Williams Street Traders Forced To Relocate To Permanent Site In Anambra 

anambraSome traders at Williams Street in Onitsha, Anambra State, have defied government’s relocation order leading to their forceful ejection by the State Government.

The traders were ejected to a permanent and standard market at Ogbunike in Oyi Local Government Area of the state.

Some of the traders who were victims, decried government’s action. They stressed that it was illegal as the relocation case is still in court.

While others, who have relocated wondered why their colleagues would prefer to be paying huge rent when a standard market built with their contributing fund had been allocated to them.

The traders had been asked to move to the new site since 2009 and in spite of all efforts by the previous administration, most of them remained adamant leading to the application of force by the current administration that have, in its administrative policy, decongested and beautified of the state.

The Managing Director and Superintendent General, Operation Clean and Healthy, Mr Kenneth Okonkwo, whose duty is to maintain clean environment cleared the air on the event of application of force on the traders, citing unkempt and dirty environment as the major cause.

Mr Okonkwo  maintained that the brigade never broke into any shop but ensured that every shop opened has the owner on standby to evacuate his or her goods.

The new market, though looking abandoned, has every facility of a standard market in addition to enough space for parking of vehicles.

The shops were built with money contributed by the traders and the government which can accommodate over five thousand traders presently.

Greek Parliament Set To Vote Reforms To Secure Bailout Deal

bailout deal-greekThe Greek parliament is set to vote on a set of reforms needed to secure its bailout deal. The vote is expected to pass with the support of opposition parties.

But Greece’s public sector union is planning to protest against the measures.

The bill lawmakers would vote on Wednesday to cover rules for dealing with failed banks and speeding up the justice system.

If MPs approve the financial and judicial reforms, Greece would be able to press ahead with negotiations for an 86 billion Euro bailout from its creditors.

The Greek Health Minister, Panagiotis Kouroumplis, said “We are making an effort to have fewer dissenters”.

He said there were doubts about whether the new measures could pull the recession-hit economy out of its impasse.

“But since we agreed, we must implement them.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), confirmed on Monday that Greece had cleared its overdue debt repayments of 2.05 billion Euro and was no longer in arrears.

The repayments, and another for 4.2 billion Euro to the European Central Bank due on Monday, were made possible by a short-term EU loan of 7 billion Euro.

Rivers State Police Parades Criminals, Recovers Ammunition And Vehicles

river state police-ammunition The Rivers State Police Command has arrested 200 suspects involved in armed robbery, kidnapping and cultism as well as recovered over 26 cars, 500 arms and ammunition.

The state’s Commissioner of Police, Chris Ejike on Wednesday, disclosed the success recorded by the police at the stock taking and parade of the suspects at the police headquarters in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

The force was however, launched to stem the rising tide of crimes in the state.

The suspects include a Lance Corporal of the Nigerian Army who fled from his base in Borno State due to Boko Haram insurgency.

Mr Ejike emphasised the success recorded by that his command’s one month emergency on violent crimes.

The Police Commissioner also highlighted his achievement since assumption of office saying: “On assumption of duty as the 34th Commissioner of Police, Rivers State, in the last days of June 2015, I realized the enormity of the challenges vis-a-vis efficient delivery of satisfactory service to the people of the State.

“The crime-wave was getting higher, driven by increase in kidnapping and armed robbery incidents. These were fueled by cultism. Homicide cases and communal crises across the State were causing concern. Traffic gridlock added to this heap. Therefore urgent strategic steps had to be taken.

“During my visit to His Excellency, the Governor echoed above sentiments and charged me to address these challenges. He indicated his willingness to support us and has taken immediate positive steps in this direction.

“In my inaugural address of 2nd July 2015, I said my focus would be to provide qualitative services to the people of the State; fight violent crimes with vigor; partner with other security services and non-state actors; respect the rights of the citizens; abhor corrupt practices; promote professionalism and ensure peace, security and safety for the State and its people.

“We have taken these steps and I am therefore using this forum to highlight the major achievements recorded within the past 3 weeks; Re-awakened the service zeal and orientation of the average Policeman in the State. They must justify their pay by performing reciprocally, their expected duties, responsibilities and functions.

He also said that the Emergency on anti-crime is working and more policemen are now on the road to ensure the state is peaceful.

Votes Count In Burundi Controversial Election

Pierre Nkurunziza-on-burundi-electionPeople in Burundi have cast their votes in tension over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to stand for a third consecutive term.

Presently, the votes are being counted under three-quarters of the country’s 3.8m eligible voters who turned out on Tuesday after a night of gunfire and explosions that claimed lives.

Ballots would continue to be tallied on Wednesday, but officials have said that they do not expect the results to be announced until Thursday.

Shortly before voting started on Tuesday, a policeman and a civilian were killed amid a string of explosions and gunfire in the capital Bujumbura, the epicenter of three months of anti-government protests.

Two policemen were shot dead in the capital Bujumbura on Monday night, said Willy Nyamitwe, the President’s chief communications adviser.

The body of an opposition official was found earlier on a road.

The US State Department had joined critics in saying the election lacks credibility.

Meanwhile, the government accused the opposition of provoking violent protests.

President Nkurunziza is running for a third term despite a limit of two terms in the constitution.

93 Days: A Nation’s Story on Survival and Sacrifice

93 days- Steve Gukas93 Days is a movie centred on the true-life story of men and women who risked their lives and made sacrifices to save people from the consequences of the  Ebola Virus outbreak.

It was a compelling human story of dedication, sacrifice, resilience and survival.

The movie demonstrated the bravery of the late Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh and her colleagues from their encounter with the late American-Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, who was the index case of the Ebola Virus.

The movie was, however, centred towards ensuring that the right medical procedures were in place to stop the spread of the disease in the country.

In celebrating the icons, the producers celebrated their potential to stand for what is right, serve selflessly and make a difference in their world.

According to the producers, 93 Days is definitely a must-watch with a perfect blend of both local and international casts to ensure excellent quality and international exposure was achieved.

Renowned American Theatre practitioner and Filmmaker, Pemon Rami also joined the team as producer.

“Our aim is to create a feature film that would resonate with many people across the world particularly in Nigeria and its sub-region.

“At its core, 93 Days is a tale of common humanity and just how much we can achieve when we stand united.”

The project was a co-production between Michel Angelo Production, Bolanle Austen-Peters Production (BAP) and Natives Film Works.

Bolanle Austen-Peters added, “We recognize that we have to tell our own stories, we also recognize that hardly ever are all the stars aligned to allow Nigeria and Nigerians shine on the international scene, our role is to celebrate our heroes and Nigeria on the global scene.”

93 Days was directed by Steve Gukas, and produced by Bolanle Austen-Peters, Dotun Olakunri and Steve Gukas.

Burundi Election: President Nkurunziza Seeks Third Term Amidst Tension

Pierre Nkurunziza burundiPolls opened in Burundi on Tuesday amid widespread tension for a controversial presidential election where sitting leader, Pierre Nkurunziza is seeking decision to stand for a third consecutive term.

The president’s critics said that “the vote is unconstitutional, as he is only entitled to stand for two terms only.

“A third term is prohibited by a peace accord that ended the 1993-2003 civil war”.

Scattered gunfire could be heard in the streets of the capital, Bujumbura, and ballot casting was light in the first hours after polling stations opened.

Overnight, authorities said that two people were killed in separate incidents in pre-election violence, a police officer and a civilian.

The president’s office had described the latest protests as terrorist acts intended to disrupt the election.

Chief Communications Advisor, Willy Nyamitwe, said: “People do it to intimidate voters. They don’t want the voters to go to the polls”.

Protesters determined to prevent his candidacy have taken to the streets in the capital and have been met with deadly force by police.

In addition, several leading opposition parties had said they would boycott the vote.

More than 170,000 people have fled to neighbouring nations, according to the United Nations, amid fears Burundi would return to a conflict similar to the civil war that left 300,000 people dead.

Many families were crossing on foot without any belongings.

The turmoil also helped spawn an attempted coup in May while the President was out of the country.

 

Toshiba CEO To Resign Over Accounting Scandal

Masashi-Muromachi-toshibaJapan’s Toshiba Corp said its Chief Executive was stepping down on Tuesday after an independent investigation said it had overstated its profits for the past six years.

The CEO and President, Hisao Tanaka would be replaced by Chairman, Masashi Muromachi, effective on Wednesday.

The company said in a statement that it was considering appointing outside directors to over half of its board seats.

On Monday, an independent panel appointed by Toshiba, said the firm had overstated its operating profit by a total of 151.8bn yen ($1.22bn, £780m).

The overstatement was roughly triple an initial Toshiba estimate.

Tanaka’s predecessors, Vice Chairman Norio Sasaki and adviser, Atsutoshi Nishida, would also step down after the third-party report showed they also played a part in the overstatement of profits going back to the 2008 financial year.

The inquiry found that the misreporting of profits began after the financial crash seven years ago, when senior managers began imposing unrealistic performance targets.

“Within Toshiba, there was a corporate culture in which one could not go against the wishes of superiors,” the report said.

“Therefore, when top management presented ‘challenges’, division presidents, line managers and employees below them continually carried out inappropriate accounting practices to meet targets in line with the wishes of their superiors.”

The findings are expected to lead to the restatement of earnings, a board overhaul and potentially hefty fines at the computers-to-nuclear conglomerate in Japan’s worst corporate scandal since Olympus Corp was found to have covered up $1.7 billion in losses in late 2011.

Japanese Finance Minister, Taro Aso said earlier on Tuesday that the accounting irregularities at Toshiba were “very regrettable”, coming at a time when Japan is trying to regain global investors’ confidence with better corporate governance.

“If (Japan) fails to implement appropriate corporate governance, it could lose the market’s trust”.

Aso declined to comment when asked if Toshiba would face any kind of financial penalty. Sources told Reuters that regulators were beginning their own review of Toshiba’s book-keeping, based on Monday’s report.

The investigation came just as Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe had implemented new guidelines to improve the country’s corporate governance.

Wada Says Payment Of Workers’ Salary Is Priority

wadaKogi State Governor, Idris Wada, says payment of workers’ wages and salaries are his administration’s top priority.

Governor Wada made the statement when the  Maigari of Lokoja, HRM Mohammed Maikarfi and some members of the council of Ulama paid him a sallah homage.

The Kogi State Governor said that  he would  slow down physical development to pay workers, who had worked tirelessly, their entitlement.

Some governors in Nigeria have had issues with the payment of workers salary, with some owing workers over 7 months salary. The development was as a result of reduced allocation to the states from the Federation Account, due to the drop in oil price. Nigeria largely depends on crude oil sales as a source of revenue generation.

The development had triggered an austerity measure by the previous administration, with the former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, urging governors to give priority to the payment of workers salary.

In his key note address, Governor Wada thanked the Royal Father for the visit and used the opportunity to speak out on some of his on-going multi-million Naira projects which he said,would take some time to get completed.

But he stressed that at completion, the projects would last over 10 years for the use in the state.

On the sanitation challenges facing the state, Governor Wada said that it would be a thing of the past soon, as he urged the people living in Kabawa to improve in their sanitation.

While thanking the Governor for his good work so far, the Royal Father told Channels Televisions that the completion of the fasting had accorded them an opportunity to pray for the peace of Nigeria.

He however, urged all Muslims in the country  to obey the constituted authority.

The Executive Secretary of the Uluma, Abdulkarim Aruwa,  thanked the Governor for all he had done for the council but said they were surprised why the government had not paid the one month salary its owing despite the bail out fund.

Governor Wada, while responding to Aruwa, urged both Muslims and christian in the state not to listen to rumor mongers whose aim was to cause disunity in the state.

VP Osinbajo Pays Sallah Homage To President Buhari

SallahVice President Yemi Osibajo, on Friday joined Muslim faithful resident in the Federal Capital Territory to pay Sallah homage to President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa.

He was joined by other well meaning Nigerians including some Christian clerics, to pay homage to the President.

Muslim faithful started gathering at the residence immediately after the Eid prayers and Vice President Yemi Osibajo led them into the President’s living room.

There he said that it was important that Nigerians coexisted no matter their faith.

Wishing all Nigerians a prosperous and peaceful nation, he said; “The Almighty God who loves everyone of us so dearly wants us to live together in peace and prosperity.

“The business of government as Mr President has said so often is the protection of lives and property and to give everybody a good opportunity to live in a way that they wish and to worship God in the way that they wish.”

The President thanked the delegation for sincerely fulfilling the traditional homage and for their loyalty to the country, describing the visit as a rare privilege.

He also called for more sacrifice from Nigerians as the country is at the moment witnessing a youth population explosion.

The President captured how his security was overwhelmed at the prayer ground by a large crowd of youths who surrounded him struggling to see him.

“I had to hold tight to my gown to get to my car. I was advised to enter from the ADC’s seat, I refused. I went across and tried raise my hands to the youths who wanted to see me.

“It is only God Almighty that protects leaders because in a mob like this, anybody with a sharp knife can get access and do a lot of damage.

“All the Policemen and the soldiers that were deployed since six in the morning before I came out two hours later in the rains cannot protect you. Only God protects.

The Permanent Secretary of the FCT said that the Sallah homage has been a tradition for them, urging other parts of the country to emulate this and the peace that the Federal Capital Territory has been experiencing.

The delegation handed out some Sallah gifts to the President amid cheers.

President Buhari Appoints New Commandant-General For NSCDC

Buhari on NSCDCPresident Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Abdullahi Muhammadu, as the new Commandant-General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Mr Abdullahi Muhammadu succeeded Dr Ade Abolurin, who has retired from service.

Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, who was an Assistant Commandant-General of the NSCDC before his new appointment, hails from Muye in Lapai Local Government Area of Niger State.

He holds a B.Sc in Sociology from the University of Sokoto, and a Masters in Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

President Buhari wishes Dr Abolurin a happy retirement.

Eid-el-Fitr Celebration: Emir Urges Muslims To Give Alms

emirThe Emir of Kano has urged wealthy individuals in Nigeria to assist the less privileged members of the society, as “it is part of the greatest teaching and actions of the prophet of Islam”.

Imam Muhammad Sanusi II in a message to Islamic faithful in Nigeria also called on Kano residents to continue to remain peaceful with one another irrespective of religious or ethnic differences.

Imam Sanusi II, who led the prayers at the praying ground, urged faithfuls to continue to emulate the teachings of the prophet of Islam by helping the needy and the poor.

The prayers were conducted peacefully in all parts of Kano State, with high presence of security officials to ensure peaceful celebrations.

The Emir also urged residents to continue to cooperate with government at various levels for a meaningful economic and social development.

“We call on you to continue to be peaceful with one another despite their religious or ethnic background, we also wants you to continue to give your maximum support to both state and Federal Government for a more meaningful development. May God Bless you and bless Nigeria,” the Emir said.

In his Eid-el-Fitr message, the State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje assured the people of the state that his government would continue to remain committed in protecting the lives and property of its citizen, as he promised to deliver on his campaign promises.

Highlights of the celebration include the traditional Sallah horse riding by the Emir’s royal guards and other traditional title holders of the Kano Emirate.

 

 

UK Pilots Conduct Air Strikes Over Syria

air strikesUK pilots embedded with coalition allies’ forces have been conducting air strikes over Syria against the Islamic State group.

About 20 personnel, including three pilots, had been embedded with other coalition nations’ forces, including the US and Canada.

Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, however, said that MPs’ approval would be needed before any new UK action in Syria.

Parliament approved UK bombing of militant positions in Iraq last year. However, MPs were not asked at the time to authorise strikes across the border in Syria.

Tory MP John Baron said the personnel should be withdrawn as Parliament “said no to military intervention”.

A Labour spokesman said that the party would ask the Ministry of Defence to make a statement in the Commons on Monday.

“The programme to embed personnel with allies is extremely valuable to the development of our Armed Forces but the government needs to be transparent about the role they play,” he said.

In 2013, the government lost a parliamentary vote after seeking backing for military action against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to deter the use of chemical weapons.

A government spokesperson told Sky News that: “The UK is contributing to the anti-ISIL Coalition air campaign against ISIL targets in Syria through the provision of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

“The UK itself is not conducting air strikes in Syria. But we do have a long-standing embed programme with allies, where small numbers of UK personnel act under the command of host nations.

“That has been the case in Syria, although, there are currently no pilots operating in this region”.