Kaduna Killings: Agwai Appointed Chairman Of Security Committee

kaduna governorKaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has appointed the former Chief of Defence Staff, LT General Martin Luther Agwai, as Chairman of a security committee set up by the state government to recommend ways to stamp out attacks on communities in the southern part of the state.

According to a statement issued on Saturday by the Governor’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, the committee is part of the government’s multidimensional approach in finding lasting solutions to the killings in the area, which have continued since the post-election violence of 2011.

The committee’s terms of reference are to identify the socio-political and economic factors that promote existing conflicts in Southern Kaduna and advise on measures to be taken by the government to address them,

The committee will also explore ways of finding mutual solutions that engender reconciliation between communities in Southern Kaduna and also advise the government on how the villages and communities of Southern Kaduna would be free from attacks bedevilling it.

It has 30 days to complete its assignment and submit its report.

The chairman of the committee, Mr Agwai, is presently serving as a United Nations envoy in Sudan.

On Thursday, 13 people were killed and 15 others critically wounded in separate attacks at two local government areas of the state.

The governor had earlier disclosed that a security committee which would include traditional rulers and other critical stakeholders would soon be established by the state government in order to work out the specific roles for traditional rulers towards the maintenance of peace and security in the state.

They Voted For Suntai, Not Acting Governor – Analyst

Public affairs analyst, Achike Chude, has said that the long absence of Taraba’s Governor Danbaba Suntai from office, without redress, is evidence of loopholes in the Nigerian constitution as the governor is the one voted to rule and not an ‘acting governor’.

Although, the constitution has made provisions that the deputy governor take over as ‘acting governor’ when the governor is indisposed, Mr Chude argues that “the people who voted for the governor, voted for the governor, they didn’t vote for the acting governor to be governor”.

This he said while reacting to the news of Governor Suntai’s expected return to office after a plane accident which took place in October 2012.

Using former First Lady, Turai Yar’adua, as an example, he highlighted that there was a failure to learn from history whereby “a few people who do not have any legal basis for directing the affairs of state” hold government and the people to ransom.

“That was not resolved right” because the people involved in the various acts were never called to book.

The culture of impunity may be at play in Taraba state even though “it was unfortunate that the governor had an accident. Unfortunate that he was injured” but this is about “a few people who are in power, who have availed themselves with all the trappings of power in a most undemocratic manner.

They do that through subterfuge, intrigue, outright manipulation of the system, corruption, intimidation, and sometimes outright threats against political opponents and at the end of the day, the whole state lie in comatose”.

Arguing that such long absence from office is unacceptable, he said the constitution doesn’t provide adequate instructions on the proper steps to take in such situations.

He also attributed the citizens’ silence regarding the matter to ‘the complacency and docility of the people,” adding that, the ignorance and illiteracy of the people is to be blamed.

He said “all of these things have a role to play when you are talking about effective administration of a people.”

“Our people have been so much marginalised… so they have surrendered their mandate to a few people who has taken it upon themselves to determine the direction of their state”.

Oprah Winfrey’s Racism Encounter, A ‘Misunderstanding’

Oprah WinfreyThe owner of a shop in Zurich where US talk show host Oprah Winfrey says she encountered racism has called the incident a “misunderstanding”.

Winfrey, who is one of the world’s richest women, claimed an assistant refused to serve her in an upmarket handbag shop, she was apparently told one of the bags on display was “too expensive” for her.

Shop owner Trudie Gotz said that Winfrey was “absolutely allowed” to look at the $35,000 (£22,500) bag, which was kept behind a screen,”my salesperson wanted to give her the handbag but she didn’t want to take the bag,” claimed Gotz.

She said her assistant had worked in the Trois Pommes store “for a few years and takes care of the most spoilt customer from all over the world”, adding, “she is really a correct sales person”.

Winfrey, who stars in Lee Daniels’ new film The Butler, visited Zurich last month to attend singer Tina Turner’s wedding. Her programme “The Oprah Winfrey Show” is not shown in Switzerland.

Speaking to US TV show entertainment Tonight she said: “I go into a store and I say to the woman, ‘Excuse me, may I see the bag right above your head?’ and she says to me, ‘No. It’s too expensive.'”

When Winfrey insisted, the shop assistant allegedly replied: “No, no you don’t want to see that one, you want to see this one because that one will cost too much. You will not be able to afford that.”

The star said she left the shop calmly without arguing, but that the experience was proof that racism continues to be a problem.

“There’s two different ways to handle it,” she said.

“I could’ve had the whole blow-up thing… but it still exists, of course it does.”

Ms Gotz did not call into question Winfrey’s perception of the events,”I didn’t take care of [Winfrey]. I’m sure she felt like this – but my salesgirl promised me she took care of [her] really the best she could. So it must have been a misunderstanding,” she said.

Ms Gotz said her assistant spoke both Italian and English, “but her English isn’t as good”.

“She tried to show Mrs Oprah the same style in other qualities, because maybe she didn’t understand what she wanted.”

 

FG Wants Boko Haram Insurgency To Continue – El Rufai

Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai has accused the Federal Government  of wanting the Boko Haram insurgency to continue for selfish reasons.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr El-Rufai faulted President Goodluck Jonathan’s statement suggesting that members of the Boko Haram group are ghosts.

He said, “over a thousand Boko Haram operatives are in the custody of the SSS here in Abuja,” hence the Government cannot claim to not know who the terrorists are. He added that he knows the government has a lot of information about the Islamist group.

“What is lacking is the will to address this issue. I think the government just wants this to continue because it is profitable for the security agencies to have huge budgets, most of which is stolen.” He said.

The former minister also said that the government which has over time requested the help of people such as himself, the Sultan of Sokoto and the Borno Elder’s Council, in talking to the extremist group has also accused them of being ‘Boko Haram Sympathisers.’

Watch the video below for the complete interview with Mr El-Rufai

Any treaty rejected by National Assembly is an illegality – Femi Falana

The National Assembly has always been rejecting the move by the Executive on the ceding of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon since 2006 as attempts have been made by the Federal Government to comply with section 12 of the Nigeria constitution, this is the saying of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria; Femi Falana who was a guest on our breakfast show Sunrise daily while discussing the Bakassi Peninsula matter.

He said the handing over of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon was the height of ‘Executive Lawlessness’ and it is not tolerated by the Nigeria constitution.

The legal practitioner quoted section 12 of the constitution in furtherance saying ‘No treaty signed between Nigeria and another country can come into force without an enactment into law by the National Assembly’.

Recalling the Bakassi Peninsula matter, since the administration of former President , Olusegun Obasanjo when the handing over was done then through the reign of deceased President Shehu Musa Yaradua, the National Assembly has stood their grounds in rejecting the treaty and according Mr. Falana ‘As far as the international law is concerned or the constitution of Nigeria is concerned, it is the end of the matter’.

‘Anything predicated on, a treaty rejected by the National Assembly becomes an illegality’ Falana said.

Bakassi Peninsula: Some facts were not presented to the ICJ – Ita Enang

With just a few days left to the expiration of time Nigeria has to seek a review on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling which ceded Bakassi Pennisula to Cameroon, the Nigerian Senate has released some facts that were allegedly not tendered at the ICJ whilst the case lasted. The upper legislative arm is now compelling the executive to seek the review before the expiration on the 10th of October, 2012.

This was the view of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business; Senator Ita Enang, who was interviewed from our Abuja studio on Sunrise Daily on Friday. He claimed that with the new facts emerging on the ownership of Bakassi Peninsula, the executive arm of government must be spurred to appeal the judgement.

According to the Senator, there are fresh facts which were not made available to the court at that time the judgement was passed.

He also argued that the judgement and the handing-over of Bakassi is imperfect because the Senate has not been ratified by the Green Tree Treaty that was agreed on by the leaders of the two countries in 2005, as dictated by the 1999 Constitution.

The Senator added that the terms of the Green Tree implementation has been severally violated by the Cameroonian authorities and that the supervising parties also did not do what is expected because the interest of the people of the Bakassi Peninsula was not sought.

The “Power, Politics and Death” of Late President Yar’Adua; The Tell-All Book

Late Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua

“If we will be honest with ourselves, we all know how we rig elections in this country,” Adeniyi quotes Yar’Adua as saying during a closed-door January 2008 meeting about the corrupt election that saw him become the nation’s leader.

 

It is a tell-all book that delves into the untold story about the term and death of late former Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua, and news of it has spread far and wide.

Written by his former spokesman, Olusegun Adeniyi, the book “Power, Politics and Death: A Front-Row Account of Nigeria Under the Late President Yar’Adua” reportedly tells of how late President, whose health had been compromised for a long duration of his term, was simply a pawn in the country’s political playground.

Associated Press reporter Jon Gambrell had obtained an advance copy of the book and reports that it “describes the rise of militancy in the oil-rich country’s crude-producing southern delta, including how a militant leader stole thousands of machine guns from Nigerian army depot”.

According to the AP, the author, currently a columnist for the ThisDay newspaper, had been flattering about his former boss, but much less so about the nation’s budding democracy.

One shocking part of the book highlighted by the AP is that President Yar’Adua, already ill from a serious kidney condition, had reportedly admitted election discrepancies that aided his rise to power.

“If we will be honest with ourselves, we all know how we rig elections in this country,” Adeniyi quotes Yar’Adua as saying during a closed-door January 2008 meeting about the corrupt election that saw him become the nation’s leader.

“We compromise the security agencies, we pay the electoral officials and party agents while on the eve of the election we merely distribute logistics all designed to buy the vote.”

Adeniyi made claims in his book that while the late President’s conditions worsened, the men around him worked harder to keep his condition secret.

The author recalled his role in that aspect, saying he had once, in 2008, instructed a cameraman from state-run television network to film the president from one side in order to hide Yar’Adua’s swollen face after an allergic reaction.

Adeniyi’s book reportedly exposes the network of cover-ups that protected the President’s true physical state from the Nigerian public, even as he was flown abroad numerous times for different surgeries.

The book also details the events that transpired behind-the-scenes when Yar’Adua’s longest stay in a hospital, his seven-month stint in a Saudi Arabia medical facility, compeled the National Assembly to hand over power, temporarily, to then vice-president Goodluck Jonathan.

The former spokesman said that in his final days, the late president had been incapable of working for more than a few hours at a time, and soon unable to speak, yet members in his camp had been eager to keep him in power.

“There were fears among (Jonathan’s) closest aides he could be shot by the soldiers,” the book claims.

It later adds: “Signals from the military were also hazy, with fears that some soldiers could take out both Yar’Adua and Jonathan.”
Yar’Adua died on May 5, 2010. Jonathan was sworn in as president the next day.

Adeniyi’s book also takes a look at the rise of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Deltam the region’s premier militant group which, he writes, was aided by a series of weapons thefts engineered by the group’s alleged leader Henry Okah from Nigerian military depots.

The theft of thousands of weapons, including pistols, machine guns and rocket launchers, “was so staggering and the crime so well organized that the investigating team could hardly determine the exact amount of arms removed,” Adeniyi writes.

Though he denies it, Okah is still facing charges in South Africa over the Independence Day car bombings that killed 12 people in Abuja in 2010.
There have been no comments from the President Jonathan’s administration about the claims made in the book.

The controversial tell all is set to hit stands next week and has already piqued the interest of Nigerian readers awaiting its release.