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...
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.
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has called on the International Community to prevail on the Federal Government to produce its leader, Nnamdi Kanu whom it declared missing. The group also declared his parents, HRM Eze Israel Kanu and Ugoeze Sally Nmeme Kanu, missing. In a statement by the group’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, IPOB said Kanu who holds British citizenship has been missing after the alleged military invasion of his Afarakwu home in Umuahia, Abia State. The group demanded urgent attention of the United Nations mission in Nigeria and the UK government “as the creator of Nigeria, her colonial master and nation with the most influence over the affairs Nigeria to prevail upon the present regime of President Muhammadu Buhari and his henchman, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai to produce our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu or tell the world what has become of him. “Ever since this brutal assault that left 28 dead inside his compound including two of his cousins, [Kanu and his parents] have not been seen. “The video footage of the assault and the extent of destruction wreaked on his family home is in the public domain. “Video clips and photographs of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s bedroom riddled with bullet holes from the guns of the Nigerian soldiers that stormed the palace is evident till today. “The assailing soldiers also stole a lot of valuable materials from the palace of which we have corroborative evidence and incontrovertible proof that places the stolen items in the possession of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, the newly appointed Abia State Commissioner of Police and other Nigerian security personnel. “Due to the sensitive nature of this information, it will be made available to UN, British investigators and other reputable international investigators.”
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Roy S. Moore, a firebrand former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, overcame efforts by top Republicans to rescue his rival, Senator Luther Strange, defeating him on Tuesday in a special primary runoff, according to The Associated Press. The outcome in the closely watched Senate race dealt a humbling blow to President Trump and other party leaders days after the president pleaded with voters in the state to back Mr. Strange. Propelled by the stalwart support of his fellow evangelical Christians, Mr. Moore survived a multimillion-dollar advertising onslaught financed by allies of Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader. His victory demonstrated in stark terms the limits of Mr. Trump’s clout. In a race that began as something of a political afterthought and ended up showcasing the right’s enduring divisions, the victory by Mr. Moore, one of the most tenacious figures in Alabama politics, will likely embolden other anti-establishment conservatives to challenge incumbent Republicans in next year’s midterm elections. And more immediately, the party will be forced to wrestle with how to prop up an often-inflammatory candidate given to provocative remarks on same-sex marriage and race — all to protect a seat in a deep-red state. Mr. Moore’s incendiary rhetoric will also oblige others in the party to answer for his comments, perhaps for years to come, at a time when many Republicans would just as soon move on from the debate over gay rights. On Dec. 12, Mr. Moore will face Doug Jones, a former federal prosecutor and the Democratic nominee, in a race that will test the party loyalties of center-right voters who may be uneasy about their nominee. It may also reveal just how reliably Republican the state has become in the quarter-century since a Democrat last won a Senate election here. Mr. Jones said in a statement that Alabama needed a serious senator who would rise above partisanship and work with everyone in Congress. He criticized the debate among Republicans leading up to Tuesday’s election as lacking substance. “I will never embarrass the people of Alabama,” Mr. Jones said. “I am running so the people of Alabama can be proud of their next senator.” But Mr. Moore, 70, has proved himself to be a political survivor. He has been effectively removed from the State Supreme Court twice — the first time in 2003, over his refusal to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments in the courthouse; the second time last year, when he urged the state’s probate judges to defy federal orders regarding same-sex marriage. And in recent days, both the president and Vice President Mike Pence had campaigned for Mr. Strange. Mr. Trump, an enormously popular figure in Alabama, visited the state on Friday, casting aside the tradition of presidents treading carefully in contested primaries, as well as the warnings from his own advisers that he was putting his persuasive powers on the line for a candidate trailing in the polls. Instead of delivering a tightly crafted testimonial, the president rambled for nearly an hour and a half about a range of topics, while openly questioning whether he was making a mistake coming into the state for Mr. Strange, who oriented his entire campaign around Mr. Trump’s endorsement and stood looking on with a red “Make America Great Again” hat atop his head. Mr. Strange conceded defeat on Tuesday night before a subdued audience at a hotel outside of Birmingham, acknowledging in a moment of striking candor that he did not fully grasp the forces at play in his loss. “We’re dealing with a political environment that I’ve never had any experience with,” Mr. Strange said. “The political seas, the political winds in this country right now are very hard to navigate. They’re very hard to understand.” He thanked Mr. Trump effusively, praising the president as a “loyal friend” and attempting to absolve him of any blame for the result. “If this causes him any trouble,” Mr. Strange said, “it’s not his fault.” For his part, Mr. Trump congratulated Mr. Moore in a tweet. “Luther Strange started way back & ran a good race. Roy, WIN in Dec!” he wrote. Mr. Strange’s defeat was the first time an incumbent senator with active White House support has lost since 2010, when Arlen Specter, the longtime senator of Pennsylvania, was beaten in a Democratic primary after switching parties. But his loss was not just a blow to Mr. Trump. Mr. Moore relentlessly linked the senator to Mr. McConnell, who has made a priority of protecting his caucus from intraparty challenges, but he is an increasingly polarizing figure among grass-roots Republicans. Despite the money and staff he directed to the race, Mr. McConnell became as much a liability as he was an asset, leaving Republicans nervously wondering what that may portend in other primaries next year. Mr. McConnell and his allies were jolted with another reminder of their limited control on Tuesday, when Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, a popular incumbent, announced that he would not run for re-election. As the first senator to opt out of seeking another term in 2018, Mr. Corker opened the way for another rowdy Southern primary in which the national party’s influence may be sorely tested. Mr. Strange’s demise was in some respects as much a local phenomenon as a national one, stemming from his appointment this year by then-Gov. Robert Bentley to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mr. Strange, the state’s attorney general at the time, was overseeing an investigation into Mr. Bentley’s personal relationship with a close aide, suggesting to many in a scandal-weary state that there may have been a corrupt bargain. The newly appointed senator denied any wrongdoing, but never fully confronted the issue in a way that would eliminate the lingering cloud over the appointment. And by Monday, an adviser to Mr. McConnell, anticipating defeat, started to privately make the case that it was Mr. Bentley’s scandal and the circumstances around the appointment that was most to blame for Mr. Strange’s lackluster support. When the Alabama race started, it was with less fanfare, merely a side effect of Mr. Trump’s selection of Mr. Sessions as attorney general. Republicans typically win federal races in Alabama without difficulty, so there was little immediate concern about the fate of Mr. Sessions’s seat, and less still after the appointment of such a conventional politician as Mr. Strange. Mr. Strange’s status as a proxy for the Republican establishment and a test of the president’s sway came about almost by accident — a consequence of factors having little to do with Mr. Strange himself. Seeking to ward off insurgents like Mr. Moore and Representative Mo Brooks, who finished third in last month’s primary, Mr. McConnell forcefully backed Mr. Strange’s bid to have his appointment affirmed by voters. The Senate Republican leader treated Mr. Strange as the political equal of his elected colleagues and ordered strategists in Washington not to work against him. Mr. McConnell and a host of other senators lobbied an initially reluctant Mr. Trump to get involved on Mr. Strange’s behalf over the objections of some advisers. The confusing crosscurrents of the party were on vivid display when the president campaigned for Mr. Strange on Friday. As staff members from the party’s campaign arm allied with Mr. McConnell looked on, Mr. Strange told the conservative audience that they should elect him so he could “stand up to” Mr. McConnell. And then the president took the stage and assured attendees he would back Mr. Moore were Mr. Strange to lose, comments that were soon made into an online ad by an anti-establishment conservative group.
The South African policemen have done it again. They have tortured another Nigerian to death despite moves by the governments of both countries to stop the incessant killings of Nigerians in South Africa. Reports have it that a Nigerian identified as Obosi has been tortured to death by the South African police According to Star Boy Nino Brown who shared the sad news, the young man was beaten to death by Metro police in Johannesburg, South Africa. Angry Nigerians stormed the police station in protest to the young man’s death. May his soul rest in peace.
The conspiracy theorist who initially predicted the world would end on September 23 has reset Doomsday to 15 October. According to a report by Newsweek, David Meade, a self-proclaimed “researcher”, numerologist and Catholic, believes the end of the world as we know it, as foretold in the biblical Book of Revelation, will take place next month. He said the 23rd was simply a sign of the oncoming of the disaster. Meade on his website clarified his belief that the 23rd is the date of a “historical event” in the skies that would signal the oncoming rapture. Doomsday itself, he says, will begin on October 15. That date marks the beginning of a seven-year period of tribulation. “That’s when the action starts. Hold on and watch—wait until the middle of October and I don’t believe you’ll be disappointed,” he writes. Some things to watch out for are the loss of electrical power across the world, leading to war, famine and other perilous events. To be clear, Meade says, “Nothing is expected to happen in September.” Meade points to the total eclipse on August 21 as a significant event which he believes acts as a precursor to the beginning of the rapture. He says the date marks a 40-day countdown to the beginning of October. “October is the month to watch.” So, why was the 23rd of such significance? As Meade told the Washington Post last week, he deduced that Saturday would mark an important event that would act as a sign for the oncoming rapture. His prediction was based on analysis of verses and numerical clues in the bible. “Jesus lived for 33 years. The name Elohim, which is the name of God to the Jews, was mentioned 33 times [in the bible],” Meade said. “It’s a very biblically significant, numerologically significant number.” Saturday marked 33 days since the solar eclipse. Meade subscribes to the conspiracy that a 10th planet, Planet X or Nibiru, will either cross or collide with Earth, leading to a seven-year period of tribulation, or rapture. This will be followed by a millennium of peace. NASA has repeatedly denied the existence of any such planet, including as recently as September 20. “Various people are “predicting” that world will end Sept. 23 when another planet collides with Earth. The planet in question, Nibiru, doesn’t exist, so there will be no collision.”
The All Progressives Congress(APC) has hit the nation’s critic-in-chief, Professor Itse Sagay over his statement in a recent newspaper interview accusing the party’s leaders of being a bunch of unprincipled people, encouraging and accepting rogues into the party. The APC in turn called Sagay, a professor of constitutional law, a ‘rogue elephant,” in a reaction issued by publicity secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi. “Our attention has been brought to an interview published on pages 46-47 of The Nation Newspaper of Sunday, September 24, 2017, granted by the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay (SAN). “In the said interview, Sagay described the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as “the most unprincipled group of people” who are “encouraging and accepting rogues” in the party. He said: “When I say ‘rogues’, I don’t mean stealing. In literature, when you say someone is a rogue elephant, it means people who are running riot and destroying the party.” “The Webster dictionary defines ‘rogue elephant’ as “one whose behaviour resembles that of a rogue elephant in being aberrant or independent.” Clearly if we have today, anyone in our government or, by extension, the party who feels accountable only to his own ego; who does not feel the need to bridle his tongue for the sake of anything that is higher than himself; who feels independent of everyone and every institution; that person is Professor Sagay. “Asked by the interviewer if he would stop speaking if the President asks him to stop speaking, he said: “Yes, he is my employer. If he tells me to stop talking, I’ll stop talking. But I have certain rights too that I can exercise in addition to that, because I’m not going to be in a position where I am impotent. So, I must obey him, but I can go beyond that and obey myself too. That’s it.” Framed in another way, what Sagay is saying here is that, no matter what is at stake, he would rather resign than obey the President if the President tries to restrain him. This is the quintessential rogue elephant behaviour. “In his sheer arrogance, he forgets that it is impossible for him to call out the leadership of the party as “weak” and “unprincipled” without indicting the President, who is the leader of the party and has the fundamental responsibility to build the party. If Sagay had any iota of respect for the man who dug him back from inevitable oblivion and puts him in a position in which he now feels superior to everyone, he would channel his opinions and advice to the President on how to make the party stronger and more principled. It appears however that Sagay does not have anything constructive to say about anything. He only knows how to tear down and assault everyone and everything. “We want to remind Sagay and all other appointees of our government that the only reason they occupy their current position today is because the APC won the election. There is, therefore, a matter of honour to show decorum and respect for the party and its leadership. You cannot love the fruit and hate the tree that produced it”. Sagay had also had several verbal squabbles with National Assembly members,especially senators, asking them to jettison ‘distinguished’, which prefixed their title of Senators and has vowed to continue to criticise them for ‘bleeding’ the nation dry.
The Federal Government has appealed to the Joint Health Sector Unions and healthcare providers in the Federal Health Institutions operating under the auspices of (JOHESU) to call off their strike. Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, made the appeal in a statement signed by Mr Samuel Olowokere, Deputy Director Press in the ministry on Monday in Abuja. Ngige expressed deep regret over the ongoing strike embarked upon by the union and appealed to them to call off their industrial action. The minister pleaded with them to return to their different beats in the hospitals and institutions. He said that their calling off the strike would prevent unnecessary hardship and death of patients in the hospitals. “For the avoidance of doubt, however, the Ministry of Labour and Employment, working in concert with the Ministry of Health, has fixed another conciliatory meeting for tomorrow Tuesday, 26th Sept. by 2 p.m.’’ He called on members of JOHESU to resume work as serious efforts were being made to meet their grievances, such as the payment of shortfalls of salaries, promotion arrears, repatriation allowances among others. He said that the grievances have already been addressed by government through various negotiations with other unions representing the interest of workers. The minister said the unions are the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the last three weeks. “I also wish to place on record that JOHESU had wrongly issued a seven-day strike ultimatum on Sept. 14, instead of the mandatory fifteen-day notice the law requires of those on essential duties. “The body took another wrong step by routing its notice of action to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) instead of the Labour and Employment Minister. “JOHESU is fully aware that the minister is empowered by the Section 5(6) of the Trade Dispute Act 2004 to apprehend such dispute within the time frame of notice and effect conciliation thereafter,’’ he said.
The spokesman for the American Embassy in Nigeria, Russell Brooks, said last week that the US government does not view IPOB as a terrorist group. He said this in response to an email which asked if the United States sees IPOB as a terrorist organisation. He said, “The United States Government is strongly committed to Nigeria’s unity. Important political and economic issues affecting the Nigerian people, such as the allocation of resources, are worthwhile topics for respectful debate in a democracy. “Within the context of unity, we encourage all Nigerians to support a de-escalation of tensions and peaceful resolution of grievances. The Indigenous People of Biafra is not a terrorist organisation under US law.” The US embassy, however, declined to comment on whether the Federal Government had asked it to treat IPOB as a terrorist organisation and to block money sent to IPOB from the US. Brooks also did not state the US’ position on the agitation for a Biafran state. Last week, the Federal High Court in Abuja gave a judicial backing the executive order of President Muhammadu Buhari, outlawing the group and its activities in the country. The court granted the order to proscribe the group on Wednesday. It declared that the activities of the group constituted acts of terrorism. Speaking after the court judgment last week, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, said the Federal Government would proceed to gazette the order proscribing the group The Federal Government also accused France and the United Kingdom of aiding IPOB activities. .Meanwhile, IPOB in a statement on Saturday said that the Radio Biafra which is said to be based outside the country neither belonged to MASSOB nor its leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike. IPOB, in a statement made available in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, explained that though MASSOB assisted in funding the radio station, the arrangement only lasted from April to July 2009. The statement, signed by the Deputy Leader of IPOB, who is also the Deputy Director of Radio Biafra, Uche Mefor, noted that the station later went off-air and eventually shut down in December 2009. It insisted that MASSOB, which has since transformed into Biafra Independence Movement, had nothing to do with Radio Biafra. The statement added, “The entire humanity is hereby notified that MASSOB is not the owner of Radio Biafra. Uwazuruike is not the owner of Radio Biafra. “Radio Biafra first operated as ‘Broadcasting Corporation of Biafra’ in the 1960s in the face of genocidal war of extermination propagated by the northern Nigerian military dictators who spearheaded their jihadism against the Biafrans.” Also, MASSOB on Saturday called on the Federal Government to immediately release its members who were labelled supporters of IPOB, arrested and detained by security agents. MASSOB said eight of its members were arrested by security agents on September 13, 2017, while they were on their way to Onitsha, Anambra State, to celebrate the group’s 18th anniversary. Its National Director of Information, Mr. Sunday Okereafor, said that security agencies should have known the difference between IPOB members and MASSOB followers. Okereafor alleged that the MASSOB members were detained in Afara Prison in Umuahia, the Abia State capital. He added that his group had since its existence embraced non-violence as its method of agitation and wondered why police and soldiers would contemplate arresting and detaining them. He listed the names of five of the eight arrested MASSOB members as Igwe Ndukwe, Onyebuchi Nmeregini, I. Ugonna, ThankGod Udeh and Ugwu Emeka. He said, “We are calling on the Attorney General of the Federation and the Attorney General of Abia State to release them. They should leave MASSOB alone because MASSOB is not violent. Those arrested are not IPOB members. They are MASSOB members.’’
US bombers have flown close to North Korea’s east coast to demonstrate the military options available to defeat any threat, the Pentagon has said. It said the flight was the farthest north of the demilitarised zone between the Koreas that any US fighter jet or bomber had flown in the 21st Century. BBC reports that tensions have risen recently over Pyongyang’s nuclear programme. At the UN, North Korea’s foreign minister said US President Donald Trump was on a “suicide mission”. Ri Yong-ho’s comments to the General Assembly mimicked Mr Trump’s remarks at the UN on Tuesday, when he called North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a “rocket man on a suicide mission”. Mr Ri added that “insults” by Mr Trump – who was, he said, “mentally deranged and full of megalomania” – were an “irreversible mistake making it inevitable” that North Korean rockets would hit the US mainland. Mr Trump, the foreign minister said, would “pay dearly” for his speech, in which he also said he would “totally destroy” North Korea if the US was forced to defend itself or its allies. Shortly before his address, the Pentagon announced that the show of force underscored “the seriousness” with which the US took North Korea’s “reckless” behaviour, calling the country’s weapons programme a “grave threat”. “This mission is a demonstration of US resolve and a clear message that the president has many military options to defeat any threat,” it said in a statement. “We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the US homeland and our allies.” US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers from Guam, escorted by Air Force F-15C Eagle fighters from Okinawa, Japan, flew in international airspace, the Pentagon added. The flight follows a week of heated rhetoric between the leaders of both countries – after Mr Trump’s comments, Mr Kim called him “mentally deranged” and “a dotard”. Mr Ri did not comment on the Pentagon’s announcement. North Korea has refused to stop its missile and nuclear tests, despite successive rounds of UN sanctions. Its leaders say nuclear capabilities are its only deterrent against an outside world seeking to destroy it. After the North’s latest and most powerful nuclear test earlier this month, the UN Security Council approved new sanctions on the country. But speaking at the UN, Mr Ri repeated that the restrictions would not make the country stop its nuclear development. Meanwhile, a shallow magnitude 3.4 tremor was detected near North Korea’s nuclear test site on Saturday morning, but experts believe it was a natural earthquake. The quake was recorded at a depth of 0km in North Hamgyong province, home to the Punggye-ri site, South Korea’s meteorological agency said. The US Geological Survey also said it occurred in the nuclear test area, but added that its seismologists assessed it as having a depth of 5km. South Korea said no specific sound waves generated by artificial earthquakes were detected. China’s Earthquake Administration said the quake was not a nuclear explosion and had the characteristics of a natural tremor. The agency had initially said it was a “suspected explosion”. Analysts from the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the UN-backed monitoring group, said the quake was “unlikely man-made”. CTBTO executive secretary Lassina Zerbo tweeted that the quake had occurred “about 50km from prior tests”. “The most probable hypothesis currently is that it is the consequence of the previous event… which could still have further repercussions,” Mr Zerbo told the AFP news agency, referring to North Korea’s massive nuclear test on 3 September. North Korea – which has recently carried out a series of nuclear tests – has so far made no comment. In a separate development, China moved to limit the North Korea’s oil supply and stop buying textiles from the country, in line with the latest UN sanctions. China is North Korea’s most important trading partner, and one of its only sources of hard currency. The ban on textiles – Pyongyang’s second-biggest export – is expected to cost the country more than $700m (£530m) a year. Clothing has often partially been made in North Korea but finished in China, allowing a Made in China label to be legally sewn onto the clothing, BBC World Service Asia-Pacific Editor Celia Hatton says. China also said its restrictions on refined petroleum products would apply from 1 October, and on liquefied natural gas immediately. Under a UN resolution, China will still be able to export a maximum of two million barrels of refined petroleum to North Korea annually, beginning next year. North Korea is estimated to have imported 6,000 barrels of refined petroleum daily from China in 2016 – the equivalent of nearly 2.2 million in total for the entire year, BBC reports.
The All Progressives Congress, APC in Katsina state on Saturday endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari and the state governor Aminu Masari as their sole candidates for the 2019 general elections. Briefing newsmen at the end of its executives meeting, the state chairman, Shittu S. Shittu said the party decision was informed by their well-laid policies and programmes that have impacted positively on the lives of the people. He said the party did not recognise any faction, noting that factionalisation is contrary to the provision of the constitution of the party . “The Buhari and Masari administration have run open door policies and achieved a lot, we have witnessed great changes of development,” he added