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.”

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​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.