Pastor Folorunsho Commends Edo Governor For Assisting IDPs

IDPsThe Pastor of International Christian Centre, Benin-City, Solomon Folorunsho, has commended the Edo State Governor for coming to the aid of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state with with food items.

Pastor Folorunsho said Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s visit to the camp on Tuesday cleared the speculations that there was a mandate issued, asking the IDP’s to leave the camp.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Pastor Folorunsho explained that after the visit of some politicians they were given an instruction that the IDPs should leave the camp, an order he said was “from above”.

“On the faithful morning the children woke up to cook their favourite traditional food when about 75 armed security personnel said that an instruction was given as an order from above to evacuate the camp, which brought lots of sadness to the children causing about 12 children to fight.”

Pastor Folorunsho said that the order was not given by the governor of the state, but stressed that he was yet to know where the order was from.

He explained that the camp had been in existence since 1992 but started helping people from the Northeast in 2013.

According to him, the camp had trained graduates and workers and called on Nigerians to come to the help of the IDPs and also appealed to those behind the mandate for the IDPs to evacuate the camp to allow them enjoy the refugee they have found.


Anambra Poll: Ngige, Nwoye, Ubah Reject Supplementary Election

Three principal candidates in the November 16 Anambra elections have rejected the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s decision to go ahead with a supplementary election in the state.

Mr Ifeanyi Ubah of the Labour Party, Chris Ngige of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party, PDP candidate, Tony Nwoye jointly condemned the INEC chairman’s pronouncement and insisted that they will not participate, as they are set to boycott the supplementary elections.

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, after a meeting of the commission on Friday, addressed journalists and announced Saturday, November 30 as the date for the Anambra supplementary election.

The INEC Chairman cited the inability of the political parties to provide substantial evidence to support outright cancellation of the process as a validation for the refusal of the commission to cancel the entire election.

In a swift reaction to Professor Jega’s claims, the candidates told Channels Television correspondent, Lanre Lasisi, that they have provided sufficient evidence to convince INEC that the entire exercise was a sham.

“As far as we are concerned, we have rejected the supplementary election fixed for 30 November, and we are not part of it. We advise the Independent National Electoral Commission to save the resources for that election, but they can go ahead and announce the APGA candidate as winner of the election, we will be more comfortable with that.” Dr Chris Ngige said.


Anambra Poll: INEC Announces November 30 For Supplementary Election

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has finally announced that the proposed Anambra supplementary election will hold on Saturday, November 30, 2013.

Chairman of the commission, Professor Attahiru Jega said this at the commission headquarters in Abuja on Friday, after the commission’s meeting over the inconclusive governorship election held on November 16 and 17, 2013.

Professor Jega said that INEC regrets the challenges faced in the polls, but explained that the commission did all it could to make sure the election was free and fair. He however dismissed calls for outright cancellation, as he said INEC was yet to receive substantive evidence from any political party on reasons why the polls should be cancelled.

“We have examined all the accusations and allegations that have been made, and we’ve come to the conclusion that in spite of minor challenges, unfortunate challenges in the field, there is no substantial evidence to support outright cancellation of the process.”

“There is no other decision that we can make as a commission other than that of the Returning Officer, to conduct the supplementary election in those areas where the results were cancelled before the final return is made.”

He added in his response to Journalists that the All Progressives Congress, APC’s petition to the INEC has not added any new information different from those already expressed by its candidate in the election, Dr Chris Ngige. He stressed that they have not provided any evidence to warrant outright cancellation of the election.

Still reacting to questions from Journalists, Professor Jega also denied hiding the identity of its Electoral Officer, Mr Chukwujekwu Okeke, who is said to be in the police net after allegations of compromise of the polls in Idemili North Local Government. He assured that Mr Okeke would be charged to court, as INEC will not protect any of its staff found defective.

He added that elections conducted in Idemili North Local Government on Sunday November 17 due to delays on the scheduled election day was conducted on the recommendation of stakeholders in the community and in agreement with a large number of the voters, and as such the INEC cannot be held responsible for the political parties that decided to boycott it.

He assured that the November 30 supplementary election will be better managed.

Strong Quake Hits China; 156 Dead, Over 5,500 Injured

A strong 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit a remote, mostly rural and mountainous area of southwestern China’s Sichuan province on Saturday, killing at least 156 people and injuring about 5,500 close to where a big quake killed almost 70,000 people in 2008.

The earthquake, China’s worst in three years, occurred at 8.02 a.m. (0002 GMT) in Lushan county near Ya’an city and the epicenter had a depth of 12 km (7.5 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake was felt by residents in neighboring provinces and in the provincial capital of Chengdu, causing many people to rush out of buildings, according to accounts on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo microblogging service.

State media said 156 people had been confirmed dead with more than 5,500 injured.

President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang said all efforts must be put into rescuing victims to limit the death toll.

After arriving at the disaster zone by helicopter, Li directed earthquake relief efforts from a plaza in Longmen township in Lushan, Xinhua said.

Li asked that a road be opened to Baoxing county, one of the most affected by the earthquake, and that rescuers “act quickly” in their efforts, Xinhua quoted Li as saying.

“The current most urgent issue is grasping the first 24 hours since the quake’s occurrence, the golden time for saving lives,” Xinhua news agency quoted Li as saying earlier.

Xinhua said 6,000 troops were heading to the area to help with rescue efforts. State television CCTV said only emergency vehicles were being allowed into Ya’an, though Chengdu airport had reopened.

Most of the deaths were concentrated in Lushan, where water and electricity were cut off. Pictures on Chinese news sites showed toppled buildings and people in bloodied bandages being treated in tents outside the hospital, which appeared only lightly damaged.

Rescuers in Lushan had pulled 32 survivors out of rubble, Xinhua said. In villages closest to the epicenter, almost all low rise houses and buildings had collapsed, according to footage broadcast on state television.

“We are very busy right now, there are about eight or nine injured people, the doctors are handling the cases,” said a doctor at a Ya’an hospital who gave her family name as Liu.

The hospital was seeing head and leg injuries, she added.


The China Meteorological Association warned of a possibility of landslides occurring in Lushan county on Saturday and Sunday, the agency said in a statement on its website.

A resident in Chengdu, 140 km (85 miles) from Ya’an city, told Xinhua he was on the 13th floor of a building when he felt the quake. The building shook for about 20 seconds and he saw tiles fall from nearby buildings.

Ya’an is a city of 1.5 million people and is considered one of the birthplaces of Chinese tea culture. It is also the home to one of China’s main centers for protecting the giant panda.

“There are still shakes and tremors and our area is safe. The pandas are safe,” said a spokesman with Ya’an’s Bifengxia nature park, a tourism park that houses more than 100 pandas.

Shouts and screams were heard in the background while Reuters was on the telephone with the spokesman.

“There was just an aftershock, an aftershock, our office is safe,” he said.

Numerous aftershocks jolted the area, the largest of which was magnitude 5.1.

Sichuan is one of the four major natural-gas-producing provinces in China, and its output accounts for about 14 percent of the nation’s total.

Sinopec Group, Asia’s largest oil refiner, said its huge Puguang gas field was unaffected.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially put the magnitude at 7, but later revised it down.

The devastating May 2008 quake was 7.9 magnitude.

Pension Fraud: Court Grants N10 Million Bail To Yusufu

A former Pension Director in the Police Affairs Ministry, who recently confessed to stealing billions of naira belonging to the public, John Yakubu Yusufu, was Monday, granted bail by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

Mr Yusufu, who was on January 30, remanded in Kuje prison after he pleaded not-guilty to a 4-count criminal charge that was preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) secured bail in the sum of N10 million.

Ruling on his application for bail, trial Justice Adamu Bello also ordered the convicted former Director to produce one reliable surety in the like sum, stressing that such person must not be below the post of a Director in the Federal Civil Service.

The court also maintained that the surety must not only be resident within the Federal Capital Territory, but must show evidence of ownership of a landed property in Abuja.

The surety according to Justice Adamu should tender the title deed of the property to the Chief Registrar of the high court for authentication.

The Court also seized the international passport of Mr Yusufu, warning him not travel out of the country without permission.

“Pending the perfection of his bail conditions, the accused person should remain in Prison custody,” the judge added.

Meanwhile, before the accused was granted bail, Justice Bello, adduced reasons why he not only remanded the convict, but also why he was allowed to remain in prison detention for over two months.

The Judge insisted that his decision was aimed at assuaging the anger of Nigerians following the slap-on-the-wrist sentence that was earlier handed to the accused by an Abuja High Court at Gudu where Mr Yusufu had on January 27, confessed that he connived with seven other civil servants and stole over N23billion from the Police Pension Fund.

It will be recalled that Justice Abubakar Thalba, had relied on the statutory provision of section 309 of the Penal Code Act and sentenced him to 2 years imprisonment with an option of N750, 000 fine, a sum the accused quickly paid and drove home.

However, he was subsequently re-arrested by the EFCC following his alleged complicity in another N300 million fraud.

In the new charge, Mr Yusufu was said to have on or about February 14, 2012, knowingly failed to make full disclosure of his assets and liability in the Declaration of Assets Form he filled and submitted, and equally failed to declare that he owns a company known as AY-A Global Services Limited.

He was said to have used the name of the company and lodged in a fixed deposit account with the Zenith Bank, the sum of N250 million, N10 million in a fixed deposit account with the First Bank of Nigeria Plc, and another N29 million which he was said to have instructed one Danjuma Mele to lodge in his company account in the name of Jidag Technical Services Ltd with Diamond Bank.

The offence according to the EFCC, is punishable under section 27 (3) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment e.t.c) Act Cap E1 2004.

Adebayor Blames Coach For Togo’s Exit

In the aftermath last night’s 1-0 extra-time quarter final defeat to Burkina Faso, Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor has blamed manager Didier six for the team’s ouster from the nations cup.

Adebayor criticised the Frenchman’s style of management pointing out flaws in his approach to the game.

His sentiments were shared by goal keeper Koffi Agasa who had no kind words for the manager.

However the coach choose to take positives from the performance of the hawks  than to join issues with his players citing the teams’ progress to the quarter final for the first time as an achievement.

Lamouchi Tells Elephants To Be Wary Of Slips-ups Against Eagles

As expected, it can be said that ahead of the quarterfinals clash between Nigeria and Ivory Coast as the on-going Afcon 2013 has heated up a little bit as Coach Sabri Lamouchi admitted that the Elephants are so much wary of not making any mistake when they meet the Super Eagles in the make or mar clash for the two African teams.

The game which will be taking place at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium tomorrow will decide who moves to the quarterfinals of the Afcon 2013.

Talking of profile of this two teams in the Afcon 2013, the Elephants have been the better side and ticked favourites by pundits as their level of progression in terms of performance has been something very noticeable, as the team remained too hot to handle for their opponents in the group clashes, remaining unbeaten and winning their games fair and square except for a draw against Algeria, to clinch the top spot of Group D, while on the part of the Super Eagles though unbeaten too in Group C, but had to finish second runners-up conceding the top spot Burkina Faso who took the underdogs tag and this was due to several slip-upswhich accrued to opponents’ late goals in the first and second games respectively.

But despite their record in the group stages, Lamouchi still expressed his fear that the Super Eagles of Nigeria can spring up surprises tomorrow, so no mistakes should be made against the two-time African champions giving the fact the tournament is moving to its crucial stages.

He said further that Ivory Coast will do all it can to keep off errors from a good team like the Super Eagles.

“We have no room for error especially as we in front of us a good team in Nigeria. The smallest error can cost us dearly,”

“Effectively this is a new competition where this match is essential to continue the adventure.

“As we have already said, if we win, we continue, and if this is not the case, we return home.”


Obuh Places ‘No Preferential Treatment’ Tag On Foreign Players

Ahead of the African Youth Championship taking place this year, Nigeria’s U-20 head coach; John Obuh has decided not to hang his hopes on foreign based players, thereby leaving open chances of invitation for all players in his programme for the AYC which will be taking place in Algeria.

Coach Obuh further said that his reliance on some of the professional players was cut short due to experience because they would mess your programme up by not showing up when the game plan rests solely on them (professional players).

Obuh admitted that he had to take caution, talking of national call-up for Nigerian Players abroad as their availability can sometimes be shaky, the former Golden Eaglets coach to the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup said.

“I won’t depend on foreign-based players for my programme at this year’s AYC,”. “I won’t hand invitation to players who cannot guaranteed their availability for the championship. I will not want a repeat of Ahmed Musa’s saga where the player had to shuttle between his club’s engagement and playing for the country at the last AYC in South Africa,”.

“My plan is to invite professional players to my team especially those who can deny themselves and sponsor themselves to play for the country. These players must however guarantee their availability.

“I won’t like a situation where a player will be coming to the camp few days to the championship to pick shirt in my team. This cannot help the programme of a good coach. I prefer working with the home-based players for the AYC.”

Nigeria will be clashing with Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon in Group B of the AYC 2013.

2013: Nigeria Needs Strategic Thinkers — Nnaji

A Lawyer, Mr Chima Nnaji said Nigeria can be peaceful and better this new year if ‘doers’ in the governance of the country are shown the way out, to give ‘strategic thinkers’ the chance to drive government’s agenda .

He said he believes there will be some measure of peace in 2013 within the context of the civil population if the President  keeps to his words of not increasing the price of fuel.

Making reference to the fuel subsidy protest in 2012, the Public Affairs Analyst described it as ‘Unnecessary meddlesomeness’ which gave rise to the agitations.

“Because there will not be any attempt to dabble into increase in price of petroleum products, perhaps there might be some level of quietness in the New year” he stated.

“The agitations that greeted 2012 arose as a result of unnecessary meddlesomeness with the single commodity that is the driver of all economic activities”.

He further said that if the environment is kept relatively peaceful then Nigerians will continue to go about their businesses of fending for themselves on a daily basis.

The public affairs analyst berated the political sector saying he does not foresee any change in the sector because Nigerian politicians only know about ‘taking from the table’ contrary to the objective of serving the people.

“I don’t see so much change, because the Nigerian politicians say they are professional politicians, and that is very dangerous because politics is about rendering services; that means you come to table with something, not take from the table”.

Watch Interview for more details.

2013: The World Ushers In New Year With Fireworks

Nigeria has joined the rest of the world in ushering in a brand new year, the year 2013!!!

It was historical as Lagosians gathered to usher in the New Year in what many have been described as the biggest new party in Nigeria’s history.

Styled after the traditional new year cross over countdown parties in the western hemisphere, this inaugural Lagos countdown celebration attracted performances from big-name acts from the music industry as the spectators watched the clock tick into 2013.

The final countdown cheers gave way to spectacular display of fireworks as the old year gave way to the new.


FG Restates Commitment To Steady Power Supply

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku has reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to provide steady power supply in the country.

The Minister at a news conference today did a review of the FG’s achievements in 2012, listing measures that have been put in place to address the shortfall of power supply.

He said President Jonathan’s power reforms programme has led to an increase of 4,502 megawatts of electricity, expected to move up to about 7,000 megawatts by the end of 2013.

I Have No Issues With Odemwingie — Keshi

Coach Stephen Keshi has reacted to Nigerian Skipper; Peter Odemwingie’s outburst on one of the social media network; Twitter yesterday.

Keshi opened up saying he has no issue whatsoever with the WBA striker as he is also ready to open talks with Odemwingie only if he is willing to as well.

“I don’t have any issue with him. I’m surprised with his comments but I believe he is angry with being left out of the team. Remember there are other players who didn’t make the team and they have handled it calmly. We are all different in our ways of handling issues. But we need to move on from this.

“I’ve got a job to do. There are about 150 million Nigerians or more waiting to see this team at the Nations Cup and that is my biggest concern now. Like I said I am open to discussions with him or any other aggrieved player, only if he shows interest in doing so.

There’s still the World Cup qualifiers to play for, next year.

For now I’m focused on the Nations Cup in South Africa.”