Boko Haram Ransacks Borno Villages As Army Withdraws

Air Force Officer Dismissed For Raping 14-Year-Old IDP

 

Villagers from two local governments in Borno State, Gubio and Magumeri are now hiding in bushes following a night of terror launched by Boko Haram insurgents.

The insurgents had gained free entry into the two towns unchallenged as the army had withdrawn from its locations for unexplained reasons.

Civilian Joint Task Force members were the only security personnel present in the towns when the attack occurred but they retreated into the bushes along with villagers upon seeing the large number of the assailants and their sophisticated weapons.

The spokesperson of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Colonel Ado Isa when contacted for details of the attack and reason for the reported withdrawal of troops, did not pick his call, neither has he replied an SMS sent to him.

READ ALSO: Boko Haram: The Battle In The North East Is Not Being Won – Dr Junaid Mohammed

But a civilian JTF source, Abba Kalli confirmed that the outlaws first attacked Gubio at about 5pm on Wednesday evening before proceeding to Magumeri where they held the two evening Muslim prayers, Magrib and Isha’i before unleashing mayhem.

Kalli said it is not clear if any villager was hurt as according to him the information is still sketchy and communication has now been cut off because the telecommunication mast in the area was also destroyed in the attack.

The attack in Magumeri was reportedly led by indigenes of the town who are now militants who went house-to-house seeking for Civilian JTF members and other community security volunteers.

Cars, municipal buildings and all the modern houses in the village were set ablaze by the militants while few cars were taken away, according to witnesses.

Gubio has been a target of attacks in recent times with the state Governor Babagana Umara Zulum severally visiting to boost the villagers resilience.

Buhari Arrives In Kaduna For Commissioning Of Projects

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Kaduna State for the Commissioning of some projects.

He was received by Governor Nasir El Rufai and other top Government Officials at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Zaria.

During the visit, the president will commission the Phase II of the Zaria Regional Water Supply Project Completed the the Elrufai administration.

READ ALSO: Kaduna Emergency Agency Warns Residents To Quit Flood-Prone Areas

The first phase of the project was commissioned on May 27, 2017, by the former national Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

The 150 million litres per day Zaria Water Treatment Plant which was solely financed by the Kaduna State Government is expected to end decades of water scarcity in Zaria and environs.

While in Kaduna, the President will also Commission post graduate centre of excellence at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria built by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

 

Five Things To Know About Greenland

 

US President Donald Trump has confirmed he is keen to buy Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory rich in natural resources and of increasing geopolitical relevance as the Arctic ice sheet melts.

But Denmark, a NATO ally, swiftly retorted that the island, located between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans, is not for sale, prompting Trump to cancel a planned state visit.

Here are five things to know about Greenland.

Ice-covered ‘Green earth’

The name “Greenland” is misleading as the two million square kilometre island, the world’s largest island that is not a continent, has three quarters bordering the Arctic Ocean and is 85 percent covered in ice.

Greenland was a Danish colony until 1953, when it became part of the Danish Realm.

In 1979, it gained “autonomous territory” status. Today, the island’s economy depends heavily on subsidies from Copenhagen.

Its 55,000 inhabitants — of whom 17,000 reside in the capital Nuuk — are more than 90 percent Inuit, an indigenous group from Central Asia.

Global powers converge

Greenland has been essential to US defence since World War II, when it was a base for monitoring Nazi ships and submarines passing through the Arctic on their way to the north Atlantic.

In 1943, the US Air Force built its farthest-north air base at Thule, crucial during the Cold War as a first line of monitoring against a potential Russian attack.

With a population of 600, the base is today part of a NATO mission, operating satellite monitoring and strategic missile detection systems.

As the polar ice sheet melts, opening up potentially major shipping routes, other global powers have moved in.

Russia has become more active, and, while it has no geographical claim to the region, newcomer China has also begun to show interest in the region.

China’s massive commercial shipping industry would benefit from the new polar routes.

In January 2018, Beijing unveiled its “Polar Silk Road” strategy to extend its economic influence through the Arctic.

China began sending scientific missions to Greenland already in 2004, and a Chinese company has gained mining rights for rare earths.

Last year, a Chinese government-backed group also offered to build three new international airports in Greenland, sparking alarm in Copenhagen and Washington.

That plan was ultimately nixed, in exchange for Danish funding and a pledge of support from the Pentagon.

At the heart of global warming

This massive territory is on the front line of melting Arctic ice in a region that is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, Greenland’s ocean levels continue to rise by about 3.3 millimetres per year.

This phenomenon appears to be accelerating: sea levels have jumped by 25 to 30 percent faster between 2004 and 2015, compared with the 1993-2004 period.

The melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet accounts for 25 percent of this rise, up from five percent 20 years ago. And this is likely to increase as glaciers and ice caps melt.

If Greenland’s ice sheet was to disappear completely, it would raise the ocean level by seven metres (23 feet).

Rich soil

Nonetheless, Greenland’s melting ice has a silver lining.

The region has vast untapped reserves of oil, gas and minerals, as well as fish and shrimp stocks.

Greenland’s subsoil is rich in gold, rubies and uranium, as well as iron, aluminium, nickel, platinum, tungsten, titanium, and copper, which could attract foreign investment.

Under the melting glaciers lies mineral-rich rock flour that could be used, for example, as fertiliser for dry soils in Africa and South America.

However, this substance infuriates the Greenlanders as it shuts off access to the fjords.

Previous US interest

Trump’s bid for Greenland is not a first for the US.

In 1867, the State Department expressed interest in the island, and in 1946 President Harry S. Truman offered $100 million in gold, or parts of Alaska, in exchange for Greenland.

And you can’t blame Trump for trying — Denmark has previously sold territory to Washington.

In 1916, the Scandinavian country agreed to sell the Danish West Indies to the US for $25 million in gold, which then became the US Virgin Islands.

Buhari Assigns Portfolios To Ministers (FULL LIST)

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated his long-awaited cabinet in Abuja today.

The President also assigned portfolios to the ministers.

The list of ministers and their portfolios are listed below:

1 Uchechukwu Samson Ogah (Abia) – Minister of State Mines And Steel.

2. Muhammadu Bello (Adamawa) – Minister of FCT.

3. God’swill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) – Minister of Niger delta.

4. Dr Chris Ngige (Anambra ) – Minister of Labour and Employment.

5. Sharon Ikeazu (Anambra) –  Minister of State Environment.

6. Adamu Adamu – (Bauchi) – Minister of Education.

7. Amb Maryam Katagum – (Bauchi) – Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment.

8. Timipre Silva (Bayelsa) – Minister of State for Petroleum.

9. Sen. George Akume (Benue) – Minister for Special Duties

10. Mustapha Baba Shehuri (Borno) – Minister of State for Agriculture.

11. Godwin Jedi-Agba (Cross River) – Minister of State for Power.

12. Festus Keyamo (Delta) – Minister of State for Niger Delta.

13. Ogbonnaya Onu (Ebonyi) – Minister of Science and Technology

14. Dr. Osagie Ehanire (Edo) – Minister of Health

15. Clement Ikanade Agba (Edo) – Minister of State for Budget and National Planning.

16. Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo (Ekiti) – Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment.

17. Geoffrey Onyeama (Enugu) Minister for Foreign Affairs.

18. Dr. Ali Isa Pantami (Gombe) – Minister for Communication.

19. Emeka Nwajuba (Imo) – Minister of State for Education.

20. Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa) Minister for Water Resources

21. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed (Kaduna) – Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning.

READ ALSO: Buhari Names Mamman Minister Of Power, Fashola To Handle Works And Housing

22. Dr. Mohammad Mahmoud (Kaduna) – Minister for Environment

23. Mohammed Sabo Nanono (Kano) – Minister for Agriculture

24. Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd) – (Kano) – Minister of Defence

25. Hadi Sirika (Katsina) – Minister for Aviation

26. Abubakar Malami (Kebbi), Honorable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

27. Ramatu Tijani Aliyu (Kogi) – Minister of State for FCT.

28. Lai Mohammed (Kwara) Minister of Information and Culture.

29. Gbemisola Saraki (Kwara) Minister of State for Transportation.

30. Babatunde Raji Fashola (Lagos) – Minister for Works and Housing

31. Adeleke Mamora (Lagos) – Minister of State for Health

32. Mohammed A. Abdullahi (Nasarawa) – Minister of State for Science & Tech.

33. Amb. Zubairu Dada (Niger) – Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

34. Olamilekan Adegbite (Ogun) – Minister For Mines & Steel Development.

35. Sen. Omotayo Alasuadura (Ondo) – Minister of State for Labour.

36. Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) – Minister for Interior.

37.  Sunday Dare (Oyo) – Minister Youth and Sports.

38. Dame Pauline Tallen (Plateau) – Women Affairs.

39. Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) – Minister for Transportation.

40. Mohammed Maigari Dangyadi (Sokoto) – Minister for Police Affairs.

41. Engr. Sale Mamman (Taraba) – Minister for Power.

42. Abubakar D. Aliyu (Yobe) Minister of State for Works and Housing.

43. Sadiya Umar Faruk (Zamfara) – Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

Top Photos From Ministerial Inauguration Ceremony

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated his cabinet, about a week shy of three months after he was sworn-in as President. 

At a ceremony that was well attended by top government officials, the ministers were sworn in following citations, oath taking exercises.

After the swearing-in exercise, the President handed each minister a portfolio.

Below are top photos from the very colorful event.

Credit: Sodiq Adelakun.

READ ALSO: Buhari Assigns Portfolios To Ministers (FULL LIST)

 

Meet Buhari’s Minister ‘Who Rose From Errand Boy To CEO In 16years’

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday inaugurated his cabinet, swearing-in forty-three (43) ministers. 

During the ceremony, citations of the ministers were read and one stood out of the lot because of the message inherent in the story.

It is the story of Senator Omotayo Alaso-Adura from Ondo State.

According to the citation as read by President Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesin, Senator Alaso-Adura was born on August 12, 1949.

READ ALSO: Buhari Assigns Portfolios To Ministers (FULL LIST)

A chartered accountant, Alaso-Adura started work in 1974 as a messenger at Balogun Ayinfalu Badejo & Co Chartered Accountants and rose through the ranks to become the managing partner and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the same firm.

Chief Alaso-Adura rose from messenger to CEO in just sixteen (16) years.

Soon after, he was appointed commissioner for finance and planing between 2003 and 2009.

He later represented Ondo-Central Senatorial district in the Upper legislative House between 2015 and 2019.

Inauguration: APC Congratulates President, New Ministers

Suspension: APC Warns Members Against Alliance With Other Candidates
APC spokesman, Lanre Issa-Onilu.

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari and the newly-inaugurated ministers.

The Party noted with utmost satisfaction the painstaking efforts the President made in picking the new ministers, their speedy screening and confirmation by the Senate, in addition to the rigorous induction of the new appointees towards acquainting them to the onerous task of assisting the President fulfill his promises of re-positioning the economy, ensuring security of lives and property and fighting corruption.

According to the leading party, the APC-led administration has recorded remarkable milestones in three areas, adding that the party aligns with the position of the President that there is more work to be done.

“There are challenges to build on the foundations that have been laid in the last four years. To state a few, the APC-led government has an urgent task to lift Nigerians out of poverty, secure lives and property, grow our economy, build infrastructure, bring back discipline to our private and public conducts and mobilize Nigerians through personal examples towards evolving a Nigeria we all can be proud of,” party spokesman Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu.

READ ALSO: Buhari Assigns Portfolios To Ministers (FULL LIST)

The party therefore urged the new ministers to justify the confidence reposed in them by the President and, indeed, all Nigerians, by settling down to work quickly, and hit the ground running and consolidate on the progress that have been made in the various sectors.

“We join the President in calling on the newly-inaugurated ministers to ensure teamwork amongst themselves so as to create harmony in the governance system. This is the only way we can achieve synergy in our policy implementation and overall implementation of our Next Level manifesto for the country.

“It is important that our newly-inaugurated ministers understand they are ministers of APC administration, hence, they should reflect the best and progressive ideals of the party in their conduct and actions.

“The Party wishes our newly-inaugurated ministers best of luck as our party through the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari works towards taking our country to the Next Level. We assure the new ministers of the Party’s maximum cooperation and support to make them succeed,” the APC said.

Deadliest Attacks On Kabul

Bomb Blast In Kabul
Bomb Blast In Kabul

 

Saturday’s suicide attack targeting wedding celebrations in Kabul is one of the deadliest in Afghanistan’s nearly 18-year-old war against the Taliban.

Here is a look at some of the worst incidents in the capital since 2008:

– 2019 –
– August 17: An Islamic State suicide bombing at a packed wedding hall kills at least 80 and wounds more than 100.

– 2018 –
– December 24: An hours-long bomb and gun attack on a Kabul government compound kills at least 43 people. The Taliban denies responsibility.

– November 20: A suicide bomber blows himself up among religious scholars inside a wedding hall in the capital, killing at least 55 people. The attack is unclaimed.

– April 22: An Islamic State bomber kills 57 people, all civilians, outside a voter registration centre amid preparations for legislative elections.

– January 27: An ambulance packed with explosives detonates in a crowded street in the heart of the city, killing 103 people, according to an official toll. The attack, which kills many police officers, is claimed by the Taliban.

– 2017 –
– October 20: A suicide attack during Friday evening prayers at a Kabul Shiite mosque sees 56 people killed and 55 wounded. The IS claims responsibility.

– May 31: More than 150 are killed and 400 wounded when a massive truck bomb rips through the city’s diplomatic quarter during rush hour. The attack, which is not claimed, is the deadliest in the capital since 2001.

– March 8: Gunmen disguised as doctors storm Afghanistan’s largest military hospital in a six-hour attack. The official death toll is 50 but security sources and survivors say it exceeded 100. The attack is claimed by the IS.

– 2016 –
– July 23: Twin explosions rip through crowds of Shiite Hazaras, killing at least 84 people. It marks the first major IS assault on the capital.

– April 19: A truck bomb followed by a shootout leaves 64 people dead and nearly 350 injured in central Kabul in a Taliban-claimed attack.

– 2011 –
– December 6: An attack targeting the Shiite minority on the holy day of Ashura kills 80 people. The Taliban denies responsibility.

– 2008 –
– July 7: 60 people, including two diplomats and two Indian guards are killed in a suicide car bombing on the Indian embassy in the capital. The Taliban say they were not involved.

Numerous attacks have been carried out in the rest of Afghanistan. In the most deadly, 140 people, including more than 50 auxiliary police officers, are killed in the southern city of Kandahar in February 2008.

Buhari, Amaechi And The Ministers Who Retained Their Portfolios

 

President Muhammadu Buhari, and a couple others on Wednesday retained their portfolios as ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

The President retained his position as minister for petroleum, while Alhaji Lai Mohammed retained his portfolio minister of information and culture.

Others who retained their position in President Buhari’s cabinet include:

READ ALSO: Buhari Assigns Portfolios To Ministers (FULL LIST)

Adamu Adamu (Education)

Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Affairs)

Hadi Sirika (Aviation)

Abubakar Malami (Justice)

Lai Mohammed (Information)

Rotimi Amaechi (Transport)

Ogbonnaya Onu (Science and Technology).

*Mr Babatunde Fashola can however be said to have partially retained his ministry, as his portfolio was split into two. The former Lagos state governor who previously was head of Works, Power and Housing, now only mans the ministry of Works and Housing.

Ribery Arrives In Tuscany Ahead Of Fiorentina Move

 

French winger Franck Ribery arrived in Italy on Wednesday to complete a medical ahead of signing a two-year contract with Serie A club Fiorentina.

“Welcome legend,” the Tuscany club wrote on Twitter with a photo of the 36-year-old wearing the club’s purple colours and holding a Fiorentina scarf.

The former French international has left Bayern Munich as a free agent after 12 seasons with the German giants during which he won 23 trophies.

Ribery’s new deal was rubber-stamped late Tuesday and the veteran winger will undergo a medical before his presentation on Thursday.

Both Ribery and his wife Wahiba posted photos on social media on Wednesday on board a private jet, and were greeted by hundreds of fans on their arrival.

The French player said that former Bayern forward Luca Toni had convinced him to move to Italy.

“I’m happy, I’m here with my family,” said Ribery.

“I talked for a week with Fiorentina. I also spoke with Luca Toni. He told me that Fiorentina is a great club and the city is beautiful.

“And I also like Italian and I speak it a bit even though I have to improve. Thank you all.”

Ribery has reportedly agreed a two-year deal worth between 4 million and 4.5 million euros ($4.4m-$4.9m) plus bonuses.

Ribery won nine Bundesliga titles and the Champions League with Bayern after he joined the club from French side Marseille in 2007.

He also previously played for Turkish club Galatasary and French clubs Brest and Metz.

Fiorentina finished 16th in Serie A last season and open their campaign at home against Napoli on Saturday.

The club changed ownership last June with Italian-American media magnate Rocco Commisso completing a 170 million euros ($190 million) takeover.

Sudan Sovereign Council Chairman Sworn In

 

Sudan was taking further steps in its transition towards civilian rule Wednesday with the swearing in of a new sovereign council and the appointment of a prime minister.

The body replaces the Transitional Military Council (TMC) that took charge after months of deadly street protests brought down longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir in April.

The first steps of the transition after the mass celebrations that marked the August 17 adoption of a transitional constitution proved difficult however.

The names of the joint civilian-military sovereign council’s 11 members were eventually announced late Tuesday after differences within the opposition camp held up the process for two days.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who already headed the TMC, was sworn in as the chairman of the new sovereign council shortly after 11:00 am (0900 GMT), state news agency SUNA reported.

He will be Sudan’s head of state for the first 21 months of the 39-month transition period, until a civilian takes over for the remainder.

The council’s 10 other members are expected to be sworn in later Wednesday and Abdalla Hamdok, who was chosen by the opposition last week to be prime minister, is also due to take office.

The sovereign council includes two women, including a member of Sudan’s Christian minority, and it will oversee the formation of a government and of a legislative body.

End of isolation?

The transition’s key documents were signed on Saturday at a ceremony attended by a host of foreign dignitaries, signalling that Sudan could be on its way to shedding its pariah status.

Sudan’s new rulers are expected to push for the lifting of the suspension from the African Union that followed a deadly crackdown on a sit-in in June.

The ruling council will also seek to have the country removed from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for his role in massacres in the Darfur region, where a rebellion broke out in 2003.

He appeared in court on Monday — but only on charges of corruption for the opening of a trial in which an investigator said the deposed leader admitted to receiving millions in cash from Saudi Arabia.

Pictures of the 75-year-old autocrat sitting in a cage during the hearing instantly became a symbol of his Islamist military regime’s downfall.

The sight of their former tormentor in the dock was overwhelmingly welcomed by the Sudanese but many warned the graft trial should not distract from the more serious indictments he faces before the ICC.

“The evidence he committed genocide should come forward… Many civilians inside and outside Sudan have died because of him and he should face justice,” one resident, Alhaj Adam, told AFP.

It’s the economy

Sudan’s transitional authorities would need to ratify the ICC’s Rome Statute to allow for the transfer of the former military ruler to The Hague.

Amidst the euphoria celebrating the promise of civilian rule, unease was palpable within the protest camp that brought about one of the most significant moments in Sudan’s modern history.

One reason is the omnipresence in the transition of Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, a member of the sovereign council and a paramilitary commander whose forces are blamed for the deadly repression of the protests.

His Rapid Support Forces sprang out of the Janjaweed militia notorious for alleged crimes in Darfur.

Pacifying a country still plagued by deadly unrest in the regions of Darfur, Kordofan and Blue Nile will be one of the most urgent tasks of Sudan’s transitional institutions.

The other daunting challenge that awaits the fragile civilian-military alliance is the rescue of an economy that has all but collapsed in recent years.

It was the sudden tripling of bread prices in December 2018 that sparked the wave of protests fatal to Bashir’s regime.

Helicopter Drops Guns For Us, Says Arrested ‘Bandit’

 

Police in Katsina State have arrested a twenty-year-old kidnapper’s errand boy, Aliyu Musa of Chediya village in Kankara LGA.

Musa told reporters in local language at the command headquarters in Katsina that he was working with a Fulani bandit since when he was young before being guided on banditry business.

He confirmed that he receives directives from his boss whenever an attack is launched to only be packing out cattle, enter shops and pack out all belongings.

READ ALSO: 37 FRSC Officials, Five Others Arrested Over Extortion Of Motorists On Highway

The young man adds that they were also ordered to carry out different killings.

When asked where they get the guns used for operations, Musa replied saying, ” Between me and God, in my presence a helicopter arrived and stopped half way on the sky, throwing guns. My boss, Oga Sirajo was receiving the guns over twenty of them tied with a cattle rope”.

He describes the helicopter as white in color, adding that the drop off took place in broad day light.