Two SS2 Students Drown In A River In Akwa Ibom (Graphic Photos)

Two students of Alex Secondary School, Idua in Eket local government have drowned in the Qua Iboe River,Eket close to Senator Helen Esuene’s residence.

The victims, Aniekan Harry and Uche Okoli hail from Uruan and Eastern Obolo local government areas in Akwa Ibom state respectively.The victims were in SSS 2 class.

According to report,an  the incident happened between 11a.m and 12pm on Thursday beside Esuene beach in Eket.The students had visited the area on grounds of playing football before the day of the sad incident.The students who were eight in number left the school premises without informing the school management.

Recounting the ugly scenario, Master Owen Oscar, one of the eight students who accompanied the victims, said that the match that was to be played with the rival school was postponed, so since they had no exam, they decided to go to the area to have some fun.

(Photo -Aniekan Harry (left) Uche Okoli (right) with friends on the day of the incident)

30 crushed to death in fatal accident along Lagos-Ibadan highway

At least, 30 persons have been crushed to death in a fatal auto accident along the ever-busy Lagos-Ibadan highway late Thursday night.

Spokesman for the Federal Road Safety Corps, Bisi Kazeem, who confirmed the incident to newsmen in Abuja, said the accident occurred at about 8pm at Km 95 around the Elebolo Quary Area on the Ibadan axis of the road.

According to him, 10 other persons were injured in the crash involving 40 persons and two Mazda buses.

“The crash occurred at a construction site, and it resulted from route and speed violations.

“This has further underscored the Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi’s advice to motorists to avoid night journeys, be careful around construction sites and drive within approved speed limits,” he said.

The FRSC spokesman said rescue operations by the FRSC officials, who arrived at the scene minutes after the incident, ended at 2:42am on Friday.

He disclosed that the corpses were deposited at Adeoyo Yemetu Hospital mortuary, Ibadan while injured persons were taken to the University College Hospital, Ibadan, and Adeoyo Yemetu Hospital for treatment.

Strike: ASUU hopeful of fruitful meeting with FG on Monday

The Academic Staff Union of Universities ( ASUU) says it is looking forward to a fruitful deliberation with the Federal Government on Monday, Sept 18, in an attempt to end the ongoing strike embarked upon by university lecturers. The union’s National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi said this in an interview with the News Agency of…

The post Strike: ASUU hopeful of fruitful meeting with FG on Monday appeared first on The Herald Nigeria Newspaper.

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Who will tell Buhari the truth about the economy?

President Buhari, while reminding the Ministers and CBN Governor that reviving the economy was one of the major planks on which the campaign of his party was based, expressed gladness that things were looking up after two years of serious work—Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity.

NO President or Prime Minister can know everything – even if he holds ten doctorates. One lesson most Presidents soon learn, some too late, is that their top officials can and often mislead them with their briefings. Ministers tell the President what he would love to hear not what he should know. Late President John Kennedy of the US learnt this hard fact after the Bay of Pigs disaster which his top military advisers had assured him would never fail.

President Muhammadu Buhari
It did and since then, most Presidents of the US have devised a method of checking what the officials tell them. Everyday, they set aside at least one hour during which they request for the leading newspapers and read directly for themselves instead of from the clippings sent to them. Kennedy was shocked on the first day he did that to discover that some patriotic Americans had been warning government about the disaster while his officials did not bring the dissenting views to his attention.

Bill Clinton went one step further. He devoted two hours a day and that was before receiving his officials. Frequently, he confronted them with the articles, editorials and news reports which they would have hidden from him in the belief that telling the truth if it is bad is not in their interest.

Buhari must understand that, once appointed to high office, people immediately develop an interest to protect – even if it means lying to the President. This is more easily done when it is known that the President does not take the trouble to collect information directly himself. So, Buhari’s meeting with the Governor of the Central Bank, the Minister of Finance and the Minister for Budget and National Planning without any prior attempt to gather information independently was bound to produce the result it did. He was assured that “things were looking up”.

But, was that the truth? Certainly, if the President had called Professor Soludo, Bismarck Rewane and Pat Utomi, he would not have sent out Adesina to make the announcement he did. That is precisely the problem. Buhari we have been told does not read newspapers. He receives digests and thus becomes a captive of those undertaking the digest. None of them wants to be the bearer of bad news.However, there are reports floating around that Buhari’s views are shaped by some individuals he trusts. All Presidents are alike in that respect. It is fine by me if Daura, Bello, Kyari and Samaila Funtua are his close confidants. That means we have people who can carry messages to him which his ministers would not want him to receive. So, if any of them is reading this column, or their staff, they should be kind enough to tell the President that he has been deceived about the state of the economy. Things are not looking up – except, of course, the pockets of his officials.

Since Daura, Bello, Kyari, Funtua and Dr Turkur had been identified as the “Bedroom Cabinet”, which is even more powerful than the “Kitchen cabinet”, perhaps they will start by taking a few items with them when next they speak with Buhari to help open his eyes. Those are not all, but, we can start with those and develop a pattern of alternative briefing from others in addition to the official briefings. Call it what you want, but my major concern now is Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, which is one of the measurements of an economy in which “things are looking up”. So, permit me to start with that to demonstrate that “things are certainly not looking up”.

The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, tucked under the National Planning Minister, recently released its second quarter (Q2) report for 2017. The report stated that the foreign investment flow into Nigeria for 2017 amounted to $294.47bn from January to July. But, the report did more than that. We were also informed that first half year result for 2016 was $221.2bn while second half year result was $398.9bn. For quick reference the report is summarized below.

If we received $398.9bn in the last half of 2016, July to December, and only $291.4bn in the first half of 2017, can anybody even with primary school education call that “looking up”? Furthermore, while the FDI inflows into the country were aimed at long-term investments, the bulk of the 2017 half year inflow went into the capital market to create a bubble which might collapse any time and capital flight will follow leaving us in a quandary.

Buhari’s close confidantes need not believe me, but they should talk to oil marketers owed about $2bn unpaid subsidy. They are threatening to sack employees owed as much as eight months salary – meaning Nigerians who have not received a kobo from their employers in eight months. Surely, for them, things are not “looking up”. Instead the victims look up to heaven for deliverance from government officials rendering fake reports to Buhari.

It was not only the NBS which was publishing reports giving the lie to those issuing fake reports. The International Monetary Fund, IMF, early in August had noted that preliminary data for the first half of the year 2017 indicates substantial revenue shortfalls with interest payments to revenue ratio remaining at 40 per cent as at the end of the half year. A look at the 2017 Budget would reveal ratio of only about 28 per cent. So, how can 40 per cent be called “looking up”?

Fashola had blown the whistle on revenue shortfall which others sought to conceal from Buhari. Read next week what he said.

To be continued

In Ondo Akeredolu suspends 100 magistrates

Over 100 magistrates in Ondo state have been suspended by the Ondo State Judicial Service Commission under Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
According to a report by The Punch, the commission suspended the magistrates serving in the state judiciary over impropriety in the process of their appointments.

It was also reported that over 100 magistrates heading different magistrate courts across magisterial divisions of the state were affected.

The affected judicial officers were directed to handover the properties of the government in their possession to the chief registrar.

The suspension letter dated September 13, 2017, was signed by the secretary of the commission, Mr. Z.D. Egbunu, and sent to all the affected magistrates.

The letter read, “Due to perceived irregularities and lack of due process in your appointment as a Senior Registrar( functioning as Staff Attorney) in the Ondo State Judiciary within the judicial service of the state, the Honorable Acting Chief Judge/Chairman of the JSC has directed your immediate suspension from the judicial service pending plenary consideration and review of the propriety of your appointment.”

The report also claimed that most of the affected magistrates were allegedly appointed by the immediate past administration of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko.

Biafra: Umuahia youths give Ikpeazu 24 hours to dethrone Nnamdi Kanu’s father

A group, Umuahia Youth Movement, has given Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, 24 hours to dethrone His Royal Majesty, Israel Okwu Kanu, the paramount ruler of Isiama Afaraukwu in Umuahia, and father of leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.

The youths on Sunday said failure to do so will force them to take the law into their own hands.

In a letter by Ifeanyi Okwudili, President; Kasarachi Ubani, Vice President and Anayo Ofor, Secretary, the youths said for failing to rein in his son, which led to their businesses being paralyzed, the royal father was not fit to continue in office.

The memo also copied President Muhammadu Buhari, the Inspector General of Police, the Department of State Service, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and South East Governors Forum.

It reads: “With tears and sorrow, the Umuahia Youth Movement respectfully write to request the dethronement of Nnamdi Kanu’s father as a traditional ruler of our clan.

“It beats our imagination that a man who calls himself a Royal father and an Elder could not call his son to order but rather encourage him in his madness that have plunged Umuahia city to a great crisis today.

“Sir, recall that Umuahia have been the most peaceful capital city in Nigeria to live and do business but just because of one man, we are today facing the wrath of the Federal government of Nigeria.

“Our shops, markets, schools, churches and all banks have been shut down. For the past three days we have been indoors for fear of been attacked by the military just because of one man whose father is our traditional ruler.

“Based on the above, we hereby request the he be dethroned within 24 hours or we will take the laws into our hands and dethrone him and even strip him unclad and raze his house.

“We appeal to every well meaning Nigerian as well to prevail on Governor Ikpeazu to as a matter of urgency dethrone Nnamdi Kanu’s father.

“We also request the Operation Python Dance should remain in all streets of Umuahia as any attempt to withdraw will make the IPOB criminals rob our shops and houses.

“Sir, we assure you that we remain one Nigeria and will join hands with you to make our country Nigeria and state Abia the best among all the countries of the world.

“Please accept the assurances of our esteemed regards.”

Hide quoted text
​Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army declared that its ongoing operation in the ​Southeast will continue.

Biafra: Nigerian govt reveals identity of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu’s sponsors

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Sunday accused “politically disgruntled treasury looters” out to sabotage the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government of sponsoring the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

Mohammed said the disgruntled looters are using IPOB to sabotage the current government under the guise of fighting for the rights of the people of the South-east.

This is contained in a statement signed by his media aide, Segun Adeyemi and sent to DAILY POST.

Mohammed said IPOB sponsors were trying to “destabilize the country and trigger chaos to realize their ambition of escaping justice and then be free to dip their hands into the nation’s treasury again.”

“Nigerians must understand that IPOB was not set up to fight for the right of anyone or group, but as a tool to destabilize the nation, divert attention from the efforts of the Buhari Administration and obliterate the laudable achievements of the Government.

”IPOB is being sponsored by those I will call the Coalition of the Politically Disgruntled and the Treasury Looters. They believe that by sponsoring this group to destabilize the country and trigger chaos, they will realize their ambition of escaping justice and then be free to dip their hands into the nation’s treasury again.”

Wondering why IPOB activities became heightened under Buhari’s government, Mohammed said, ”If this is coincidental, then that coincidence is uncanny, at the least. Remember that Nnamdi Kanu, who led a protest at the Nigeria House in London against Boko Haram insurgency and in support of Nigeria’s unity, under the Jonathan Administration, has suddenly metamorphosed into an IPOB monster who will rather set the nation ablaze.”

Mohammed said IPOB thrived on exploiting the nation’s fault lines, and that its modus operandi ”is to trigger conflagration nationwide through attacks and reprisals”.

”Thankfully, IPOB has failed in its evil machinations. The good people of Nigeria have seen beyond those cheap tactics and have avoided being incited against one another. We must remain vigilant and resolute. We must all say no to the incendiary and divisive tendencies of IPOB and its cohorts.”

Mohammed also commended the Nigerian military for labelling IPOB a terrorist organization and for checkmating the group, and the South-east Governors for proscribing the organization.

”But for the military’s quick and decisive intervention, IPOB could have set the nation on fire. Thanks to the decisiveness of the military, the Governors of the states in the South-east have wisely proscribed IPOB,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed accused IPOB of harvesting gory videos from the distant past and from other lands to deceive the international community that the people of the South-east are victims of state-sponsored ethno-sectarian violence, describing such tactics as ”lies and propaganda”.

”Such videos, which have very high emotive quotient, are circulating on the Social Media. We call on all to subject such videos to the greatest scrutiny so as not to be misled. In particular, we urge the international community not to jump to any conclusion on the basis of such videos,” he said.

The Minister also appealed to the media to show greater restraint and avoid sensationalism in their reporting of the military exercise, Operation Python Dance II, in the South-east.

Mohammed added that the Nigerian media cannot afford to sit on the fence or engage in irresponsible journalism when the issue at stake is the very survival of the nation.

”The divisive and jaundiced opinions of some anarchists have been given a big play by a section of the media. This is wrong. Let me remind all of us of the role of the media, especially the radio, in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda that left about 800,000 people dead,” he added.

The Cross River state police command has paraded a pastor for allegedly killing a baby

- Obo-Ekpenyog, the pastor of Royal God’s Commandment Ministry, Calabar, was arrested alongside six others

A pastor identified as Tony Obo-Ekpeyong, has been paraded by the Cross River police command for allegedly being in possession of the heart of an 18-month-old baby girl whom he killed.

Obo-Ekpenyog, the pastor of Royal God’s Commandment Ministry, Calabar, was arrested alongside six others on August 24.

The spokesperson of the command, ASP Irene Ugbo, while parading the suspect, said that the suspects were arrested when the parents of the deceased raised an alarm that their child had been abducted by some masked men who stormed their house.

READ ALSO: Another police officer arrested for aiding escape of child ritual killer

Cross River state police paraded a pastor who allegedly killed a one-year and six-month-old baby for ritual Photo credit: Daily Post

Police in Calabar paraded the pastor alongside six others Photo credit: Daily Post
The suspect, however, denied the allegation, saying, “I was praying for one of our members who was sick when the police came and arrested me.

Police in Calabar parade a pastor who was found with human heart Photo source: Daily Post

Would FEC meeting hold today?

Today is another Federal Executive Council meeting.

Normally, the President chairs the meeting, but since President Muhammadu Buhari returned from his 104-day medical vacation on August 19, 2017, he has had one reason or the other to not hold the meeting.

This has made Nigerians wonder if the President still needs more rest.

In the interim, Nigerians are watching, to see if Mr. President will preside over the meeting today, or call it off again, as the Vice President is not expected to head the meeting while the President is present in the country.

SEE ALSO: Buhari cancels FEC meeting, to receive SGF’s probe report

Truck driver dies in Ogun multiple crash

One person was confirmed dead on Tuesday in a multiple accident, involving three trucks on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The Public Relations Officer of the Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, Mr Babatunde Akinbiyi, confirmed the development.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abeokuta that the accident was caused by a driver of an Iveco truck who drove against traffic and rammed into two other trucks around 6:30 a.m.

He said that the Iveco truck driver lost his life in the incident.

“The accident involved a MAN diesel vehicle with registration number FST 893 XT, Iveco truck without a plate number and a DAF truck with registration number XG 189 MKA.

“The Iveco truck driver who drove against traffic rammed into the other trucks in the early hours of the morning which resulted in the accident that claimed the life of the truck driver.”

Akinbiyi said that the body of the driver had been deposited at the morgue of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital in Sagamu.

Onnly African leaders travel abroad for healthcare – Minister mocks Buhari, others

South Africa’s Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, has mocked African leaders who seek medical attention outside the continent, a category President Muhammdu Buhari falls under.

He said the practice has become a major drain on their countries’ health expenditures.

The minister said it was shameful that African leaders frequently seek medical care abroad while most of their countries have substandard facilities.

“I have said this before and I will say it again: We are the only continent that has its leaders seeking medical services outside the continent, outside our territory,” Zimbabwe’s NewsDay newspaper quoted Motsoaleda as saying.

“We must be ashamed of that. This is called health tourism. We must promote our own,” he said at a regional health dialogue organised by the World Health Organisation in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

President Buhari, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Angolan leader Eduardo dos Santos, Benin’s Patrice Talon and Algeria’s Abdelaziz Bouteflika, have travelled outside the continent in recent months for medical care.

Buhari, in his second medical trip in 2017, jetted out to London on May 7.

He returned on August 19, after spending 104 days out of the country.

In July, President​ of Angola,​ José Eduardo dos Santos, returned home after 17 days in Spain where ​he travelled ​for medical treatment.

The veteran leader has visited the European state several times since 2013.

He spent 28 days in Spain in May without an official explanation, prompting claims of his death on both the social and traditional media.

President dos Santos has been in power since in 1979 and is Africa’s second longest serving president after Obiang’ Nguema of Equatorial Guinea.

Barcelona Want Man United Star to Replace Luis Suarez...Here are the Latest Football Transfer News

Marcus Rashford

Spanish giants, FC Barcelona want Manchester United's 19-year-old forward, Marcus Rashford to replace Luis Suarez.

Here are the latest news and transfer rumours in the European world football.

1. Spain

Barcelona will tempt Manchester United with an audacious attempt to sign Marcus Rashford next summer. Coach Ernesto Valverde is keen to sign a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez, who is now 30, and views the 19-year-old United striker as a potential candidate. (Sport)

Juventus are interested in signing Andre Gomes and Aleix Vidal from Barcelona. The duo are low down the pecking order at the Camp Nou and the Serie A champions will make an ambitious late bid to sign Gomes, while they have also enquired about Vidal. (Mundo Deportivo)

Meanwhile, Barcelona are continuing to pursue Philippe Coutinho despite having signed Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund. The Catalans believe they will complete the deal before the window shuts. Liverpool have also reportedly given Barca a Monday deadline to finalise the deal. (Onda Cero)

2. France

Paris Saint-Germain have reached a deal with Monaco to sign Kylian Mbappe on loan for the season with an option to sign him permanently for £143m. The Ligue 1 side have held talks with Uefa over adhering to financial fair play rules but an agreement has now been reached. Mbappe will sign a five-year deal and is expected in the French capital on Monday for a medical. (L'Equipe)

Napoli are not willing to sell goalkeeper Pepe Reina to PSG. The French side have made it a priority to sign a stopper before the window closes and have expressed an interest in the former Barcelona and Liverpool player. But they have been informed that the 34-year-old is staying. Reina played in Napoli's 3-1 victory over Atalanta on Sunday night but appeared to wave goodbye to the supporters at full-time. (L'Equipe)

One player edging closer to an exit from PSG, however, is Julian Draxler. With the imminent arrival of Mbappe, the Parisians are desperate to offload the German winger. Draxler is being targeted by Borussia Dortmund, who are shopping for a Dembele replacement. (Le10Sport)

3. Italy

Inter Milan have agreed personal terms with Lazio star Keita Balde. The 22-year-old will sign a two-year loan deal which includes a £27m obligation to buy. (La Gazzetta dello Sport)

If Juventus cannot tie up a deal for Barca midfielder Gomes they will instead move for Bayern Munich's Renato Sanches. The Portuguese midfielder has not been a regular at the Allianz Arena and was left out at the weekend. (Corriere dello Sport)

Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet could be a Napoli transfer target if Pepe Reina leaves. The Belgian was left out of Sunday's 4-0 thrashing of Arsenal but Jurgen Klopp later insisted he was '100 per cent' his No 1. (Calciomercato)

4. Germany

Borussia Dortmund are close to completing the signing of Andriy Yarmolenko. The 27-year-old has three years left on his contract at Dynamo Kyiv but Dortmund remain confident of securing his services once Dembele officially signs for Barcelona. (Bild)

Bayern Munich are willing to loan Renato Sanches out with the player unhappy at his lack of starting opportunities. Liverpool and Monaco have both been linked with the 20-year-old, but Bayern have not received any concrete offers yet. (Bild)

Championship side Leeds United are reportedly keen on Hamburg forward Pierre-Michel Lasogga. The 25-year-old, who scored just twice last season, has yet to make a Bundesliga appearance this season and the Whites need a replacement for Chris Wood. (Kicker).

Universities admit students who didn’t sit for UTME – JAMB

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has claimed that its 120 cut-off mark will put an end to back-door admission in the country.

The exam body added that it had introduced a Central Admissions and Processing System to monitor compliance with the minimum prescribed cut-off mark and other admission guidelines, as well as empower candidates to track the process of admission.

The Head of Public Affairs, JAMB, Mr. Fabian Benjamin, said this in a statement issued on Monday.

According to the statement, high cut-off mark is responsible for the flight of many Nigerians to “glorified secondary schools called universities” ‎in neighbouring countries and an increased pressure on the naira to pay school fees in foreign currencies.

The statement added, “The cut-off marks previously brandished to the public were never strictly followed by most institutions. Some were going behind to admit candidates with far less scores, while others admitted candidates who never sat for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.

“This act, to say the least, is very distasteful and damaging to our national data and identity. Unfortunately, the public has been kept away from this fact for such a long time and now that we are saying it the way it is and working to address it, the public is criticising us and using non-existing parameters that only announced and not followed.’’

Adding that the JAMB would not relent in “supporting policies that would bring our education system out of the woods’’, the statement said that it would pursue the quest to ensure realistic benchmarks for national development.

“It is necessary to explain that the 120 cut-off mark does not in any way suggest that if you score 120 admission is guaranteed. Institutions will admit from the top to the least mark. It’s also a known fact that for you to study a course, say Hausa, in Nigerian universities, you will need a credit in Mathematics.

“However, in London, all you will need is a credit in Hausa and English. This and many other poorly thought-out policies have pushed frustrated candidates out of Nigeria to the developed and neighbouring African nations for education, which they could not get at home.

“The issue that all of us should be concerned about is how to address the flight of Nigerians to glorified secondary schools called universities in Ghana, Uganda, even in The Gambia and other countries. How do we ensure that whatever we do has positive multiplier effects on other sectors of the economy, if we deny our candidates the opportunity to school in Nigeria?,’’ it added.

10 Things Every Man Should Achieve by Age 30

It’s true that success is not a day's work and Rome of-course was not built in a day but everyone is expected to have attained a level of success by 10 years, 20 years and even by 40 years.

We take a look at 10 things every Nigerian guy should have achieved by age 30:

1. Be Matured - Maturity is not an age thing, but if by 30 years, a guy isn't matured; then he's on his way to multiple failures on all front.

2. Be in a serious relationship - If not married, then he should be in a serious relationship and getting ready to settle down soon.

3. Be Educated (formal or informal) - He should have attained his first degree or should have graduated as a qualified artisan in his chosen field.

4. Have a Home of his own (rented, brought or built) - We don't expect that by 30, any guy should be living with his parents and feeding on their pot, he can, however, live in a property built by his father/mother if he has a flat owned by himself alone.

5. Have a paying job or business - He should either have a good paying job, even when it's below what he thinks he deserves or he should be in business, doing good for himself and family.

6. Be responsible - He should be responsible and live a responsible lifestyle

7. Be Independent - He should take his decisions (with or without advice) - He should be his own boss in that department

8. Have a set goal - He should by this age, have a set and defined goal, a picture of where he wants to be in the nearest future

9. Learn to Drive a car - Even if he doesn't own a car, every 30 years old should have attained training in driving to a large extent - an opportunity could open up or an emergency that would require him driving a car

10. Have a saving - He should have a saving plan, for the future, his family and a retirement plan.

Aregbesola’s performance will give PDP governorship seat in Osun come 2018- Ayanwale

Mr Kehinde Ayanwale, a lawyer is a Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State and the publisher of London based Entertainer International Magazine. In this interview, he speaks on issues as they affect the PDP in Osun State and Nigeria. He also speaks on other sundry issues. PATRICK OKOHUE reports

Let’s look at the last election in Osun West Senatorial District where PDP won despite the fact that APC controls the state, how do you see that election?
Actually, the election is a message to those in power, those in government, especially Governor Rauf Aregbesola that the business is no longer as usual and that people have spoken through their votes.

Their votes were not determined by money or deceit any longer. The election was very good and clean, free and fair, and a victorious one for PDP across the board.

So, all in all, the electorates through their votes have pointed to the direction they are going in the coming election in the state.

PDP won in nine local governments out of 10, that is what is called hands down and by this it is unchallengeable in any court of law.

Although it is a constitutional right for any person to challenge the election if the person is not satisfied with the result, but I don’t think any person from anywhere in this world will challenge the result of this election.

By next year, there will be governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states. What is your expectation from those elections?
In Britain people decide and look at how election will be through opinion poll, the last Osun West Senatorial by-election is a symbol of opinion on what to expect in the governorship election in 2018 in Osun.

As a politician, publisher and journalist, I do sample people’s opinion across the state, the feeler is that people are tired of APC in Osun State, a state that cannot pay salary and pension.

Series of abandoned road projects despite the fact that it received Paris Club refund twice. The pensioners are suffering, the governor was commissioning uncompleted projects despite the huge amount available to the state in the last quarter.

Lots of PDP members are now performing government’s responsibilities as social responsibility and community development services. Even a councillorship seat from Aregbesola’s Ward will be won by PDP in any election in Osun presently.

How united is the PDP in Osun State?
Under the leadership of Soji Adagunodo, Chief Gbenga Owolabi in Ife, Chief Odekunmi in Gbongan, Fatai Akinbade in Ogbagba, Lere Oyewumi in Ikire, Senator Akinlabi in Ode-Omu, they have united the party and they have been able to take the party to higher level and this made us victorious in the last Osun West Senatorial election.

Honestly, there were two factions of PDP before the election, both factions united for the election and came victorious. After the election, the Supreme Court judgement solidified the unity.

So, there are some who have moved to SDP, Labour, Accord or even APC but with the recent victory and the judgement, many are coming back while leaders are working seriously with all possible means available to them to bring others back into the fold.

And I can assure you, all of them will be back to PDP before the next year’s governorship election and 2019 general elections.

Do you nurse any political ambition?
I am a PDP man, PDP member and a solid and full PDP person to the core. I can’t say I am going for a particular position, if the party decide that my responsibility should be within the party Secretariat I will abide by the decision of the party leadership.

Presently, what interest me most is to work tirelessly to ensure that all aggrieved party members return to the PDP fold

PDP ruled the country for 16 years, and APC has been in the saddle in the last two years, how will you compare the government of the PDP and APC?

President Says He's Pleased With State of Economy, Inflation Dips to 16.05 Percent

President Muhammadu Buhari
By Ndubuisi Francis and Omololu Ogunmade
Abuja — President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday expressed satisfaction with the state of the economy, saying the main responsibility of the government was to bring succour to citizens in all walks of life.

Buhari gave the verdict after a meeting with the key managers of the economy - the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, his counterpart in the finance ministry, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele - at the State House, Abuja.

His first briefing on the economy since his return from a 103-day sojourn in the United Kingdom where he was receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment, came just as the National Bureau of Statistics (NBC) released its inflation report for the month of July, indicating that the rate of inflation dropped slightly to 16.05 per cent during the month, from 16.10 per cent in June.

The president, according to a terse statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said both the ministers and CBN governor provided updates to Buhari on the economy, implementation of the 2017 budget, preparation for 2018 budget, revenue strategies, combined cost reduction and debt management.

Adesina who said Buhari was glad that "things were looking up after two years of a yeoman's job", stressed that "he was pleased with the progress being made on different fronts".

Adesina said Buhari discussed monetary policy strategies and their economic impact with the ministers and CBN governor, adding that the president reminded them that the country's economic revival was one of the major campaign policies of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and urged them to keep it up.

However, the inflation report released by the NBS yesterday showed that the rate of inflation declined by 0.05 per cent in the month of July to 16.05 per cent, from 16.10 per cent in June.

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Buhari Pleased With Economic State of Nigeria

Although this was the sixth consecutive decline in the inflation rate since January 2017, the food index soared to 20.28 per cent in July, the highest in eight years.

According to the NBS, the July inflation figures showed that increases were recorded in all Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yield the headline index.

On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.21 per cent in July, 0.37 percentage points lower than the 1.58 per cent recorded in June.

The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve-month period ending in July over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period was 17.47 per cent, 0.11 percentage points lower than the 17.58 per cent recorded in June.

The urban index rose by 16.04 per cent (year-on-year) in July, down by 0.11 percentage points from 16.15 per cent recorded in June, while the rural index increased by 16.08 per cent in July, from 16.01 per cent in June.

On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.25 per cent in July, down by 0.35 percentage points, from 1.60 per cent recorded in June, while the rural index rose by 1.18 per cent in July, down by 0.39 percentage points, from 1.57 per cent in June.

The corresponding twelve-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index increased from 18.69 per cent in June to 18.43 percent in July, while the corresponding rural index also increased from 16.56 per cent in June to 16.60 per cent in July.

The NBS report showed that food price pressure continued into July, as all major food sub-indexes increased.
The food index increased by 20.28 per cent (year-on-year) in July, up by 0.37 percentage points, from the rate recorded in June (19.91 percent), representing the highest year-on-year increase in food inflation in the nation.

FG Declares 2-Day Public Holidays to Celebrate Eid-el-Kabir Celebration

The Federal Government has declared Friday, September 1 and Monday, September 4, 2017 as public holidays to mark the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.

This was made public in a press statement by the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.) on Monday in a statement released by the Director Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Rufa’i Attahiru.

Dambazau congratulated Muslims and urged all Nigerians to use the occasion to pray for peace, unity, prosperity and the stability of democracy.

He admonished the citizens to join hands with the government of President Muhammadu Buhari “in its avowed determination to build a peaceful and harmonious country, where the rights of every citizen are protected and guaranteed,” as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The minister assured Nigerians of their safety in all parts of the country, emphasising that security agencies have been directed to maintain the peace and protect lives and property.

“He condemned in strong terms the prevalence of hate speeches in the country and warned that the government would henceforth deal with perpetrators according to the law, while emphasising that the government would continue to foster peaceful coexistence, national cohesion and stability in its march towards actualizing the full potential of Nigeria,” the statement said.

Dambazau wished all Nigerians a rewarding and happy celebration.

Fayose, Senator Olujimi’s supporters in bloody clash

Several persons were reportedly wounded on Sunday evening, as supporters of Governor Ayodele Fayose and that of the Senator representing Ekiti South Senatorial District, Mrs. Abiodun Olujimi engaged in a bloody clash.

Fayose and his estranged god daughter, Olujimi, had been enmeshed in crisis over the latter’s governorship ambition, which the governor was alleged not to have been favourably disposed to.

This is also as two members of the State House of Assembly, Hons Adeojo Fajana and Michael Adedeji are reportedly under probe over their alleged conviviality and loyalty to Senator Olujimi, who is now in the bad book of the governor.

The clash allegedly took place in Kota-Ekiti in Ekiti East Local
Government area of the state during the meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the council.

A source said the two factions had come to the meeting with mind sets to outdo each other, which he said made the personalities involved to start displaying enmity towards each other shortly after the meeting commenced.

According to the source, the lawmaker representing Ekiti East constituency II and a known Fayose’s ally, Hon. Dare Pelemo, was said to have been beaten, with his dresses torn into shreds by Olujimi’s angry supporters.

Those wounded during the clash were said to have been taken to an undisclosed hospital for treatment.

The source said: “The meeting ended in disarray as the team loyal to Senator Olujimi and those loyal to Governor Fayose exchanged fisticuffs

“The house of assembly member representing Ekiti East constituency was beaten while other members of the team loyal to Governor Fayose ran for their lives”, he said.

The fight had attracted those in the neighbourhood and they were said to have been frightened to the extent that they had to run for their lives.

When contacted, Pelemo said Olujimi’s group actually attacked him but said he was never beaten to stupor as being rumoured.

“Yes, they attacked our members at the meeting just because they wanted to show supremacy they didn’t have.

“We have enough followers on ground who could deal with them, but we decided not to do so.

“Governor Fayose is a popular politician with wide followership, so these few people couldn’t have overpowered us as they claimed in social media”, Pelemo stated.

Strike: FG meets with ASUU Tuesday

From left: Former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Nasir Isa; President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi; and the Vice President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, at a news conference on in Abuja on Monday, 14/8/17 when the strike was declared. photo: Albert otu/JAU/NAN

A Federal Government team is expected to meet with representatives of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, on Tuesday in furtherance of the moves to resolve the ongoing strike which has paralsyed activities in universities across Nigeria.

A statement signed by Samuel Olowookere, Deputy Director, Press in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, yesterday, in Abuja read: “In furtherance of efforts at resolving the lingering industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, will tomorrow (today) by noon meet with the President and Executive of ASUU.

“Government delegation at the meeting will include Minister of Education, Minister of Finance, Chairman National Income Salaries and Wages Commission, Executive Secretary National Universities Commission and the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC.

“The minister recalled that ASUU had earlier promised during the last meeting held on Thursday, August 17, 2017, to take the offer of the Federal Government back to its members and get back to the Federal Government within a week.

“Senator Chris Ngige calls on ASUU to show good faith as the Federal Government had already demonstrated commitment to addressing the grievances of the Union.”

Save Benue from flood – Governor Ortom begs Nigerian Government

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has called on the Federal Government to come to their aide over recent flooding in Makurdi, the state capital.

Ortom said this was to avoid a repeat of the experience of 2012.

Ortom made the appeal when he inspected flooded areas in Maiduguri yesterday, and described the problem as overwhelming.

He also lamented that the flood problem had arisen at the time his administration was facing challenges of salary payment.

The governor, however, called on those living in flood-prone areas across the state to relocate, just as he directed the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), to liaise with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to seek means of assisting those who have been displaced.

He frowned at building of houses on drainage channels and flood plains, stating that such structures would be demolished.

During the inspection, Ortom visited Radio Benue transmission adjoining station which has been submerged by water and also went to Katsina-Ala Street and areas adjoining where displaced residents appealed for assistance.

At the streets behind the Benue Civil Service Commission, Ortom was told that a contractor was given about N1 billion to provide drainage channels but absconded.He said the matter was being handled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).

Boko Haram: US finally sells N181bn warplanes, weapons to Nigeria

The Headquarters of the United States Department of Defence, the Pentagon, has informed the US Congress of the sale of 12 Super Tucano A-29 ground attack aircraft and weapons to Nigeria to fight the Boko Haram sect in the northern part of Nigeria.

According to Reuters, the Pentagon communicated the sale of the 12 ground attack aircraft valued at $593m (N181bn) to the US Congress on Monday.

The report quoted Pentagon’s Defence Security Cooperation Agency as having made the announcement to the US legislature.

The Super Tucano A-29, “an agile, propeller-driven plane with reconnaissance and surveillance as well as attack capabilities is made by Brazil’s Embraer.”

Nigeria is expected to receive formal notification within weeks, setting in motion the deal with Nigeria.

They added that the arrangement would call for Nigeria purchasing up to 12 Embraer A-29 Super Tucano aircraft with sophisticated targeting gear.

Nigeria is expected to cough out $600m for the weapon.

Ozubulu Attack: Osinbajo sends FG delegation to Anambra

Nigeria’s Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo

FG To Sponsor Treatment Of Victims Abroad

Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, dispatched a five-man Federal Government delegation to Anambra State, to condole with government and people of the state, over last Sunday’s massacre at St. Philips Catholic Church, in Ofufe-Amakwa, Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Council Area.

The delegation is made up of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige; Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole; Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of State for Environment, Mallam Ibrahim Usman Jibril; and the Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwuka.

The delegation, according to Osinbajo’s Senior Special Assistant on media and Publicity, Laolu Akande also visited Bishop Hilary Okeke of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nnewi, and Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, also in Nnewi to meet some of the victims still in the hospital.

In the letter, Osinbajo extended deep commiserations to the families, friends of the victims, and the community on the death of their sons and daughters, praying for the speedy recovery of the injured.

The Acting President condemned in very strong terms the atrocious and dastardly act, which, he said has brought sorrow to many innocent families and, has rightly provoked widespread condemnation.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has promised readiness to sponsor any of the victims whose case is beyond the NAUTH to handle for treatment abroad.

The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Prof. Anthony Igwegbe who took the delegation round the wards where the victims were receiving treatment, said six of the injured have been transferred to the Orthopedic Trauma Center of the hospital located at Oba, Idemili South Local Government of the state.


Popular Igbo politician, Joe Igbokwe has said leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu is a “child” who cannot lead Igbos.

In a recent interview with Punch, Igbokwe said Kanu’s method of agitation was dangerous and could breed violence and war.

He said, “The late Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu has done his bit, Ralph Nwazurike has done his bit and he is still fighting. Nnamdi Kanu has also joined but his method of agitation is potentially dangerous and frightening. Nnamdi Kanu became popular by abusing other Nigerians – calling Nigeria a zoo, and preaching hate and ethnic bigotry. Hate speech can lead to exchange of hot words, and the next (thing that can happen) is war. Once there is a full-scale war, thousands or millions will die. After the loss of the 2015 (presidential) election, which Igbo never thought Jonathan would lose, hell was let loose. The colossal and tragic loss led some Igbo leaders to believe in anybody that will throw as many stones as possible at the All Progressives Congress and President Muhammadu Buhari. I can understand this. They did not play better politics as they put all their eggs in one basket. Kanu became what they needed to fight back.”

He added, “Now you must hear this: Kanu is not an Igbo leader and can never be one. He is a kid. The Holy Book says: ‘Woe betides a nation whose leader is a child.’ We have competent, trusted and tested leaders in Igbo land. We have millions who do not believe in the so-called Biafra and when the chips are down, you will hear them loud and clear. Leading a sophisticated and hard-working tribe like the Igbo is not an all-comers affair. It is for the serious-minded; the cerebral; the educated; the cultured; and experienced. We have yet to know Nnamdi Kanu’s pedigree, temperament, antecedents, and education. You cannot put a crown on a clown and expect a king. If a blind man leads a blind man, both of them will fall into a pit. Kanu – with all due respect – cannot lead the Igbo. This I know, all things considered. What we need now is war of sense and not war of bullets.”

Igbokwe also said he does not support the agitation for an independent Nigeria, stating that the Igbos had invested so much in Nigeria.

He said, “Support for a state of Biafra? No, sir, and I say this with all emphasis in my command and with all the energy at my disposal. I have my reasons. One, South-East is too small for Igbo enterprise. Two, diversity should be a big plus in Nigeria and not a minus. We are better united with justice, equity and fair play. Three, Igbo have invested heavily in the ‘project Nigeria’ so much so that throwing away their monumental investments for the sake of a small Biafra is tantamount to committing political, economic and social suicide. Four, all Nigerians have paid the price of the unity of this country with millions of souls (lost) between 1966 and 1970. Therefore, we must work hard to remain one nation – for one destiny and one God. Five, given the history of Igbo and their republican attitude, I do not think we can manage one another in Biafra. Biafra may turn out to be another South Sudan because of leadership tussle and struggle for power and positions. Six, Biafra is landlocked. Seven, Nigeria provides a big space for Igbo to operate. I can go on and on to give you 10 reasons but time and space will not permit me.”

Non-remittance of $793.2m: FG withdraws suit against 7 banks

The Federal Government on Tuesday applied to withdraw the case it in­stituted against seven commer­cial banks in the country which were accused of violating the government’s Treasury Single Account policy.

The Federal Government had alleged that the banks con­nived with some government agencies to illegally hide in their coffers, a total of $793,200,000, which was meant to have been transmitted to the TSA account domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The concerned banks are, United Bank for Africa; Di­amond Bank Plc; Skye Bank Plc; First Bank Limited; Fidel­ity Bank Plc; Keystone Bank Limited; and Sterling Bank Plc.

Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court in La­gos had on July 20, 2017 grant­ed an interim order in favour of the Federal Government, di­recting the seven banks to tem­porarily remit the funds to the TSA.

The court had then ad­journed till Tuesday for the banks to appear before him to show cause why the inter­im order should not be made permanent.

But at the resumed proceed­ings on Tuesday, Counsel for the Federal Government, Prof Yemi Akinseye-George (SAN), said that he had been instruct­ed by the Attorney-General of the Federation to discontinue the case in the overall interest of the public.

“It is not out of weakness that the Federal Government is withdrawing this case. The banks are corporate citizens and we are interested in the well-being of everybody”, Ak­inseye-George said, urging Justice Obiozor to strike out the suit.

But the banks, which claimed that the Federa­tion Government’s allegation against them was false and that they had already been unjustly disparaged, urged the judge not to merely strike out the suit but to dismiss it and award N20m cost against the Federal Gov­ernment.

They noted that any case struck out could be re-filed while a case that is dismissed could no longer be re-filed.

Counsel for the banks, Mr Seyi Sowemimo (SAN) and Mrs. Abimbola Akeredo­lu (SAN), took turns to argue that the proper order the court ought to make in the circum­stances of the case was to dis­miss the suit and not strike it out.

2019: PDP moves to reclaim Obasanjo, Atiku, others

‎The PDP, yesterday, inaugurated a reconciliation committee headed by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and his Gombe State counterpart, Ibrahim Dankwambo.

The party also inaugurated the convention and disciplinary committees, headed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and Chief Tom Ikimi, respectively.

The event took place at the ‎Chida Hotel, in Abuja, where the National Caretaker Committee Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, told the reconciliation committee to see to the return of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Senate President Bukola Saraki and many others.

Ex-president Obasanjo had torn his PDP membership card in a dramatic fashion prior to the 2015 general elections and denounced membership of the party, while Atiku dumped the party in 2014.

Similarly, ‎a former Senate president, Ken Nnamani; a former governor of old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo; Senator Nelson Effiong; ‎Senator Andy Ubah,; former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye; former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu; former governor of Bauchi State, Isa Yuguda; governors Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State and Samuel Ortom of Benue State all left the party.

‎Others who left were former governor of Edo State, Oserheimen Osunbor; former governor of Jigawa State, Saminu Turaki and a former deputy governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mahmud Gumel among many others.

While inaugurating ‎the three committees, Makarfi said “reconciliation is a gradual thing but we must do it with all sense of sincerity.”

He added that “The reconciliation committee is to reconcile and bring back to the fold, those who ‎held top political offices on the platform of the PDP be it president, vice president or speaker.

“We must not close our door ‎to anyone coming into the party. In fact, you can even reconcile with those who have never been in the PDP and bring them into the party. The committee must open the door for new members,” he said.

Chairman of the convention committee, ‎Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said, “We are aware that we have challenges but we are also aware that God has a purpose for that. We are going to organise a convention through non-elective process that will shake Abuja and the entire Nigeria,” he said.

‎Prominent personalities at the event were former governors Malam Ibrahim Shekarau (Kano), Boni Haruna (Adamawa), Otumba Gbenga Daniel (Ogun), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Liyel Imoke (Cross River) and Emmanuel Uduaghah (Delta).

Others were former deputy Senate president, Ibrahim Mantu; former minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki; broadcast mogul, Chief Raymond Dokpesi; deputy governors and many other party chieftains.

WAEC cancels certificates issued 28 years ago, 150 others over exam malpractice

TheWest African Examinations Council (WAEC) has cancelled 151 certificates already issued to candidates that sat for both school and private exams who were later found to have engaged in examination malpractice.

Also, the council has taken possession of 29 certificates (both school and private candidates exam) returned by born again Christians who sought for restitution.

The National Examinations Committee (NEC) of WAEC took the decision recently at its 62nd meeting held in Lagos to cancel and collect back certificates of the candidates found wanting years after the examinations were conducted and certificates issued.

Among the cancelled certificates, include two issued 28 years ago (1989) and 27 years ago (1990) by WAEC while the ones issued in 2012 and 2013 are the current certificates.

A breakdown of the cancelled certificates showed that the highest number, 14, was issued in 2001 and 2002, 13 each in 1999 and 2000.

The statistics further revealed that WAEC cancelled 12 certificates in 2003, 10 in 2006, eight in 1988, seven each in 2004, 2007 and 2010, five each in 1993, 1995, 2009, 2012 and 2013. Others are four in 1994 and 2008, three each in 1996 and 2011, two each in 1997 and 2005 as well as one each in 1989, 1990 and 1992.

Boko Haram strikes in Borno Lake, kills 31

At least 31 fishermen have been reportedly killed by Boko Haram around the Lake Chad area of Borno State last weekend.

“Boko Haram attacked and killed over 30 people in different villages of Borno,” Governor Shettima confirmed in a remark during a visit yesterday by the northern governors’ forum.

The governor revealed that some fishermen were ambushed by Boko Haram on a lake at Guguri and Dabar Wanzam villages last weekend.

“Boko Haram attacked the fishermen, killed over 30 of them in the two villages during a fishing expedition,” he added.

It was gathered that the attacks were not reported in Maiduguri, the state capital until yesterday because telecommunication facilities had been cut off by the insurgents in the area since 2014.

Just yesterday, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo unveiled five brand new Super Mushshak aircraft to decisively deal with insecurity, including the dreaded Boko Haram fighters in the Northeastern part of the country.

He said while presenting the aircraft that, “This administration, as promised two years ago, is determined to protect everyone living in the country and their property. That is why it has taken the issue of insurgency/terrorism very seriously.

“The federal government is also including training and capacity building to what we are doing, that is acquisition of more Air hard wear and training, so that our armed forces, especially, the Air Force personnel, can perform better in securing our national integrity.

“On corruption in the system and Boko Haram, we have restrategised, and all these attacks you see are just sign of weakness and we have been doing a lot to see that all these ambushes come to an end. We also want to train civil defence and police so they can join us and move forward, instead of remaining in one place.”

Anti-Igbo song: Stop provoking Igbos – Orji Kalu warns

Former Abia State governor, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, has strongly frowned at a provocative song against Ndigbo currently circulating in the countryy.

The ace politician and business mogul said Nigeria’s ethnic, religious, cultural and political diversity ‎should be seen as an advantage rather than a minus, and as such hate speeches should be discouraged at all levels.

He lambasted the sponsors of the hate song, adding, “Nigeria has come to stay as a heterogeneous nation and no amount of hate campaign can break the country.”

Kalu made the remarks yesterday at a meeting with a group of Igbo professionals in London.

He said: “The anti-Igbo song is another ploy to provoke Ndigbo. However, despite all these nonsensical theatricals, Igbo will remain calm, peace loving and law abiding. We shall continue to resist all temptations as patriotic Nigerians.

“Nigeria is a diverse country of different ethnic groups, and no single tribe can lay claim to the country. We are all stakeholders, be it Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Tiv, Efik, Ijaw and many others.

“Igbos will continue to play a significant role in national well being, regardless of these provocations, especially in the areas of employment generation, wealth creation and industrialisation.”

The former governor added that the unity of Nigeria was not negotiable.

Ritualists’ den uncovered in Lagos, 2 burnt alive

• 2 other suspects arrested

By Christopher Oji and Olajire Ishola

Lagoswas yesterday in a frenzy, following the discovery of a den of ritualists in a tunnel at Obadeyi Bus Stop, Ijaiye-Ojokoro, along the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway.

Two suspected ritualists smoked out from the tunnel were burnt alive, while two others were arrested by policemen and soldiers.

Daily Sun gathered that at about 6am yesterday, some staff of Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), responsible for sweeping the road, heard a woman shouting for help in a canal leading to the tunnel.

Concerned about the woman’s plight, the LAWMA staff alerted passersby, who attempted to enter the tunnel but could, as it was dark. The police and members of the vigilance group, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), were alerted.

An eyewitness, Wasiu Abiodun, told Daily Sun: “When we looked through the carnal, we saw pants and clothes believed to be from victims of ritual killings. There is a tunnel that links the two sides of the expressway.

“We called the police, who arrived in company of soldiers attached to OP MESA. When the security agencies came, some of us entered the tunnel, and heard footsteps of people running further into the tunnel under the expressway. We were able to catch four people in there.

“Two of them were of set ablaze. The other two were rescued from the crowd by the policemen and soldiers, who took them away.

“While the crowd was beating the two suspects, who were later set ablaze, one of them confessed that they were ritualists, who abducted people, killed them and used their body parts for rituals.”

He revealed that this confession infuriated the crowd, which descended on the suspects and set them, ablaze.

A member of the OPC, Jasmine, said the police were afraid to enter the tunnel, and boasted: “We entered, the tunnel was dark. We saw some charms and fetish objects; we also saw people’s clothes, but we did not see the woman who was crying for help.

“One of the suspects who was set ablaze told us that they were 28 in number. Four suspects have been found. The police and Army took away one suspect each alive. So, we still have 24 in the tunnel. We will see to their end; if it is going to take a week, we will remain here until we fish them out.”

The DPO of Meiran Police Division, Chief Superintendent of Police Okoi A. Akpama, confirmed that a distress call was made to his station yesterday morning, prompting the dispatch of policemen to the scene.

He said before policemen arrived, one of the ritualists had been lynched and set ablaze.

He disclosed that the first detachment of policemen, seeing the mood of the crowd, called for reinforcement.

Daily Sun gathered that the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, has detailed the canine section to deploy sniffer dogs to the tunnel.

A senior police officer said two suspects had been lynched before the police arrived.

“We rescued one other, as he was about being lynched. There was a mammoth crowd at the scene, which caused gridlock on two sides of the expressway. The crowd chanted: ‘All we are saying, the ritualists must be fished out and their captives set free.’”

He said the police authorities had ordered some personnel to remain at the scene till the canal was fully accessed.

A resident of Odushola Avenue, Oduwole Adebayo, said he entered the tunnel with others, revealing: “There is no contradiction about it. The people seen and burnt were rituals. What will people be doing in a canal and a tunnel? I pass through the place daily. Why won’t I rejoice that they were arrested? It could have been me.

“If ritualists had been operating there without people and security agencies discovering it, then nobody is safe.”

UEFA Super Cup: Why we lost to Real Madrid – Mourinho

Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho, has expressed his frustration at the absence of the VAR system, which he feels would have ruled out Casemiro’s opening goal, as they lost 2-1 to Real Madrid in Tuesday’s Super Cup in Skopje, Macedonia.

The Brazilian broke the deadlock in the 24th minute in Skopje, slotting Dani Carvajal’s long pass into the bottom corner of David de Gea’s net.

Replays show he had strayed fractionally offside, but the goal was allowed to stand. Isco doubled Madrid’s lead, before Romelu Lukaku pulled one back for Mourinho’s men.

“I think we did well, I think we lost to one goal which shows the result was really short and one of their goals was an offside. With a good VAR system it would be 1-1 and extra time,” Mourinho told BT Sport.

“They could have scored more goals than they did, we could have scored more goals than we did. They had a period of dominance at middle of the first half and we had a period of dominance at middle of the second half.”

To submit 2018 Budget to N’Assembly October

DirectorGeneral, Budget Office of the Federation, Mr Ben Akabueze on Monday said the 2018 Appropriation Bill would be submitted to the National Assembly in October.

Speaking at the opening of a National Training for Personnel of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on 2018 Budget Preparation, using Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), in Lagos, Akabueze, who was represented by Mr Anslem Anyawu, the Director, Fiscal Policy Department, Budget Office, said government expects to get the appropriation bill passed latest by December 2017.

According to him, the target is critical considering the commitment of President Buhari’s led administration to return to a predictable January to December financial year prescribed in the constitution.

Akabueze said that the decision was in line with the administration’s steadfastness to take the economy out of recession and place it on path of sustainable growth.

He, however, said that the main goal of the training was to equip the participating personnel with knowledge, skills and tools required to prepare and submit the 2018 budget.

The DG said that the two-week training, which commenced a week ago, would take place in the six geopolitical zones for 800 MDAs nationwide.

He said that the Office embarked on the usage of technology and automation tools for improving on the quality of its budgeting process to improve the quality of budgeting process, through commitment to the use of technology and automation tools.

“For the 2017 Budget, MDAs prepared and presented their budgets online and in real time using a Zero Base Budgeting web-based application.

“It was the first time that MDAs were using online system to prepare and submit their budget with no manual intervention.

“The use of the web-based application helped eradicate a lot of the challenges encountered in previous years.”

He said that for 2018 budget preparation, the Office intends to improve on the experiences of the 2017 budget preparation, thereby simplifying the ZBB structure.

Akabueze said that all programmes, sub-programmes, activities and sub-activities had been mapped into the GIFMIS.

He said that the introduction of the GIFMIS would enhance the smooth and seamless linkage between budget preparation, submission, execution, monitoring, evaluation and reporting, compared to when it was pre-GIFMIS.

Biafra: Stay away from Akwa Ibom – Militants warn IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu

Niger Delta militants under the aegis of the Niger Delta Volunteers, NDV, have warned the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to steer clear of Akwa Ibom State.

They said “we are not part of Biafra; we belong to Niger Delta”.

The militants issued the warning while reacting to declaration by IPOB leader that the Niger Delta region was part of Biafra.

Leader of NDV, General Ekpo Ekpo issued the warning while addressing Journalists in Uyo, the State capital.

Ekpo said the NDV was compelled to be part of the struggle for genuine peace in the region and Nigeria.

He also warned International Oil Companies operating in the region to relocate their headquarters to the Niger Delta before the October 1, deadline or risk resumption of hostilities against oil and gas infrastructures.

“We hereby demand immediate relocation of all oil companies operating in Niger Delta to the region on or before October 1, 2017, as we shall ensure the shutting down of further operations in our territory at the expiration of this notice if they fail to act on our directive.

“All oil blocks owned by non- indigenes of Niger Delta should be returned before October 1, or the operators of such oil blocks will be severely dealt with”, he said.

Police to arraign cop who looted Jonathan’s property Tuesday

The Federal Capital Territory Police Command will on Tuesday (today) arraign Sgt. Musa Musa who led five other officers to loot household items and attire at the former residence of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in Gwarimpa Estate, Abuja.

Our correspondent learnt that Musa would face felony charges before a Wuse Magistrates’ Court, Abuja.

The FCT police spokesman, Anjuguri Manzah, confirmed to our correspondent on Monday that the criminal charges against the dismissed sergeant had been prepared.

Musa, along with his colleagues guarding the ex-President’s former residence, had stolen six television sets, fridges, air-conditioners, Ijaw attire and designer suits which they sold to traders at the Pankera second-hand market in Gwarimpa.

The errant officers were dismissed last week after they were found culpable in an orderly room trial.

They include Sgts. John Nanpak, Ogah Audu, Gabriel Ugah and Insps. Lengs Satlakau and Usman Wuduki.

The police explained that the orderly room proceedings in respect of Satlakau and Wuduki had been forwarded to the Assistant Inspector-General, Zone 7 for further action.

Meanwhile, the Apo Divisional Police have arrested one Kingsley Ewoh, 24, and Chidibere Ejike of Waru, Apo for alleged burglary.

The suspects were said to have carried out a house-to-house robbery attack on residents of Waru and dispossessed them of cash, phones and other valuables.

“The syndicate is also renowned for its late-night attack on fun seekers at relaxation joints,” Manzah said in a statement, adding that Ejike, who sustained an injury while trying to escape, had been taken to the hospital for treatment.

Exhibits recovered from the suspects included one locally-fabricated revolver pistol, four live cartridges, 10 phones of different brands, three wallets and some dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp.

The FCT Commissioner of Police, Musa Kimo, restated “the unyielding commitment of the FCT Police Command to intensify its onslaught against unrepentant criminals in the territory.”

He ordered the immediate transfer of the suspects to the command’s Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation.

Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail will create additional 7000 jobs —Ashafa

Sen. Gbenga Ashafa, Chairman Senate Committee on Land Transport has said that the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Railway line would create additional 7000 jobs for the teeming youths.

Ashafa said on Monday during the oversight visit paid to the Nigerian Railway Corporation NRC by both Committee on Land Transport and the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts.

“We are confident that the Lagos to Kano and Calabar to Lagos railway modernisation projects would in no small way reinvigorate Nigeria’s economy through creation of about 7000 jobs.

“On our part as senators holding the mandate of our constituents, we are totally committed to assisting the executive arm in the actualisation of every developmental project within our purview,” Ashafa said.

The senator said that the visit was to assist the committee on Local and Foreign Debt assess the project implementation plan for the recently approved loan request by the Federal Government from the China Exim Bank.

According to him, the loan is to be accessed for the purpose of completing various railway rehabilitation and construction projects across the country.

“The focus of this visit is to immediately set in perspective of our commitment to ensuring a high level of accountability in public expenditure.

” As such, the bulk of this joint committee’s work lies particularly in the areas that concern activities of the Ministry of Transport and all relevant stakeholders in the expenditure of the loan.

“As requested, the sum of 5.851 billion dollars being the total approved loan would be expended on modernisation of Lagos to Kano, Lagos to Ibadan and Calabar to Lagos segments,” he said.

Sen. Shehu Sani, Chairman committee on local and foreign debts in his contribution said that both committee were signals to the seriousness attached to the commencement and successful completion of the rail projects.

Sani said that the project was in the 2016-2018 External Borrowing (Rolling) plan recently approved by the senate.

According to him, the potential of the rail projects was to fast track the nation’s economic growth, provision of gainful employment to teeming youths and overall development of the country.

“The senate while approving the borrowing plan as it concerns the rail mandated its relevant committees to ensure a thorough oversight of the actual implementation of the projects for which the country was borrowing.

“Obviously, this is to guarantee effective and efficient utilisation of every kobo taken as loan by the federal government on behalf of Nigerian citizens.
“Therefore, this visit is one step in the fulfilment of that mandate and the public trust we owe Nigerian citizens,” he said.

Mr Leo Yin, the Project Cordinator, Chinese Civil Engineer Construction Company (CCECC), said the major challenge facing the project presently was the recent continuous rainfall.

Yin said that plans have been put in place by the company to deliver and hand over the project at the appointed time.

He however, appealed to the communities in the affected areas to cooperate witwith the workers for speedy execution of the project.

NAN reports that the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Ameachi, had said that Federal Government would ensure the completion of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail services by Dec. 2018.

Ameachi gave the assurance on Monday July 10, in Lagos while inspecting the ongoing rail projects at Ijoko community area of Ogun State.

The minister said that the Federal Government was making all efforts to ensure the completion of the project as scheduled. (NAN)

London to host second edition of Best FIFA Football Awards

World football ruling body FIFA has announced that the second edition of the Best FIFA Football Awards will take place in London, UK, on October 23.

Real Madrid and Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo and the United States’ Carli Lloyd won the top prizes in the male and female categories at the first edition in Zurich, Switzerland.

For the second edition, which promises to be more glamorous, London will play host to a large convergence of the world’s biggest sports and entertainment superstars.

The organisers are already putting in place a glamorous award ceremony as FIFA is set to release specific details.

Conte to sign Aurier, Drinkwater, Van Dijk

Chelsea coach, Antonio Conte, who has recently voiced frustration about the depth of his squad, is set to welcome three new players before the transfer window closes.

The UK Telegraph reports that the Premier League champions will add to both their defence and midfield options this summer.

Conte’s ranks could soon include both PSG’s Serge Aurier and Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk, while potential midfielders include Leicester’s Danny Drinkwater, Everton’s Ross Barkley and Antonio Candreva of Inter Milan.

Van Dijk’s decision to submit a transfer request on Monday, will result in a swift Chelsea effort to open talks over a player who is still interesting Liverpool.

And the Blues could also face competition in their attempts to land Aurier, who is a reported target for Manchester United.

Why anti-Buhari protest failed in London – Presidency

Presidential aide on social media matters, Lauretta Onochie has accused the Peoples Democratic Party of staging the protest at the Abuja House, London, on Monday.

She, however, said action failed due to lack of supporters, adding that the few who came for the protest took to their heels after the police were called.

Some groups of concerned Nigerians had proposed a protest at the Abuja House in London where Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is receiving treatment for yet-to-be disclosed ailment.

In a post she entitled, “NIGERIANS IN LONDON SHUN PDP’S SHENANIGAN,” Lauretta said, “This is Today’s Deji Adeyanju-led PDP-sponsored protest at Abuja House London.

“Four people turned up. Neighbours called the Police. As they had no Police Permit to hold a rally. They took to their heels.

“One of them said he had no money to pay his way back home. Our man who was on hand to monitor the situation, gave him £5. He was happy and went home.

“Shame on insensitive PDP. Shame on them.

“Thank you Nigerians for your love and prayers for our President, Muhammadu Buhari, the nightmare of corrupt people.”

Zidane reacts to Mourinho’s comments on Bale moving to Manchester United

Zinedine Zidane has stated that Gareth Bale is fully concentrated on Real Madrid, despite continued speculation linking him with a return to the Premier League.

On Monday, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, admitted that he would “fight” for Bale’s signature with other coaches, if Zidane left the winger out of his team for Tuesday’s Super Cup clash between United and Madrid in Skopje.

Bale was named on the bench for the Champions League final after recovering from injury, with Isco preferred by Zidane.

With Madrid reportedly chasing Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe, the Welsh winger could eventually leave Spain. But Zidane refused to take the bait offered by Mourinho, when he addressed the press.

“What’s important is the player is feeling well,” Zidane told reporters.

“He has had a lot of continued training sessions with us and that is what is the most important.

“The end of last season was not easy for him because he was injured,. But now I see him very well, very concentrated.

“What’s important for us is not what Mourinho said, it is what we are going to do tomorrow.

“It’s the same thing with Cristiano, we’ve also had stories there. People seem to want to blow a story out of proportion. We are concentrating on what we’re doing and that’s what’s important.

“Bale is a Madrid player. That is all I can say. What I want to talk to you about now is an important match. Him, me, all the players and the fans are here for the match. That is all I can say.”