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...
A Nigerian, Jelili Omoyele, 35-year-old cellular phone technician, was allegedly shot dead in Johannesburg on Saturday, the Nigeria Union, South Africa, has said. Its President, Mr Adetola Olubajo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone from Johannesburg that Omoyele, a.k.a Ja Rule and native of Ibadan, Oyo State, was killed at a parking lot at Doornfontein, Gauteng Province. He said a fact-finding team to the scene led by him and National Welfare Officer, Mr Trust Owoyele, met an eyewitness, Mr Sipususo Mkalipi, a South African taxi driver, who confirmed the killing. “The deceased and the son of the caretaker of a parking lot had an argument over an unpaid R300 (N11,400) rent. “The witness said that the deceased decided to leave his car in the parking lot till Monday because he had no money to pay, but the caretaker’s son shot him on his way out of the building. “Omoyele gave up the ghost a few minutes later,” he said. Olubajo said Mkalipi was the driver, who brought the victim to the parking lot. According to him, a murder docket has been opened at Jeppe police state near Johannesburg while the case has been forwarded to the union’s legal adviser, Mr Omoreige Ogboro, for a follow-up. The Nigeria Union President also said the incident had been reported to the Nigerian Mission in South Africa. “We implore the mission to give necessary support to the union in order to ensure that justice is served. “Omoyele is survived by a pregnant wife also in South Africa and his parents in Nigeria,” he said.
The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II has urged the members of the Indegenous People of Biafra(IPOB) to embrace peace and change the group's name to the Indegenous People Of Brighter Nigeria in the interest of the continued enjoyable coexistence of all the Nigerian people. The Spiritual leader of the Yoruba race said this on Friday at the Government house in Umuahia, Abia state while paying a courtesy call on the state Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. He told the governor and the state's traditional rulers who were on hand to receive him that he was in the state in furtherance of his peace and unity project that he has moved within and outside the country saying this will guarantee socioeconomic development as Abia state has the capability to impact positively on Nigeria and solidify the nation's bond. He said that peace and oneness remained the greatest achievement of any society, adding that the strength on Nigeria’s unity was in its diversity. The Ooni added that he was also in Abia to support the state government because of its passion for things that were positive. “The earlier we realise that we are all spiritually linked the better for us. We must chart a positive course for our teeming youths and make this country a better place. The members of IPOB are our children, we love them, I want them to change their name to Indigenous People Of Brighter Nigeria in the interest of our coexistence as one people ". “We are praying for you and we don’t want any war or disintegration of the nation. We know that the youths of Abia will stand together to chart a proper course to make things better. I commend the culture of Igbo people, they are blessed with beautiful tradition especially the aspect that signifies that anyone who brings kola brings life" Ooni Ogunwusi linked the kola nut breaking in Iboland to the strength of the typical Igbo man and woman. He expressed joy that the Igbo's Culture remains sustained irrespective anywhere the people live in the world saying he is always at home in Iboland and noted that Nigerians are spiritually linked and must work together because their strength lies in their diversity. Ooni who is the Co-chairman of National Council Of Nigerian Traditional Rulers concluded his speech calling on relevant agencies in Nigeria to evolve reorientation programmes that would change the thought process of youths because they were the future and energy of Nigeria. In his response, Ikpeazu said that Nigeria had the potentials to be one of the biggest countries in the world because of the human and natural resources that abound in the country. The governor said that the state government was committed to empowering Abia youths to enable them become self-reliant. “The state government has created an office dedicated to providing empowerment for youths with a a minimum loan of N250,000 to start small business. “This is our way of practically supporting our youths that are interested in eking out a living. I believe that is how we can curb youth restiveness ,” he said. Ikpeazu thanked the traditional ruler who he called his father for offering prayers for the state, adding that his leadership style was commendable, saying he is encouraged by the leadership style of the Ooni especially in ensuring the unity of Nigeria and enabling inter-ethnic harmony within and outside the country. The African foremost monarch who was accompanied to the Governor's house by the Secretary of South West Council of Traditional Rulers and Alayemore of Ido-Osun, Oba Adeleke Aderemi, Her Majesty, Queen Dambi of Kasai Kingdom in Congo Republic, HRM Eze Philip Ajomiwe Ndu 1 of Oriendu, Chair Umuahia North LGA Abia state, Eze Ngozi Mathias Nwoko, Ome UDO II of Mgboko Obia Efula Obingwa LGA, Abia state and Eze Ugochukwu Jeromi Ezeneche Eze Ndigbo Mekong River Asia later attended Iriji Yam Festival at Mgboko Ngwa Amaise Ancient Palace at Obingwa Abia State hosted by the Chairman, South East Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Dr Eberechi N Dick
Rallies are expected in Spain against Catalonian independence, after Sunday’s disputed referendum. Demonstrations are planned in the capital Madrid and other cities, with supporters calling for a similar rally in Catalonia’s capital Barcelona. Meanwhile, Spain’s government representative in Catalonia earlier apologised to those hurt during police efforts to stop the referendum. But Enric Millo blamed the Catalan government for holding an illegal vote. In the first apology by a Spanish government official over the violence during the referendum, Mr Millo said he could not help but “regret it and apologise on behalf of the officers that intervened”. Hundreds of people were injured as police, trying to enforce a Spanish court ban on the vote, attempted to seize ballot boxes and disperse voters. Thirty-three police officers were also hurt. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont now plans to address the Catalan parliament on Tuesday at 18:00 local time (16:00 GMT), the speaker of the parliament in the autonomous north-eastern region says. Spain’s Constitutional Court had earlier suspended the Catalan parliament session that had been planned for Monday, BBC reports.
The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has demanded that the retirement of teachers of primary and secondary schools in the country be raised from 60 to 65 years. Mr Michael Olukoya, the National President of NUT made the call at the 2017 World Teachers’ Day celebration in Abuja on Thursday. The theme of this year’s day is: “Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers’’. Olukoya said that the retirement age for tutors in the Colleges of Education, Polytechnics and Universities was extended to 65 and 70 respectively. He said that doing the same with the primary and secondary schools would remove the segregation since they all belonged to the same teaching industry. “The more years a teacher spends on the job, the better he delivers his service to the learners given the benefit of the experiences gathered over the years and the wisdom of age. “The older the teacher, the more caring and tolerant he is to the students with improved dexterity in the pedagogy of teaching required over time. “It is for this and other similar reasons that the retirement age of lecturers and professors in the tertiary institution was extended to 65 and 70 years,’’ he said. The NUT president also called on the Federal Government to look into the plight of primary and secondary school teachers across the country arising from the non payment of their salaries and allowances for several months. He said that as at the end of September, primary and secondary school tutors were owed between two and 11 months salaries in 17 states in the country. He decried that this was becoming worrisome. “Some state government has since adopted the inhuman act of paying monthly salaries in fractions without any guarantee that the remaining part of the salaries will be paid to the teachers. “In the same vein, promotions are yet to be implemented for teachers for two to eight years in some states. “This situation has brought untold hardship to the affected teachers and has expectedly taken its toll on public education with its attendant effect on the under-privileged children’’. He called on state and local government to effect payment of the backlogs of salaries and other entitlement owed teachers without further delay. On the issue of grade level of graduate teachers, Olukoya said that graduate teachers in the primary and secondary schools were meant to terminate on GL 14 and 16 respectively in some states of the federation. He said that this was an act of discrimination which was unacceptable, while calling for justice, equity and fair play. He called on relevant authority to extend the terminal grade level of graduate teachers of both primary and secondary schools to grade levels 17 as obtainable with other graduates of public servants. He, however, urged the Ministry of Education to facilitate the development of a comprehensive scheme of service for primary and secondary school teachers.
Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly-Boy on Wednesday filed a suit at the FCT High Court, Maitama, against the Commissioner of Police in FCT for alleged violation of his rights. Oputa is demanding the enforcement of his fundamental rights pursuant to Sections 34, 39, and 40 and 46 (1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended). He is asking the court to declare that the use of teargas, canisters, water cannon and wild police dogs to harass and disperse his group was contrary to the provisions of the constitution. Oputa through his counsel, Mr Inibehe Effiong, is also seeking the order of the court compelling the respondent (Nigeria Police Force) to pay him N100 million as general damages. He is also asking for an order directing the respondent to pay him N400 million as exemplary damages. Oputa said that he and his group, known as Our Mumu Don Do Movement, staged a peaceful demonstration on Aug. 8 at Unity Fountain, Maitama Abuja, when they were attacked by the police. The group had demanded that President Muhammadu Buhari return from his medical leave in London to resume work or resign. The suit has yet to be assigned.
– Former Governor of Abia, Dr Orji Kalu, has expressed opposition with Nigerians agitating for the division of the country. He called for restructuring as panacea to solving the problems facing the country. Kalu made the remark on Friday in a paper he presented at a Public Lecture organised by the Department of Social Sciences, University of Calabar. In his paper, entitled: “Devolution of Powers and the Future of Nigeria,’’Kalu insisted that the only acceptable solution for Nigeria’s problems remained restructuring. He said: “I believe fully in the unity of Nigeria. I am against those who call for the division of the country. There is no such provision as division in our Constitution. “ If you look at all political or constitutional conferences we have had in this country since after independence, you will find that devolution of powers featured prominently but under different guise. “Therefore, like the Igbo people will say, where a child is crying and pointing at, if his father is not there, his mother must surely be there. “So, I think there is need for us to fully review the call for devolution of powers within the context of our current realities and as permissible by our constitution. “Whether we call it resource control, Sovereign National Conference, Restructuring or by any other name, we are saying the same thing. “That we want power to devolve so that our states and local governments can have constitutional powers to do much more than they are doing today. “It is what the nation needs at the moment, to move forward. ‘’ Kalu described genuine agitations as part of viable democratic process. “The agitation for devolution of power, restructuring or referendum, are all legitimate democratic demands. “They form part of the conversation that must take place to strengthen democracy and make it a real system of government of the people, by the people and for the people, ‘’ Kalu said. The former governor maintained that the call for devolution of powers started since the time of late Isaac Boro, adding that this was the time for its realisation. He said that the call for devolution of powers to the three tiers of governments had become necessary since there was too much power concentrated at the centre. He attributed the present agitations and criminalities across the country by youths, to lack of even distribution of resources, adding that it had brought unemployment and poverty among the youths. Orji called for restructuring in the areas of Land Use Act; handing over of roads the states; licensing of minerals, among others. He described as unconstitutional the continued appointment of Caretaker Committees to run Local Government Administrations by some state governors. Also speaking, the Chairman of the occasion, Mr Chris Agara said that, the call for restructuring was long overdue. (NAN)
THE Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has denied that its members were planning to destroy some police stations in Aba, Abia State, saying the allegation was part of a plan hatched to arrest and detain more members of the group. This came as scores of youths yesterday stormed Lagos, to kick against the country’s dismemberment; urging the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and other ethnic groups behind the moves to limit their demands within the confines of the law, even as they argued that demands could be achieved through dialogue, rather than through violence which often leads to loss of lives and property in the country. Emma Powerful, IPOB media and publicity secretary, in a statement, accused Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia State governor, of being part of the plan, adding that the plan was a cover to kidnap and abduct innocent Biafrans under the pretext that they were the perpetrators of some heinous crimes in the city. He said: “IPOB has never engaged in any crime of any sort from its inception to date. There is no police station that can claim to have received any complaint of lawlessness or crime allegedly committed by IPOB. “Our rallies and evangelism are all done in full view of the public and well attended within communities with no single recorded of adverse incident till date. IPOB has never been involved in any retaliatory attacks or killing of any human being because we believe, along with our ancient values, that life is a rare gift from God, which is not in the place of man to take.” The statement alleged that Igbo governors, who are essentially Hausa Fulani stooges in government houses across the South East are doing their damned best to turn global opinion against IPOB. However, civilized nations and countries around the world know that IPOB under the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu, is not and can never be a terrorist organisation. “The APC government of Nigeria headed by President Muhammadu Buhari, in collaboration with Governors Dave Umahi, Okezie Ikpeazu, Willie Obiano and others, is making every effort to tarnish the impeccable global standing of IPOB. “This latest evil plot, already perfected, is designed to legitimize even more brutal deaths, arrests, torture and detention without trial at the hands of Nigerian soldiers and police. Okezie Ikpeazu, in his jealousy fuelled vendetta against IPOB, has unwittingly turned hitherto peaceful Abia State to a killing field for blood thirsty Islamic Jihadists from Arewa North, who are hell bent on spreading Islam to every nook and cranny of Biafraland. “IPOB is therefore calling on all conscientious and civilized men and women, lovers of freedom, the international community especially USA, EU, Britain, Russia and France, to intervene to stop this horrendous ethnic cleansing going on in Abia State, for the sake of humanity. “The scale of killings going on is a tragedy of immense proportions and until the world brings this to a halt, injustice will continue to reign supreme in Nigeria.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed concern over decreasing rate of voter turnout in recent elections in the country. Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, raised the alarm on Tuesday in Abuja at the commission’s consultative meeting with the media. He said that since 2015 general elections, the country had been recording consistent rate of low turnout of voters in elections, adding that something had to be done to address it. “In December last year when we conducted the Ifako-Ijaiye Federal Constituency bye-election in Lagos, the turnout was approximately three per cent, precisely 2.9 per cent, of registered voters in the area. “On Saturday, we conducted another bye-election, very free and fair election in Eti-Osa State Constituency in Lagos. “We have I83, 000 registered voters; total number of accredited voters was just above 6,000. “The percentage turnout was 3.42 per cent, which is an improvement on the 2.9 per cent on Ifako-Ijaye, but the turnout was very low. “Though it rained on the day of election, that cannot be the only explanation as the constituency also includes two highbrow areas of Lekki and Victoria Island,’’ Yakubu said. He urged stakeholders to sensitise voters on the need to come out and cast their votes on election days. He said although the commission had the responsibility of voter education, political parties, their candidates, media and civil society organisations had major roles to play in voter mobilisation. Yakubu added that in spite of effort of the commission to ensure that citizens who turned 18 years were immediately registered, it still faced some challenges in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR). According to him, the challenges include inadequate funds, insecurity, inadequate publicity and voter education as well as availability of power. He said that the commission was aware that some of the designated centres for registration were still far from the people, but stated that it was deploying additional Data Capturing Machines to address the problem. Yakubu said that the commission was doing its best to address some of the challenges to improve on the electoral process, adding that it would adopt some experience it learnt from processes in other countries to improve on Nigeria’s. The commission, however, released the summary of ongoing nationwide CVR from April 27 to Sept. 22, 2017. According to the record, 2,786, 405 voters were registered during the period, with 108,752 PVCs distributed and 106, 936 transfers and 212,117 replacements of defaced PVCs requests received. The top three states for CVR were Rivers with 151, 398 voters, Lagos, 144, 076 and Delta, 136, 693 voters. Gombe with 32,684 registered voters, Federal Capital Territory, 31, 811 voters and Ondo with 29, 766 voters were states with lowest registration during the period. Similarly, Gombe and Taraba recorded the least number of distributed PVCs of 26 and 139, respectively during the period, while Kogi and Lagos had highest distribution of the cards 13, 344 and 13, 068, respectively.
At least 58 people have been killed and 515 injured in a mass shooting at a Las Vegas concert, United States. A gunman, named as 64-year-old Nevada resident Stephen Paddock, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel towards an open-air music festival attended by 22,000. He killed himself as police stormed the room where 10 guns were found. Aerial view from the Mandalay Bay Hotel where the shooting occurred In an address from the White House, President Donald Trump described the attack as “pure evil”. He praised the efforts of the emergency services, saying their “miraculous” speed saved lives, and announced he would be visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday. BBC reports that the attack is the worst mass shooting in recent US history. Paddock’s motives remain unclear. Las Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombardo described the shooting as a “lone wolf” attack. “We have no idea what his belief system was,” he said. So-called Islamic State later claimed to be behind the attack, saying that Paddock had converted to Islam some months ago. But the group provided no evidence for this and has made unsubstantiated claims in the past. The FBI says it has made no connection between the attack and any international terrorist group. A police statement said the shooting began at 22:08 local time on Sunday (05:08 GMT on Monday). Paddock came from the small town of Mesquite, some 60 miles (100 km) north-east of Las Vegas, and had resided in the hotel since 28 September. Police in Mesquite have searched his premises and recovered a number of weapons. But they say he had not crossed paths with the police in the past. Las Vegas police say the number of people injured now stands at 515. Among those killed was an off-duty police officer. Suspected gunman Stephen Paddock Earlier, police announced they were seeking a woman, Marilou Danley, in connection with the shooting. In his latest update, Sheriff Lombardo said she had now been located outside the United States and was not thought to have played any role. Marilou Danley is believed to have lived with Paddock, and Sheriff Lombardo said he used some of her identity documents to check in to the hote
Government of Nigeria has declared Monday, 2nd October, 2017 Public Holiday to commemorate the country’s 57th Independence Anniversary. The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government in a statement signed by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Abubakar Magaji on Wednesday. He congratulated Nigerians on the anniversary and urged them to sustain the collective efforts towards maintaining and strengthening the unity of Nigeria. Dambazau emphasized Government’s commitment to promoting national unity, economic growth and political development on democratic principles. He noted that in the past 57 years, Nigeria has made a lot of progress and positive impact not only on its citizens but also on human development globally. The Minister enjoined all Nigerians to remain steadfast in the love and care of the country, noting that strong sense of ownership of one’s country is vital for sustainable development of the nation.