Wuse Bombing: Jonathan Visits Bomb Site And Maitama Hospital

jonathan-5-599x300President Goodluck Jonathan, just back from the AU Summit, has taken time out to visit the scene of Wednesday’s bomb blast in Wuse II in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

He described the act as regrettable and painful, promising that those who carried out the bombings and their sponsors would be brought to book.

The President wondered why anyone would be planning evil for those who are carrying out legitimate businesses, fending for their families and contributing to the development of the nation. He described what has happened as one of those dark phases in the history of the country which Nigeria must overcome.

The visit also took him to the Maitama District Hospital, where he sympathized with the wounded who were brought there for treatment.

He used the opportunity to call on Nigerians to shun criticisms of security personnel and rather give them maximum support and information that would enable them fish out those who carried out the terror attacks.

Wuse Bombing: There Is Not Much We Can Tell You – Police

Frank MbaFollowing the bomb blast that occurred in Abuja on Wednesday, the Nigerian Police says it must strike a balance between the need to inform the public and protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation.

This assertion was made by the Police Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, who spoke live via the telephone on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday morning.

Asked to give updates, owing to information that one of the perpetrators of the bombing was arrested, Mba said that at the time, that there was not much he could tell about the ongoing investigation.

He explained that investigating terror related cases was a very sensitive issue that must be handled with all carefulness and caution.

He, however, confirmed that indeed, an arrest was made and the suspect was being interrogated. He also confirmed that Police had commenced a post blast analysis with the region of the blast cordoned off to avoid a compromise of the investigations.

“That’s the most that can be said for now”, he said.

On the response time of the rescue team, which witnesses have commended to be quite quick, Mr Mba corroborated the commendation and gave credits to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Fire Service for their quick response.

He also commended the occupants of the shopping mall for their vigilance which resulted in the arrest made. He noted that the sensitization exercise of security agencies in all the public places paid off in the sense that the mall occupants were not only able to identify a suspect but were also able to ensure that the bomber did not get to the centre of their premises.

He added that they have been able to prevent a more devastating tragedy with their vigilance.

On moving forward, the Police PRO gave series of advice to occupants of public commercial centres across the country on how to protect themselves and their facilities from further attack.

He said that they must maintain discipline among themselves by paying attention to the people who come into their premises, as “access control must be strict”. He also suggested that parking lots that are away from core business centres would be much safer for all.

While emphasizing the need to install CCTV on their premises, he asked that they must work much closer with security agencies and arm themselves with phone numbers of the Police and the SSS.

He stated that the security number 112 was at the beck and call of every Nigerian but they should do more than cramming it but also have the control room number of the state in which they reside.

The phone numbers of the Police, the Department of State Service (DSS), and that of the National Security Adviser, he said, were available on the Police website, Frank Mba’s blog and other websites of security agencies.

He called on corporate organisations to help the Police and other security agencies to promote the numbers as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility. He also appealed to Channels Television to further help with its credible international platform by scrolling the numbers periodically to reach out to its millions of viewers in Nigeria and across the world.

He promised that the Police would continue to do everything possible to strengthen its security apparatus to ensure the safety of Nigeria and Nigerians.

Nyanya Blast: Whatever FG Is Doing Is Not Working – Intelligence Expert

Sunrise MoghaluA Security Consultant, Chris Moghalu, believes that the Federal Government should take the blame for Monday’s bombing of a busy park in Nigeria’s capital city which left many dead.

He made this assertion on Tuesday, while appearing as guest of ‘Sunrise Daily’ on Channels Television, 24 hours after the Nyanya Park bombing which claimed tens of lives at the Federal Capital Territory.

“We see the same thing over and over again, and the Federal Government keeps telling us they are working on it, but to the public they are not doing enough.

“The Federal Government keeps defending itself, we feel they are being defensive.”

He referred to statements credited to the Federal Government claiming that terrorism was not peculiar to Nigeria; he debunked the view, claiming that in other countries there are usually efforts to keep the rate of occurrence to the minimum.

The Ex US Army Intelligence Officer cited the United States of America as an example; he noted that it took 12 years after the 9-11 tragedy before another terrorist attack was successfully hatched in the country.

He maintained an earlier position where he recommended solutions to the problem of terrorism in Nigeria. He insisted that there were too many security agencies doing the same thing and there was need to merge them.

He also recommended the establishment of the Department of Homeland Securities; the need to close down the borders and provide tighter monitoring; the engagement of intelligence analysts, review of the training of security personnel and vetting the people in the security agencies.

He insisted that if the Federal Government had indeed been doing something, there were no practical milestones to validate such. He added that the reshuffling in the military had not produced any results.

While admitting that he might have been harsh on the Federal Government with his assertion that they were not doing anything, he insisted that the people were not feeling the impact of anything being done, if indeed they were being done.

“Whatever it is they are doing, it is not working,” the intelligence expert said.

Moghalu stated that the Boko Haram sect were working with the Hezbollah and other terrorist groups in other parts of the world which were very organised and professional in what they do. To fight them, he said, “we just need to be professional in what we do.”

He also insisted that real impact would be the ability of Nigeria’s security agencies to foil these attacks before they are executed, as he laid emphasis on proper security awareness for Nigerians.

The expectation of Nigerians that the CCTV installed in the FCT should have been useful in curtailing the incident was also discussed, with Moghalu expressing disappointment in what he termed the politicising of the CCTV idea.

He complained that “people just want to make money” which he said Nigerians were not stopping them from doing, if only they would perform their duties and keep the citizens safe.

“They have to spend the right money to do the right thing and give the contracts to people who know what they are doing.

“Even the traffic lights in Abuja are not really working, it is horrible.”

Moghalu also spoke about the security of Nigerian Airports and advised the Nigerian Government to commit more into the economic survival of small businesses in the country, as it was also related to the country’s fight against terrorism.

Citing the delay in the passing of the Petroleum Industry Bill, the partial implementation of the Money Laundering law and more, he said: “We play politics with everything that is important to Nigerians.”

Responding to a Channels TV viewer, who was contributing to the programme via social media, Moghalu said that the public does not trust the security agencies because they had been burnt in the past for providing information. “The security agencies need to go out and relate with the people and earn back their trust,” he said.

The issue of State Police also came to the fore and Moghalu said that although the idea of decentralising the Police was a good one but Nigeria was not ripe for it. “Not at this time”, he said, adding that politicians and their families could abuse it.

Gov. Ahmed Presents 124 Billion Naira 2014 Budget

The Kwara State Governor, Abdulfattah Ahmed has presented a budget proposal of over 124 billion Naira (about $775m) to the State House of Assembly for the 2014 fiscal year, with the education sector gulping the highest fund of over 19 billion Naira.

Presenting the budget christened “the budget of expansion for inclusive prosperity”, the governor noted that the budget proposal has an increase of 27% as against 96 billion Naira of last year.

While the recurrent expenditure will be 48 billion Naira, the capital expenditure is 58 billion.

The governor noted that the expected federal allocation will be 44 billion Naira while the internally generated revenue is 16 billion Naira with the excess crude account raking in 3 billion Naira.

The education sector is expected to gulp the highest amount of 19 billion Naira with the construction of schools, completion of the international vocational centre in Ajasse Ipo among other projects.

Purchasing of additional aircrafts for the aviation college, installation of closed circuit television and construction of roads will also be accorded priority.

The Speaker, Rasak Atunwa, while responding, promised to give accelerated passage to the budget proposal and defer the second reading of the bill till January 7, 2014.

Apple Gets Respect In China After Tabloid Trial

With its rare apology, Apple Inc went from pariah to praiseworthy in the eyes of China’s state-controlled media, a lesson for other foreign firms not to underestimate the speed and power of the government press.

After coming under near-daily media assault for the past two weeks and facing the threat of penalties from two Chinese government bureaus, Apple apologized to Chinese consumers on Monday for poor communication over its warranty policy and said it will change the terms for some of its iPhones sold in China.

Greater China is Apple’s second-biggest and fastest-growing market, with sales up almost 40 percent to $6.8 billion in the final quarter of 2012.

The Chinese newspapers that threw brickbats at Apple a few days ago have since changed their tune.

“The company’s apology letter has eased the situation, softening the tense relationship between Apple and the Chinese market … Its reaction is worth respect compared with other American companies,” wrote popular tabloid the Global Times, published by Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily.

The Foreign Ministry praised Apple for “conscientiously” responding to consumers’ demands.

“We approve of what Apple said,” spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing on Tuesday.

Only last week, the People’s Daily issued a scathing editorial on Apple’s return policy saying the popular smartphone maker was filled with “unparalleled arrogance”.

Apple was first targeted in mid-March by state broadcaster CCTV during its annual consumer day segment. Volkswagen AG, which was also criticized on the same show, plans to recall vehicles to fix a gearbox problem.

“That Timothy Cook had to step up and respond from the CEO’s chair shows the importance of China and how critical it is as a market not just for Apple but for every multinational company here,” said Kent Kedl, Shanghai-based head of Greater China and North Asia for risk consultancy firm Control Risks.

Foreign companies who are adept at managing media crises at home find it much tougher to navigate China where state media outlets, pandering to different audiences, often have opaque agendas and intentions. Analysts also said that foreign companies need to remember that the bigger the brand, the bigger a target it will be, especially in China.

“What foreign companies need to pay attention to, is that nobody operates in a vacuum, nobody operates only on the good graces of a brand name … Five to ten years ago a report on CCTV would have rippled a little bit, now it goes viral and has a life of its own,” Kedl said.

NOT APPLE’S FIGHT TO WIN

Apple’s acquiescence in this setting, where the world’s largest technology company by market value was ironically the David going up against China’s Goliath state media machinations, shows its wisdom in not challenging a more powerful enemy.

Although popular opinion on the Internet swayed in Apple’s favor, against state media and the reported threats of penalties from China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce as well as its quality and inspection bureau, it was not Apple’s fight to win, experts said.

Other foreign companies targeted by CCTV, such as fast food chain operator Yum Brands Inc, have also apologized and faced scrutiny from government agencies. Last December CCTV reported that two of Yum’s suppliers purchased chickens from farmers who used excessive levels of antibiotics in their animals. The report and subsequent investigations hurt sales at Yum’s KFC chain.

But Apple’s situation is somewhat different because CCTV’s claim was not completely new. Last July, a Chinese consumer rights group also slammed Apple for its after-sales policies. That time, however, Apple held its ground.

With the apology and warranty change, Apple’s mea culpa is significant not just because it comes from a tech firm that rarely apologizes, but also because Apple may be realizing that in China, it needs to be proactive.

“They’re out of the woods and into the weeds. Things will rarely be smooth for Apple in China – even if consumers love it there will always be factions in and out of government that are trying to take it down,” said Michael Clendenin, managing director of technology consultancy RedTech Advisors.

“Apple made it easy this time, but they have learned to be more proactive. The next time they stumble, it will be easier to recover,” he said.

£1 million lottery scam: Man jailed for 30 months

Farrakh Nizzar a shop worker has been jailed for 2 years and 6 months for trying to defraud a couple of their £1 million lottery ticket.

When the pensioner couple asked Farrakh Nizzar who is 30 years old and an illegal over-stayer in the United Kingdom the state of their ticket and their ticket which is the EuroMillions ticket was not a winning ticket and asked if they wanted the ticket back.

The Holts’ told Nizzar afterwards to thrash the ticket since its worthless but after the couples left, Nizzar took the ticket scanned it at a cousin’s Best One shop in Oldham Greater Manchester where he also works and he was told by the terminal to tell the holders of the ticket to contact Camelot.

Rather than do just that, Nizzar who is now facing deportation back to his home country of Pakistan kept the ticket and later called the lottery company himself in an attempt to keep the prize. But the firm became suspicious when he was unable to answer questions about the winning ticket.

Nizzar came to the UK in 2007 on a student visa and completed a postgraduate diploma in business studies. But his student visa ran out, he was refused leave to remain in the UK and exhausted all his rights to appeal.

Camelot began investigation with the aid of a CCTV, the Tesco Clubcard belonging to Mr.Holt to trace the original owners of the ticket and the Holts’ were united with their £1 million prize.

Nizzar bowed his head and made no reaction as he was jailed at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester after he pleaded guilty last month to one charge of fraud by false representation which was committed on May 31 this year and has since written a letter of apology to Mr and Mrs Holt.