He was accompanied on the trip by the Governor of Borno, Kashim Shetima, and Rochas Okorocha of Imo state.
Aisha Buhari On Presidency
While President Buhari was away on his official trip, his wife, Mrs Aisha Buhari raised concerns over the president’s appointees.
In an interview with BBC she warned her husband that she will not back him at the next election unless he considers rejigging the make-up of his appointees.
Meanwhile, Mr Buhari in reaction to this laughed off the comments saying “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room, and the other room”.
The matter has since elicited various opinions from people who believe it was an honest expression from Mrs Buhari, meant to galvanise President Buhari into retracing his steps, while others shocked that such remarks are coming from her.
Nigeria’s Presidency has described the release of 21 out of the over 200 Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists as ‘a show of faith’ on the part of the insurgents.
Mr Femi Adesina, who is a spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, clears the air on the release which had triggered rumours that it was a swap deal between the Nigerian government and the terrorist group.
He told Channels Television on Friday that the development was a confidence building step that would lead to bigger things.
“I have heard and read so much about what we gave and what we didn’t give.
“This is just a confidence building step that will lead to bigger things.
“In the past, there have been many of such meetings that would have led to releases but along the line, discussions broke down.
“Maybe they (the terrorists) trust the (new) process and they believe that they do this as a show of their trust and faith and believe.
“For now, what we have been told is that there was no swap and the girls were released just as a show of faith, a confidence building measure and I think it is good enough for us to believe,” he said.
He stated categorically that the release was not a swap, but was achieved through the collaborative efforts of the security agencies, a friendly European country and a renowned International Humanitarian Organisation.
The group said in a statement that the “wonderful development” confirmed what was known about the effort of the government to rescue the Chibok girls.
They added that while they await further details, they salute the work of Nigeria’s security services at the front lines and the tireless efforts of members of the Multi-National Joint Task Force and the Civilian JTF.
The Chairman/ CEO of Global Fleet Group, Jimoh Ibrahim, has said that the current economic recession may continue for the next 20 years in Nigeria.
The businessman believes the backdrop would continue if the captains of the economic team fail to re-evaluate Nigeria’s economic policies.
He said this while delivering a lecture at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), legal week in Ile Ife, Osun state.
The Legal Week which was themed: “The Nigerian Economy: Roles of the Worshipers In The Temple Of Justice”, had in attendance, renowned legal practitioners.
Mr Ibrahim, who was a guest lecturer at the event, said the recession presents a veritable opportunity for the country to leave oil and develop other real sectors of the economy.
He suggested that the Federal Government needs to partner with its business community to get out of the recession as the economic policies of the current government are too harsh to encourage investment.
The barrister asserted that the government must work hard in translating the country’s GDP growth into individual growth.
He also stressed that the recent revelations by the raid on some judges across the country further strengthens the reasons for economic trauma in the country.
Chairman of the Lecture and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN), Mallam Yusuf Alli,also opined that “Nigerians must make their leaders accountable to them by first raising their individual consciousness to being patriots in their own rights”.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has confirmed the release of 21 girls out of the over 200 school girls abducted from the Government Secondary School, Chibok in April 2014.
The Minister, at a press conference in Abuja stated that the Federal Government secured the release of girls through the collaborative efforts of the security agencies, a friendly European country and a renowned international humanitarian organisation.
The Minister also debunked the reports that four Boko Haram members were released in exchange for the girls’ release.
He said that the release secured by the government was based on confidence and not a swap arrangement with the terrorists group.
“This is not a swap. This was a release which was effected because over time, we succeeded in confidence building.
“This particular release is significant because it’s just a first step in what we believe will lead to the eventual release of all our girls in custody. It is significant also because we have been able to establish more than ever before a confidence in both the leadership of Boko Haram and Nigerians.
“I am not aware of any monetary transaction,” he said.
The names of the girls has been release by the Office of the Vice President, after his visit to the girls at the SSS hospital in Abuja.
Carrot and Stick
The Minister also clarified if the military action against the Boko Haram would seize owing to the release of the girls.
“When you are fighting insurgency, it’s a combination of carrot and stick. The release of these girls does not mean the end to military operations. But it could mean a new phase in the conduct of the war against terror,” he said.
Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu, on Thursday, confirmed the release of the 21 Chibok girls.
He said that the release of the girls, in a limited number, was the outcome of negotiations between the Nigerian government and the Boko Haram, brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government.
The Federal Government had since the abduction of the over 200 school girls in 2014 tried several options to secure their release, including the use of military force and negotiations with the Boko Haram group.
The Spokesman for Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, has confirmed that 21 out of the Chibok girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram militants, have been released.
According to a statement by Garba Shehu, (the President’s Spokesman), the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura, has already briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the development.
He said that the release of the girls, in a limited number, is the outcome of negotiations between the administration and the Boko Haram, brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government.
The statement added that the President welcomes the release of the girls but cautioned Nigerians to be mindful of the fact that more than 30,000 fellow citizens were killed via terrorism.
The DSS DG told the President that he wanted the girls to have some rest, as all of them have returned very tired as a result of the rescue process, before he hands them over to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
Sources close to the Borno state government told Channels Television that some girls were brought to the Air Force Hospital in Maiduguri.
The girls are said to be undergoing screening to determine their state of health as well as their profile.
In his address, he stated that “one of our major aims is to rescue the Chibok girls alive and unharmed”.
The girls’ abduction had raised a world-wide condemnation including the UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon and U.S First Lady Michelle Obama, culminating in the formation of the group, #BringBackOurGirls, that have been at the forefront of pushing for the release of the girls.
Also in August, the terrorist group Boko Haram released a ‘proof of life’ video of the girls.
This was the third in a series of videos released by the group.
The Video showed a gun-toting insurgent, carrying out a mock interview with one of the girls, who is being prompted to ask the government to release imprisoned Boko Haram fighters in return for the girls’ freedom.
Another scene in the video also showed bodies on the ground, which in attempts to spur government reaction, the group claimed were bodies of girls killed by military airstrikes.
Commander of the counter-insurgency war, Major General Lucky Irabor said “It’s only a matter of common sense that those dead bodies shown on the ground there do not even give indication as to the claim which Boko Haram gave,”
The military then warned the outlawed Boko Haram group that they would be punished for killing the girl.
The race for prizes at the 2016 edition of the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA), intensifies as the award organisers reveal the last group of nominees for this year’s prize.
Nigerian artists such as Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Olamide, Patoranking, Wizkid and many others have received new nominations in the coveted categories which included artist of the year, best female, listener’s choice, best breakthrough and song of the year.
The nominees were selected from a pool of thousands of contemporary mainstream artistes across Africa.
In terms of nominations, Wizkid leads the pack of nominees from Nigeria. He was nominated in the artist of the year category, best male artist and in the personality of the year category.
X3M music artiste, Simi whose music continues to garner attention earns a nomination in the breakthrough category alongside compatriots, Tekno and Falz the bahd guy.
For the young singer, who actually has been craving the spotlight for almost a decade, with a handful of lukewarm songs over the years, getting a MAMA nomination is another milestone in her career.
She sits on the podium with another Mama fresher, hip-hop act Y-cee who got catapulted into the elites’ group after his 2015 hit, ‘Jagaban’.
He earned a nomination in best hip hop category which pitches him alongside music heavyweights including YBNL Boss, Olamide whom he featured in his breakthrough track.
In 2015, Nigerian dance-hall and reggae music act Patoranking picked up the best newcomer prize and in just about a year, he is now being nominated for the best male category contending alongside Wizkid and South-African rapper A.K.A.
The 2016 MTV Africa Music Awards is scheduled to hold in Johannesburg, South-Africa later in 2016.
As Nigeria marks another Independence Day, stakeholders in the entertainment industry are encouraging Nigerians to remain positive in the tough times.
While some of the entertainers believe that the nation’s growth is stunted and there is hardly any progress, others insist on treading only the positive lane.
Celebrities in the fashion, music as well as film industries have opined that although the economic situation of the country is not favourable, there could be light at the end of the tunnel if Nigerians remain positive.
Funke Akindele, appealed to Nigerians to kick against war, violence and anything that could come in the way of peace.
“We hope that at the end of the day, we are alive to witness the change,” the actress said.
It was a star-studded, black carpet event at the premiere of AY’s new movie, ‘A Trip to Jamaica’, in Lagos.
Among those in attendance were fans, supporters as well as celebrities in the music, film and fashion industries.
The movie, which was a mix of Hollywood, Nollywood and Ghallywood actors, featured Funke Akindele, Nse Ikpe Etim, Chris Attoh, Dan Davids, Eric Roberts, Rebecca Sylvera, Paul Campbell and AY among others.
In 2014, comedian Ayomakun popularly known as AY, released his debut feature length film ’30 days in Atlanta’, which gained rave reviews and eventually became a box office hit, as the highest grossing film in Nigerian cinema.
Despite mixed reviews, the Robert Peters directed comedy, came back with the spin-off in 2016 ‘A Trip To Jamaica’.
AY, who is regarded as one of Nigeria’s highest grossing comedians, explained that he decided it would be a good idea to shoot the movie in Jamaica because he discovered after some research, that “Jamaicans love Nollywood movies, and we also love their culture, especially in the aspect of Music”.
He also said that as part of making it work, there were a lot of collaborations along-side the movie. Such collaborations he said were between Tiwa Savage and singer, Busy Signal, who created the official motion picture soundtrack for the movie.
Director, Robert Peters further explained the multicultural film, saying “we are trying to connect, trying to make a cross cultural movie and at the end of the day, it is aimed at giving our film a world view”.
AY also addressed concerns on piracy, a menace to which the ’30 days in Atlanta’ fell victim. He said certain measures have been put in place to avoid a repetition.
He, however, appealed to the government to take proactive steps to allay the fears of stakeholders in the creative industry.
Funke Akindele And JJC
Another interesting detail that crowned the event was the first time appearance of Funke Akindele, A.K.A Jenifa, with her singer husband, Abdul Rasheed Bello A.K.A JJC skills.
The couple, who had gotten married in a secret wedding, in London on August 23, 2016, finally came open in public for the first time during the premiere of the movie ‘A Trip To Jamaica’.
Reports say they chose a quiet wedding in London because neither of them wanted to be at the center of attention, having been on that lane before.
“The decision to do it quietly was right for us and we pray for the understanding of our close friends and fans at this offer of a lifetime moment,” the couple said.
One of the victims of the kidnapping in the Isheri estate area has revealed that they were not the real target of their abductors.
Speaking exclusively with Channels Television after their release, he explained that their abductors claimed to be Niger Delta freedom fighters who told him that they were merely using kidnapping to bring government’s attention to their demands.
Relieved, but still apprehensive, he recounted his ordeal in the hands of their abductors.
He described their abductors as people from the riverine communities in the Niger Delta region, who accused the government of neglect.
They insisted that only rapid development of their region can halt their criminal activities.
“They said they were freedom fighters, they were in a struggle and their struggle is to empower or emancipate the Niger Delta people. If the government does not listen to them, they are going to ultimately separate the Niger Delta from Nigeria.
“For now, what they want is proper development of their region, and they want to cause terror anywhere ‘their pipe’ goes to.
“Their major objective in Lagos is to kidnap senior politicians or ‘big men’. We were not big men so we were like the wrong target at the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said.
The victim, however, said that they were treated well while in captivity.
The Police, however, assured the families that they were on a massive manhunt for the kidnappers.
After their return on Thursday night, the Commissioner of Police in Ogun State, Mr Ahmed Iliyasu, told Channels TV that the release of the men was as a result of the pressure mounted on the kidnappers by security operatives.
And during a visit to the homes of the released captives on Friday, he further reaffirmed the commitment of the Police to the safety of the people.
He promised that security would be reinforced in the community.
Meanwhile, residents have observed that the waterways also need to be secured, to prevent them from being launch pads for criminal elements.
It’s a full moon homecoming to remember for Rapper Uchenna Van Capelleveen, better known by his stage name Megaloh as he brings his German-Nigerian vibes to Lagos.
Uchenna, an acclaimed name already within the German hip-hop circle, presented his craft to Nigerians and received impressive response even though delivery was in a foreign language.
The artist who was bred in Germany but Born by a Nigerian, admitted that leading a multiracial life initially came with a bit of identity crisis.
However, at a crucial period in his life, he found rap music and that eventually helped him define his personality.
Through his music, he transformed the perceived negativity associated with him being multiracial, to his advantage.
Although hip-hop isn’t a mainstream genre in his home country Germany, according to him, he has been able to record impressive success that has gotten him mainstream attention.
While he grew as an artiste, he continued to think about his roots in Nigeria as well as monitor from a distance, the Nigerian music industry and at some point he created the track ‘oyoyo’ as an ode to Nigeria.
Seeing the incredible growth of hip-hop music in Nigeria, the artist has resolved to initiate his integration into the Nigerian music circle.
As his career advanced, Megaloh found an associate, Ade Bantu, who is also a German-Nigerian entertainer, and one who he says he will help him realise his dreams.
Megaloh has taken the bold step to bring his music back to his roots and although it is impossible to pre-determine how this would pan out, he has gone ahead to start a new chapter in his life.
He said he hopes to connect more with the Nigerian language and people.