Wednesday, August 27, 2014

480 escaped soldiers return to Nigeria

There were indications on Monday that the 480 Nigerian soldiers who fled to Cameroon during a fierce gun battle with Boko Haram insurgents in Gamboru Ngala, Borno State had returned to Nigeria.

A military source said on Monday that the soldiers arrived in Mubi, Adamawa State by road around 5pm on Tuesday. Mubi is near the nation's border with Cameroon.

He added that the troops would be reunited with their counterparts in the North-East to continue with the ongoing operation against the insurgents.

The Defence authorities had explained on Monday that the soldiers "strayed" into the neighbouring country and therefore did not defect as widely speculated when the news broke on Monday.

The PUNCH also gathered on Monday that additional 1,000 troops were airlifted to Maiduguri on Tuesday   and that the insurgents had converted the palace of the Emir of Gwoza to their operational headquarters.

The additional troops, investigations showed, were meant to reinforce soldiers, engaged in a battle to dislodge the insurgents from Gamboru Ngala .

The fighting was said to have been raging as of   Tuesday evening.

Efforts to get the Director of Defence Information, Maj.Gen Chris Olukolade's comments on the latest developments in Gwoza and other parts of Borno State did not succeed as calls to his mobile telephone did not go through.

Olukolade had told our correspondent on the telephone on Monday that the 480 soldiers who "strayed" into Cameroon were on their way to the country following discussions between the heads of   military authorities in the two neigbouring countries.

Meanwhile, a security source   said on Tuesday   that Boko Haram insurgents had started coordinating their attacks on Nigerian troops from the Emir of Gwoza's palace.

The leader of the militant Islamist sect , Abubakar Shekau, had in a video obtained by the Agence France Presse on Sunday, announced that Gwoza had become an Islamic Caliphate.

He had also vowed that the group would not leave the town.

Meanwhile, the International Emergency Management Society of Nigeria/West Africa, has called on the Nigerian military to stop the ongoing displacement of Nigerians in the North- East.

The group, in a statement by its Director of Communications, Mr. Adesanya Adejokun, also urged the political leadership to allow the military to take on the insurgents decisively without political and ethnic colouration.

The group which is led by Air Vice-Marshal Muhammad Audu-Bida(retd.), a former Director-General,   National Emergency Management Agency, described the killings , destruction and displacement of millions of people in the North-East as an embarrassment which the military must stop.

It warned that the attack on   the Police training academy by   insurgents on August 21, 2014 would   embolden them unless steps were taken to halt their advances.

It quoted   Audu-Bida as saying "As a former military general myself, I am aware that our military is capable of quelling this insurgency because they have the training, courage and equipment to accomplish the task of securing the country's territory but they should be allowed by political authorities to carry out their duties unfettered by political, ethnic or religious coloration and or sentiments..

"For the good of millions of Nigerians, the military should take decisive action now to stop further displacement of Nigerians, destruction of farmlands, lives and property as well as occupying our territory, a situation which has become very embarrassing to Nigerians, government and the armed forces," he said.

However, camps of rebels have reportedly been uncovered between Danka and Kwandere in Lafia North, Nasarawa State.

A former magistrate in the state, Zachariah Allumaga, made this known while speaking to     journalists on the crisis in some communities which claimed more than 30 lives in the past four days.

Allumaga said he had   every reason to believe that the over 400 people   camped in the state were insurgents   from Yobe and its environs.

According to him, other insurgents were camped several months under the pretext of internally displaced persons from Yalwa Shandam in Plateau State and Takum in Taraba State.

''The camps said to be for refuges are in the other way meant for insurgents to kill the ancestral people of the state," he claimed.

PUNCH

Ebola: FG orders schools to resume Oct 13


The Federal Government on Tuesday ordered that all primary and secondary schools in the country should resume on October 13, 2014 because of the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in the country.

The Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau, announced the new resumption date after a marathon meeting with all the 36 state Commissioners of Education in Abuja on Tuesday evening.

Shekarau, who briefed journalists after the meeting, said all private schools in the country should also comply with the directive.

He added that schools should suspend their summer programmes with immediate effect.

According to him, each of the private and public schools will be required to train at least two desk officers in collaboration with ministry of health officials on how to handle Ebola.

He said, "All state Commissioners of Education and I met this day 26th August, 2014 to discuss issues related to the reopening of schools for the new academic year (2014/2015) vis-à-vis the Ebola epidemic issue.

"The meeting was also attended by senior officials of the Federal Ministry of Health. At the end of the meeting, the following decisions were arrived at as preventive measures to ensure the safety and well-being of all students in our schools throughout the Federation.

"All Primary and Secondary schools, both Public and Private are to remain closed until Monday 13th October, 2014 which is the new school resumption date for all schools throughout the Federation.

"This is to ensure that adequate preventive measures are put in place before the students report back to school. All State Ministries of Education are to immediately organize and ensure that at least two (2) staff in each school, both Public and Private, are trained by appropriate health workers on how to handle any suspected case of Ebola and also embark on immediate sensitization of all Teaching and Non-Teaching Staff in all schools on preventive measures. This training of staff must be concluded not later than 15th September, 2014."

PUNCH

UBA announces former MD, Tony Elumelu as new Chairman

The Board of United Bank for Africa Plc, UBA, on Tuesday named Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, CON, as Chairman to succeed Ambassador Joe Keshi.

Mr. Elumelu until this new appointment is Chairman/CEO of Heirs Holdings, the pan-African proprietary investment company, founded by him in 2010.

Elumelu retired as Group Managing Director/CEO of UBA in 2010, following the introduction by the Central Bank of Nigeria of 10-year tenure limits for bank CEOs.

‎He had served as CEO of the UBA Group for 13 years, where he was responsible for the creation of today's UBA, a financial services institution providing services to more than 10 million customers, across the continent and in London, Paris and New York.

The Chairmanship of UBA will complement Mr. Elumelu's existing positions with other Heirs Holdings' portfolio businesses, including the Chairmanships of Tenoil Petroleum & Energy Services Limited and Seadrill Limited.

"Tony Elumelu's track record at UBA speaks for itself", said Mr. Phillips Oduoza, Group Managing Director/CEO UBA.

"His return to the Board brings a depth of knowledge and experience in the African financial services industry that is second to none.

‎"We are privileged to have him lead the Board at this critical stage in our development".

Analysts and leaders of shareholder groups also welcomed Mr. Elumelu's return.

"Banking in Africa is a dynamic, exciting and an increasingly competitive and challenging industry", said economic and financial analyst, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, Chief Executive of Financial Derivatives.

‎"Tony is visionary, courageous and has shown an ability to both think for the long term, and to create significant shareholder value. The drive, dynamism and competitiveness that we saw during his period as CEO of UBA, was one of the catalysts of the enormous changes in the Nigerian banking sector", he said.

Dr. Farouk Umar, President Association for the Advancement of Rights of Nigerian Shareholders (AARNS) said, "We are delighted with this appointment. It bodes well for UBA and the banking industry, now and in the future. Elumelu is a transformer and value creator for shareholders. We are excited about his return".

With operations in 19 African countries and presence in New York, London and Paris, UBA is one of the largest financial services institutions in Africa. The Bank recently unveiled its Project Alpha, a three-year road map of key transformation initiatives, designed to consolidate the group's strategic positioning and fully exploit the opportunities provided by Africa's economic renaissance and the UBA Group's unique platform.


‎"Tony is visionary, courageous and has shown an ability to both think for the long term, and to create significant shareholder value. The drive, dynamism and competitiveness that we saw during his period as CEO of UBA, was one of the catalysts of the enormous changes in the Nigerian banking sector", he said.

Dr. Farouk Umar, President Association for the Advancement of Rights of Nigerian Shareholders (AARNS) said, "We are delighted with this appointment. It bodes well for UBA and the banking industry, now and in the future. Elumelu is a transformer and value creator for shareholders. We are excited about his return".

With operations in 19 African countries and presence in New York, London and Paris, UBA is one of the largest financial services institutions in Africa. The Bank recently unveiled its Project Alpha, a three-year road map of key transformation initiatives, designed to consolidate the group's strategic positioning and fully exploit the opportunities provided by Africa's economic renaissance and the UBA Group's unique platform.

‎"I am very much looking forward to returning to the Group. UBA represents a tremendous investment opportunity, and is at an inflection point in its growth path. We have an extremely powerful executive team and I am looking forward to bringing my experience and energy, to guide UBA's long-term strategy", said Elumelu.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fake soldier re-arrested in Ondo, says she is on survival mission

A fake Soldier, Miss Angela Omieh, who had earlier been arrested on April 17 by men of the 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure was re-arrested on Tuesday at Igbara-Oke military check-point in Ifedore local government area of Ondo State in the same army uniform.

However, after this latest arrest, she gave her name as Miss Jamila Suleiman Suleiman of Mile 3, Dioba, Port Harcourt, Rivers State contrary to her former name.

The State Police Commissioner, Isaac Eke, who paraded the suspect after briefing reporters in his office, said the fake Soldier was earlier in the year been arrested by military men and handed over to the Police .

She was then charged to Court but granted bail and re-arrested again at Igbara-Oke military Check-Point while impersonating herself as a Soldier.

The suspect said she committed the offence in order to survive life after the death of her father.

She confessed that she bought the uniform from a shop in Delta State and pleaded for leniency, promising not to involve in such act again.

Eke also revealed a case of attempted murder involving one Busayo Ayowele, stressing that during the police investigation, the suspect confessed to have soaked his man friend one Anthony Idowu with petrol and set him ablaze, which resulted to the victim's death.

The Police Boss disclosed that 23 armed robbery and 2 kidnap suspects were arrested.

He said the command had recorded a lot of success in the second quarter of the year.

Eke stressed that a total number of arms recovered were 10 while 36 suspects were charged to court for various criminal offences.

The commissioner reiterated the commitment of the command at reducing crime to its barest minimum, urging sister security agencies to partner with the command.

Protest: Police ban in order - PDP

The Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has berated the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for rejecting the police ban on unauthorized public procession and protest in Kwara State. The PDP says that by rejecting the order the APC leadership have now concretely confirmed the fears of Kwarans that the APC is unruly and deviant.

All the police command seeks to prevent is the continued degeneration of the security of the state and nothing more. It is not targeted at the APC alone but all groups and individuals irrespective of their political leaning. So, why is the APC crying more than other institutions that are affected by the order? Does the APC have other motives other than what it is making the public to believe?

As far as we are concerned, we believe that the police would not have handed down the banning order but for the violent conduct of some members of the APC in Kwara State. And as an institution whose primary responsibility is to protect lives and property in the state, the police would not stand by while the APC turns the state into a theatre of war. 

For instance, over the last two weeks, under the guise of rallies and public processions, members of the APC in Kwara have wrecked untoward havoc on the lives and properties of Kwarans. This situation came to its head on Friday, 15th August, 2014 when some sponsored APC thugs invaded the Ode Belgore and Alege Compound polling units in Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara State and assaulted innocents PDP members who had queued to collect their Permanent Voters' Cards (PVC), including an innocent NYSC youth corps member, whose only offence was his insistence on due process. But instead of owing up to the criminal conducts of its members, the APC has characteristically turned the table against the victims of their crime.

The following day, Saturday, 17th August, 2014, some APC members in Ode Opobiyi polling unit, Ilorin West Local Government Area, in obvious attempt to provoke majority PDP members, also reportedly swept the footprint of a prominent chieftain of the PDP in the area. But for the maturity of the members of the PDP who are in the majority in the area, the situation might have degenerated into a violent confrontation. 

Would the police have banned rallies and political gatherings around the registration points if the APC had not moved to subvert the rule of the game? Would the police have placed a temporary embargo on public procession if the APC had acted within the confines of the law? These are the questions that all right thinking members of the public are now asking.

It is our contention that the right of the APC to protest or hold rallies in whatever guise, is not elastic, it is subject to their leaders' responsibility to ensure decorum and sanity - a commitment which the APC leadership has unfortunately not been able to extract from its members across the state. This is the spirit and the letters of S. 48 of the 1999 constitution which creates exceptions where right could be deviated upon when the collective security of the people is at stake.

It therefore behoves on the leadership of the APC to call their violent members to order, especially as INEC commences the second round of the registration exercise. 
 
As a peace loving party, we are in full support of the bid by the Kwara police command to stem the tide of violence that now threatens the corporate existence of Kwara State, no thanks to the violent activity of the APC in the state. 

We are confident that the police would relax its order as soon as the political class in Kwara, particularly the APC, show a firmer commitment to uphold the sanctity of the rule of law and the security of lives and property of the citizens of the state.

Rex. Olawoye
Publicity Secretary





From: amofin@hotmail.com
To: kwarapdp@hotmail.com
Subject: Kwara APC rejects ban
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:14:29 +0000

The All Progressives Congress (APC), Kwara State chapter has dismissed the ban on rallies and political meetings by Kwara State Police Command as an affront to democracy and Nigerian Constitution.


The APC said, "the Nigerian Police Force 
(NPF) as an institution established by Law, must allow itself to be guided by Law and History rather than arbitrariness.


In a statement issued at Ilorin, Tuesday, by its Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Sulyman Buhari, the APC said, "the ban is not only illegal and unwarranted, it is also null and void in the face of Nigerian constitution".


"The Police Command lacks such powers to ban rallies, procession and political meetings in Kwara State, only the Governor of Kwara State who doubles as the Chief Security Officer of Kwara State has such constitutional powers.


"The fundamental rights to freedom of conscience, expression, assembly and association of the good people of Kwara State as guaranteed by sections 38, 39 and 40 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can not be unilaterally violated by the NPF, an institution responsible for the enforcement of same fundamental human rights.


On the directive that party agents should steer clear of polling units during the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise, the APC said, "CVR exercises are conducted by INEC not the Police Command. It was INEC that requested the participation of political parties and deployment of party agents to polling booths. In any electoral process, the duty of the police is to ensure compliance with INEC laws and guidelines, not to give counter unlawful orders".


"The Kwara State Police Command should be reminded that when a Commissioner of Police attempted to impose ban on political rallies in Rivers State, the ban was defeated by Law and the people of Rivers State.


"Again, when a Commissioner of Police banned rallies and protests at Abuja in June, 2014. The Inspector-General of Police overruled the ban and reiterated that Nigerians have the rights to organise protests and rallies.


"Aside facts, that the statement conveying the purported ban on political rallies is conspicuously devoid of why political rallies were banned and where the Police Command derived such powers, there is fundamentally no basics for such ban in Kwara State.


"The APC holds that the rights of Kwarans must not be infringed upon by the police. The Police Command should halt any attempt to arrest the freedom of our people. Kwara State is not under siege, no form of siege not even Police siege is unacceptable to our party and the people of Kwara State.


"Since we have highlighted plus proved without doubt that the ban on political meetings and rallies is illegal and unconstitutional, the Kwara State Police Command should summon the courage to reverse itself on the unlawful ban forthwith.", the statement read.


Protest: Police ban in order - PDP

The Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has berated the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for rejecting the police ban on unauthorized public procession and protest in Kwara State. The PDP says that by rejecting the order the APC leadership have now concretely confirmed the fears of Kwarans that the APC is unruly and deviant.

All the police command seeks to prevent is the continued degeneration of the security of the state and nothing more. It is not targeted at the APC alone but all groups and individuals irrespective of their political leaning. So, why is the APC crying more than other institutions that are affected by the order? Does the APC have other motives other than what it is making the public to believe?

As far as we are concerned, we believe that the police would not have handed down the banning order but for the violent conduct of some members of the APC in Kwara State. And as an institution whose primary responsibility is to protect lives and property in the state, the police would not stand by while the APC turns the state into a theatre of war. 

For instance, over the last two weeks, under the guise of rallies and public processions, members of the APC in Kwara have wrecked untoward havoc on the lives and properties of Kwarans. This situation came to its head on Friday, 15th August, 2014 when some sponsored APC thugs invaded the Ode Belgore and Alege Compound polling units in Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara State and assaulted innocents PDP members who had queued to collect their Permanent Voters' Cards (PVC), including an innocent NYSC youth corps member, whose only offence was his insistence on due process. But instead of owing up to the criminal conducts of its members, the APC has characteristically turned the table against the victims of their crime.

The following day, Saturday, 17th August, 2014, some APC members in Ode Opobiyi polling unit, Ilorin West Local Government Area, in obvious attempt to provoke majority PDP members, also reportedly swept the footprint of a prominent chieftain of the PDP in the area. But for the maturity of the members of the PDP who are in the majority in the area, the situation might have degenerated into a violent confrontation. 

Would the police have banned rallies and political gatherings around the registration points if the APC had not moved to subvert the rule of the game? Would the police have placed a temporary embargo on public procession if the APC had acted within the confines of the law? These are the questions that all right thinking members of the public are now asking.

It is our contention that the right of the APC to protest or hold rallies in whatever guise, is not elastic, it is subject to their leaders' responsibility to ensure decorum and sanity - a commitment which the APC leadership has unfortunately not been able to extract from its members across the state. This is the spirit and the letters of S. 48 of the 1999 constitution which creates exceptions where right could be deviated upon when the collective security of the people is at stake.

It therefore behoves on the leadership of the APC to call their violent members to order, especially as INEC commences the second round of the registration exercise. 
 
As a peace loving party, we are in full support of the bid by the Kwara police command to stem the tide of violence that now threatens the corporate existence of Kwara State, no thanks to the violent activity of the APC in the state. 

We are confident that the police would relax its order as soon as the political class in Kwara, particularly the APC, show a firmer commitment to uphold the sanctity of the rule of law and the security of lives and property of the citizens of the state.

Rex. Olawoye
Publicity Secretary





From: amofin@hotmail.com
To: kwarapdp@hotmail.com
Subject: Kwara APC rejects ban
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:14:29 +0000

The All Progressives Congress (APC), Kwara State chapter has dismissed the ban on rallies and political meetings by Kwara State Police Command as an affront to democracy and Nigerian Constitution.


The APC said, "the Nigerian Police Force 
(NPF) as an institution established by Law, must allow itself to be guided by Law and History rather than arbitrariness.


In a statement issued at Ilorin, Tuesday, by its Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Sulyman Buhari, the APC said, "the ban is not only illegal and unwarranted, it is also null and void in the face of Nigerian constitution".


"The Police Command lacks such powers to ban rallies, procession and political meetings in Kwara State, only the Governor of Kwara State who doubles as the Chief Security Officer of Kwara State has such constitutional powers.


"The fundamental rights to freedom of conscience, expression, assembly and association of the good people of Kwara State as guaranteed by sections 38, 39 and 40 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can not be unilaterally violated by the NPF, an institution responsible for the enforcement of same fundamental human rights.


On the directive that party agents should steer clear of polling units during the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise, the APC said, "CVR exercises are conducted by INEC not the Police Command. It was INEC that requested the participation of political parties and deployment of party agents to polling booths. In any electoral process, the duty of the police is to ensure compliance with INEC laws and guidelines, not to give counter unlawful orders".


"The Kwara State Police Command should be reminded that when a Commissioner of Police attempted to impose ban on political rallies in Rivers State, the ban was defeated by Law and the people of Rivers State.


"Again, when a Commissioner of Police banned rallies and protests at Abuja in June, 2014. The Inspector-General of Police overruled the ban and reiterated that Nigerians have the rights to organise protests and rallies.


"Aside facts, that the statement conveying the purported ban on political rallies is conspicuously devoid of why political rallies were banned and where the Police Command derived such powers, there is fundamentally no basics for such ban in Kwara State.


"The APC holds that the rights of Kwarans must not be infringed upon by the police. The Police Command should halt any attempt to arrest the freedom of our people. Kwara State is not under siege, no form of siege not even Police siege is unacceptable to our party and the people of Kwara State.


"Since we have highlighted plus proved without doubt that the ban on political meetings and rallies is illegal and unconstitutional, the Kwara State Police Command should summon the courage to reverse itself on the unlawful ban forthwith.", the statement read.


FCT Minister commissions 49 housing units in Apo-Dutse

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Mohammed yesterday commissioned 49 housing units built by Abuja Investments Company Limited (AICL) in Apo-Dutse Estate in a bid to bridge the housing deficit in Abuja.

The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the FCT Administration, Obinna Chukwu also commissioned the executive office suites in Garki built by AICL and performed the ground breaking for the construction of an ultra modern mall in Guzape District.

The housing project which comprises 8 units of 3 bedroom terraces, 20 units of 4 bedroom terraces and 21 units of 4 bedrooms semi-detached is an initiative of Abuja Investment Company Limited, AICL- an agency under the FCT Administration.

‎Commissioning the estate, the Minister disclosed that the project was one of the numerous housing programmes the administration has embarked on towards tackling the problem of accommodation confronting Abuja residents.

He informed that available statistics show that FCT accounts for 10 percent of the total housing deficit of 17 million in the country, hence to bridge the gap, adding that a lot is being done by the administration in the area of provision of housing.

His words: "From statistics, the housing deficit in Nigeria is about 17 million and 10 percent of it is in the FCT. This of course is due to the peculiar demography resulting from the mass influx into the capital city.

"To bridge this gap, the administration has embarked on a number of policies such as the Land Swap initiatives, affordable housing and mass housing schemes."

‎Speaking further, he said: "I have no doubt in me that this housing project demonstrates the commitment of the FCTA in meeting the challenges of housing confronting FCT residents.

"It is also part of our effort in delivering the dividends of the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan."

Mohammed added that this year has seen the FCT administration award contracts for the provision of infrastructure in 10 new districts , namely, Jahi, Kagini, Maitama Extension, Wuye, Mbora, Guzape 1 and 2, Wasa and Katampe.

He revealed that from 2010 till date, a total of 136 developers and cooperative societies have benefited from mass housing lands in the FCT, the result of which is that many residents now own houses in mass housing estates.

While noting that the administration has under the mass housing scheme, commenced the pilot scheme in Karshi, he informed that this is expected to contribute at least, 1000 housing units into the FCT housing stock.

The Minister urged the contractor handling the Guzape shopping mall to ensure the project is delivered on time and assured of the FCT Administration's resolve to boost the capability of AICL.

He then commended the management of the company for living up to the expectation of the administration and justifying the confidence reposed in them, saying: "The AICL has remained steadfast in pursuing its mandates of attracting investments to the FCT, as it is also presently collaborating with the private sector in the area of city mass transportation services, Abuja Millennium Tower project and other projects."

Responding, the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of AICL, Musa Musa thanked the Minister for his support to the company and stressed that the project was a demonstration of the company's identification with the vision of the Minister to ensure that Abuja becomes one of the best cities in the world by 20:20.

Earlier in an address, the project contractor, Arch. Yunusa Yakubu said all necessary building specifications were adhered to in building the standard estate, noting that all the 49 housing units were inclusive of a one-bedroom en-suite boy's quarters.

‎According to him, the housing estate is self-contained, with ample parking, lighted common areas and pedestrian walkways, wide, privately maintained paved roads, 24 hour security services, CCTV surveillance, two standby 750kv power generators, dedicated electric transformer, and constant water supply among other features.