Senate Adjourns Plenary Till September

File Photo of the Senate

 

The Senate has adjourned plenary till after its long vacation.

The lawmakers will be resuming sitting on September 25, 2018.

This comes after about 15 Senators on Tuesday defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The defecting Senators include Senator Dino Melaye, former Governor of Kano, Rabiu Kwankwaso.

Barnabas Gemade(Benue), Shaaba Lafiaji(Kwara), Rafiu Ibrahim(Kwara), Abdulazeez Nyako(Adamawa), Monsurat Sunmonu(Oyo) and Usman Nafada(Gombe).

READ ALSO: Melaye, Kwankwaso, 13 Other Senators Defect To PDP

Also, Senators Suleiman Hunkuyi, Ibrahim Danbaba, Ubale Shittu, Isah Misau, Suleiman Nazif, Soji Akanbi.

There was a mild drama earlier in the day when the residences of the Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu  were stormed by security operatives in Abuja

The Senate President’s convoy was reportedly blocked by security operatives while he was about leaving his residence.

After the incident, Dr. Saraki arrived at the Senate chamber at 10:40 AM to preside over plenary.

Although it is not clear how he arrived at the chamber despite the police blocking his residence.

 

Assad Makes Surprise Visit To Moscow

al-assadSyrian President, Bashar al-Assad, has made his first trip outside Syria, since the Civil War started in the country.

President Assad met with Russian President, Vladimir Putin, in Moscow on Tuesday. But his visit was not announced until Wednesday, after he had returned to Damascus.

As they both sat for discussions, Mr Putin thanked Mr Assad for coming, despite the ‘dramatic situation’ in his country.

He praised Syrians for fighting international terrorism for several years, despite suffering serious losses.

Mr Putin was however concerned about the 4,000 people from the former Soviet Union believed to be fighting in Syria.

The Syrian President thanked Russia for standing up for the unity of his country and its independence, saying that its intervention had prevented the events in Syria from developing along a more tragic scenario.

In September, Russia launched air strikes in Syria, against the Islamic State (IS), and other militant groups battling government forces.

Yobe State Partners UNICEF For Improved Water And Hygiene

Yobe-unicefYobe State Government and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have agreed to work towards improving water, hygiene and sanitation, as well as educational development of the state.

The State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, who received the Country Representative in Nigeria, Ms Jean Gough, said the State government would pay its 30 per cent counterpart fund between the months of September and October, to enable the take-off of the various programme in the state.

The Governor attributed the delay in the payment of the counterpart fund to the dwelling resources, but expressed confidence that the situation would change for the better.

Gaidam said: “The state will contribute its part of the counterpart fund along with the Local Governments of the state on a ratio of 18 to 12 respectively”.

He commended UNICEF for its commitment to improving the lots of the people, mostly in developing economy.

According to him, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UNICEF and the Yobe State Government was signed in 2013 and would run to 2018. He assured UNICEF representatives that the State, under his leadership, would abide by the terms of the agreement, to achieve the desired results.

Ms Gough while soliciting for strict adhering to the terms of the MoU, assured Governor Gaidam that her organisation would work assiduously towards serving the State better.

She said UNICEF would its best in improving water, hygiene, sanitation and particularly education which had been badly affected by the Boko Haram militants activities in the north-east, with much concentration in Yobe and Borno States.

The Country Representative commended the State government for the polio eradication, but urged them to work towards frequent immunisation and to ensure they reached all nooks and crannies of the State.

UNICEF is to contribute 70 per cent for the programmes to be implemented in the state, while the state and the Local Government will pay 30 per cent of the amount.

UNICEF has presently opened a D Field office in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, to take charge of activities in Yobe and Borno States worse hit by the terrorists group.

Ukraine Rebels Hold Fresh Peace Talks As Fighting Rages In East

UkraineA new round of peace talks got under way involving Ukraine and separatists on Saturday, even as fighting between Kiev government forces and the Russian-backed rebels raged in Ukraine’s east, claiming civilian and military lives.

The main members of the so-called ‘contact group’ — Ukrainian former president Leonid Kuchma, a Russian diplomat and an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe official – met at a state residence in the Belarussian capital Minsk, where they were joined by two separatist officials.

The sides have held only one inconclusive meeting since agreeing a ceasefire last September as part of a 12-point blueprint for peace. Much-violated from the start, that truce collapsed completely with a new rebel advance last week.

Both sides have accused each other of deadly artillery and mortar strikes on civilian targets in the past two weeks, including on a cultural center in the main regional city of Donetsk on Friday which killed at least five people waiting for humanitarian hand-outs.

The September Minsk peace plan also called for tighter control of the joint Russia-Ukraine border, through which Kiev says Moscow is funneling fighters and equipment, and the freeing of prisoners held by the sides.

Much has changed on the ground, however, since September.

The separatists have set up self-proclaimed ‘people’s republics’ while their forces, which Kiev says are supported by 9,000 Russian regular troops, have seized more than 500 square km (193 square miles) of territory beyond that agreed in the Minsk talks and threaten to seize control of the east’s two main regions entirely.

Japan PM To Seek Fresh Mandate For ‘Abenomics’ With Snap Poll

japanJapan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has called an early election, two years ahead of schedule.

At a news briefing, he said he would dissolve parliament later this week and is also delaying a planned but unpopular increase in sales tax.

Mr Abe was elected two years ago with an ambitious plan to revive the economy, but has struggled to do so.

His popularity has fallen but he is expected to win the election, which will take place in mid-December.

Analysts say Mr Abe is looking for a secure mandate ahead of introducing unpopular policies that could see his popularity fall even further.

The prime minister – who returned to power in December 2012 pledging to revive growth with a radical mix of hyper-easy monetary policy, spending and reform – insisted his policies were working and challenged the opposition to come up with an alternative.

“I am aware that critics say ‘Abenomics’ is a failure and not working but I have not heard one concrete idea what to do instead … Are our economic policies mistaken, or correct? Is there another option?” He asked at a televised news conference. “This is the only way to end deflation and revive the economy.”

But Abe pledged that the sales tax rise, needed to fund swelling social security costs and curb Japan’s massive public debt, would be implemented without fail in April 2017.

Abe is seeking to renew his mandate just as doubts about the success of his strategy are deepening.

No election for parliament’s lower house needed to be held until late 2016. But Abe is hoping to cement his grip on power before his support ratings, now below 50 percent in some surveys but still sturdy by Japanese standards, slip further.

His voter support took something of a hit from funding scandals in his cabinet last month, and next year he is expected to tackle unpopular policies such as restarting nuclear reactors that went off-line after the 2011 Fukushima crisis.

Yobe Governor Shuts Down Secondary Schools After Attack

Yobe state governor Ibrahim Gaidam has visited Government Secondary School Mamudo 24 hours after unknown gunmen had attacked and killed twenty students and one teacher in the school.

The State Commissioner of Education Alhaji Mohammed Lamin informed the governor that two more students later died while on admission in the Potiskum General hospital as the death toll rose to 24, adding a resident of Mamudo who was traced to his home and killed shortly after the attack on the school.

According to the commissioner, the hoodlums assembled the students before shooting at them from different directions as the students scampered to safety.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam who was visibly touched by the killings described it as inhumane and noted that God will expose the perpetrators and sponsors of the dastard act.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam called on the security forces to change their modus operandi in checking the activities of the dreaded Islamists to end the ceaseless attacks in the state and the north-east zone as a whole.

He also called on the Chief of Defense Staff and the security forces to as a matter of urgency consider the restoration of GSM services in the three states under the state of emergency as residents are finding it difficult to report perpetrators of the acts to relevant authorities as residents who has information to divulge to security agents are not able to reach the JTF.

He said in the two separate attacks on schools in the state, it was reported that residents saw the hoodlums at suburb of Damaturu the state capital but JTF could not be reached because of the absence of GSM services.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam also revealed that boarding schools in the state will be fenced as the Joint Task force will provide the needed security across all schools in the state.

Yesterday’s attack has brought the number of schools attacked by the insurgents to two.

The three states under state of emergency have been without the services of the GSM networks all with the aim of curtailing the grouping and regrouping of the insurgents.

Meanwhile, the Yobe state governor Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam has directed that all secondary schools in the state be closed down from Monday 8th July until a new academic session begins in September.

A statement signed by the Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Information Abdullahi Bego shortly after returning from Mamudo says “the measure is to allow government in collaboration with the Military Task Force and community leaders to evaluate and evoke better and additional strategies that would ensure the safety of and security of students and their teachers”.

Cross River PDP Promises ‘No Rigging’ In Local Government Elections

The Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Cross River State, Ntufam John Okon, has assured that the party will play fair in the local government elections scheduled to hold in September.

Addressing journalists in Calabar, the state capital, Mr Okon assured that there would be no rigging in the party’s quest to ensure that their candidates emerge victorious in the election.

According to the chairman, high display of disciplinary standard from their members will be exhibited, as a committee to sanction any member who derails from the party’s objectives is already set up.

Mr Okon reiterated that the PDP is the only party that provides an umbrella for succor, protection and good governance, as this will be translated into works by campaigning fervently across the 18 Local Government Areas of the State for their candidates from now till September.

The party chairman pointed out that in pursuance of the September 23, 2013 dead line for local government election by Cross State Electoral Independent Commission (CROSEIC), the PDP in the state has successfully concluded primary election into the offices of 18 council chairman and 196 honorable members of council.

Arepo: Police arraign six for killing NNPC staff

Six men appeared on Thursday before Justice Idris at the Federal High Court on a seven-count charge which includes the killing of three NNPC staff and vandalizing oil pipeline.

The men pleaded not guilty to all charges while the prosecutor, assistant commissioner of police, Friday Ibadin asked the court to adjourn hearing on the case to allow the accused persons hire a lawyer to stand for them in court.

The presiding judge then adjourned the case till the 18th December 2012.

The six men being prosecuted for the killings of the NNPC staff were rounded up between October 6th and 7th from a gang of pipeline vandals in the Arepo community after the decomposed bodies of the NNPC staff were discovered by men of the Special Task Force on Anti-Pipeline Vandalism, led by Mr Ibadin after four week of searching on the waterways and creek around the scene of vandalism in Arepo, Ogun state.

The bodies had since been identified as those of the deputy manager in charge of Pipelines Right of Way (PROW) and two other engineers deployed to effect repairs on a vandalised pipeline in Arepo on September 5.

According to Mr Ibadin, officers using speedboats and helicopters to comb the creeks near Arepo dug up the bodies in two shallow graves across a river after a confessional statement from one of the arrested suspects.

Nigerians have attributed the scarcity of fuel experienced in Lagos and environs at about September to the Arepo vandalism.

Sony Xperia T gets “James Bond” hype

It can be said authentically now that Sony’s Xperia T mobile phone has gotten more prominence as it was mentioned as the ‘James Bond phone’. Although it does not come up as something suave and stylish, possibly throwing in some devilish weapon or a nifty tool to open impenetrable doors too but it comes with its own exclusive content via the O2 network.

Sadly it doesn’t come with a special handset design. Would it have been that difficult to stick a Bond logo on the back? Obviously it was which a shame is.

Instead, you’ll get a handset that is preloaded with Skyfall content, including the 007 ringtone, themes and screensavers, plus Skyfall images geo-tagged to the film’s locations. It also has exclusive James Bond packaging, which is nice, but it’s not something you can show off when you are out and about. As a final sweetener, a copy of the 007 Legends game is thrown in for free.

The phone itself remains unchanged technically, which means a set of features headed up by a 4.6-inch screen powered by the Mobile BRAVIA engine, a 13-megapixel camera with ‘Sleep-to-snap’ feature to take a photo quickly plus 1080p video recording, along with NFC connectivity and a 1.5GHz dual-core processor.

 

O2 has the phone down for a September launch, which ties in with what we heard about a launch right at the end of the month. Contact O2 for details of its pricing, which is unlikely to differ much from the standard version.

 

 

Flamingoes coach warns against complacency

Flamingoes have been warned by their coach not to get all laid back as the team will be going into the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup tournament holding in Azerbaijan later in the month of September.

Flamingoes are in Group A with Azerbaijan, Colombia and Canada in a tournament that will start from September 22 to October 13.

The Flamingoes Coach, Peter Dedevbo charged the team especially his strikers to deliver against any team they meet that is do magic in front of goalpost by scoring goals.

Presently, the team is in Portugal where their training tour was scheduled as the team is straining themselves out with warm-up matches, cooking up several strategies plus rigorous training but the coach is still insisting that everything still boils down to the tournament proper which the tournament holding in Azerbaijan.

The coach charged the team to take every chance at goal by making it count that he is confidence that the team will deliver.

Aguero sure of early return against Stoke – Mancini

Argentine and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has given a major boost to his teammates and manager Roberto Mancini after he broke the news that he could be ready and fit for the clash between Manchester City and Stoke City, as City will be travelling to Stoke come September 15th.

The injury which the Argentine sustained in Sunday’s EPL match against Southampton which also ended 3-2 in favour of the Blues’ sprung initial fears amongst his teammates and management, thinking it will rule the striker out for the whole of the season.

But City boss Roberto Mancini confirmed after a scan had been done on him and with a period of assessment that Aguero could be back within a month.

According to Mancini, the whole squad has been worried over the injury but they are happy that he will be back after the international break which is obviously fantastic news for them all and the recent development came as a relief for everyone, Aguero inclusive.

There was also encouraging news about two of Mancini’s other injured stars. Gareth Barry and Micah Richards could also see first-team action sooner than expected.