41 Nigerians Evacuated From Mali

41 Nigerians Evacuated From Mali 41 Nigerian females who were victims of human trafficking have been evacuated from Mail.

They arrived at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport aboard a military transport aircraft at about 7:25 pm on Monday.

Their return was facilitated by the Nigerian Airforce, the Office of Diaspora and Foreign Affairs and National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

The Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, also revealed that six members of the trafficking ring have been arrested.

She also commended the Chief Of Air Staff, for facilitating the return of the victims to the country.

“We want to thank the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, and the Chief of Defence Staff, Maj Gen. Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, for making the return of the girls possible, otherwise they would have still be there.

“The girls came back voluntarily. Some of these girls are between 15 and 17 years old who thought they were being taken to Europe for greener pastures but ended up with traumatic experiences in the hands of their traffickers and their madam.

“So they should not be ashamed of themselves because they are victims. We are going to rehabilitate them through skills acquisition programmes.

“I am therefore calling on non-governmental organisations to join us in this regard,” she said.

This is coming in the face of renewed wave of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

The Nigerian community in South Africa, led by Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, confirmed the attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West

“As we speak, five buildings with Nigerian businesses, including a church, have been looted and burned by South Africans,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, who described the attacks as an unnecessary setback, had appealed to the South African Government to take every step necessary to protect Nigerians.

Xenophobic Attack: Nigerians In South Africa ‘Living In Fear’

abike-dagbiriThe Senior Special Assistant to the President On Dispora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa has called on South African authorities to act fast before it results into a reprisal.

This is because of the growing tension among Nigerians living in South Africa, following reports of another likely xenophobic attack on Friday.

Although the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Mngini has dismissed such fears but assured that the issues will be addressed.

House Cmtte’ Blames FG For Xenophobic Attacks On Nigerians

But earlier, the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora had criticised the Federal Government for failing to stem the attacks on Nigerians living abroad.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Rita Orji, stated this on Monday while speaking to journalists at the National Assembly on the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

She said the failure of the Federal Government to address previous attacks of Nigerians in South Africa was responsible for the incessant killings of Nigerians abroad.

The lawmaker recounted some of the killings of Nigerians in South Africa, Libya and other countries, claiming that the committee had investigated some of the cases and sent a report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with no visible action taken.

Drug Trafficking: FG Seeks Change In Attitude By Nigerians

Drug Trafficking: Execution Of Nigerian In Singapore, Heartbreaking – Dabiri-ErewaAbout 118 Nigerians have been convicted of drug offences in various various parts of Asia.

This is according to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, while reacting to the execution of a Nigerian man, Chijioke Obioha, in Singapore on Friday after his conviction for drug crime.

In an interview with Channels Television, Mrs Dabiri-Erewa called for a change of attitude on the part of Nigerians, particularly those who travel to or live in those countries, with respect to drugs which attract death penalty in some countries.

“You know that most of these countries have death penalty for drug offences.

“All Nigeria can do is appeal, which Nigeria has done. But the reality is what has just happened in Singapore.

“The penalty for drugs is death and its not only for Nigerians. When you’re caught, you appeal to them and they say they will have to obey the laws of their land.

“What we need to do is not about government. It is about everyone of us (and) the media. Let there be more awareness about the dangers of being with drugs.

“I believe that if they are caught here before they get out of Nigeria, then they will be saving their lives.

“For you to carry the drugs having known the consequences, it means you are ready to face the consequences,” she said.

Nigerian Hanged In Singapore For Drug Trafficking

Nigerian Hanged In Singapore For Drug Trafficking, Clemency Appeal RejectedThe Singaporean government has executed a 38-year-old Nigerian man for drug trafficking after he was caught with 2.6kg of cannabis.

In a statement, the central narcotics bureau said Chijioke Stephen Obioha, had his death sentence carried out today at Changi prison complex.

Obioha, an Industrial Chemistry graduate from the University of Benin, had originally moved to Singapore in 2005 hoping to be a footballer.

He was arrested in 2007 by drug officers who found 14 blocks of cannabis in a bag he was carrying and another 14 blocks in the flat he was renting.

Under Singapore law, anyone caught with more than 500 grams of cannabis can be sentenced to death.

Obioha’s execution followed a lengthy legal process.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, had on Thursday described the sentencing to death of a Nigerian in Singapore for drug related offences as heartbreaking despite repeated calls for Nigerians to desist from criminal activities like drug peddling.

In a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Abdur-Rahman Balogun in Abuja, she said that since Singapore is determined to enforce its laws as a deterrent to drug trafficking, which has reduced as a result of its stringent capital punishment, nothing much can be done except to continue to appeal.

She reiterated her appeal to Nigerians to avoid drug peddling in their host countries as laws of countries, whether acceptable or not, will be difficult to influence.

“While we regret the death sentence passed on the Nigerian, we once again appeal to Nigerians to avoid crimes like drug trafficking with most countries especially in Asia declaring zero tolerance for drug trafficking,” Dabiri-Erewa stated.

Execution Of Nigerian In Singapore, Heartbreaking – Dabiri-Erewa

Execution Of Nigerian In Singapore, Heartbreaking – Dabiri-ErewaThe Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has described the sentencing to death of a Nigerian in Singapore for drug related offences as heartbreaking despite repeated calls for Nigerians to desist from criminal activities like drug peddling.

In a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Abdur-Rahman Balogun in Abuja, she said that since Singapore is determined to enforce its laws as a deterrent to drug trafficking, which has reduced as a result of its stringent capital punishment, nothing much can be done except to continue to appeal.

She reiterated her appeal to Nigerians to avoid drug peddling in their host countries as laws of countries, whether acceptable or not, will be difficult to influence.

“While we regret the death sentence passed on the Nigerian, we once again appeal to Nigerians to avoid crimes like drug trafficking with most countries especially in Asia declaring zero tolerance for drug trafficking,” Dabiri-Erewa stated.

A Nigerian, Chijoke Obioha was caught in Singapore trafficking in hard drugs on April 9, 2007, with his execution slated for Friday November 18.

Obioha was arrested with more than 2.6 kilograms of cannabis, surpassing the statutory amount of 500 grams presumed as drug trafficking in Singapore.

The Amnesty International (AI) had called on Singapore to immediately halt Friday’s planned execution of Chijoke Stephen Obioha, but Obioha’s family was informed that his appeal for clemency has been rejected.

Amnesty International’s Director for South-East Asia and the Pacific, Rafendi Djamin, said: “The Singapore government still has time to halt the execution of Chijoke Stephen Obioha.

“We are dismayed that clemency has not been granted in his case, but remain hopeful that they won’t carry out this cruel and irreversible punishment against a person sentenced to the mandatory death penalty for a crime that should not even be punished by death.

“The death penalty is never the solution. It will not rid Singapore of drugs. By executing people for drug-related offences, which do not meet the threshold of most serious crimes, Singapore is violating international law.”

Under Singaporean law, when there is a presumption of drug possession and trafficking, the burden of proof shifts from the prosecutor to the defendant.

Amnesty insists that this violates the right to a fair trial by turning the presumption of innocence on its head. Drug-related offences do not meet the threshold of the “most serious crimes” to which the use of the death penalty must be restricted under international law.

International law also prohibits the imposition of the death penalty as a mandatory punishment and Amnesty International opposes the use of the death penalty outright, regardless of the crime.

President Buhari Attends UN Plenary On Refugees And Migrants

President Buhari, UN Plenary, Refugees, MigrantsPresident Buhari on Monday attended the opening of high level plenary on ‘Addressing Movements of Refugees and Migrants’ at the UN Headquarters in New York.

The Nigerian President was with his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau and Governor of Zamfara state, Abubakar Yari.

President Muhammadu Buhari is in New York for the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, and is one of the five speakers scheduled to address the plenary session.

 

President Buhari, UN Plenary, Refugees, Migrants

President Buhari joins over 190 world leaders for the high level opening meeting, which will address issues regarding large movements of refugees and migrants.

This is the first time the General Assembly has called for a summit at the Heads of State and Government level on large movements of refugees and migrants.

It is a historic opportunity to come up with a blueprint for a better international response.

It is also a watershed moment to strengthen governance of international migration and a unique opportunity for creating a more responsible, predictable system for responding to large movements of refugees and migrants.

The President will also be attending the AU Peace and Security Council meeting at the AU Observer Mission Office, before meeting with the British Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr Matthew Rycroft CBE.

While in New York, he is also expected to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

President Buhari, UN Plenary, Refugees, Migrants

President Buhari arrived at the JFK International Airport at about 7.30 p.m. local time on Saturday, (Sunday, 1:30 a.m. Nigerian time). He was received by the Nigerian Charge De Affairs In New York, Mr Anthony Bosa.

Buhari To Address UN On Plight Of Lake Chad Basin Residents

Muhammadu-Buhari-in-New-YorkThe plight of the over nine million people in the Lake Chad Basin is one of the topics President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria will present before world leaders when he addresses them on Monday.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who is in New York for the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, is one of the five speakers scheduled to address the plenary session.

Muhammadu-Buhari-Akinwunmi-Ambode-Adulazziz-Yari
Muhammadu Buhari, Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari

He is also expected to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change while attending a series of high level meetings, including one with the British Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Some of those on the president’s entourage are the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Munguno and the Minister of the Interior, General Abdulrahman Danbazzau.

Others are the Minister of Solid Minerals Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the Environment Minister, Amina Mohammed and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Matters, Abike Dabiri Erewa.

Muhammadu Buhari’s arrival in New York in pictures

Buhari_arrivesMuhammadu-Buhari-New-York-visit-2Muhammadu-Buhari-New-York-visit-1Muhammadu-Buhari-New-York-visi-3tMuhammadu-Buhari-New-York-visitMuhammadu-Buhari-New-York-visit-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Buhari arrived at the JFK International Airport at about 7.30 p.m. local time on Saturday, (Sunday, 1:30 a.m. Nigerian time), was received by the Nigerian Charge De Affairs In New York, Mr Anthony Bosa.

Some of the persons that received the president are the National Security Adviser and the Minister of Interior.

President Buhari will join over 190 world leaders on Monday, for a high level opening meeting, which will address issues regarding large movements of refugees and migrants.


On Monday, the President will also be attending the AU Peace and Security Council meeting at the AU Observer Mission Office, before meeting with the British Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr Matthew Rycroft CBE.

Worsening Condition Of Children

The United Nations has said that at least nine million people are in urgent need of aid in Nigeria’s northeast and neighbouring countries.

The UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator, Toby Lanzer, said at least $559 million would be needed in the next four months to ease the crisis in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad.

He said more than six million people were “severely food insecure” with 568,000 children acutely malnourished adding that the UN has appealed to Britain and other western governments for help.

Malnutrition-in-northeast-Nigeria-Unicef
UNICEF fears 49,000 children, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are in risk of death in the region

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) had also warned of the worsening condition of children around the Lake Chad who face acute malnutrition.

The UN Agency explained that of the 475,000 deemed at risk, 49,000 in Borno State will die in 2014 if they do not receive treatment.

As a result of the growing crisis, the agency has been forced to review its funding needs to $308 million to help support people affected by Boko Haram in four countries that border Lake Chad – Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon.

‘Save Lake Chad’ 

President Muhammadu Buhari had in August urged rich countries to do something urgent to save the Lake Chad from extinction, arising from the effects of climate change.

Receiving the Director-General of UNESCO, Mrs Irina Bokova, in Abuja on Thursday, President Buhari warned that the failure to regenerate the Lake Chad will lead to another round of migration by the people living in the areas.

The President, who led seven ministers to an interactive meeting with the UNESCO chief, said Nigeria and the other countries of the Lake Chad Basin lacked the billions of dollars required to channel water from the Congo Basin into the lake to check its rapid depletion.

Chief Ernest Shonekan Celebrates 80th Birthday

Ernest ShonekanThe story of Chief Ernest Shonekan’s life is one centered on merit, humility and service to humanity, and that was re-echoed when the British-trained lawyer, industrialist, Baba Isale of Egbaland and former Interim President of Nigeria turned 80.

The celebrant, who takes his Christian faith seriously together with his dear wife Margret and their lovely children, began the special birthday event with a thanksgiving service at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina in Lagos

The occasion saw several important guests honouring Chief Shonekan in a service officiated by the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh.

The special guests include former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon and wife Victoria; former Vice President, Chief Alex Ekwueme and wife Helen; Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun and wife Olufunso, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Idiat Adegbule.

Others are former Minister of Defence, General Theophilus Danjuma and wife Senator Daisy; Chairman of FCMB, Otunba Shubomi Balogun and wife Adebutu; and the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Micheal Adedotun Gbadebo amongst others

Indeed, it was a special day as they joined him on the altar for thanksgiving and then sang a special birthday song for him.

Students from his Alma Mata, CMS Grammar School Lagos, also did a special presentation in his honour.

The social part of the celebration kicked off right away with veteran juju music maestro, Ebenezer Obey, dishing out some of his evergreen tunes in honour of the celebrant and to the delight of his A-list guests.

More important guests joined the party, like ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi and wife Olori Wuraola; former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, and former Governor of Lagos, Chief Mobolaji Johnson.

Business mogul, Chief Razaq Okoya and wife Shade; Justice George Oguntade and wife; Chairman of Doyin Group, Mr Samuel Adedoyin; and the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Relations and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, also shared in the fun.

Chief Ernest Shonekan was born on the May 9, 1936 in Lagos. He is a British-trained lawyer, industrialist, and was the former Chief Executive of the United African Company of Nigeria Plc (UAC), before he was appointed as Interim President of Nigeria by General Ibrahim Babangida on August 26, 1993.

Chief Shonekan’s transitional administration only lasted three months before General Sani Abacha took over on November 17, 1993.

Abike Dabiri, Diamond Bank To Settle Out Of Court

Diamond BankA former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa and Diamond Bank have opted for an out of court settlement in the suit she instituted against the bank.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, had on August 6, 2015, filed a 500 million Naira suit ‎against the bank for publishing her name among the list of chronic debtors who have refused to liquidate their debts.

In the alleged malicious publication by Punch, the former lawmaker is said to be owing the bank about N122m.

Diamond Bank had published her picture as a Director of Thriller Endeavors, which she claims she has never heard of.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa insists that the publication is false and it has subjected her to public ridicule and embarrassment.

In a suit filed before a Lagos High Court, sitting in Igbosere, Lagos Island, she also listed the Punch Newspapers Limited as the second defendant.

When the matter came up for hearing on Thursday before Justice Abdulfattah‎ Lawal, the counsel to Diamond Bank, Chuka Agbu SAN, told the court of the moves to settle the matter out of court.

He then urged the court to adjourn the matter to enable the parties conclude discussions on the process.

Outside the court, Counsel representing Punch Newspapers, Mr Clement Onwuenwunor, said that the paper is not part of the settlement talks as it has indemnity from the bank for its publication.

Counsel representing Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, Ademola Fadipe is however optimistic that the settlement talks will be agreeable to all parties.

Justice Lawal has adjourned the matter till March 10, for a report of the settlement.

 

Abike Dabiri Sues Diamond Bank, Punch Newspapers For Libel

Abike-dabiriA former member of the House of Representatives, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, on Thursday filed a libel suit against Diamond bank and The Punch Newspapers.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa told the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere that the bank and the newspaper wrongfully accused her of owing N122 million.

Diamond Bank on August 4, had published her picture as a Director of Thriller Endeavors, which she claims she has never heard off.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa is praying the court to compel the bank to publicly apologize and also pay damages running to N500 million.

“It cost me irreparable damage, it has totally embarassed me, i found it very very shocking and i just feel that the best thing to do is to seek legal redress in court.

“My lawyers are demanding for N500 million compensation from Diamond Bank and from The Punch Newspaper for doing that,” She said.

My Husband Will Improve Your Conditions, Aisha Buhari Assures Nigerians

aisha buhariWife of Nigeria’s President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has assured Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari will do everything possible to improve their living conditions. 

Mrs Buhari said this during the traditional breaking of Ramadan fast which she organised for the less privileged inside the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Asking them to give the President all the needed support to succeed, she said, “I want to assure you that my husband, President Muhammadu Buhari will do everything possible to improve the living conditions of every citizen.”

While acknowledging that her husband won the March 28 presidential election through team work, the President’s wife appealed that the team work should continue, noting that President Buhari cannot do it alone.

Mrs. Buhari said that she decided to organise the event to show love because both the privileged and the less privileged are all one in God’s sight.

Mrs Buhari also lauded the peaceful conduct of Nigerians before and after the last elections, saying their behaviors were commendable.

She urged them to continue in the same spirit because peace is required for the progress of the country.

Mrs Buhari was joined at the brief event by wife of the Imo State Governor, Mrs. Nkechi Okorocha; wife of the Nassarawa State Governor, Mrs Tanko Al-Makura: wife of the former governor of Rivers State, Mrs Judith Amaechi; former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; and a former member of the House of Representatives, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa among others.

Nigerian Students Protest Against Xenophobic Attacks

Nigerian Students The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in Abuja have staged a protest to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to agitate for government’s prompt response to incessant attacks and killings of citizens schooling abroad, particularly the xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa.



The students also threatened to embark on reprisal attacks on foreign nationals, including South Africans and their businesses in Nigeria, if government from both countries do not call those responsible for the killings in those countries to order.

The Under Secretary, African Affairs at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Godwin Agama, assured the aggrieved students of the government’s prompt response to the situation, urging them not to take laws into their hands.

There have been reports of renewed xenophobic attacks in South Africa’s Kwazulu Natal province.

The Nigerian House of Representatives has also condemned the attack on Nigerians and other Africans in South Africa.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Diapora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa has said that Nigeria must put its feet down and be very decisive in acting against the killing of Nigerians abroad.

Meanwhile, the South African High Commissioner in Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni, said that the crisis had been triggered by the level of poverty in the area and the drive by locals to have complete access to the resources alone.