Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has commiserated with the former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), over the passing away of his younger sister, Kande Martha Audu.
The President, who called from London, extended his deepest condolences to General Gowon and his family, urging them to take solace in the fact that Mrs Audu lived a worthy and exemplary life.
“Death is an inevitable end that must come to all mortals, and we must keep praying and working to ensure that we live a life that pleases our Creator and benefits humanity,” Buhari said.
He also prayed that God would comfort the grieving family and grant rest to the soul of Mrs Audu.
General Gowon, who thanked President Buhari for the commiserations, assured him that he would not relent in praying for the unity and progress of the country, adding that Nigerians are also praying for the President’s quick recovery.
This was revealed in a statement signed by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.
Two suspected female suicide bombers have died in a failed attack in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital on Sunday.
The suspects’ planned attack was thwarted at about 8:30 pm at a check point in Geleri village.
Geleri is barely five kilometers to Muna Garage, a satelite settlement in Maiduguri close to the Dikwa/Gamboru road.
According to a statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Victor Isuku, one of the suicide bombers detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), strapped to her body, killing herself and her accomplice whose IED vest did not explode.
“Three residents of the area were however injured. The Police EOD unit rushed to the scene to render the unexploded IED safe. The area has been secured and normalcy restored.” Isuku stated.
The incident however shows that there are a few remnants of Boko Haram terrorists determined to carry out attacks to create panic and insecurity in some areas in the northeast that have seen relative peace in the last few months.
Counter-insurgency efforts had heightened since early 2015, with the military sacking the terrorists from communities they had seized in the heat of the over six years insurgency.
The Kaduna state government has banned all forms of processions or unlwaful assembly in any part of the state till further notice.
This was revealed in a statement signed by Spokesman for the Kaduna State Government, Samuel Aruwan.
It also called for the cooperation of all citizens to respect this restriction until it is formally lifted.
According to the statement, the conclusion to impose a temporary restriction on unlawful assembly, was a result of a meeting of heads of security agencies who reviewed the security situation in the state.
“The decision was taken in the interest of the citizenry and to ensure law and order in the state”.
The government further mandated security agencies to ensure compliance to the ban, while advising all law abiding citizens to go about their lawful activities, and to do their utmost to uphold peace and harmony.
A state high Court, sitting in Owerri, the Imo state capital, has issued an order of interim injunction, restraining the state government from unlawfully demolishing any part of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) office.
Delivering the Judgement, Presiding Judge, Chukwuemeka Chikeka, in her order, asked both parties to maintain status quo and respect the pendency of the suit, until the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.
The judge therefore, fixed December 19, 2016, for hearing the motion.
Justice Chikeka said: “considering the motion ex-partre brought pursuant to order 39 rule 3 (1), (2) and (3) of the Imo State High Court (Civil procedure) rules, 2008 and under the inherent jurisdiction of this honorable Court; together with affidavit in support and written address, praying the court for an order of interim injunction, restraining the defendants or her agents from unlawfully demolishing, pulling down or disobeying or in whatsoever manner tempering or unlawfully trespassing into the claimants property or disturbing the claimants occupation or ownership of the properly known as NBA Bar Centre, situated within the Imo State judiciary complex without complying with the relevant provisions of the public lands (Compulsory acquisition) laws of the state pending the determination of the motion on notice”.
Addressing newsmen, shortly after the order was given, the Chairman of NBA, Owerri branch, Barr. Lawrence Nwakaeti, advised the Governor to obey the court order to avoid anarchy.
According to him, “anarchy looms in a society where there is no respect for separation of powers amongst the three arms of government.”
Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Alhassan, has implored the National Assembly to prepare for the passage of an approvable National Disability Bill.
This according to her, is aimed at catering for the needs of people living with disabilities in Nigeria.
She was speaking at an event marking the 2016 International Day for Persons With Disabilities in Abuja.
The minister further stated that the implementation of such legislation would enable Nigeria to fully domesticate the United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities
Nigeria is currently a nation in which social stigma, cultural beliefs and infrastructural decline seem to militate against the inclusion and contribution of disabled persons in the country, which is why the Alhassan came up with the initiative.
Addressing a gathering of people with disabilities, she said that while the passage of the National Disability Bill was critical to address their plight, the Federal Government refused to be handicapped by bureaucratic processes.
Though enduring blindness throughout his life, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Disability Matters, Dr Samuel Ankeli, expressed a clear vision for persons living with disabilities in the nation.
He said that President Buhari’s creation of the Presidential Disability-focused Office, was an indication to all aspiring disabled Nigerians that they could become anything in life.
Convener of the joint association of persons with disabilities, Ekaette Umoh, also called on the public, saying that true progress depends on citizen participation.
While several experts advocated the inclusion of disabled people at the political party level to cement their socio-political incorporation, others emphasised that 5% of budgetary allocations to all sectors should be administered to establish disabled-friendly infrastructure.
The Kano State police has intercepted a truck carrying weapons and supplies allegedly belonging to the members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria popularly known as Shiites.
Addressing a news conference, the command’s Public Relations Officer DSP Magaji Majia says the truck is coming from Potiskum in Yobe State and is said to be going to Zaria where the Shiites are marking the Arba’een ritual of the killing of Imam Hussain.
“You can see the weapons made off of cutlasses, generators and other supplies and the truck full of clothes and flags of the movement.”
According to Majia, the weapons are illegal and capable of killing its target on the spots.
“You can remember few days ago, members of this movement attacked and killed one police officer and injuring three others during their illegal procession, since then we embarked on investigation including stop and search to see if it is true they are carrying dangerous weapons, the results of such investigation led us to this discovery.”
Meanwhile, store keeper of the group who maintained that he was not aware that weapons were among the supplies he was escorting to Zaria also disclosed that the weapons are used to construct tents in an event of stop over during the course of their seven day trek to Zaria.
“We don’t carry weapons, am not aware the weapons are here but we used them to make tent and to protect women and children against intruders especially at night since we are all trekking”.
In a related development, over 40 people are said to have been arrested by operatives of the Department of State Security Service DSS at the popular Wapa Bureau De-Change market in the state.
Although no official statement from the DSS in Kano, but association of the bureau de-change in the state through the union auditor general one Kabir Abdul confirmed the arrest.
“They came arresting people on allegations that we are selling dollars above government approved price and up till this time we don’t know where they are keeping our members.”
An attempt to speak with the DSS was not successful as the Department Public Relations Officer told Channels Television that he has no knowledge that Wapa Bureau De-Change market was raided by his operatives.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday a Western failure to rein in violent Islamists in Syria had indefinitely delayed the resumption of peace talks.
Shoigu said that rebels backed by Western governments had been attacking civilians in the Syrian city of Aleppo, despite a pause in Russian and Syrian air attacks.
“As a result, the prospects for the start of a negotiation process and the return to peaceful life in Syria are postponed for an indefinite period,” Shoigu said.
Separately, a Kremlin spokesman said that a temporary pause in Russian and Syrian government air strikes on Aleppo was in force for now, but could not be extended if the rebels in the city did not halt their attacks.
Insurgents launched an offensive last week against government-held western Aleppo, more than a month into an operation by the army to retake the city’s rebel-held eastern districts, which it had already put under siege.
The United Nations said on Tuesday that all sides fighting over Aleppo may be committing war crimes through indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas.
Russia backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war, and its military operation in Syria, now in its second year, has shored up Assad’s position. That has put Moscow on a collision course with Washington and its allies who want Assad removed from office.
Since Oct. 18, Russia and its Syrian allies say they have halted air attacks in Aleppo. Western governments had alleged that the strikes had been killing civilians in large numbers, an allegation Moscow denied.
But the pause in the air attacks on Aleppo is fragile: Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month its continuation depended on the behavior of moderate rebel groups in Aleppo and their Western backers.
Shoigu, who was addressing a meeting of Russian military officials, railed against those rebels and their backers, saying they had squandered a chance for peace talks.
“It is time for our Western colleagues to determine who they are fighting against: terrorists or Russia,” Shoigu said, in remarks broadcast on Russian television.
“Maybe they have forgotten at whose hands innocent people died in Belgium, in France, in Egypt and elsewhere?”
Listing attacks he said had been carried out by Western-backed rebels inside Aleppo, he said: “Is this an opposition with which we can achieve agreements?”
“In order to destroy terrorists in Syria it is necessary to act together, and not put a spanner in the works of partners. Because the rebels exploit that in their own interests.”
The Islamist group al Shabaab seized a town northwest of Somalia’s capital from government forces on Sunday, the latest small center taken by the militant group trying to topple the country’s Western-backed government.
Al Shabaab, which once ruled much of Somalia, has been fighting for years to impose its strict interpretation of Islam on Somalia. African Union and Somali troops have driven it from major urban strongholds and ports, but they have often struggled to defend smaller, more remote areas from attacks.
“Many al Shabaab fighters attacked us this morning and after brief fighting we left the town for tactical reasons,” Somali army Major Hussein Edin told Reuters from the nearby town of Baidoa. One Somali soldier was killed, he said.
Goofgaduud lies about 250 km (160 miles) northwest of Mogadishu, the capital.
Al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, confirmed the group had captured the settlement. He said seven Somali soldiers were killed.
Al Shabaab’s casualty figures and those announced by officials often differ.
In a separate incident, Somali forces in the semi-autonomous Galmudug region north of Mogadishu freed a Kenyan woman, Loise Njoki Weru, who officials said was held by pirates since 2015.
Galmudug Vice President Mohamed Hashi said she was now in safe hands after security forces rescued her and had spoken to her family, but he did not say when she would be repatriated.
Earlier this month, 26 Asian sailors were freed after more than four years of captivity in a small fishing village in Somalia after being held by pirates.
Addressing reporters after vehicles loaded with bags of rice were seized at Idiroko border, the Ogun State Area Comptroller of Customs, Mr Multafu Waindu, paraded 18 vehicles loaded with bags of rice which were being smuggled into Nigeria from the Republic of Benin.
According to him, the vehicles and the grains were impounded around 3:00am at the porous Alari and Ifoyintedo bush paths, in Ipokia Local Government Area of the state where the smuggled bags of rice and the vehicles were abandoned by the smugglers.
Economy In Recession
Meanwhile, Nigerians have lamented the upsurge in the cost of rice from 12,000 Naira to over 20,000 Naira in some parts of the country, a fall out of the economic recession.
Economic analysts have said that more persons could go into smuggling of rice due to the increase in price, with most of them opting for Benin Republic where they could get rice for as low as 12,000 Naira.
The report revealed that Nigeria’s real Gross Domestic Product was expected to increase marginally by 0.6% with Consumer Prices rising by 17.1%, effectively lifting the country out of an officially declared recession.
Attacks On Oil Facilities
The recession was a result of the drop in the price of crude oil and the attacks on the nation’s oil facilities by some militant groups in the Niger Delta region.
Disturbed by the spate of the militants’ activities, the Nigerian Army launched a special team code named “Operation Crocodile Smile”, as the government agreed to dialogue with the militants after a ceasefire agreement from both sides.
The Political Party of Germany Chancellor, Angela Merkel, the CDU, has suffered historic losses in Berlin state elections.
It has been ousted from the state governing coalition with the centre-left social democrats.
Meanwhile the right-wing anti-migrant party alternative for Germany (AFD) made gains and will enter the state parliament for the first time.
Mrs Merkel’s popularity has waned since her decision in 2015 to allow more than a million migrants into Germany.
The CDU won 17.6% of the vote – its worst-ever result in Berlin.
It is the party’s second electoral blow in two weeks, having been pushed into third place by the AFD at the beginning of the month.
“There is no question, we didn’t get a good result in Berlin today,” said Michael Grosse-Broemer, a senior CDU politician. However, he blamed his party’s historic losses in Berlin primarily on local issues.
“I think it is dangerous to transfer the Berlin result to the federal level,” he told broadcaster ZDF.
The AfD has campaigned heavily on the migrant issue, playing to voters’ fears about the integration of the roughly 1 million migrants who entered Germany in 2015.
“From zero to double digits, that’s unique for Berlin. The grand coalition has been voted out – not yet at the federal level, but that will happen next year,” said AfD candidate Georg Pazderski to cheering supporters after the results.
The Cross River State government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Dubai firm, Skipper Seil, to provide a 100kva solar lighting generating system, to ensure a 24-hour supply in Calabar, the state Capital.
The 100kvm solar power intervention is expected to serve as a grid for industrial zones across the 18 LGAs of the state.
The partnership which both parties sealed by signing the MoU, was held at the Governor’s office in Calabar, where President of the firm, Mr. Jitender Sachdeva gave the assurance that construction work will commence in about two months.
Mr Sachdeva expressed confidence in the zeal of Governor Ayade, whom he described as one of the few governors in Nigeria who are paying salaries on time and to him, sighting such a project in the state will compliment his efforts in providing good life for residents in the state.
Gov. Ayade maintained that solar power is a new way to go, because it is one way of reducing carbon emission to the atmosphere.
He believes the project will create new job opportunities for young people who are now interested in going into power energy and revealed that, discussions were at advanced stage for the immediate communities where the power plants will be located to enjoy power supply from the plants.