol-hee said in radio appearances on Wednesday, citing information from unidentified South Korean defense officials. In May, an investigative team inside the defense ministry announced the hack had been carried out by North Korea, but did not disclose what kind of information had been taken. The disclosure came as the U.S. military flew two strategic bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of force late on Tuesday, just as President Donald Trump met top defense officials to discuss how to respond to any threat from North Korea. Tensions have soared between the United States and North Korea following a series of weapons tests by Pyongyang and a string of increasingly bellicose exchanges between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. North Korea has launched two missiles over Japan and conducted its sixth nuclear test in recent weeks as it fast advances toward its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland. The two U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers were joined by two F-15K fighters from the South Korean military after leaving their base in Guam, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement on Wednesday. After entering South Korean airspace, the two bombers carried out air-to-ground missile drills in waters off the east coast of South Korea, then flew over the South to waters between it and China to repeat the drill, the release said. The U.S. military said in a separate statement it conducted drills with Japanese fighters after the exercise with South Korea, making it the first time U.S. bombers have conducted training with fighters from both Japan and South Korea at night. The U.S. bombers had taken off from the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. In August, Pyongyang threatened to fire intermediate-range missiles toward the vicinity of Guam, a U.S. Pacific territory that is frequently subjected to sabre-rattling from the North. GUARD RAISED South Korean and U.S. government officials have been raising their guard against more North Korean provocations with the approach of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of North Korea’s ruling party, which fell on Tuesday. Trump hosted a discussion on Tuesday on options to respond to any North Korean aggression or, if necessary, to prevent Pyongyang from threatening the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons, the White House said in a statement.
Facts emerged recently why Dr. Olisa Agbakoba filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja .He filed the suit challenging the non inclusion of the South East Zone of Nigeria, in appointments to the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation of Nigeria. In a statement made available to Promnewsonline, Agbakoba alleged that the appointment made by the Federal Government of Nigeria, contravenes the provisions of S.14 of the Constitution and also the Federal Character Commission, Act and the provisions of Sections 42 of the Constitution of Nigeria that prohibits discrimination of any of Nigeria’s ethnic groups such as, in this case, the South East. He has therefore approached the Federal High Courts to declare the lopsided appointments of Board members of the South East Zone, unconstitutional, null and void. No date has been fixed to hear the suit. In August, fifty five management staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC were affected in a massive reshuffle ordered by Group managing director, Dr. Maikanti Baru. Under the new arrangement, Roland Ewubare, formerly MD of the Integrated Data Services Limited, IDSL was moved to the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS as the new Group General Manager while Diepriye Tariah, former GGM and Senior Technical Assistant to the NNPC GMD takes over from Ewubare as MD of IDSL. Malami Shehu, Executive Director Operations, of the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, KRPC, was appointed Managing Director of the Port Harcourt Refining Company, PHRC while Adewale Ladenegan, former MD of the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company, WRPC was moved to KRPC to assume duty as MD. In the same vein, Muhammed Abah, until recently, the Executive Director Operations of WRPC succeeds Ladenegan as MD of Warri Refinery. With the retirement of Alh. Farouk Ahmed as the MD of the Nigerian Products Marketing Company, (NPMC), Umar Ajiya, former GGM in charge of Corporate Planning and Strategy, (CP&S) now assumes duty as MD of NPMC while Bala Wunti, former, General Manager, Downstream, GMD’s Office takes charge as GGM CP&S. Other changes include: Usman Yusuf who takes over as GGM/STA to the GMD, Adeyemi Adetunji confirmed as MD NNPC Retail alongside Dr. Bola Afolabi who now functions as GGM in charge of Research and Development Division of the Corporation. Also on the list is Mrs. Ahmadu-Katagum appointed GGM (Shipping) in the Downstream Autonomous Business Unit while Kallamu Abdullahi takes over as the GGM in charge of the Renewable Energy Division in the Downstream ABU. Dr. Shaibu Musa was promoted MD of the NNPC Medical Services Limited while Ibrahim Birma is the new GGM in charge of the Corporation’s Audit Division now renamed Governance, Risk and Compliance Division.