Hundreds Of Shi’ite Protest Continued Detention Of El Zakzaky

Hundreds Of Shi’ite Protest Continued Detention Of El ZakzakyMembers of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shi’ites in Nasarawa state, have again staged another protest over the continued incarceration of their leader, (Sheik) Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

This time, the IMN protesters joined their counterparts across the 36 states of the federation including Abuja, protesting what they termed illegal detention of their leader, due to the FG’s decision not to obey court order for the immediate release of El-Zakzaky, his wife and other members of the movement in 2016.

The continued detention of the IMN leader and his wife since December 2015, after the murder of over 300 of his followers has been an issue for the members of the movement leading protests for his release.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had on December 2, 2016 had awarded a cumulative sum of 50 million Naira to the Zakzakys and ordered the AGF and IGP to provide him a new accommodation and security in any part of Kaduna or Northern region that they prefer within 45 days; a judgment which is however yet to be obeyed.

The protesters, comprising of women, youths and children, gathered at the popular Lafia eid prayer ground along Shendam road.

They were seen carrying placards with different inscriptions lambasting the Federal Government for disobeying court order.

Chanted praises of the embattled leader, they demanded his unconditional release, as well as that of other members who have been in custody for over eight months.

Singing in the Hausa, Arabic and English languages, the group pledged their allegiance stating: “We will never rest until our leader and others are freed, despite stories of El-zakzaky’s deteriorating health condition due to gunshot wounds.

 

Bailout Fund: Senate Committee Commends Enugu State For Transparency

governor_ugwuanyiThe Senate committee on State and Local Government Administration has visited Enugu state to perform its oversight duties on the bailout funds released to states by the Federal Government, in order to ensure transparency and accountability in the utilisation of public funds.

The committee, led by Abdullahi Gumel, met with the State Head of Civil Service, State Accountant General, Commissioner of Finance, among others, to get details on how the money was used.

Before the commencement of the meeting, the State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, expressed his gratitude to the Federal Government for prompt response over the release of the bailout fund.

The governor also appealed to the committee to make a case for more funds to be released to states in order to enable them address some critical issues in their respective jurisdictions.

He also gave a breakdown of what the bailout was used for.

On the other hand, Ugwuanyi asked that the Federal Government to refund to the state the over 22 billion Naira spent on Federal road intervention programme to enable it tackle some critical issues in the state.

“I must commend the Federal Government for the bold and timely initiative to provide states with funds to enable them address critical issues in their respective jurisdictions.

“Enugu state applied for bailout fund from the Federal Government totaling about 40.9 billion Naira, out of this sum however, we received only 4.207 billion Naira to be used in the liquidation of outstanding pension and subvention to parastatals, agencies and departments.

“I am happy to announce to you that we have successfully utilised the funds for the stated purposes.

“Distinguished senators, we urge you to make a case for more resources to be released to states and the Enugu government, for example, will among other things greatly appreciate the refund of over N22 billion spent on the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Federal roads in the state.

“This does not only accord with best practices, but will significantly boost the capacity of the state in tackling some challenging issues facing the state.

After the closed door meeting, Gumel told journalists that the committee was impressed with how the fund was utilised and commended the government on the innovation employed in ensuring transparency in disbursement.

He further stated: “I have gone and seen the books. As far as the bailout funds are concerned, everything is in order.

“Enugu state has given us the list of beneficiaries prepared by the banks. To us it’s an innovation and we are going to report it,” he concluded.

Delta FMC Nurses Protest Over Non-Payment Of Salaries

Delta FMC Nurses Protest Over Non-Payment Of SalariesNurses at the Federal Medical Center Asaba Delta State, have stormed the streets in their hundreds to stage a peaceful protest over an alleged non-payment of salaries.

According to them, other issues on the front burner, include what they call the deteriorating state of infrastructure in the various health institutions in the country, the discriminatory and selective implementation of government policies on career progression for nurses and midwives among others.

Chairman National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives Federal Medical Center Unit Delta state, Vitowanu Patience, expressing his displeasure stated:

“We lost a member and a skillful nurse to the cold hands of LAASA fever because of poor infrastructure and this has to stop. We say no to the wrong implementation of health policies”

Also giving reason for the protest, a male nurse, Abimaje Adejoh, who is also the Executive Secretary National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives Federal Medical Center Unit Delta state, reiterated that the protest is part of the plan to bring authorities in the health sector to a round table discussion.

“For now there’s no ultimatum to the Federal Government, the protest is only a plan A. The Federal Government should do the right thing by giving us what is due to us”

The nurses believe that if the country’s resources are judiciously managed, healthcare delivery system would grow tremendously with the country taking its place among nations in the area of quality health care delivery.

In response, representative of the Chief Medical Director FMC, Fanrobi Abiodun, promised to relay their message back to the Federal Government.

“We have heard your complaints and I assure you that we would do everything we can to relay your message to the federal authorities. I request that you continue to conduct yourself in a peaceful manner,” he said.

Trump And Australia PM Have ‘Worst Call’

Trump And Australia PM Have 'Worst Call' U.S President, Donald Trump has criticized Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, over a refugee resettlement deal, reports say.

The Washington Post stated that Mr Trump called a phone conversation with Mr Turnbull “the worst by far” of his calls with world leaders that day, and cut it short.

Mr Trump later tweeted that he would “study the dumb deal”.

Struck with the Obama administration, the agreement is expected to see up to 1,250 asylum seekers to Australia resettled in the U.S.

Borno IDPs Begin Mass Production Of Household Products

Borno IDP's Begin Mass Production Household ProductsSome Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Gwoza local government area of Borno state, have begun large scale production and packaging of various household products.

The products include solid and liquid soap, detergents, pomade, hand bags courtesy of a loan allocated to them by the Borno Renaissance Micro Finance Bank, set up by Governor Kashim Shettima to promote entrepreneurship in the state.

In 2016, Governor Shettima had after examining their proposal, directed the Micro Finance Bank to release the sum of N5m to a group of 91 male and female citizens displaced from Gwoza LGA, who were living within some camps in Maiduguri.

The group had registered with the state as Gwoza Soap Makers Association, a cooperative desiring to go into mass production of household items.

In fulfillment of their pledge, after days of hard work, representatives of the IDPs marched to the Government House, Maiduguri, with samples of household products produced and packaged by them.

They named all their products, ‘G.Z. Hijira’. The ‘G.Z’ represents Gwoza, their town, while Hijira refers to a ‘temporary relocation’ which in their case, represents their Internal displacement.

The IDPs told Governor Shettima that they want their locally produced items to capture the memory of their displacement and relocation to Maiduguri as a result of attacks on their communities in Gwoza by Boko Haram insurgents in 2014.

“For a start, we have used part of the funds and produced 118 cartons of solid laundry soap; 86 cartons of small size pomades, 96 cartons of large size of pomade; 200 jerrycans of large and small packs of liquid soap; 1,972 kitchen sized packs of liquid soap, disinfectants and 127 numbers of women and unisex hand bags.

“We will be going into bigger scale production but we came to show you what we have started doing since you created this opportunity for us by encouraging us and getting us the money” leader of the IDPs, Musa Ali Gwoza, told Shettima.

Impressed by what he saw, the governor ‎immediately said that after their products are certified by control agencies, they would become major features in public hospitals, schools and other Government establishments so as to increase their capacity and the economy of the state and to encourage other IDPs and residents to become productive.

“You have just made my day. This is the kind of progress I love to see. You are all internally displaced persons but rather than fold your arms and wait for aide, you chose to be productive using your talents.

“I encouraged you because you deserve it. I don’t know if you have gotten products certificates but I can see you are already packaging. By the grace of God, after agencies like NAFDAC and the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), certify your products, we will arrange for a public presentation of your products.

“I will lead the launching and the Borno State Government will make you primary suppliers of soap, detergents and disinfectants in most of our hospitals, schools and other Government establishment including this Government House so that you create jobs for others that will market and sell your products.

“I will take some of your products like these detergents and test for sanitation purpose in my office. We will try to get you some machinery that will make you produce faster and in higher numbers. I believe you are using crude methods now.

“You deserve encouragement. I want to mainly make you serve as role models to other citizens whether displaced or not,” Shettima said.

Soldier To Serve Seven Year Jail Term For Manslaughter

Soldier To Serve 7-Year Jail Term For ManslaughterThe General Court Marshal of 7 Division sitting in Maiduguri, Borno state, has sentenced a serving soldier to seven years imprisonment for manslaughter.

The soldier is being prosecuted for shooting and killing one Mr Umar Alkali within the popular Monday Market in Maiduguri metropolis on December 23 2015.

The soldier (name withheld) was found guilty of manslaughter punishable under Section (105) of the Armed Forces Act CAP A20 of the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004.

Narrating the circumstances surrounding the incident, the soldier stated that he shot and killed Alkali to save his life; an act he described as self defence, after the deceased assaulted and tried to wrestle his rifle from him.

The plea was however set aside on the ground of disproportionate use of force.

While dismissing the initial charge of murder leveled against the officer, the GCM upheld the charge of manslaughter.

The President of the Court, Brigadier General Olusegun Adeniyi while delivering the verdict, gave a detailed account of all the proceedings and relevant laws that guided the court at arriving at its decision.

Another soldier (name withheld) was also found guilty of a one count charge of desertion punishable under section 60 of the Act.

He had deserted his duty post for 272 and was declared Missing in Action until he was discovered somewhere in eastern Nigeria.

He has been sentenced to 14 months imprisonment.

IDPs Seek Permanent Settlement In Yobe State

IDPs, YobeOver 10, 000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), who are non-Yobe indigenes currently taking refuge at the Kukareta town outskirts of Damaturu the Yobe state capital, have opted to permanently reside in the state.

Speaking through the village head of Kukareta of Damaturu Local Government Area Lawan Babagana, the IDPs are of the opinion that the Boko Haram insurgents are still operating in some communities within their ancestral homes hence, they have opted to stay in Yobe state permanently.

Kukareta town has for the past four years witnessed unprecedented visitors displaced by the Boko Haram insurgents.

Over 18, 000 households have within the period been hosted by the Kukareta community and the Yobe state government.

However, with the relative peace being enjoyed in most of the north east states bedeviled by the Boko Haram insurgents, the population of IDPs in the community is said to have reduced from over 18,000 to about 10,261 households.

Babagana told Channels Television that the IDPs have continued to receive news of pockets of attack within their ancestral homes, hence there is no need to return as their safety is not guaranteed.

He said the facilities initially provided by the state government, Non-Governmental Organisations among other philanthropists such as; schools, healthcare facilities and water supply, are still functional hence their stay in the community will not in any way over-stretch the existing facilities.

He also stated that he had taken the matter to the Yobe state government through the Damaturu Local Government as well as the Damaturu Emirate Council as the Ministry of Lands and Survey has been assigned to take stock of the land requirements for their settlement.

Secretary to the Yobe state Government, Baba Malam-Wali also addressing the issue, said the government has been adequately briefed on the desire and requirements of the IDPs and according to him, efforts are being made to hasten their settlements.

Trump Fires Acting Attorney General For Defying Immigration Order

trump-banU.S. President Donald Trump fired top federal government lawyer Sally Yates on Monday after she took the extraordinarily rare step of defying the White House and refused to defend new travel restrictions targeting seven Muslim-majority nations.

It was another dramatic twist in the unusually raucous roll-out of Trump’s directive that put a 120-day hold on allowing refugees into the country, an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and a 90-day bar on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The Friday night ban prompted protests and chaos at airports on the weekend as customs officials struggled to put the order into practise, and the fallout spread to U.S. markets on Monday, where stocks suffered their biggest drop of 2017 and companies affected by the change spoke out against it.

Yates said late on Monday that the Justice Department would not defend the order against court challenges, saying that she did not believe it would be “consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right.”

Hours later, she was fired. The White House said Yates “has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States” and portrayed her actions as political.

Trump has argued tougher vetting of immigrants is needed to protect America from terror attacks but critics complain that his order unfairly singles out Muslims and defiles America’s historic reputation as a welcoming place for immigrants.

Yates, an appointee of former Democratic President Barack Obama, was days away from being replaced by Trump’s pick for the top spot at the Justice Department, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, who is awaiting Senate confirmation.

“Ms. Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration,” the White House said in a statement.

Reuters

FG Issues New Guideline For Collation Of Surplus Fund

FG Issues New Guideline For Collation Of Surplus FundThe federal government has issued a new guideline for the computation of operating surpluses in order to reduce cases of under-remittance of funds by revenue-collection agencies.

The guideline was issued over the weekend through the Ministry of Finance.

Financial statements are expected to contain details of projected internally generated revenue, personnel and overhead costs derived from the national budget, so as to adequately prepare estimates of revenue and expenditure of agencies.

In 2016, 33 revenue generating agencies were indicted for not remitting a total of 450 billion Naira into the consolidated revenue fund account of government.

The Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, has therefore warned that a violation of the three-year template would attract severe sanctions.

Victims Of Nnewi Timber Market Fire Accident Cry For Help

Victims Of Nnewi Timber Market Fire Accident Cry For Help It was complete wreckage at the Nnewi Timber market, (Nnewi North local government area), Anambra state, as a midnight fire ravaged the entire market destroying goods worth millions of Naira.

The state Chief Fire Officer, Mr Victor Ikokwu, has however confirmed that although no life was lost, six persons were injured and receiving treatment in the hospital.

“What I know is that the fire started from the dustbin here, as early as 10 minutes after one this morning. Our men are here till now fighting the fire.

“No life was lost but we some people were injured. According to the traders, up to five or six men were injured,” Ikokwu said.

Meanwhile, traders, counting their losses have cried out to the state government to intervene and support them financially as well as help relocate them to a better trading site.

Narrating his ordeal, one Mr Chisom James said: “It was yesterday around one am that I got a call that my shop has already been burnt. Immediately I came in here, everywhere was so scattered that I could not even enter my shop. I lost everything entirely.

Another victim, Mr Edwin Nwereka, described the situation as a “very painful” one. “I heard this thing by four o’clock this morning that our line is burning. It is very painful to me.

The cause of the incident has however not been ascertained but some of the traders believe it is the hand work of some “bad boys” in the area that smoke Indian hemp.

On the other hand, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of operations, Johnson Kokuma, said the fire service team would investigate the matter.

According to other eye-witness accounts, “the inferno had gotten to an advanced stage before the arrival of the Fire service team.

And although they tried hard to quench it, all efforts proved abortive as a result of the nature of the structures in the market, causing the fire to spread fast, destroying many stalls.

The state government through the Ministry of Information has however sympathized with the timber market traders and assured them that adequate measures would be put in place to avert future occurrences.

Aregbesola Says Recession Must End In 2017

Argebesola Stresses Need To Educate Nigerians On RecessionThe Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola says Nigeria will move beyond the challenges of economic recession in 2017 to fast track a better standard of living for Nigerians.

Governor, Aregbesola made this known in Osogbo, the Osun State capital during his new year message at the Freedom Park while celebrating the new year with some residents.

The Governor Rauf Aregbesola and some other notable sons and daughters of the state chieftains in the state, joined others to usher in with great musical performances, comedy and fireworks display the year 2017.

The governor said the government at all levels, particularly the Federal Government must engineer a financial plan to return the country back to economic winning ways.

The Osun state governor also embraced Nigerians not to lose sight of the change they voted for few months back by rallying round the government of the day and perform their civic responsibilities.

“We are on the path of re overt. We are moving away from recession into the phase of recovery. This recovery will lead to growth and growth will lead to consolidation. And all this will happen this year.

But what remains for all of us? Those who are employed must be efficient to increase their productivity.”
He further stated that those without work must go back to the land, cultivate it for food production most especially, and cash crops.

“We must earn more money generally. All of us must earn more money and we must reduce our consumption of imported goods. When we do this individually, it will result to the conservation of our resources, effective use of those resources and creation of wealth for all. ‎” the governor explained.

Obiano Launches Smart Bikes Unit To Improve Anambra Security

Obiano Launches Smart Bikes Unit To Improve Anambra Security The Anambra state Governor, Willie Obiano, has launched a Motor Bikes Security Unit with 50 smart bikes to complement the already existing security operations of other special units in the state.

Along with the bikes, a set of fully kitted and well trained Police riders, were presented at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia.

The smart bikes possess communication gadgets to connect with other special security units in the state, such as the Sand bags, Metro, Marine and Smart Cars unit.

Presenting them to the Anambra state Commissioner of Police, Sam Okaula, Governor Obiano said the idea behind the initiative, is for them to be able to penetrate areas where vehicles may not be able to reach, as well as check snatching of items by criminals especially during this yuletide season.

“The bikes would be able to reach areas that vehicles cannot, and help check bags and phone snatching elements, the governor said.

He then charged the police to be professional in their operations and desist from taking bribe or extorting money from citizens, but rather do things differently.

The keys to the motorbikes were handed over to the Mr Okaula, who alongside the governor test ran them.

The police boss on the other hand assured the governor of the commitment of the command to continue to suppress insecurity and crime in the state.

Furthermore, following Obiano’s consistent appeal for more intervention in the state security, he used the opportunity to launch an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), also donated to Anambra state Police Command by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris.