World Cancer Day: W.H.O Calls For Support To Fight Disease

NOWA, 500 women, breast cancerAs the world commemorates the World Cancer Day, the World Health Organisation (W.H.O) has called for an increased effort in the fight against the disease.

In a statement by the W.H.O Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, “The W.H.O says February 4, 2017 is a day to reflect on how cancer affects everyone in different ways, and how everyone can be part of the effort to reduce the impact on individuals, families and communities.

He adds that it is urgent to do so because cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, with approximately 8.8 million cancer-related deaths in 2015.

This figure is expected to double within the next 20-30 years, and African countries are likely to be the most affected.

Search Continues As Ex-Minister Gets Kidnapped In Kaduna

Gunmen Assassinate Kogi Miyetti Allah ChairmanA former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bagudu Hirse has been abducted by gunmen in Kaduna State, northwest Nigeria.

The former minister was said to have been abducted when he visited President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Mr Mamman Daura at his Inuwa road residence in Kaduna Metropolis.

Security operatives in Kaduna state are stepping up search for the abductors of the former minister but report from Kaduna state on Monday morning indicate that the abductors were yet to establish contact with his family or security operatives.

The former Minister in company of a friend, had gone to pay condolence visit to the family of the late Sultan of Sokoto, Ibrahim Dasuki on Kabiru road, few meters away from Inuwa Wada road and was said to have stopped over at the house of Daura who was at home receiving guests and other family members.

Eyewitness said he had got out of his car and was exchanging pleasantries with some guests who were standing in front of the house, when three men inside an ash coloured Toyota Corolla car stopped, jumped down from the car and whisked the former minister away almost immediately.

Meanwhile, the spokesman for the Kaduna Police command, Aliyu Usman, who confirmed the incident, said a team of detectives had been deployed across the state to ensure safe and unconditional release of the former minister from his abductors.

Cases of kidnapping of high profile individuals is becoming rampant in Kaduna state, with the kidnappers making demand of huge amounts. It has become a growing trade for the criminals.

In October, a former Minister of Environment, Mrs Laurenttia Mallam and her husband were abducted by gunmen along Abuja-Kaduna highway, and were released few days after.

This is inspite of the inauguration of a special anti-kidnapping squad in the state by the Inspector General of Police two months ago.

Rivers Protest: House Of Assembly Condemns Police Action

Speaker, Adams Dabotorudima, Rivers Protest: House Of Assembly Condemns Police Action
Speaker, Adams Dabotorudima,

The Rivers State House of Assembly has condemned the role of some Police operatives in Thursday’s protests by supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.

After a two-hour debate on the matter, the 19-member house passed a resolution, calling on the Inspector General of Police to immediately transfer the two officers that supervised the protests out of the state.

The Speaker of the House, Adams Dabotoridima, addressed journalists on the need for the action to be taken urgently.

Thursday was a day of protests in Port Harcourt as supporters of the APC and the PDP stormed the streets to express their grievances over different matters.

The APC members stormed the streets to show their grievances over two of their elected members in the state House of Assembly who are yet to be sworn in while supporters of the PDP claim they were out to register their support for the leadership of the House and the government of Rivers State.

The APC members who came out in their numbers caused a traffic jam along Azikiwe road in the Rivers state capital.

The leader of the protest and secretary of the party in the state Emeka Bekee lamented what he described as a deliberate attempt of the government to frustrate the process.

While the APC protest was going on, the situation with supporters of the PDP appeared tenser.

In an open confrontation, the Police engaged the protesters in an attempt to stop them from proceeding.

This led to the use of tear gas and live ammunition. One person was shot in the leg.

Channels Television’s cameraman, Ekikere Udom, was also attacked during the chaos. He was reportedly hit with a gun by the Police.

From his hospital bed, he recounted how he was brutalized by the Police.

“I was doing my work when a group of policemen came around me and asked me to stop recording and started beating me up. I tried to show them my ID card, but they continued.

“After the beating, while I was trying to recover myself, another officer came and hit me on my rib with the tip of the gun and I fell. They hit my camera and seized it and my bag. I had to manage my way out of there,” he said.

APC, PDP Protests In Port Harcourt Turn Violent

APC, PDP, Plateau Politics, Deputy SpeakerIt’s been a day of protests in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital where the supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stormed the streets to express their grievances over different matters.

While the APC is aggrieved that two of their elected members in the state House of Assembly are yet to be sworn in, the supporters of the PDP claim they were out to register their support for the leadership of the House and the government of Rivers State.

The APC members who came out in their numbers caused a traffic jam along Azikiwe road in the Rivers state capital.

The leader of the protest and secretary of the party in the state Emeka Bekee lamented what he described as a deliberate attempt of the government to frustrate the process.

rivers-apc-protest
The APC members stormed the streets in their numbers

“This morning, immediately he (Rivers State Governor) got wind of this protest he set up a visit to the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly. He never visited the Speaker since, it’s now he decided to visit the speaker.

“That is to tell you the Governor knows what he is doing and we the APC will not take it anymore. We have given Nigerians the opportunity to hear our cry. There are members of the PDP in the National Assembly, the APC-led leadership did not refuse to swear them in, why is it that the Governor and the PDP have refused to swear our people in?

 Emeka Bekee
Leader of the APC Protest, Emeka Bekee

“After today, APC will not take it anymore, whatever will happen in this state should happen.”

Their walk to the state assembly complex was however halted by the Police perhaps to forestall any breakdown of law and order.

APC candidate in Ogu Bolo constituency in the legislative rerun, Maureen Tamuno said that they decided to back off for now from the protest for the sake of peace

“We decided to retreat from the protest. And we are calling on the Governor of Rivers state to allow the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly to swear in our honourable members. We are calling on them to respect the rule of law, this is not a military regime.

“We are aware that you also know that there are five members who won the election on the platform of the PDP, the President did not stop Dogara from swearing them in, and they are representing their constituencies in the federal house.”

While the APC protest was going on, the situation with supporters of the PDP appeared tenser.

In an open confrontation, the Police engaged the protesters in an attempt to stop them from proceeding.

protester-shot
One person was shot in the leg

This led to the use of tear gas and live ammunition. One person was shot in the leg.

Channels Television’s camera man was also attacked during the chaos and has been receiving treatment in a hospital in Port Harcourt.

He was reportedly hit with a gun by the Police.

‘You Are One Of Us’

The protesters later broke through Police resistance to the House of Assembly complex but were resisted by more determined security operatives.

The Publicity Secretary of the PDP and leader of the protest, in his address said his people were determined to show their solidarity for the Speaker and Rivers state government.

“We the youths of Rivers state are determined to embark on this victory march to show that we are happy with the leadership of the assembly, that we are excited with your leadership as the Speaker of the Rivers state House of Assembly because you are one of us.

Speaker, Adams Dabotorudima,
Speaker, Adams Dabotorudima

“This is the first time in the history of the House that we have a Speaker that is one of us. You will remember two years ago when the pharaoh of the state who is no more here came and closed down the assembly and took it to government house.

“We are also happy with our leader the Governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike, who promised that from day one he will take the Assembly from government house back to the legislative house where Rivers people voted them to do their legislative duties.”

In his address, the Speaker, Adams Dabotorudima, thanked the crowd for displaying maturity and refusing to fight back when the Police attacked them.

“I want to thank you for showing maturity in the face of provocation, I thank you that you did not take laws into your hands otherwise we have what it takes to match them fire for fire, hand for hand.

“But next time, let the CP take this message to those who sent them that next time anybody who will come to Rivers state to try and cause trouble, we believe the law will take its cause. The primary responsibility of any government is to protect lives and property and we are happy that lives and property are being protected in the state, unlike before when people were being killed on the streets under the previous administration.

“We are making good laws and we will continue to make good laws that will impact on the lives of our people.”

Brutalized By Police

channels-tv-cameraman-attacked
Channels TV cameraman, Ekikere Udom

Channels Television’s cameraman Ekikere Udom who spoke from his hospital bed recounted how he was brutalized by the Police.

“I was doing my work when a group of policemen came around me and asked me to stop recording and started beating me up. I tried to show them my ID card, but they continued.

“After the beating, while I was trying to recover myself, another officer came and hit me on my rib with the tip of the gun and I fell. They hit my camera and seized it and my bag. I had to manage my way out of there.”

Police React

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Francis Odesanya, has reacted to the circumstances surrounding the protests of the APC and the PDP.

According to him, when he received credible information that the PDP was to visit the Speaker of the State House of Assembly same day that the APC had obtained official permission to take a protest letter to the same speaker, he had advised party leaders to shelve plans to a later date but his advice was not heeded.

The CP said that those responsible for the attack on the Channels Television cameraman would be fished out.

Boko Haram Militants In Niger Kill Five As Regional Attacks Mount

Boko HaramBoko Haram militants killed two soldiers and three civilians in Niger’s southern border town of Abadam in an overnight raid.

Two security sources told Reuters on Wednesday, in the third suspected attack by the group in less than 24 hours.

Four militants detonated suicide bombs on Lake Chad, also overnight, killing three of the attackers but no one else.

Separately, militants attacked a convoy in northern Cameroon on Wednesday, although there were no reported deaths.

Boko Haram: Military Gives Progress Report

Brig. Gen. RogersThe Chief of Civil/Military Affairs, Army HQ, Brig. Gen. Nicholas Rogers says territories held by the insurgents have been liberated as the people are returning back to their communities gradually.

Rogers was the guest of Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday, December 10, where he gave an update on the progress made by the Nigerian military in its fight against terrorism in the Northeast.

“What is left are some villages between the boundaries of Nigeria, Chad and Cameroun particularly along the Lake Chad region,” he said.

Brig. Gen. Rogers said that stability and calm have returned in Maiduguri, Damaturu, Gwoza, Bama, Baga, Monguno and other towns, adding that some buildings like schools, churches that were burnt down are being rebuilt by the military.

He, however, noted that there are some challenges along the line.

According to the Brig. Gen, in continuing the fight against the insurgents and protecting the towns that have been liberated, other security agencies are yet to get fully involved and this situation has been preventing the military from carrying out their full operations.

Brig. Gen. Rogers also disclosed that several meetings have been held and is still ongoing to discuss the challenges in the force but noted that the responses have been slow.

AIB Releases Manifest Of Crashed Bristow Helicopter

Bristow-Helicopter-crash-wreckageThe Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) on Thursday released the passenger manifest for the helicopter that crashed last week in Oworonshoki area of Lagos.

Please find below the names of the passengers and the crew on the manifest of the ill-fated flight.

1. Ita Ekpeyong

2. Joshua Emekeme

3. Dolu Ebiejuara

4. Onoriode Onojete

5. Chukwuma Erise

6. Solomon Udeh

7. Chidi Ukwunta

8. Iniala Opaimi

9. Chris Abua

10. Chukwudi Onah

11. Joseph Wyatt (Captain)

12. Peter Kayode Bello (Co-Pilot)

The Sikosky S76 C+ helicopter crashed into the lagoon in Oworonshoki area of Lagos on Wednesday 12 August, 2015 shortly before landing at Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

The helicopter marked 5N-BGD and operated by Bristow Helicopters departed SEDCO oil platform offshore en-route Lagos airport.

NLC Reconciliation Move Suffers Setback

NLCEfforts to reconcile the two leadership factions of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have suffered a setback as the faction led by Comrade Joe Ajaero accused Adams Oshiomole of playing a divisive role in the process of reconciling the two parties.

The reconciliation committee was led by Comrade Hassan Sumonu and other labour veterans to address the disagreements between the two factions of Comrades Ayuba Waba and Joe Ajaero after the eleventh delegate congress declared Mr Waba as new NLC President.

This reconciliation move however suffered some setbacks on Tuesday, April 21, as members blamed Governor Adams Oshiomole of alleged partisanship.

The election of a new national executive of the NLC ended in chaos in Abuja on February 12.

Aggrieved delegates were caught on camera smashing and emptying ballot boxes with ballot papers flying on the floor of the International Conference Centre.

The workers alleged that the ballot papers were designed to favour one of the candidates vying for the President of the union.

Over 3,000 delegates voted as the General Secretary of National Union of Electricity Employees, Joe Ajaero and the President of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Wabba Ayuba, presented themselves for election to replace Adbulwaheed Omar.

The President of NUPENG, Igwe Achese, had withdrawn from the race for Ajaero.

The NLC was formed by Nigerian workers in 1978 and has successfully conducted 10 delegates’ conferences.

ICRC Set To Make Emergency Aid Flights To Yemen

yemenThe International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is set to make emergency aid flights into Yemen’s capital, Sanaa.

The ICRC has been given permission to land planes carrying staff and medical supplies in Yemen, which it said was facing a humanitarian emergency.

Fighting had intensified in the southern port of Aden, as government troops battle the Houthis.

About 500 people had been killed over the past two weeks in Yemen.

However, the ICRC is sending a cargo plane carrying vital medical supplies, and a small passenger plane of aid workers.

Eight Houthi fighters were killed in an air strike before dawn in the suburbs of the northern city of Saadah, home of the Shi’ite Muslim movement which spread from its mountain stronghold to take over the capital Sanaa six months ago.

Local officials said strikes also hit air defense and coastal military units near the Red Sea port of Hodaida, and targets on the outskirts of Aden. They also hit a bridge on the road south to Aden, apparently trying to block the Houthis from sending reinforcements to their fighters in the city.

Meanwhile, the cargo plane is still awaiting approval to send a surgical team by boat to Aden.

The ICRC has, however, called for a 24-hour ceasefire in Aden, while Russia has also urged the UN Security Council to support a “humanitarian pause” in the air strikes.

Pakistan’s parliament is debating whether to join the Saudi-led coalition after a Pakistani aircraft rescued 170 people from Sanaa on Sunday.

Opposition Overheating Polity To Take Over Government – Jonathan

JonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan has re-assured members of the international community that the March 28 and April 11 general elections in the country will be conducted under a peaceful atmosphere.

The Nigerian President gave the assurance while granting audience to international election observers, including those of the European Union, the African Union and the Commonwealth at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

President Jonathan said that the forthcoming elections would hold as rescheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

He said that with all preparations made by both INEC and the Federal Government, Nigerians would witness free and credible polls.

“First and foremost let me reassure the international community and indeed Nigerians that elections will be conducted as rescheduled by INEC,” he said.

“And I promise you again that the elections will be free, fair, credible and will ensure that the atmosphere will be peaceful.”

The President accused the opposition, All Progressives Congress (APC) of over heating the political space because they are desperate to take government from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

President Jonathan explained that although the international community had in 2011 declared that elections were reasonably free and fair, there were some violence because some candidates felt that they lost and caused some violence in some cities (maybe not directly but ‎probably their supporters) .

“This year ‎we will make sure that we don’t have those kinds of scenarios,” President Jonathan said.

“I just finished conversation with General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s group and I assured them that elections will be free and fair, it will be credible, the electoral body‎ INEC is working very hard and I believe that they will handle things in a way that both the candidates and electorates will conduct themselves well.

“I think some of the issues that is generating these heat is the excesses of maybe we the politicians, especially the opposition politicians. Opposition not only in the sense that this is a PDP government at the federal level, there are ‎some states that the PDP is in the opposition.

“In most cases you see the opposition hitting the system so hard because they are working hard to take over government.

“There are a lot of provocative statements that are being made that communicate something different to international community.

“But I believe the elections would be conducted. You made reference to ‎the previous dates the elections were to be held, the 14th February. If elections were held on February 14th I believe there would have been problems in this country because the tensions were quite high, the security challenges were quite enormous.

“When these elections were rescheduled, on that 14th‎, Gombe State was attacked because the Boko Haram thought elections were to be held and they came out actually to disrupt it but they were repelled.

“But now we have cleaned up Adamawa and Yobe completely. And even Borno State before the elections, it was only a little area like the Sambisa forest that will be in the hands of Boko Haram. We believe by tomorrow (today) or latest Friday we will be able to take over Gwoza. If we take over Gwoza it will not take us more than one week to clean up. Now Boko Haram are not in position to come out and disrupt elections.

“So I want to assure that elections would be conducted on the 28th across the country so there will be no reason for inclusive results.

“I want to reassure you that the elections would be conducted as scheduled, it would be free and fair. As a government we will do our best even ‎though I’m a candidate but I’m more interested in peaceful elections than who emerges as the next president of Nigeria.

“I want a situation where the whole world should respect our electoral process. I will feel diminished if at the end of the day that the international observers don’t accept‎ the process, the result. I won’t feel comfortable.”

President also told the group; “To me, ‎those who are close to me know what I stand for. My interest is more about the country, its not about me. I’m not apprehensive at all as to whether I will win the election.

“I have worked very hard to win the election, my party is working very hard for me to win the election. Political process is not an individual business because its actually the party that is presenting you but as a sitting president I’m more interested in the nation so nothing will keep me awake,” he added.

Earlier, Mahamadu Danda and Anna Roberts ‎of the EU told the President that they were in Nigeria to observe the elections and to witness in an impartial and neutral manner, the execution of the electoral process in the country.

They both said “You have always been open every time that we have requested a meeting. We are here as we were in 2011 to get your advise on the things we should be focusing on in the remaining days of the campaign period leading up to the election day on Saturday and also things that we could do to help support the people of Nigeria in the post-elections period.

Anna Roberts, ‎ who spoke on behalf of the EU’s Chief Observer, explained that their focus was very much on the systemic issues that arise during these elections.

According to him, they were not just thinking about these elections process but also the future ones and how they can in some way be a small part in making recommendations for reforms so that future elections would be held better in Nigeria.

Nigeria Closes Borders Ahead Of Polls

INEC-1 The President has approved the closure of all Nigeria’s land and sea borders from Wednesday, the 25th of March 2015 at 12 midnight.

This is according to a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Abubakar Magaji.

President Goodluck Jonathan has also directed the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to ensure that non-Nigerians do not participate in any part of the election process.

The closure of borders, he explained, would allow for the peaceful conduct of the forthcoming 2015 general elections which was rescheduled to hold March 28 and April 11.

 

Cyclone Pam Causes Destruction In Vanuatu Islands

Vanuatu-2Powerful winds from Cyclone Pam have caused widespread destruction in the Vanuatu islands, killing at least eight people, aid officials have said.

Houses in the capital, Port Vila, were destroyed and “people were wandering the streets looking for help”, said Tom Skirrow of Save the Children.

Officials in Port Vila said that “there is no power or running water in Vanuatu’s capital”.

There are reports of entire villages being destroyed in more remote areas, according to Chloe Morrison, a World Vision Emergency Communications Officer.

“It’s still really quite dangerous outside. Most people are still hunkering down,” she said.

“The damage is quite extensive in Port Vila but there are so many more vulnerable islands.

“I can’t even imagine what it’s like in those vulnerable communities.”

Vanuatu’s President said he had a “heavy heart” and appealed for aids.

Pam has brought winds of up to 270km/h (170mph) and torrential rain.

Australia is preparing to send a crisis response team to Vanuatu if needed, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.

“There are destructive winds, rain, flooding, landslides, sea surges and very rough seas and the storm is exceedingly destructive there,” she said.

Mr Skirrow said: “The scene here this morning is a complete devastation – houses are destroyed, trees are down, roads are blocked and people are wandering the streets looking for help.

“Communications are down across much of the country with the total extent of the devastation unlikely to be known for several days.”

UNICEF spokeswoman Alice Clements described the cyclone as “15-30 minutes of absolute terror” as it passed over Port Vila.

“I saw the sliding doors from my three-storey-hotel room completely blow away – it was terrifying,” she said.