Army urge Nigeria to be effectively in delivery process of securing the territorial integrity of the Nation.

The chief of Army staff Lieutenant general Tukur Buratai has urged members Nigerians not to relent effort in cooperating with the Nigerian Army towards effectively delivery process of securing the territorial integrity of the Nation.

Bruratai made this known during a courtesy visit by the Oil and solid mineral producing Area Landlords Association of Nigeria (OMPALAN) in Abuja

The chief of Army staff who was represented by Chief of policy and plans Nigerian Army major General Lamidi Adeosun expressed satisfaction in the effort of the association in Educating people about the successes of the Nigerian military particularly the Nigerian Army despite the seemingly Challenges faced by them.

In recognition of the effort of the group the Nigerian Army urged them to keep up with the initiative of identifying with the widows and families of the departed military Heroes

He stated that the government through the Nigerian military are doing the statutory requirements in that regards even to the extent of educating the children of the our fallen heroes.

Earlier, the president of oil and solid mineral producing area landlords association, Udo Azogu said, The community support for military operations in Nigeria also comes with great challenges saying the challenges of unbridled interference by overzealous politicians who cannot resist the temptation of curing the favour of the army to intimidate vulnerable communities and gain undue political advantage.

He also stated that, The fight against corruption must hinge squarely on transparency and due process in service delivery and organization will no longer accept a situation where overzealous politicians in high public offices tamper with mitigation schemes or stoke tension with impunity and call on soldiers to go and quell attendant crisis that sometimes result in serious casualties with great collateral damage.

He said Politicians who speak from both sides of the mouth preaching peace and stoking crisis must henceforth be held accountable irrespective of the immunity they enjoy.

This is the main thrust of the next level.

FG has assured Nigerians that the nation’s closed borders will soon be reopened.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed disclosed this today at the public presentation and breakdown of the highlights of 2020 budget proposal, in Abuja

The Minister said Government had to close the borders due to neighboring countries who have been abusing the commitment they jointly signed with Nigeria

Stressing that Nigeria has recorded numerous benefits since the closure of it’s borders, Ahmed assured that Government is negotiating with neighboring countries to ensure that the challenges that brought about the closure are speedily addressed

Speaking on the Budget, the minister said an overview of the 2019 fiscal outcome indicated that economic stability has been largely achieved as visible in the significant growth recorded in the non oil sector

On the 2020 Budget of ”sustaining growth and job creation”, the Minister asserted that the aggregate revenue available to fund the 2020 Budget is projected at 8.155 trillion naira, showing 561.2 billion naira increase compared to the 2019 budget.

She however disclosed that the Budget deficit of 2.175 trillion naira is to be financed mainly by borrowing, 1.649 trillion naira both from domestic and foreign sources

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, presented the 2020 Budget of 10.33 trillion naira before the joint session of the national Assembly.

Insecurity: Soyinka’s daughter gets appointment as Buhari govt sets up Police Trust Fund committee[Full list]

President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has developed a framework to train and equip, personnel to tackle insecurity.

A statement by Odutayo Oluseyi of the Ministry of Police Affairs, said to this end, the Minister, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, has inaugurated a 12-member Ministerial interim Committee on the Nigeria Police Trust Fund.

The committee, chaired by Nnamdi Maurice Mbaeri, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Police Affairs, includes Moremi Soyinka-Onijala, lawyer, one of the daughters of Professor Wole Soyinka.

The statement quoted Dingyadi as explaining that the careful selection of members of the Committee which comprises of Directors/Heads of Units of the Ministry and senior members of the Police hierarchy was to meet various sector requirements.

The team is to draw up the take-off Budget for the Trust fund; Liaise with the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation for a suitable office accommodation for the administration of Funds; Determine the logistics and other necessary requirements for the effective take-off of the Fund; Develop an organizational structure for the administration of staff of the fund; Develop a timeline for the take-off of the Fund and; Propose a date for the inauguration of the board.

Full list of members below:
1. Nnamdi Maurice Mbaeri (FCA) – Permanent Secretary – Chairman
2. Dr. Kayode Musbau K – (DFA) – Member
3. Bombata Babatunde H. – (DHRM) – Member
4. Barr. Moremi Soyinka-Onijala – (PID) – Member
5. Afroka Emmanuel Chukudi – SA/Perm. Sec. – Member
6. Joseph O Egbunike – CP – Member
7. Shehu Usman Shuaibu – AG. CP – Member
8. Augustine Akpofure Saromi Fsi – DCP – Member
9. Jonathan Towruru – DCP – Member
10. Emeka Frank Mba – DCP/FPPRO – Member
11. Abel Jangnap Miri Zwalchir – ACP – Member
12. Zubairu M.G. – D(PSD) – Member

BREAKING: Boko Haram: The war just starting – Shekau replies Borno Gov, Zulum

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, has reacted to the message by Borno Governor, Babagana Zulum, to sect leaders and members.

Zulum recently urged them to turn away from their violent ways, embrace peace and return to normal life.

On Sunday evening, Ahmad Salkida, a journalist renowned for his closeness to the sect, disclosed that Shekau has turned down the advice.

Tweeting via his handle, @A_Salkida, the conflict and terrorism reporter wrote: “Shekau, in a recorded audio in Kanuri and Hausa declined the governor’s olive branch.

“In a calm tone, uncharacteristic of Shekau, he said the war was just starting. He vowed that his group was not ready to give up arms, chiding the governor for ‘misinterpreting’ a verse.

“According to Shekau: His members that want to leave, “know that is about Allah, it is not about any human being.”

“Informed analysts consider the exchange a good sign and have urged the governor not to relent in engaging the insurgents at all necessary levels.”

DAILY POST reports that the Boko Haram insurgency clocked 10 years in July 2019.

Over the last decade, the conflict has claimed the lives of some 27,000 civilians and devastated entire communities, villages and towns across the three most-affected states.

Nigeria’s humanitarian crisis remains among one of the most severe in the world with 7.1 million people in need of life-saving assistance and 1.8 million people uprooted from their homes – the vast majority of them women and children.

“The crisis that started ten years ago is still far from over,” Edward Kallon, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, said recently.

“We are here today to remember those who have lost their lives in the conflict, and to remind of those still struggling to survive and rebuild their lives.

“Ten years on, it is not the time for us to spare any effort. In this very critical period, we must collectively redouble efforts, with support at all levels – locally, nationally and internationally.”

Collapsed building kills mother, 3 children in Lagos

The Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, has confirmed the collapse of a storey building in Isheri Magodo, Lagos, killing a mother and three children.

The building situated at 48 Arisha Water front Otun Araromi Street, Magodo Phase 1, collapsed on another building killing a family of four.

Oke-Osanyintolu told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Saturday that the incident occurred on Saturday morning, adding that the bodies of trapped persons have been recovered.

According to him, on arrival at the scene, it was discovered that the building suddenly collapsed from the top of the hill on another building down the street.

“The collapsed building claimed four lives of a family namely: Mrs Jumiah Utache (Wife), nine-year-old, Domino Utache, two-years old boy and Daniel Utache, a-year-old boy.

“The bodies of the deceased are bagged by Tiger team and have been handed over to the family members, together with that of one Faith Emmanuel (Wife’s sister).

“However, the husband, Mr Emmanuel Utache, sustained different degrees of injuries and had been treated while rescue operation was concluded,” Oke-Osanyintolu said.

He said relevant agencies are working to ascertain the cause of the collapse.

In a related development, the LASEMA boss disclosed that another truck fully loaded with 45000 litres of petrol fell at the Otedola Bridge around 11 a:m on Saturday.

Oke-Osanyintolu told NAN that all emergency responders had been activated and trans-loading of the content to prevent the truck from exploding.

He said that the truck had been recovered from the road to ensure free flow of traffic.

Oke-Osanyintolu said that trans-loading of 45000 litres of petrol was ongoing as at 5 p:m at the otedola bridge on Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

He warned against the use of fire around the area to prevent disaster

Military retirees demand own ministry

Military retirees in the country have urged the Federal Government to upgrade the Veterans Affairs Division in the Ministry of Defence to a full fledge ministry to cater for their welfare.

The retirees made the call in a communiqué issued to newsmen on Saturday in Abuja at the end of a 3-day retreat on “Unification of Military Veterans Associations”.

They also called on government at all levels to exploit the untapped resources that abound in them.

The veteran said that they had resolved to operate under one umbrella body known as “Veterans Federation of Nigeria”.

They pledged loyalty to the government and readiness to contribute to national security and development and called on the ministry of defence and Defence Headquarters to develop a database for them.

They said such database should detail their strength, areas of specialisation and experience for the purpose re-engagement.

The New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that at the opening of the retreat on Thursday, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin stressed the need to have a unified veterans’ body in the country.

Olonisakin had noted that the “proliferations of veteran associations have not yielded desired results hence the need to explore platform that can  unify such associations.”

He charged the retreat to come up with an ad hoc committee to begin the unification process and establishment of the “Veterans Association of Nigeria””. (NAN)

Lagos assembly threatens to arrest Ambode

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday threatened to issue a warrant of arrest on the former Governor of the State, Akinwunmi Ambode and four others who served under the ex-governor as commissioners.

The decision followed two preliminary reports presented by two different ad-hoc committees set up by the House to investigate the 820 buses purchased by Ambode and to appraise the 2019 mid-year budget.The former commissioners involved include Kazeem Adeniji (Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice), Olusegun Banjo (Commissioner for Budget), Akinyemi Ashade (Commissioner for Finance) and Wale Oluwo (Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources).

Presenting the preliminary report of a 9-man ad-hoc committee to probe the 820 buses purchased by the former governor, Chairman of the committee, Fatai Mojeed said that it was discovered that due process was not followed in the purchase of the buses.

The lawmaker said Ambode used the refund of the Paris Club for the purchase of the buses without the approval of the House, saying “he did not inform the House before commencing the purchase of the buses.

“Over N48 billion was spent on the purchase of the buses and N22 Billion were spent on import duties. 520 of the buses are still at the seaport.”

Mojeed stated that the Accountant General of the state told the committee that she depended on the approval of Ambode for the purchase of the buses and that no payment voucher was made available to the committee.

According to Mojeed, they also demanded for the budget instrument used for the purchase, but that there was no budgetary provision for the purchases.

“They could not produce any newspaper where the purchase of the buses was advertised. The committee invited 20 stakeholders, 16 of them complied, while four of them refused against the constitutional provision,” he added.

On his part, Gbolahan Yishawu, Chairman Adhoc Committee on mid-year budget review, alleged that the above-mentioned commissioners were invited by his committee but refused to appear without giving any excuses for their absence.

Yishawu also claimed that the former governor gave some directives on spending without the approval of the lawmakers.

Reacting to the matter, some members of the House suggested that since the ex-governor and those officials who worked with him had been invited by the two committees and refused to show up, warrant of arrest should be issued on them.

Bisi Yusuf, the member representing Alimosho Constituency 1, told his colleagues that the House is empowered by the constitution to issue a warrant of arrest on the concerned individuals for their refusal to appear before the committees.

While expressing a contrary view, member representing Badagry Constituency 1, Ibrahim Layode urged his colleagues to tread with caution.

He advised that the concerned individuals should be invited through newspaper advertisements, stating that the ex-officials were likely to come across the publications.

According to the Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, “I want to observe that if they have been invited and refused to show up, we should summon them and if they still refuse, then a warrant of arrest can be issued. Now, they’ve been invited, we should summon them by using the dailies before going to the extent of issuing an arrest warrant.”

Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, noted that the issue was beyond arrest warrant, “because when this house invite people and they refused to show up, it’s like setting a bad precedence for others coming behind.

“The clerk should write them, including the ex-governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and if they refused, we will do newspaper publications and after that, we will issue a warrant of arrest,” Obasa stated.


Kogi guber: APC speaks on Gov. Akeredolu funding Yahaya Bello’s election

The Rotimi Akeredolu-led All Progressives Congress, APC government in Ondo State, has denied the claims by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that it was funding the election of Yahaya Bello of Kogi State. dailypost report.

The PDP had alleged that the APC in Ondo was planning to fund the re-election bid of Governor Bello.

The ruling party described the allegation as a mischievous claim in a statement by its spokesman, Alex Kalejaiye.

The statement said, “For the records, the state chapter plans to set up a committee that has a clear assignment: To boost the morale of our party members in Kogi State.

”It is ridiculous for any individual or a political party, especially one that has national colouration, to allege that Ondo State chapter would build a war chest for an election holding in Kogi State, or anywhere else for that matter.

“Without dispute, the APC-led government in the State harbours no space for financial recklessness. This has drawn applause from objective and sincere observers and resulted in maximising benefits of levies and taxes for the welfare of the people.

”A government that dwells in the realm of frivolity would not contemplate the on-going transformation and industrialization in Ore.

“Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has repeatedly bragged about what he would do to support the PDP in Ondo. We perceive same as normal political arrogance.”

Gambia’s Pateh Bah Becomes WAEC New Registrar

he West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has appointed Mr Pateh Bah as its new Registrar/Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The examination body disclosed this in a statement on Thursday by its Director of Public Affairs, Mr Abiodun Aduloju.

According to the statement, the appointment was ratified by the International Governing Board of WAEC at its 67th Annual Meeting held in Freetown, Sierra Leone in March 2019.

Bah from the Gambia succeeds Dr Iyi Uwadiae from Nigeria and is appointed for a five-year tenure from October 2019 to September 2024.

He is a graduate of Pune University, Maharashtra in India from where he obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1997.

The new WAEC boss also holds various postgraduate and professional qualifications from other institutions in India and the United Kingdom.

He worked briefly with the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Banjul, The Gambia from 1990 to 1991 before he joined the service of WAEC at the Gambia National Office on October 9, 1991.

In 2002, Bah was appointed as Personal Assistant to the Registrar/CEO after which he relocated to the Council’s headquarters in Accra, Ghana.

While at the Headquarters, he rose to the position of Principal Assistant Registrar on April 1, 2010, and successfully served as Personal Assistant to two successive Registrars.

Based on a special request by the Board of Directors of the Gambia Office of WAEC – The Gambia Administrative and Finance Committee – Bah was deployed in June 2010 to temporarily take charge of the Gambia National Office when its headship fell vacant.

He was later made the acting Head of National Office for a two-year term from September 2010 to August 2012 and at the expiration of the period, he was appointed the substantive Head of the Office with effect from October 12, 2012, a position he held until he assumed office as the 13th Registrar to Council on October 1, 2019.

He was a member of the Governing Boards of the Gambia Technical Training Institute and the Gambia National Accreditation & Quality Assurance Authority.

Bah also served as Chairman, Audit Committee of the International Association for Educational Assessment (IAEA) and the present Treasurer of the Association for Educational Assessment in Africa (AEAA), as well as a member representing Africa on the Board of Trustees of the IAEA.

Learning Ubulu-Uku Language Remains The Happiest Memory Of My Life_ Jowitt, British professor

Seventy-eight-year-old Professor David Jowitt has lived in Nigeria for 45 years, teaching English at universities. Jowitt, who is currently at the University of Jos, Plateau State, tells JAMES ABRAHAM about his experience in Nigeria, why he chose to stay and has remained unmarried, among other things.

How long have you been in Nigeria?

I was born in the United Kingdom, in London to be more precise. I first came here in 1963 but I haven’t been here all the time since then. I have been here continuously since 1974, which is 45 years ago.

What brought you to Nigeria at the time?

In 1963, l was a young graduate from the University of Cambridge in Britain and I wanted to do something adventurous for a while, at least. And somebody suggested to me: “Why don’t you go and teach in one of those developing countries that just gained independence because they need teachers?” When I asked the person which country he had in mind, he mentioned Nigeria. So Nigeria became my country of destination to teach, knowing that teaching was something I could do and enjoy doing.

Why did you not return to your country after a few years?

When I came here in 1963, I enjoyed my teaching experience and from that time onwards, I have always thought it is a very worthwhile thing for me to be a teacher here. But then, of course, there is another bigger dimension to the whole thing which is living in another country and experiencing another culture. And that personal contact with a different culture is what I found immensely rewarding. In other words, I have enjoyed the whole experience being in a place with a different culture and at the same time, when you leave your own culture to experience another culture, you become conscious of common humanity. There are ways by which the Nigerian culture is different from the British culture and at the same time, you will find some things which we human beings have in common. So, when you live in a different culture, there is this interesting blend of what is different and what is similar and that has built me for over 50 years.

What are those things you like about Nigeria?

The warmth of Nigerians – the good humour and friendliness and the respect towards me that I sensed from my pupils in the school where I taught right from the beginning. Referring to the warmth and good humour of Nigerians, let me give you an example of that. In my department here at the University of Jos, we have more than 30 lecturers and we only have a few offices because we are expecting to have another building which may increase the number of offices available to us. So, there aren’t enough offices for people but there is one office where you find about six or seven persons at work. And we in the department call this office “IDPs’ office” and that is a bit of humour and you find this all the time about Nigerians. And I also like humour, laughing and meeting with people. Again, we laugh a lot as Nigerians. As you know, we have a lot of problems in the country. Yet, we have this ability to laugh about them and that is a great human quality.

What are those things you don’t like about Nigeria?

Perhaps, I shouldn’t say too much; after all, I am not yet a Nigerian. However, I have applied to be a Nigeria citizen. But one thing that frustrates me is timekeeping. We often have meetings and we don’t start on time. But in the modern world, it’s so important that we start on time because we don’t have all the time in the world to play with.

How many wives do you have?

I don’t have any wife let alone have many wives. I am a Christian and only one wife is allowed.

Why do you choose to remain unmarried?

I have been asked this question several times and one answer I will give is that when I was younger, my great ambition in life was not to be a teacher but to write books. After I graduated, I found that I couldn’t just sit down to write books; you need to have an income. For me, teaching is a very demanding job if you want to do it well. So at that time, I was preoccupied with teaching to the extent that I didn’t get my first book published until I was 44 years old. What I am trying to say is that that was a time to get married and start a family. That may sound surprising because you would say there are many people in this world who have done just that but it is not easy to do that. One of my great friends in this country was the late Chinua Achebe. As we all know, he was a famous writer, a novelist and also a happy family man. I remember in 1971 when I was having breakfast with him and his wife at Nsukka; I also remember visiting him many years later in 1980 when he was the Head of the Department of English at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. By this time, he had not brought out any new novel since 1966. The only fiction he had published was a collection of short stories which was published after the civil war. In my ingenuity when I saw him, I asked him if he had any other novel in the making or if we could expect any more novels from him very soon. He looked at me and pointed at a pile of files on his desk and said, “How do you expect me to write a novel when I have all these administrative works to do?” I felt for him and thought how sad it was that this great man would just be there and hindered when the world was crying for another novel from him.

How do you handle temptation from female students?

I resist the temptation as everybody ought to do. I know we are flesh and blood but that is no excuse. The temptation is there but one has to resist it.

What kind of Nigerian food do you like?

When I arrived in this country in 1963, I wanted to be part of the Nigerian culture. I wanted to start eating Nigerian food; to learn to speak a Nigerian language and dress the Nigerian way and so on. My answer will be everything and I’m happy to tell you that even recently, I ate a local food prepared by the Goemai people of Plateau State, which I had never tried before. I like Egusi soup which I sometimes prepare by myself.

At what point did you decide to settle in Nigeria?

Certainly, it was not my intention to still be here in my 70s. My idea was that after staying for a while, I would return to Britain and probably start teaching in a grammar school. So, after staying for the initial two years in Nigeria, I went back to my country for a postgraduate education course to become qualified as a teacher. This was at a time it was becoming more and more imperative for teachers not just to have the first degree but some kind of education qualification. When I was doing that course, I just knew that I wouldn’t be happy if I was not going to come back to Nigeria at the end of it. And that was what I did eventually. I came back to teach in a very good grammar school – Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha, Anambra State. Shortly afterwards, the Nigerian Civil War broke out and I had to return to Britain where I did a little bit of teaching. Thereafter, I went to teach in Libya for a while and again returned to Britain to get a master’s degree in Linguistics. But I always knew that before long, I would have to come back to Nigeria which I did in 1974 and since then, I have remained in Nigeria.

How would you describe your childhood period?

I can say I had a happy childhood even though my parents were poor by the British standard. I didn’t come from an educated family as my parents had only been to primary school in North London. But I often say nowadays that I was very lucky to have been born when I was and where I was because just after I was born, the Education Act of 1944 was passed which made secondary and university education free if you were able to get admission and I benefitted from that. Because of that, I went to secondary school and the university without my parents paying anything.  And so, here in Nigeria, I’m very conscious of young people where in some cases, they are held back because there is no one to pay their school fees and because of that I have helped many Nigerians in this regard. I don’t mind advertising this aspect of my life. There was this young man from Benue State; I did not only pay for his first degree in Chemistry but also his master’s degree programme. And I would count this as one of my achievements in this country and I still play that kind of role.

How did you get your first job?

I graduated in June 1962 from the University of Cambridge. It was a year roughly before I came to Nigeria and during that one year, I wanted to study for admission into the British civil service but I had to keep myself alive and so, I had some clerical jobs I was doing in London offices because I had some typing skills. I learnt how to type when I was a boy. So, it was when I came to Nigeria in September 1963 that I was first given a teaching job in Delta State. I have lived in different parts of Nigeria since then, including Onitsha, Okene, Pankshin and Kano, where I got my first university appointment at Bayero University and finally the University of Jos where I have been since 2006.

How was your first salary and how did you feel when you received it?

I think my first salary was in 1962 and it was 10 pounds a week. I was doing a temporary job so I was paid weekly, typing in offices in London. About that time, a teacher in Britain would earn less than £1,000 a year. And then, I came to Nigeria and had my first permanent job on contract as a teacher in a missionary school in Ubulu-Ukwu in Delta State. I was not part of the civil service then but it was later when I started teaching in colleges of education that I became aware of the civil service hierarchy. So in 1974, I was appointed as Senior Education Officer and later promoted to Principal Education Officer and then later to Assistant Chief Education Officer. But way back in 1963, I wasn’t aware of the civil service hierarchy because I started in the mission schools. Coming back to your question on my first salary; it was at Ubulu-Ukwu in Delta State. The principal of my school handed me the wads of notes totalling £93. In those days, Nigeria still had pounds and shillings as its currencies. So, when I was given the £93, I was overwhelmed because I had never seen so much money in my life. It was more than enough for me.

Do you have any regrets in life?

Yes, one or two. When I was younger, I wanted to write a great novel. It was my ambition to write a great work of fiction. I haven’t yet done that; I have written many books, about 20 published books with my name on each of them. Many of them are English textbooks, which have gone through more than one edition. Undoubtedly, the one for which I am most known in Nigeria was published in 1991 – Nigerian English Usage. Even now, I am writing my autobiography. But I’m a very strong believer in divine providence because God has blessed me by enabling me to write many books. Though there are not the ones I had in mind when I was a boy, there is still time and one should be optimistic and not pessimistic.

What day would you describe as your happiest day in life ?

When I came to Nigeria, I wanted to learn the language of the people. Igbo was the language of the people of Ubulu -Ukwu where I settled. I can speak the language and also Hausa and Yoruba to some extent, as well as Igbira. I just love languages.

Are you still in touch with your family in London?

Yes. My elder sister is still alive although she is widowed and without any children. And I have a younger sister who died early last year and I went home for that. I have many friends and relatives who are doing well.

What do you consider as your greatest challenge in life?

My greatest challenge is overcoming despair and fear. Perhaps, I am somebody who is always tempted to be afraid. Just a few days ago, I was in an aeroplane flying from Ibadan to Abuja and soon after we left Ibadan, there was a bit of turbulence and I was very afraid. But the lady sitting next to me was not afraid. But when I think of these fears, my mind goes back to those early childhood experiences when our lives were threatened daily by bombings. So, learning to have complete trust in God and not to despair is quite a big challenge.