Okorocha Urges Nigerians To Unite To Fight Boko Haram

OkorochaThe Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has urged all Nigerians irrespective of  religion and ethnic differences to unite and fight the menace of Boko Haram ravaging the nation.

The Governor stated this while breaking fast with the Imo State Muslim community at the Government House in Owerri, the state capital.

Governor Okorocha said that the Boko Haram sect should be seen as a common enemy who inflicts pain and terror on both Christians and Muslims.

While condemning the recent spate of bombings in Jos, Zaria and the northeast region of the country, the Governor urged Muslims to seize the opportunity of the Ramadan to pray for peace in Nigeria and also pray for President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration so it can deliver the much desired change to all Nigerians.

Governor Okorocha also urged all Muslims in Imo State to feel at home and go about their lawful duties as the Imo State Government would ensure proper and adequate protection of lives and property of all Imo residents irrespective of their religion or tribe.

Kaduna Commences Disbursement Of N1 bn MSME Funds

kaduna stateThe Kaduna State Government on Thursday commenced the disbursement of another N1 billion naira intervention fund to support operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.

The programme, which was executed in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BOI), was to support the accelerated development of the state through job creation, where the BOI and Kaduna state government contributed N500m each under a programme tagged ‘Graduate Support Grant’

Speaking at the flag-off ceremony, Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Nuhu Bajoga, who represented Governor Muhtar Yero, described the intervention as very critical and a major component for economic rejuvenation and prosperity of the state.

He further explained that the main aim of the programme is to empower the citizens, especially the graduates and also reduce the level of crime and poverty in the state.

Meanwhile, a mild drama ensued midway into the programme  when hundreds of graduate trainees under the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN)  stormed the venue with placards, demanding the State Governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, to release the N1 billion Graduate Empowerment Loan promised to them over five months ago after their training.

Chanting anti-government songs, the aggrieved Youths blocked the Deputy Governor’s convoy as it made its way out of Hassan Katsina House, where the event was held.

They alleged that they were promised by the government to be empowered with money to set up their own businesses immediately after their training.

The Youths also alleged that they were asked to register with money for them to be entitled to benefit from the N1 billion loan.

However, in a swift reaction, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Shekarau Uchissa, denied the allegations saying the state government only went into capacity building where 1000 youths were trained in different skills, but were not promised any money.

Court Confirms Gambo Lawal As PDP Candidate For Borno

court-PDPThe Federal High Court in Abuja has confirmed Gambo Lawal, as the veritable Borno State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2015 governorship election.

In the judgement delivered by the preceding judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, the court held that the defendant, Mohammed Imam, did not show any concrete evidence before the court to indicate that he participated in the PDP primaries, to warrant the party to submit his name as the candidate for the election.

He further mentioned that the allegation on forgery of certificate, leveled against the plaintiff was also not proven.

The Judge therefore, said the plaintiff fulfilled all requirements and his name should be forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as the governorship candidate for the PDP in Borno State.

Gambo Lawal in the suit, asked the court to determine the genuine governorship candidate of the PDP in the April 11, 2015 governorship election in the state, pointing out that his substitution with Mohammed Imam, was a gross violation of the PDP.

Another reason for Lawal’s suit was for the court to restrain the PDP and  INEC from recognizing and dealing with Mohammed Imam, as the party’s governorship candidate in the state.

Police Details Attached To Tambuwal Restored

tambuwalThe Nigeria Police has restored security details attached to the  Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal.

The spokesman to the Speaker, Malam Imam Imam, confirmed on Wednesday that all security details (Police and SSS) attached to the office of the Speaker, have been restored.

Imam in a statement said “We wish to confirm that all security details (Police and SSS) earlier withdrawn from the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, have been restored.

“The Policemen attached to the Speaker resumed duties few days after men of the Department of State Security (DSS) returned to their duty posts”, he said.

Imam maintained that it is the duty of the State to provide special security for certain public office holders, of which the Speaker  is one.

However, thanking Nigerians who voiced their opinion on the withdrawal, and the subsequent reinstatement of the security personnel, he also stated that no further comment would be made on the issue.

SCOAN Coroners Inquest: BCPG Begins Investigation

SCOAN-Collapse-2The Coroners Inquest into the collapse of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) has continued at the site of the collapsed building on Monday, with the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), continuing investigation into the cause of the collapse.

A Coroner had been set up by the Lagos State Government to investigate the cause of the collapse and this led to the Building Collapse Prevention Guild’s need to carry out further investigation on the foundation of the structure.

The President of the BCPG, while affirming the need for the visitation to the site of the collapsed building, said that the investigation would take few days.

Channels Television also paid a visit to the site to witness how the BCPG carried out some of its operations.

With the help of a machine, the investigation covers the soil strength and the quality of foundation made by the builders.

A representative of the church told our correspondent that they were confident, noting that the fact would speak for itself.

 

Lagos Sanitation: Court Nullifies Movement Restriction

Court-LagosA Federal High Court in Lagos has proclaimed as unlawful, the restriction of citizens’ movement during the environmental sanitation exercise that is been observed in Lagos every month.

The preceding judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Mohammed Idris, ruled on Monday, that such restraint of movement, in the name of sanitation, amounted to an infringement of the “citizens’ right to personal liberty and freedom of movement” protected by sections 35 and 41 of the Nigerian Constitution.

However, he nullified the power of the Lagos State Government and its agencies to arrest any citizen found moving, when the environmental sanitation exercise is being observed.

The environmental sanitation exercise is being observed from 7:00am to 10:00am on the last Saturday of every month in Lagos State.

Movement is been restricted in all parts of the state and violators are arrested and prosecuted by the state enforcement agencies.

Patience Jonathan Urges Women To Vote Goodluck-Sambo Ticket

Patience-Jonathan-in-EdoWife of the President of Nigeria, Patience Jonathan, has called on Nigerian women to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate President Goodluck Jonathan in the forthcoming general elections.

Addressing the PDP supporters in Benin City, the Edo State capital during a rally at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium on Saturday, Mrs Jonathan said doing so would afford the party the chance to consolidate on the good works it had been doing across the nation.

She appealed to women in Edo State not to miss the opportunity of casting their votes for the Goodluck-Sambo combination, stressing that they have what it takes to deliver.

The first lady had earlier called out to women in the south-western part of Nigeria to address women leaders across the south-west and look for ways of building capacity and empowering them.

Mrs Jonathan made the call in a message sent through the National Coordinator of Women for Change Initiative, Hajia Rabi Ibrahim, who was in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.

The South-west Coordinator of Women for Change Initiative, Mrs Abosede Ogunleye, explained that the initiative has been able to assist women especially those in rural areas to start small businesses and work their way to self-reliance.

She noted that the meeting with Hajia Ibrahim would first address women in Oyo State, adding that it would then move to Ogun State for further consultations on ways of achieving more women participation in politics as well as foster greater harmony among and more target specific capacity building within the south west and the country at large.

Chile Forest Fire: One Dead, Thousands Evacuated

Chile-Forest-FireA state of emergency is in force in Chile, as a blazing forest fire continues to force thousands of people from their homes.

As a result of the incident, a 67-year old woman died of respiratory causes, while three fire-fighters have sustained injuries.

According to the Interior Ministry, more than 4,500 people have already been evacuated, while more than 10,000 others may still be moved.

Officials said the fire started at an illegal refuse dump on Friday, and spread rapidly aided by strong winds and affecting about 300 hectares of land.

Memories of a forest fire last April in Valparaiso, Chile, that killed 15 people and injured more than half a million others still remains fresh in the minds of Chileans.

 

Three New York Residents Deny Aiding IS Plot

IS-New-YorkThree foreign New York residents have denied charges that they tried to aid Islamic State (IS) militants.

The trio, Abdurasul Juraboev, Abror Habibov and Akhror Saidakhmetov aged between 19 and 30, were arrested last month by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

They caught the attention of the authorities, after they posted to Uzbek-language website in recent months.

The FBI said a suspect had pledged to kill U.S. President, Barack Obama.

Another allegedly tried to travel to Syria via Turkey in order to join IS, while the third was accused of helping to fund efforts to join the Syrian jihadist.

The three men appeared in New York’s Federal court on Friday, where they pleaded not guilty of the charges against them. After the session, the Judge had set their next court hearing for June 19.

The US has charged about 20 people with plans to join militant groups abroad, many who intend to go to Syria to fight for IS.

Figures suggest more than 20,000 foreigners have joined the fights in Iraq and Syria in the past three years.

Sierra Leone Vice President Goes Into Hiding

Vice-President-of-Sierra-Leone
Sierra Leone’s Vice President, Samuel Sam-Sumana

Vice President of Sierra Leone, Samuel Sam-Sumana, has gone into hiding as he seeks political haven at the US embassy in Freetown, the country’s capital.

According to reports, Vice President Sam-Sumana and his wife fled their home after they got wind that soldiers were coming to besiege it.

Mr Sam-Sumana was expelled from the ruling party, two weeks ago for allegedly orchestrating political violence, trying to form a new party and falsifying academic credentials, claims he vehemently denied.

Reports said relations between Sierra Leone President, Ernest Bai-Koroma and his Vice, Mr Sam-Sumana had gone sour for some time.

While still in hiding, the Vice President is seeking political asylum at the U.S. Embassy in Freetown, but the U.S. Embassy has not reacted to the development.

According to him two weeks ago, he said he had chosen to be quarantined for 21 days to “lead by example” in the battle against Ebola, after one of his bodyguards died of the Ebola virus.

More than 3,500 have died as a result of Ebola virus cases in Sierra Leone, which along with Guinea and Liberia has experienced the huge majority of deaths from the disease.

Ekwunife Flags-Off 6km Road Project In Anambra

EkwunifeThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Anambra Central Senatorial District, Uche Ekwunife, has flagged off,  the construction of a six kilometer road in Uke, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, South-east Nigeria on behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The six kilometer Igwe Ileka- Eke Market- Mpia road is a sponsored project by Mrs Ekwunife as part of her quest to ensure a good road network within the communities.

She said on completion, the road would improve the inter-village communication and create access to markets.

Mrs Ekwunife urged the residents of the community to support the PDP and President Jonathan’s re-election bid for more dividends of democracy.

Residents of the community expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for the road project and promised to support her and the president during the elections.

Mrs Ekwunife rounded her visit to Uke, with a chat with school students, whom she urged to tell their parents to vote for the PDP in the forthcoming general elections rescheduled to March 28 and April 11.

France Probes Helicopter Crash

Helicopter CrashFrench authorities are investigating a crash in Argentina, involving two helicopters, in which eight French nationals lost their lives.

Three popular French sports personalities including two Argentine pilots are among the dead. An amateur video shows the two helicopters collide during the filming of a TV survival show, known as Dropped, which airs in France.

French President, Francois Hollande, has reacted to the helicopter crash disaster, calling it “a cause for immense sadness”.

One of the French sports personalities who died in the crash was Florence Arthaud, 57, a skilled sailor who won the 1990 Route du Rhum, the prominent solo Atlantic race.

Another personality was Olympic swimmer, Camille Muffat, 25, who won 3 medals in the 2012 London Olympics and Olympic boxer, Alexis Vastine, 28, a bronze medal winner at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, in the light-welterweight category.

The Argentine pilots who also lost their lives in the helicopter crash were Juan Carlos Castillo and Roberto Abate.

Other 5 French nationals that died were said to have worked for Adventure Line Productions (ALP), the company making the programme. They are Laurent Sbasnik, Lucie Mei-Dalby, Volodia Guinard, Brice Guilbert and Edouard Gilles.