Queen Elizabeth Misses New Year Church Service

Queen Elizabeth Misses New Year Church ServiceQueen Elizabeth has missed a New Year’s Day church service as she continues to recover from a “heavy cold,” a Buckingham Palace spokesman says.

It has been reported that the 90-year-old monarch and her husband, Prince Philip, have been under the weather for most of the holiday season, having previously delayed their traditional journey to their country home, Sandringham House, in Norfolk after falling ill before Christmas.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was however able to attend a Christmas Day church service while he also attended the New Year’s Day service alongside Princess Anne, Prince Edward and other members of the Royal Family.

The Queen has remained indoors to recuperate from the persisting illness, according to an earlier Buckingham Palace statement.

It is the first year that the monarch has missed a Christmas Day church service since she began celebrating the holidays at Sandringham back in 1998.

Yobe Governor Set To Conduct LG Polls In February

Ibrahim-GaidamThe Yobe state Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, has reiterate his commitment to hold Local Government elections in the state in February 2017.

During a meeting with the National Leadership of Inter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC), at the Government House Damaturu, the Governor assured them that his administration would hold election on February 11, in conformity with the tenets of democracy.

The council, is in the state to create awareness on the need to ensure regular conduct of LG elections across the 36 states of the country and Abuja.

According to Gaidam, since he assumed office as the Governor of the state, he had conducted LG elections on two occasions, while the February election would be the third.

With the improved peace, the Governor said he can do more to ensure the growth and development of democracy, adding that it remains the best system of Government known to man.

According to him, the insurgency has never deterred him from developing the state as he continues to construct roads, schools, houses among others.

The National Chairman of Inter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria, Mohammed Lawal, then expressed appreciation for the Governor’s efforts in ensuring democracy at the grassroots and urged other governors across the country to emulate him.

He also praised the efforts of the president as well as security operatives for the restoration of peace in the northeast, while calling for its sustenance.

Dozens Killed In Istanbul New Year Nightclub Attack

Dozens Killed In Istanbul New Year Nightclub Attack Dozens of persons have been killed in an attack which took place during a New Year’s bash in an upscale club in Istanbul.

It was supposed to be a celebration welcoming in a new start, after a trying, bloody year in Turkey.

Almost 70 people have been hospitalised following the bloodbath by an unknown number of attackers who stormed the club and started shooting.

According to CNN, an eyewitness, Yunis Turk, explained after police secured the Reina nightclub: “We were having fun, at first we thought it was a fight then there was a lot of gunfire.

“After the gunfire everyone started to run toward the terrace. We ran as well. There was someone next to me who was shot and fell on the floor. We ran away and hid under the sofas.

Some people jumped into the Bosporus, he said, a testament to the panic that engulfed the nightspot – it is freezing in Istanbul but people were willing to leap into the frigid water to escape the panic.

“For ten minutes there was gunfire and then for another five minutes they were throwing bombs, fired a bit more, then left,” Turk recalled.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus, also told CNN that the attacker was a lone assailant and that the authorities “are trying hard” to identify and apprehend the person in order to investigate any ties to terror groups.

He said that security forces are analyzing CCTV footage.

“I hope we will shortly identify the attacker and find who is behind it,” he said

Kaduna Residents Believe Nigeria Will Overcome Challenges In 2017

Kaduna Residents Believe Nigeria Will Overcome Challenges In 2017Residents of Kaduna state, have expressed hope that things would get better in Nigeria in 2017, with prayer and commitment on the part of the leaders as well as citizens.

They believe that although the nation witnessed several socio-economic challenges in 2016, things would improve in the New Year.

At the Cathedral of Saint Michael Anglican Communion in the state capital, residents marked the event with praise and thanksgiving, appreciating God for keeping them alive to see the New Year.

The Bishop of Kaduna Arch- Diocese, Mr Timothy Yahaya in his New Year message, prayed for a better and prosperous Nigeria. He then told citizens to start the New Year with a new hope and begin to think and act positively.

Speaking to Channels Television, Mr Yahaya expressed hope that militancy in the Niger Delta, Boko Haram in the north east and Fulani herdsmen attacks as well as other related crimes that have set the country backward, would be over in the New Year.

He also said the current economic recession in Nigeria can only be addressed with a sound economic team, and then called for a re-engineering of every sector of the nation’s economy.

“My prayer is that Nigeria will be better in 2017, that Nigeria will prosper in 2017. We must start this year with a new hope, we must start this year with a new beginning.

“Nigerians must begin to think differently. The leaders must begin to think Nigeria, act Nigeria and believe in Nigeria. Followers must also act Nigeria, sing Nigeria and believe in Nigeria.

“The whole sins of last year we are supposed to leave them this year. All such things that have made Nigeria a shame and disgrace in the world today, would be over in this New Year.

“Our resolution will be a rebirth of a new country. And there will be a re-engineering in every sector of our national life. This is my hope and prayer for Nigeria in this New Year,” the clergyman said.

‘One Lagos Fiesta 2017’ Cross-over Lights Up City

One Lagos Fiesta 2017 Cross-over Lights Up Lagos In continuation of what has now become a tradition, the Lagos Bar Beach came alive as residents gathered for the One Lagos fiesta and 2017 cross-over countdown.

It was an atmosphere of merriment, music and dancing as residents trooped out in their numbers to bask in contemporary entertainment to usher in the new year.

At the dot of crossover, the atmosphere erupted into a fanfare with beautiful fireworks, as the city joined the rest of the world to say goodbye to 2016 and welcome the new year with unreserved optimism.

Various raving artists were on ground to entertain the large audience.

The 8-day long event was graced by various raving artists from different genres including rappers MI, Phyno, Reminisce, Lil Kesh, Seriki.

Also pop stars such as Mayorkun, Adekunle Gold, Olu Maintain, Dremo, Niniola, Idris Abdulkareem, Kenny Saint Best, Azadus, Tony Tetuila, Jazzman Olofin, Klever Jay, Wale Thompson, Minjin, Lanre Teriba, Busola Oke (Eleyele), Oluwaseun Rantiola, and the Mavin team, were on ground.

Governor of Lagos state, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, equally delivered a message of hope for a brighter tomorrow, encouraging Lagosians to remain positive in the face of challenges.

With many renewing their resolutions, the celebration of the New Year comes with more hope and belief, enough to inspire confidence to carry on.

Recession Ends With 2016- Obiano Encourages Anambra Indigenes

Recession Ends With 2016 - Obiano Encourages Anambra IndigenesThe Anambra state Governor, Willie Obiano, has assured state indigenes that the 2016 recession will never spill into the New Year as various mechanisms have been set in motion to completely reduce its impact on the people.

Obiano made the declaration in his New Year message to people of Anambra state, where he also stated that 2017 will be filled with prosperity in all sectors of the economy especially agriculture as his administration was poised to making the difference economically.

He maintained that as soon as the 2017 budget was passed, the 181 communities in the state would benefit in the second round of the 20 million Naira per community choose your project initiative.

Furthermore, he assured them of more infrastructural development and influx of investors, as the state is ranked number one in security with a strong enabling environment for business and trade to thrive.

The governor concluded that in Agriculture, Anambra state would break new bounds even with the size of its budget multiplying and the Central Bank of Nigeria increasing its support to Anambra farmers from 1.5 billion to three billion Naira.

He then urged all to remain confident and proud of the state as both the government and the people were all doing well.

“The first is to thank God for making us see the end of 2016.

“2016 was a difficult year but we were able to prove that when the going gets tough, the tough will keep going.

“That is exactly what we did in 2016. I want to reassure the people of Anambra state that the recession will disappear in 2017 in Anambra state because of so many things we have done.

Disclosing some of the special packages set to take effect, he said: “We have removed taxes for the less privileged.

“We have energized each of the 181 communities with the sum of twenty million Naira for whatever thing they want to do. Again that is a way of fighting recession, pushing in a lot of resources into the system.

“In 2017 as soon as my budget is approved and during my third year in office anniversary speech, I will also give additional twenty million Naira to each of the communities and again, that will be pumping liquidity into the system and that will energize what we are doing.

“In the budget that the House is about to approve in Anambra state, we multiplied five times what we did in agriculture in budget size that we are going to do in 2017.”

Stressing the resultant effect on the sector, Obiano said: “That means farmers in Anambra in 2017 are in for a bumper period because we are going to mobilize them with improved seedlings like we have done for two years plus now, including improved cassava cuttings.

The governor explained that because Anambra is the smallest state, “What is important to me in Agriculture is the yield per hectare, not what one is growing and we are doing very well in yield per hectare in rice, cassava, maize and what have you.

“I’m happy that many Anambra people are heeding the call to come back home and invest and they are investing in agriculture.

“So I want the people of Anambra state to be rest assured that the word ‘recession’ is a forgone story in Anambra state 2017.

“We are going to grow from strength to strength and we are doing well. 2017 will be one of the best years for the people of Anambra state by the grace of God and we will continue in giant strides in what we are doing in infrastructure, in agriculture, in trade and commerce, and in Oil and Gas.

“We are already doing very well in my enablers, the twelve enablers in education, in health, in environment, in youth’s empowerment and entrepreneurship.

While expressing delighted over being the silver jubilee governor, he urged the citizens to be proud and walk tall because of the state’s achievements.

Obasanjo Expresses Hope For A Better Nigeria In 2017

obasanjo, Nigeria, 2017A former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has expressed hopes that the New Year 2017, will be better than the out gone year 2016.

He said this while addressing a congregation at first church service of the year at Chapel of Christ the Glorious king, Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, where he joined others including his wife, Mrs Bola Obasanjo.

“My message is a message of encouragement, looking forward with hope of a better year than the one we just got out of and there is no reason why it should not be, in every sense of the word, socially, economically, politically and even spirituality, I am looking forward to a 2017 that will make everything new for Nigeria.”

Furthermore, he called on governments to go to the basics of fundamental of economic recovery, to ensure the growth and development of the economy and the country at large.

“Well, I think we have to go to the fundamentals of economic recovery and growth and I believe if we do that, we will get there” he stated.

Returning Yobe IDPs Get Safety And Awareness Training 

Returning Yobe IDPs Get Safety And Awareness Training The Yobe state Fadama Coordination Office has organized a safety and awareness workshop for returning Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), in the state, northeast of Nigeria.

The awareness workshop is expected to train them on how to identify Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), planted by the Boko Haram insurgents in their previously captured communities.

At the flagging off ceremony of the enlightenment workshop in Damaturu the state capital, the returnees were effectively educated on how to identify IEDs and promptly report to disposing units security operatives for proper diffusion.

During the sojourn of the Boko Haram insurgents in the captured areas, lots of IEDs were produced and haboured in the recaptured communities which calls for proper search and diffusion, else it could be destructive to the returnees.

At the workshop, Bomb disposal experts from the Nigeria Army and the Police, were present to educate the returnees on how to properly go about such devices if found in their communities.

Colonel Obasanjo of the 3 Division of the Nigeria Army base in Damaturu, informed participants that they may come across some substances which might look attractive but are very dangerous.

He then cautioned them against taking such strange objects.

“You may see some glittering and attractive metals or objects around these returning communities which were taken over by the insurgents. Please do well to avoid taking such. They are mostly destructive.

He went further to advise that: “On sighting such objects, kindly alert the available security personnel for proper diffusion to avoid explosion which can claim lives.

DSP Martin Mba on the other hand, informed participants that “the workshop will expose or educate them on the dangers posed by landmines as they will be able to identify such destructive substances at the end of the sensitization workshop”.

He then advised the IDPs to make the best use of the opportunity.

Coordinator of Fadama III in Yobe state, Mr Musa Garba, explianed that his organization embarked on such awareness campaign to save the lives and means of livelihood of the returnees who will be contributing to the development of the nation’s economy.

“The workshop is necessary and timely because the returnees will be engaged in farming, fishing and rearing of livestock which they were hitherto doing before and as these insurgents settled in their communities, there is the likelihood that they may have planted some explosives which will cause serious setbacks on our policies as a people and as a nation.

“We want to restore the means of livelihood of these people and we have to protect them froanything that will affect them.” Garba said.

The sensitization workshop will be carried out across the whole state with centers across Potiskum, Gashua, Geidam, and Nguru Local Government Areas.

Kwara State First Lady Distributes Gifts To New Year Babies

omolewa-ahmedWife of the Kwara state Governor, Mrs Omolewa Ahmed, has visited the General Hospital Ilorin, where she distributed gifts to new born babies in the New Year.

This according to her, is part of efforts to ensure that the less privileged, especially women, celebrate the new year in a happy mood.

While at the maternity ward of the hospital, the state first lady, prayed for long life and prosperity for three newly born babies, while she distributed gift items to the mothers.

The first male child was born two minutes after 12 am, on January 1, 2017, to Mrs Rashidat Abdul Kareem, while the other two followed later.

In an interview, Mrs Ahmed said it is a show of appreciation to the almighty despite the current challenges the country is facing and urged Nigerians to still have faith in God and the government to turn things around positively.

The state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Ayinke Saka, also assured women of the government’s readiness to continue providing amenities to cater for the womenfolk through loans and empowerment programmes.

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.

Bauchi Police Intensify Security To Ward Off Criminals

Bauchi Police Intensify Security To Ward Off CriminalsThe Bauchi state police command has intensified efforts in ensuring the safety of lives and property with constant raids on identified black spots and flash points.

Police Commissioner of Bauchi State Command, Zaki Ahmed, while reviewing activities of the command, commended the public for availing the police with useful information that led to the successful warding off of various crimes.

Mr Ahmed said: “several arms and ammunition were recovered while suspects were arrested for offences ranging from armed robbery, cattle rustling as well as kidnapping.

Also according to him, the command recorded the rescue of 163 hostages and arrested over 636 suspects in relation to abduction of citizens within the state.

Furthermore, he revealed that no fewer than 43 motorcycles and nine vehicles were recovered although, the owners are yet to be ascertained.

“The suspects of the stolen vehicles have however been charged to court for prosecution,” he said.

This follows an agreement between President Buhari, the Bauchi and Jigawa state governors, to collaborate in order to beef up the fight against insurgents.

It also follows the recent launching of the ‘change begins with me’ campaign and public complaint Rapid Response Unit, which was believed would speed up the process of counter-insurgency.

Buhari Meets With Saraki, Signs Endangered Species Act 

Bukola-Saraki-and-Muhammadu-BuhariNigeria’s President Muhammad Buhari, and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, have met behind closed doors, where he assented to the ‎Endangered Species Control of International Trade and Traffic Amendment Act 2016, earlier passed by the National Assembly.

This brings to 17, the total number of acts the president assented to in the year 2016.

The meeting took place on the last working day of the year at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Saraki who arrived at about noon on Friday, also joined the President to observe the Jumat prayer at the villa.

Speaking to journalists on what Nigerians should expect in 2017 from the National Assembly, Saraki said attention would be on the economy.

Also, the Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang, explained:

“The intent of this amendment is to bring the penalty provisions in line with economic realities and to act as a deterrent or deter people from trafficking and trading in endangered species because endangered are preserves of the country.