23 Dead In Indonesia Ferry Blast

indonesia-flagAt least 23 people have been killed and 17 more missing after a ferry caught fire off the coast of Indonesia on January 1, 2017.

The Zahro Express ferry was said to have been carrying more than 230 people who were off to celebrate the New Year holiday at Tidung Island, a resort about 50km (30 miles) from the capital, Jakarta,

Officials explained that it burst into flames about 1.5 km from Muara Angke port in Jakarta, shortly after setting sail.

According to the BBC, an official said 194 people were rescued and nine remain in the hospital, after many had jumped into the sea.

“15 minutes after the boat set sail, people at the back of the boat started making noise,” one passenger told local media.

“Then I saw smoke, there was more and more, the boat was crowded and people were fighting for life jackets.”

Another passenger said thick smoke suddenly filled the cabin.

“All passengers panicked and ran up to the deck to throw floats into the water. In a split second, the fire becomes bigger coming from where fuel is stored,” Reuters quoted the passenger as saying.

The charred remains of the boat were however towed back to Jakarta.

Saraki’s Trial: Groups Condemn Statements Allegedly Made By APC Chairman, Oyegun

John-Oyegun-APC-LeaderThe Coalition of Civil Society and the All Progressives Congress Democratic Vanguard have condemned statements credited to the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman, Dr John Oyegun, on the Senate Presidency.

The group alleged that Dr. Oyegun had said that the APC would not hesitate to sacrifice the position of the Senate President for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the case of an eventual conviction of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, by the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

Senator Sarki is facing trial for alleged false declaration of assets.

In a statement by the Coalitions’ convener, Olugbenga Olumegbon and Secretary, Olufemi Akindele, the groups said: “We categorically State that as Politically conscious Nigerians, we are not unmindful of the fact that the entire scenario of the trial of the Senate President is politically motivated judging by the fact that despite being Governor of Kwara State for eight years and Senator from the same state, the Code of Conduct, never deemed it necessary to invite nor investigate facts surrounding the asset declarations by Dr. Saraki until he eventually became the President of the Nigerian Senate against the wishes of some demi-gods and Political Lords in June 2015”.

The statement said that it was disturbing that persons like Dr. Oyegun and some of his co-travellers were in the pull-him-down campaign against Dr. Bukola Saraki, and “going the extra mile to undermine the sacrificial effort of Dr. Saraki and many of his likemind supporters, in dethroning the monsterous PDP, from government at that crucial moment of our National History”.

“May we remind Nigerians, that in as much that we are committed to the anti-corruption effort of the incumbent APC administration in our country, we remained opposed to every attempt to use such as a tool of intimidating perceived political opponents just for the purpose of hijacking political positions,” the statement further read.

The coalitions reminded the APC Chairman of the courage displayed by Senator Saraki in leading the revolution which later became known as the new PDP, and how it eventually aided the victory of the APC at the Presidential election in 2015.

They also reminded “those who have placed their inordinate ambitions above the collective interest of the revolutionary team of the APC and the mass of Nigerian people to remember that we may not have been where we are today, without the zeal, fearlessness and determination of the men and women of noble intention, led by Dr. Bukola Saraki to wrestle power from the then ruling party, PDP”.

They therefore demanded “for a stoppage to the use of institutional authorities for the pursuit of individual political ambitions or primordial interest”.