Buhari Condoles With Ghana Over Fire, Flood Tragedies

GhanaPresident Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the government and people of Ghana over the dual tragedy of flooding and fire outbreak which claimed scores of lives in that country.

In a condolence message on Friday, June 5, 2015, signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President said that Nigeria will stand by Ghana in its moment of grief and loss.

“In this moment of grief and loss, the government and people of Nigeria stand with the government and people of Ghana,” he said.

According to President Buhari, the twin tragedies of flooding and fire outbreak that led to loss of several lives are painful and regrettable.

The President, however, noted that the flooding incident undoubtedly reminds leaders and governments in the West African sub-region of their responsibilities to the problem of global warming, among others.

He prayed that the souls of the deceased rest in eternal bliss and that their families and friends find fortitude to bear the losses.

Scores of people were reported to have died in Ghana where a fire broke out at a petrol station in the capital, Accra.

Officials said that the fire started as people sought shelter in the station from the two days of torrential rainfall in the city that has left many homeless and without power.

The initial casualty figure was 90 but the death toll from the fire has since risen to 96 as the search for bodies continued.

NDLEA Arrests 24 Suspected Drug Pedlars In Anambra

ndleaThe Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Anambra State has arrested 24 suspected drug peddlers in Onitsha.

According to the State Commander of the NDLEA, Mr Sule Momodu, the “Operation Nkpochapu” launched to tackle the menace has been yielding tremendous results, both in urban and rural areas of the state, as a result of facilitated efforts by community and the assistance of the state government.

Some of the suspects expressed regret for their involvement in the illegal business, as 60-year old Raphael Chuya said he took to the trade when he could not pay his hospital bills.

For the State Governor, Willie Obiano, the same vigour used in dealing with the issue of kidnapping will come to play in going after drug kingpins in Anambra.

Governor Obiano also said that the arrest was a good development as the activities of drug dealers pose a great danger to the well-being of the people of Anambra, particularly the youth.

Obiano, therefore appealed to community members to continue feeding the relevant bodies with useful information that will lead to more arrests of bad elements in the society.

 

Eight Malala Failed Assassination Suspects ‘Secretly Acquitted’

malalaReports from Pakistan indicate that eight of the 10 men reportedly jailed for the attempted assassination of Pakistani schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai, were set free.

In April, officials in Pakistan said that 10 Taliban fighters had been found guilty and received 25-year sentences.

The BBC reports that only two of the men who stood trial were convicted.

The secrecy surrounding the trial, which was held behind closed doors, raised suspicions over its validity.

A spokesman for the Pakistani High Commission in London, Muneer Ahmed, says the eight men were acquitted because of a lack of evidence.

Meanwhile, Saleem Marwat, the district Police Chief in Swat, Pakistan separately confirmed that only two men had been convicted.

Mr Ahmed claimed that the original court judgement made it clear that only two men had been convicted, blaming the confusion on misreporting.

Kwara Health Insurance Programme Records 100,000 Enrollee

KwaraThe Community Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS) programme of the Kwara State Government where beneficiaries are expected to pay an annual sum of 500 naira, has received a boost with the enrollment of 100,000 people.

The programme, which started seven years ago in Shonga, Edu Local Government, is targeted to reach 500,000 patients in the next two years and the beneficiaries are already singing praises of the government.

The CHIS was initiated by the former Governor of the state, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who partnered with foreign organisations for its execution.

With the payment of 500 naira per annum, the beneficiaries will get treatment for any ailment, including operations, if necessary.

Reports say that barely three years after its commencement, the programme spread to Afon in Asa Local Government, and the government of Abdulfatah Ahmed has gone further to spread the nearly free health programme to other two local governments.

While calling on other state governments to emulate its noble idea, the government believes the programme would record the success of 500,000 enrollee in the next two years.

Partners of the CHIS programme have also continued to laud the Kwara State Government for the initiative.

Workers’ Strike May End This Week – Ajimobi

ajimobiThe Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has indicated that an ongoing dialogue between the government and Labour may not extend beyond this week as a mutually acceptable solution has been found to address the issues at stake.

In a chat with Channels Television in his office, Governor Ajimobi expressed optimism that the dialogue has generated a lot of goodwill and understanding between the government and representatives of Labour Union.

Admitting that resuming his second term without a workforce has put a strain on smooth running of government, Ajimobi added that options had been provided by government for Labour to find a way of ameliorating the ongoing glitch in the systemic run of governance caused by the strike.

Some of the aides of the Governor also confirmed that the strike has paralysed the engine room of government but hope for quick resolution.

In some schools visited, teachers were seen but no learning was taking place.

Some members of the public have also appealed to both the government and Labour to find an amicable solution as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, discussions continue between the Oyo State Government and Labour on ways of achieving a lasting solution, especially with Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) templates to boost government’s income.

Fire Kills More Than 90 In Accra, Ghana

fireOver 90 people have died in Ghana where a fire broke out at a petrol station in the capital, Accra.

Officials said that the fire started as people sought shelter in the station from the two days of torrential rainfall in the city that has left many homeless and without power.

There are fears that the death toll from the fire could rise as the search for bodies continues.

President John Mahama has visited the burnt-out petrol station and has appealed for calm as authorities try to cope with the aftermath of the fire and heavy rain.

Reports says there are chaotic scenes in the city with cars being carried away by the water and many roads blocked off.

A victim told a local radio station that he had put his children on top of a wardrobe to save them from the water coming into his house.

Weather forecasters in the meantime have said that more rain is on its way.

El-Rufai Assures Judiciary Of Independence

el-rufaiThe Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has an assurance of his administration’s total support for the independence of the Judiciary and Rule of Law which he affirmed as a necessary requirement for the sustenance of democratic governance, peace and development of the state.

Addressing principal staff of the Ministry of Justice, led by the Chief Judge, Justice Tanimu Zailani, during his visit to the ministry on Thursday, Governor El-Rufai said that his administration will not interfere in the affairs of the judiciary as regards the dispensation of justice, funding and rule of law.

He expressed worry over the poor state of prisons across the state due to congestion of prisoners, and appealed to the Chief Judge to ensure the speedy trial of inmates especially those awaiting trial.

The Governor also said that he would liaise with the Chief Judge to review the cases of some of the inmates, particularly those on death row to see how he can grant some of them amnesty if the need arises.

On his part, the Kaduna State Chief Judge thanked the Governor for the unscheduled visit to the ministry, and also used the opportunity to highlight some of the challenges confronting the ministry which includes; lack of Judges for the three arms of the state judiciary, High Court, Sharia Court of Appeal and Customary Court of Appeal.

He asked for an assessment of the need for the appointment of Sharia and Customary Court judges.

The Governor, while describing the judiciary as a very important arm of government, assured them of his readiness to work closely with the ministry.

El-Rufai’s visit to the ministry excited the workers who came out in large numbers to welcome him. They said that it was the first time a Chief Executive of the state would be visiting the ministry since the inception of the state.

FIFA Crisis: Jack Warner To Reveal All Despite Fears

fifa former vice president, jack warnerFormer FIFA Vice President, Jack Warner, has said that he will reveal all he knows about corruption at the world football body.

Mr Warner, who said he feared for his life,  said he could also link FIFA officials to general elections in his native Trinidad and Tobago in 2010.

He is one of the 14 people charged by the US over corruption at FIFA.

Another top FIFA official and key witness, Chuck Blazer, had admitted accepting bribes.

BBC says, the admissions came in a newly released transcript of Mr Blazer’s guilty plea from 2013, as part of a wide-ranging US criminal case that has engulfed FIFA and led President, Sepp Blatter to resign.

The US Justice Department also alleged that 14 people charged worldwide accepted bribes and kickbacks estimated at more than $150m (£97m) over a 24-year period.

Four others had already been charged, including Mr Blazer.

Jack Warner who is 72, resigned from all football activity in 2011 amid bribery allegations and later stepped down as Trinidad and Tobago’s Security Minister due to a fraud inquiry.

The former Vice President said he had given lawyers’ documents outlining the links between FIFA, its funding, himself and the 2010 election in Trinidad and Tobago. He said the transactions also included Chief Sepp Blatter.

“I will no longer keep secrets for them who actively seek to destroy the country,” he said in a political broadcast entitled “The gloves are off”, on Wednesday evening.

He promised an “avalanche” of revelations to come out.

Mr Warner, who denied charges against him, and faced extradition to the US, was released on bail after handing himself to the Police in the Trinidad and Tobago capital, Port of Spain last week.

Wike Tasks Tanker Owners, Sanitation Agency On Movement

governor wike of rivers stateRivers State Governor, Nyesome Wike, has called on tanker owners and the Environmental Sanitation Agency in the state to conduct their operations responsibly.

Governor Wike made this call during a meeting with stakeholders at the Government House in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital.

This is as a result of indiscriminate parking of tankers along major roads and the sudden resurfacing of refuse dumps on the streets of Port Harcourt.

It is reported that the situation is currently causing serious traffic and is becoming a source of worry to residents.

In another meeting, the governor told depot operators and tanker owners that their activities pose a security risk to residents in the area.

Both groups however gave assurances that the tankers will relocate from the highways and the streets of the capital city will be made motorable.