The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says 31 suspected cases of monkey pox have so far been reported in seven states across the country. Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer of NCDC, made this known on Monday in Abuja. According to Ihekweazu, following the notification of a suspected monkey pox outbreak on Sept. 22, 2017 in Bayelsa, other suspected cases have been reported from six more states. He listed the affected states as Bayelsa, Rivers, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ogun and Cross Rivers. Ihekweazu said that samples had been collected from each suspected case for laboratory confirmation. “Results are still being awaited. So far, there have been no deaths recorded. “It is unlikely that many of the suspected cases are actually monkey pox, but all are being investigated. “All the suspected cases are currently receiving appropriate medical care, and the patients are all improving clinically in their various states,’’ he said. Ihekweazu said that the Federal Ministry of Health, through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), was supporting the affected states to ensure the outbreak is brought under control and to limit further spread. “NCDC has activated an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) to coordinate the outbreak investigation and response across the affected states. “The EOC is currently supporting State Ministries of Health in their response to the outbreak through active case finding, epidemiological investigation and contact tracing. “Measures have been put in place to ensure effective sample collection and testing for laboratory confirmation. “Risk communication activities have been heightened to advise the public on preventive measures. All 36 States and the FCT have been notified for preparedness,’’ the NCDC national coordinator said.
The police have foiled plans by the arrested billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudubem Onwuamadike, a.k.a. Evans to escape from prison. Evans is currently standing trial before an Ikeja High Court for alleged conspiracy and kidnapping alongside five others namely Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi and Victor Aduba. They are being remanded at the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prisons, Apapa. Following his attempt to escape, The Nation reports that the Nigerian Prison Service (NPS) has formed a heavy security ring around the kidnapping kngpin. Evans who was arrested in June this year, allegedly planned to give between $50,000 and $100,000 to one of the guards manning his cell to facilitate his escape. A police source said Evans was allegedly coordinating his escape bid with some members of his gang by telephone which he obtained through “suspicious” means. “When Evans was in our custody, he tried to escape but we were able to abort all his plans. We discovered that he had access to phones which were hidden in the middle of loaves of bread, eba, semovita and so on. He was making calls from these smuggled phones in the middle of the night, making arrangements with some yet to be identified members of his gang to arrange for his escape. We intercepted how he was luring one of the guards with about $50,000 to $100,000. He wanted an insider to serve as informant to him and members of his gang.”
Africa’s richest man and most successful industrialist, Aliko Dangote, today revealed the secret of his business success: self-sufficiency and backward integration, a manufacturing strategy that extracts value from entire processes. “We are not going to import anything any longer,” Dangote said, in the presence of Nigerian vice-president Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Congolese presidential hopeful Moise Katumbi, and about 300 business leaders. He made the disclosure At the Financial Times’ 4th annual Africa Summit at Claridges in London. “In Nigeria we are learning how to produce the entire value chain,” Dangote added. Once a heavy importer of fertiliser, Nigeria is now gearing up to produce 3M tonnes of locally manufactured fertiliser, transforming the nation into one of the largest fertiliser exporters in Africa. In 2007 Nigeria was the second largest importer of cement after the US, Dangote reminded the audience of business elites. “Today, we have not only satisfied domestic needs; we have become a leading exporter of 6-7M tonnes of cement,” he added. Diversifying into agriculture, Dangote has eyes on the dairy industry motivated by the fact that “98% of all milk consumed in Nigeria is imported.” Same for rice. Dangote Group has invested heavily in rice production by investing in local farmers and then offering to buy back the 1M tonnes at open market prices that they are growing. “Soon we will be able to feed not only Nigeria but the entire 320M large West African market,” he said. Dangote’s business accumen was on rare exhibition as FT editor Lionel Barber himself seemed impressed with the business mogul’s quick familiarity with the nuts and bolts of his businesses. “Are we going to continue to import everything?” Dangote asked. “Freight rates are now cheap but they will go up soon. A population of over 200M cannot continue to import basic needs on a daily basis,” he answered himself. By 2100 Dangote stated Africa will represent 49% of the world’s population, up from 30% today. “If you don’t think big we won’t grow at all,” he said. “In Africa you have to play long-term.” Aside from Nigeria, which African nations do you think are good growth opportunities? Barber asked Dangote. “Aside from Nigeria?” the business leader repeated and smiled. “I’d have to pick Nigeria. I am a big fan of Nigeria. We are only using 8 per cent of our land.”
Former Chief of Army Staff during President Olusegun Obasanjo, Lt Gen. Victor Malu is dead. Malu died in the early hours of Monday at Cairo hospital in Egypt, aged 70. His cousin Bem Adoor, who confirmed the news in a telephone interview in Makurdi, said that the late General travelled to Cairo two weeks ago for medical check up before he died. Malu was a former commander, ECOMOG Peace Keeping force in Sierra Leone and Liberia in August 1996 to January 1998 . He was appointed the Chief of Army Staff in May 1999 to April 2001, when he was removed by the same government. General Malu was born in January 15, 1947 in Adoor village in Katsina Ala local government area of Benue state. He enrolled into the Nigerian Defense Academy, Kaduna in 1967 as part of the 3rd regular course and was commissioned second Lieutenant in 1970. Malu chaired the military tribunal that tried former Chief Gen. Oladipo Diya in 1998 over alleged coup plot against the head of state, Gen. Sanni Abacha
A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have demanded the removal and prosecution of Ibrahim Idris, Inspector General of Police (IGP), over allegations of corruption and having affairs with junior officers levelled against him by Senator Isa Misau. Making the demand at a press conference held in Abuja on Sunday, the group under the aegis of Coalition of Civil Society Groups for Integrity and Justice (CCSGIJ), also requested the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to impress it on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the IGP is removed mandatorily within the next five days. The coalition comprised of Lawyers Integrity Crusade Network (LICN), National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), National Youth Democratic Congress (NYDC) and other civil society organisations. According to the group, it is a big disservice to the country if the allegations against the IGP will be treated with kid gloves as it insisted that the allegations standing against the police boss were overwhelming, adding that it was high time he exited the force to salvage the image of the police. IGP Ibrahim Idris had come under intense criticism lately owing to avalanche of allegations levelled against him by the senator representing Bauchi Central, Isah Hamma Misau. Misau alleged that the Inspector General of Police was engaging in promotion racketeering and taking bribe as much as N15 million before posting commissioners of police and state mobile police commanders. He said the police boss allegedly received N10 billion monthly from oil companies and other private individuals who enjoy special protection from the security agency. The police boss was also accused of having an illicit affairs with female officers and arranging secret marriage with one ASP Amina whom he allegedly promoted over her superiors as a reward for her illicit relationship with him. The said woman is said to be pregnant for the IGP and that he has conducted a secret marriage with her. The coalition said, “Mr. Idris has lost integrity and the moral standing to lead the Nigeria Police Force”, while calling for his removal from office. The group also insisted that the government must ensure the embattled police boss is removed from office in the next five days. “That the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice performs his duties creditably by advising President Muhammadu Buhari to remove IGP Idris from office within five working days, from Monday (today)”, the group said. The coalition also frowned at the continuous sealing off of the national headquarters of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, since the arrest of some national officers of the corps on February 28, 2017. According to the group, the Peace Corps office was sealed off by the police for nine months running, based on mere allegations, adding that the force has no moral ground to clamp down on youths based organisation such as Peace Corps of Nigeria. “We fear that, the posture taken by IGP Idris against the Peace Corps of Nigeria and its leaders, if not checked, is capable of leading to a chaotic situation where the overwhelming population of Nigerian youths who are benefiting from the corps could take the law into their own hands to obtain justice”, the group noted. The group, therefore, called on the police boss to order the immediate reopening of the Peace Corps office and cease forthwith “the needless harassment of its officers across the country”. Should IGP Idris remain in office in the next five days, the group threatened to occupy the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, with the whole might of the Nigerian youths and civil society organisations.
The proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra has insisted that forthcoming governorship election in Anambra will not hold. The group has ordered its members and other freedom fighters in the area to stay at home on voting day November 18. The group’s publicity secretary Emma Powerful said the voting was a test case for IPOB and its allies in Biafra territory and that boycotting would send a statement to the international commmunity about the seriousness of the agitation for Biafra. The body maintained that it must teach corrupt Igbo politicians that money cannot buy IPOB as they are special breed untainted by the corrupt tendencies of Nigerian politics. “Every genuine Biafran desiring of freedom for Biafra from this Islamic bondage of Hausa Fulani caliphate called Nigeria, must not only stay at home on that day, but must also make sure those around them do not vote. November 18, 2017 is a date with history,” he said in a statement in Awka, Anambra. “If we Biafrans succeed in demonstrating before international observers that we are serious about our freedom by locking down Anambra State on that day, the world will be in no doubt that Biafra is unstoppable. “Locking down Anambra State will pave the way for IPOB to announce a date for substantive referendum later next year with or without the approval of Nigeria. “Events in Catalonia and Kurdistan have pointed the way forward for we Biafrans because it was clearly demonstrated by both nations that we can call for and conduct our referendum with or without the cooperation of Nigeria. Powerful added, “Election boycott is the only legitimate tool left in the hands of we oppressed people to register our displeasure with the ongoing genocide in our land, arbitrary arrests, torture and reign of saboteurs in government houses across Biafraland. If we vote, Nigeria will never again take Biafra agitation serious. The whole world is watching to see how serious we are towards the realisation of this great nation of Biafra. The successful boycott of the election come November 18 will prove to the entire world how determined we are towards having our own new nation where all men will be equal before the law. “For the sake of our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who was abducted and presumably murdered by the Hausa-Fulani rulers of Nigeria and their co-conspirators in Igboland, especially Igbo governors and Ohaneze leadership, we must as a people boycott the elections. “For the sake of the blood of our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters murdered in cold by Buhari, Buratai, Willy Obiano and Okezie we must boycott the elections. For the sake of our hope and collective aspiration as a people unfulfilled and down trodden in Nigeria, we must boycott this every other election in Nigeria. “The Nigerian government, Igbo governors and certain sections of Ohaneze Ndigbo leadership have been pouring billions of Naira into a well prepared media propaganda to try and tarnish the clean image of IPOB and that of our leader with no success. “Every lie and fabrication have been cleverly deployed by these conspirators through their well paid and compromised media houses to sell fear and anarchy to the people of Anambra State. The truth remains that corrupt Igbo politicians want to destroy IPOB by all means because they know we represent the people and will never take money from Abuja to compromise the struggle as they have all done. “They were the people that begged Buratai to bring his Islamic army into our land to kill our brothers and sisters because they value the crumbs they are getting from Abuja over our well-being as a people.
Multiple Grammy Award-winning rapper Nelly has been arrested after a woman accused him of raping her in his tour bus. He was arrested on Saturday in Auburn, State of Washington in the northwestern part of US, according to reports. Police in Auburn said a woman called the emergency 911 just before 4:00 am local time (1100 GMT) “to report that she was sexually assaulted by a male, who is known as the rapper ‘Nelly.” After police investigated the incident, “at 4:37 AM Nelly was taken into custody and booked” at the local jail, the police statement read. The alleged assault reportedly took place on the tour bus hours after Nelly had performed at the White River Amphitheater just east of Auburn. A lawyer for Nelly vehemently denied the charges. Nelly — born Cornell Haynes Jr. — “is the victim of a completely fabricated allegation,” his attorney Scott Rosenblum told AFP in a statement. “Our initial investigation clearly establishes this allegation is devoid of credibility and is motivated by greed and vindictiveness. “I am confident, once this scurrilous accusation is thoroughly investigated, there will be no charges,” he added. According to TMZ, Nelly, whose schedule has him performing Saturday evening with country duo Florida Georgia Line in the city of Ridgefield, a two-hour drive to the south of Auburn, was booked on a charge of second-degree rape. The 42-year-old has received 12 Grammy nominations and won three Grammy awards, including for best rap solo performance in 2003. A native of Austin, Texas, he grew up in St Louis, Missouri. His first three albums, released between 2000 and 2004, were all US number ones. AFP
Egypt picked the second African ticket, after Nigeria, to the Russian FIFA World Cup, on Sunday after grinding out a 2-1 win over stubborn Congo in Alexandria. The Congolese nearly ruined Egypt’s World Cup hopes, after Boukah Moulou cancelled Mohammed Salah’s 64th minute goal in the 87th minute. But undaunted Pharaohs piled on the pressure against the visitors. Thanks to Salah again who found the net deep in stoppage time via a penalty kick, to give Egypt a memorable,hard fought victory over bottom-placed Congo. Egypt, though a powerful force in African soccer, have been missing in World Cup tournaments since 1990. They are now top of Group E with 12 points, while their closest rivals, Uganda have eight points after being held at home to a goalless draw by Ghana in Kampala on Saturday. With the Egyptians now having an unassailable four-point lead, their last match away in Ghana is just of academic interest only. And Russia is now a certainty. Winners of the three remaining tickets will be known between 10-14 November.
The delay in deciding the fate of the suspended Secretary to the Federal Government, Mr Babachir Lawal, and Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, has continued to generate debate and attract criticism for the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration. On Sunday, it was one of the President’s advisers that faulted the delay. The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay, said in an interview on Channels Television that action has been “much too slow” and called for definitive action. Despite faulting the pace of the probe, Professor Sagay has no doubt about the commitment of the government in fighting corruption. “I have no doubt in my mind that the present government is actually fighting corruption in accordance with its mandate and promises. There is no question about that,” he said during an appearance on Sunday Politics with Seun Okinbaloye. “But on the specific issue of the suspended Secretary to the Federal Government and the Director of the NIA, I would agree that action has been much too slow and there should be immediate decision on this matter so that we can put it to rest and move on. I agree with that.” This comes more than five months after the President suspended SGF and NIA DG, pending the conclusion of investigation into separate allegations of corruption against them. In suspending both men on April 20, 2017, President Buhari constituted a three-man committee comprising the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and the National Security Adviser, headed by the Vice President, to probe them and submit their report in 14 days. It, however, wasn’t until August 23 that the report was submitted as the President travelled to London on May 7 and spent more than three months there on medical vacation. More than one month after receiving the report, however, Nigerian have no idea what the findings of the committee are or when the President would take a decision on the report. Beyond the criticism that has trailed the delay in deciding the fate of both the SGF and NIA DG, the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption war has been labelled selective with many people arguing that it is targeted at members of the opposition. For Sagay, who believes the government is fighting corruption with “all its might and resources”, there is no justification for such a view. “I think there is an even-handed approach to the issue of fighting corruption. Everybody who is suspected of corruption or the commission of economic and financial crimes will be investigated and the EFCC and the ICPC who are the bodies who are invested with the authority to act in such matters will act in accordance with their own priority,” he said. “I think we should make it clear. We cannot handle all cases of corruption at the same time. As you know, in this country, cases of corruption go right from the top and permeate to the lowest level. So, there are hundreds of thousands of corruption cases. It makes sense for the agencies to choose what to pick an
Nollywood actor Segun Arinze has said that social media is helping to destroy so many celebrity marriages. Arinze, who was married to Anne Njemanze, said celebrities aren’t “helping themselves” by putting their private lives on social media. “I have had my share of it,” he said, speaking to LIB “remember I had a broken marriage.” He said: Social Media is helping to destroy so many marriages and a lot of our so-called celebrities are not helping themselves by putting their marriages and relationships on social media. Your private life should be private. I have had my share of it, remember I had a broken marriage before I remarried again. Learn to keep your private life private and your public life public. You don’t let the whole world come into your life and see what you are doing because the same people who are seeing you today and going to mock you tomorrow. As a public figure, it’s really tough being a public figure. Celebrities need to separate their private lives from the public, show what’s necessary if it’s important. It’s really crazy how everybody post about their private life on the Internet, looking for likes and all that. Social media has its advantages in terms of reaching out to fans, marketing