NFF Inspects Uyo Stadium For AFCON Qualifying Matches

Federation Cup, NFFAn inspection team led by the Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation Technical and Development Committee, Barrister Chris Green, has expressed satisfaction with the current state of the playing turf of Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.

The stadium is slated to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier between Nigeria and South Africa in eight weeks time.

Green, alongside NFF Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme inspected the magnificent facility, nicknamed “Nest of Champions” which hosted the 2017 AFCON qualifier between the Super Eagles and Tanzania in September 2016, as well as the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying battle between the Eagles and the Fennecs of Algeria five months ago.

“We are delighted with the state of the playing turf and other facilities at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, I can tell you that the pitch is just as it was when the Super Eagles played Algeria in the World Cup qualifier in November 2016.

“The fact that Julius Berger has also started some work on the turf is even more re-assuring. They are adding manure, and afterwards will do cutting and rolling, and they have the benefit of the weather at this period. By the time we host South Africa on June 10, the pitch will be one of the very best anywhere in Africa”, he said.

The visit to the capital of Akwa Ibom state was to ascertain the condition of the playing pitch and indeed other facilities at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, as well as the level of commitment of the State Government to hosting the big match.

After the inspection, the team reported, “Every inch of the field is covered by grass and the grass is lush green. Julius Berger (the company that built the stadium) has commenced work on the field for the purpose of bringing it to the best standard possible.

“Every other facility is in good condition. The condition of the field, as it is now, is good enough for matches to be played on it.

“The Akwa Ibom State Government has continued to show desire and commitment to hosting the match.

“However, in order to maintain the lush green state of the pitch, the inspection team has advised that no activity be carried out on it until ongoing work is completed and the 2019 AFCON qualifier between the Eagles and the Bafana Bafana is played”.

The “Nest of Champions” will also play host to the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches between the Super Eagles and Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions on August 2017 and between the Super Eagles and the Chipolopolo of Zambia on October 2017.

NAF Intensifies Search For Ghana/ISIS Group In Benue State

Nigerian Air Force, Bombing, BornoThe Nigerian Air Force, on Thursday launched a seven day air surveillance and bombardment operation code-named “Operation Smoke Out”.

The operation is to check the activities of wanted militia leader, Terwase Akwaza and possible existence of ISIS/Boko Haram group in Benue state, as recently announced by the Department of State Services.

The Air Officer Commanding of the Tactical Air Command, Air Vice Marshal, Nurudeen Balogun, said there are no official intelligence on the existence of ISIS/Boko Haram in Benue state, Operation Smoke Out, is targeted at all known criminal elements involved in the Zaki Biam killings and the ISIS group if it exists.

The Air Officer listed Agatu, Katsina Ala and Zaki- Biam in Benue state as well as Wukari in Taraba state as the flash points for the operation, the operations will include other security agencies, while the Benue state government tasked indigenes on intelligence sharing.

The Air Officer briefs journalist on the component of the operation said,

“We are working with other security agencies to make sure we put a stop to this menace and so some air assets including, aisle assets and gunships and some fighter airplanes will be operating in the next seven days, conducting intensive operations, both day and night to make sure that we solve the problems”.

Governor Samuel Ortom who was represented by his Special Adviser on Sports and Youth Development, Professor Jonathan Uever, expressed confidence in the military to end the Benue violence.

“The Benue state government has a lot of confidence in the operations of the military and with the briefs we have received from the Air Officer Commanding, we know that it is going to be well and the people will sleep with their eyes closed, especially in the areas they showed us that they will carry out the operations”.

The Air Officer Commanding said, although there are no official report of ISIS/Boko Haram cell in Benue, the operation is designed to root out all criminal elements.

The acting commanding officer of the 101 Air Defense Group, Mohammed Baba-Ari, in a briefing with pilots and mission commanders, listed key troubled areas like Agatu, Katsina Ala, Zaki Biam and Wukari forest in Taraba state.

“The major restive areas include Agatu, Zaki Biam, Katsina Ala and Logo local government areas among others. Also a forest stretching between Benue and Taraba states is the suspected enclave for the vandals perpetrating these acts”.

The Operation Smoke Out follows last weeks approval by the Chief of Air Staff, to commence counter terrorism operations with air power in a joint security operation with ground troops of other sister agencies.

Nasarawa State Govt. Commences Payment Of Gratuity

Courtesy: en.wikipedia

The Nasarawa State Government, has commenced screening for payment of gratuities for eligible pensioners in the state.

The two days screening is supervised by the State Head of Service, Thomas Ogiri.

As early as 8:00am on Thursday, beneficiaries of the first phase of payment of gratuities and death benefits to families of deceased civil servants trooped into the Lafia city hall with relevant documents.

Speaking in an interview, Thomas Ogiri said only those whose names were published on certain newspaper are qualified for payment.

He also gave reasons why names were published saying that the government has nothing to hide from its citizens.

“We did it deliberately because this is a transparent government so nothing to hide.

“The governor ordered that it should be published so that we can see it in the newspaper publication, there is no point you come to this point without knowing how much you are going to earn”.

He further expressed satisfaction with the exercise and called on the beneficiaries to be patient adding that they will all be screened within two days.

On their part, the beneficiaries expressed gratitude to the government approving the release of their entitlements.

Russia Vetoes UN Resolution On Damascus

Russia Vetoes UN Resolution On DamascusFor the umpteenth time, Russia has vetoed a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council, that would have condemned last week’s alleged chemical attack in Syria.

The resolution which was presented by the United States, United Kingdom and France, demanded that Damascus cooperates with investigators.

The proposed resolution would have backed an investigation on the ground by the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons.

This would be the eighth time Russia has protected its Syrian ally at the council.

NATO No Longer Obsolete – Donald Trump

President Trump Proposes Massive Aid CutsUnited States President, Donald Trump says the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is no longer obsolete, reversing his earlier statement which alarmed allies.

Hosting the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, at the White House, Mr Trump said that the threat of terrorism has underlined the alliance’s importance.

At a joint press conference with Mr Stoltenberg, President Trump said he and the Secretary General had a productive discussion on what more NATO can do in the fight against terrorism.

The US President further reiterated his call for NATO member States to contribute more funding to the alliance.

Police Arrest Three Suspected Army Impostors In Imo State

Police Question Man Over Ogoni Food PoisoningThe Imo State Police Command has arrested three suspects, Kingsley Inyang, Edet Okon and Victor Akpan all from Akwa Ibom state for impersonation and claiming to be army officials, while extorting huge amount of money from unsuspected applicants who wish to join the Nigerian Army.

While parading the suspects at the Imo Police Command Headquarters in Owerri, the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Chris Ezike, said the suspects were arrested at Amakohia Ubi in Owerri west Local Government area of Imo state following intelligence reports.

The commissioner also paraded some other suspected criminals who are allegedly involved in various crime ranging from kidnapping, armed robbery, car snatching and cultism.

The commissioner said the renewed vision of the command is to reduce crime and enhance safety and security in Imo state as well as provide qualitative police service for the people of Imo state.

Items recovered include three AK rifles, 15 AK47, magazines loaded with ammunition, locally made pistols and army camouflage uniforms.

In his words, “we have collectively resolved in this command that our mission and vision is to reduce crime and enhance safety and security in Imo state.

“This state shall not only enable Imolites go about their lawful business without fear of any molestation but also enable the business of government and private sector thrive without security encumbrances, we shall provide qualitative Police service to the people of Imo state.

“Kingsley Inyang, Edet Okon and Victor Akpan all from Akwa Ibom state have been arrested for specializing in defrauding unsuspected applicants wishing to join the Nigerian army.
“They were arrested at Amakohia Ubi in Owerri west Local Government area of Imo state following a tip off.

“Investigation revealed that the affected candidates were ignorantly mandated by the suspects to pay the sum of 8, 000 Naira and 70, 000 Naira for medical test and recruitment training exercises.

“The suspects are currently undergoing interrogation and will be charged to court soon”, the commissioner said.

Governor Obaseki Signs CDA Bill Into Law

Governor Obaseki Signs CDA Bill Into Law
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has signed into law a bill prohibiting forceful and illegal occupation of landed property by Community Development Associations (CDAs) in the state.

During the signing ceremony at the Government House in Benin City, the Edo state capital, Governor Obaseki said his administration will always provide a conducive environment for investments to thrive in the state.

He stated that many of the youths who would be affected by the bill would be compensated, urging the public to get familiar with the provisions of the law, adding that ignorance of the law is no excuse.

The governor further said that the acts of land grabbing is inimical to the economic growth of the society.

A copy of the bill was later presented to Oba Ewuare II, the Oba of Benin.

The Benin Monarch lauded the State’s Executive and Legislature for the swift enactment of the law, adding that those affected will be compensated.

“Palliative measures are put in place to ensure that they don’t see it as witch-hunting or excessive punishment or that they don’t recognise their plight”

Meanwhile, a task force headed by the former Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, has been set up to drive enforcement of the law.

Obiano Receives Army Committee On Human Rights Violation

Anambra State Governor, Willie Maduabuchukwu Obiano.

A nine man Special Commission on Human Rights Violation Committee set up by the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai, was in Anambra state on a fact finding mission, to ascertain the roles played by the Military during protests by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in 2016. 

Governor Willie Obiano received them at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, and listened to the leader of the team, Retired Major General Tijani Ahmed, briefing him on their mission.

Mr Ahmed explained that based on the accusations leveled against the Nigerian Army by the Amnesty International of violating human rights and committing war crimes in their dealing with insurgents in the northeast, Militants in the Niger Delta and IPOB in the southeast, the Chief of Army Staff had set up the committee to find out the truth or otherwise of the allegations.

He said, “The allegations made round the media, in the papers and specifically, the one that was made prominent was the one by the Amnesty International where allegations of extrajudicial killing, forced disappearance, torture and all manner of allegations were made against the soldiers.

“That’s why the Chief of Army Staff set up this committee to investigate and find out exactly what happened”.

For Governor Willie Obiano, there would not have been issues with the peaceful protests of the activist but for the hijacking of the exercise by hoodlums that wreaked havoc.

He suggested to the committees to reach out to the then Commissioner of Police who is now the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone Nine, Mr Hassan Karma and Colonel Isah Abdullahi, who was the then Commandant of 302 Artillery Regiment, Onitsha, for the full details of all that happened in which officially, no death was communicated to him.

According to Obiano, “When you start some exercise, if you are not careful, it will be hijacked and when it is hijacked, it will change complexion from what was originally planned.

“So both IPOB and the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), in my view, they comported themselves very well, but the challenge is that we have these hoodlums, we are talking about that joined the match and tried to use the opportunity to loot and do other things.

“I’m sure in the course of your investigation you will get all the details”.

Ogun Govt. Warns Applicants Into School Of Nursing Against Fraudsters

Ogun, NLC, TUCThe Ogun State Government, has called on all candidates seeking admission into the state’s owned school of Nursing for the 2017/2018 academic session, to visit the State Ministry of Health, Department of Nursing Services, Room 104, New Secretariat, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta for admission procedures.

This is in effect is to save them from falling victims of fraudsters and admission racketeering.

In a statement signed by the State Commissioner for Health, Mr Babatunde Ipaye,  the warning became imperative for the prospective candidates in order not to fall victims of fraudsters while seeking for admission into the School of Nursing both online registration and hard copy documentation of application procedures.

According to the statement, all interested candidates must at least possess five (5) O’level credits in not more than two sittings including English language, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, while candidates awaiting result can also apply.

The statement also had it that, applicants are expected to have a functional E-mail address as application closes on Wednesday, June 30, 2017.

However, a Computer Base Test (CBT) Examination for all successful candidates will come up on Saturday, July 8, 2017 at the School of Nursing (SON), Idi-Aba Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital by 8:00am.

Nasarawa Residents Raise Alarm Over Termite Infested Electric Pole

Residents of Emba street of Millionaires quarters in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital, have raised alarm over a termite infested electric pole almost falling over their houses.

The alarm was raised when Channels Television visited the area to ascertain the situation after a tip off by an eye witness reporter.

During the visit by our correspondent it was observed that the pole is almost falling over a land with the electric wires already dropping down into the house of a resident, Felix Godwin.

In an interview, Mr Godwin disclosed that the almost falling pole is the second pole they have changed.

“It is like this because for the past two years or so we mounted a new pole so we discovered that there are termites under the ground that has been eating it for quite a long time and that is why it has been like this.

“Though it is not our own responsibility to continue changing it since we have changed it for the first and second time. We feel that it is the responsibility of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to come and have it fixed, that is why we decided to leave it like this.

“We are aware of the dangers and are making effort to have it fixed but the problem on ground is issue of finance”. he said.

When taken upon the issue of destroyed poles in Lafia and not just Emba street, a Technical Supervisor of the AEDC, Livinus Cosmos assured that they will be monitored and fixed.

He said, “It is not everywhere that the AEDC staff are unless we embark on patrol to clear one fault or the other.

“We will be able to see such faults but now that you have detected that fault, we will see that we replace it.

“I will work towards seeing that the pole is replaced if not by wooden pole, we will use concrete pole.

“Precisely if there are other wooden poles that are infested by termites, we will do the same thing to see that we replace them because once a pole gets broken and there is supply, it will cause havoc to not only our customers but any passerby which is risky, so prevention is better than cure”, he said.

Obasanjo Urges Zambian Govt. To Follow Rule Of Law In Dealing With Opposition

Xenophobia Attacks: Obasanjo Lays Blame On SA Government
Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo.

A former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has appealed to the Zambian government to adhere to the rule of law and human rights principles, in dealing with the opposition in the Southern African country of Zambia.

The appeal is coming on the heels of the report, which broke early on Tuesday that the house of the main opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, was allegedly broken into by the Government Police and other Paramilitary Agencies with the purpose of arresting him without any warrant.

Obasanjo, in a statement signed by his Media Aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, said it was in the best interest of the country to maintain the rule of law and human rights principles, which are recipes for peace, stability and development not only in the Southern African country, but the entire African continent.

“Early Tuesday, the news broke that the Zambian Government Police and other Paramilitary Agencies broke into the house of the opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, to effect his arrest without any warrant.

“Special appeal is being made to the Government of Zambia to ensure that the rule of law is followed without Bach of human rights in dealing with the opposition leader of the stature of Hakainde Hichilema.

“It is in the best interest of the country in ensuring that the rule of law and human rights principles are followed to ensure peace, stability and security, which are fundamental basis for development, which all Africans require at this point in time”, he stated.

Obiano Signs Two Billion Dollars Airport City MoU

The dream of Governor Willie Obiano in making Anambra State a first choice investment destination and a hub for commercial activities seems to be materialising.

The State Government has signed a two billion dollars Memorandum of Understanding with two investment companies, Orient Petroleum Resources and Elite International Investment Limited, for the construction of an international airport city in Umueri, Anambra East Local Government Area.

Speaking at the signing ceremony which took place in the Government House Awka, the state’s capital, Governor Obiano expressed hope that the project would reduce cost of importation and boost development in the state.

He added that it will also create a boundless business connection between Anambra and China, saying the State Government will ensure that the project is not only a central economic hub for the state, but also for the entire south-east region and Nigeria at large.

Giving details of the investment, the Chairman of Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), Igwe Cyril Enweze, said the project would promote rapid urbanisation and increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state.

On his part, the Managing Director of Orient Petroleum Resources, Mr Christian Udechukwu, commended the vision of the Obiano led administration.

He assured the State Government that they would deliver quality project, in line with aviation engineering best practices.

The airport city to be named, Anambra Airport Infrastructure Company Limited, has a completion duration of three years and sits on a 1,500 hectares of land at Ivite Umueri.