The YNaija Ticker
The YNaija Ticker
The YNaija Ticker
Nigeria has been listed among 48 countries that would experience water shortage by the year 2025, Country Representative, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Dr. Louise Setsltwaelo, has stated.
Also, Water Aid Country Representative in Nigeria, Mr. Michael Ojo, has said the country might not meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on water and sanitation until 2023. The target year for the MDGs is 2015.
Setsltwaelo, at the “World Water Day” celebration held on Thursday in Abuja, said: “As the population increases, demand for food and hence for water is also growing, and will continue to do so as the world struggles to produce more food to feed the seven billion people now and nine billion people by 2050. This is expected to create serious pressure on available water resource”.
She stated that securing sufficient food supplies to feed the populations would demand more efficient management of water, stressing the need for government at all levels to prioritise adequate provision of potable water for the citizenry.
United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon in an address read by Setsltwaelo, said: “Guaranteeing sustainable food and water security for all will require the full engagement of all sectors and actors. It will entail transferring appropriate water technologies, empowering small food producers and conserving essential ecosystem.”
Ojo lamented that Nigeria loses 1.8 per cent of its Gross Domestic Products yearly to lack of potable water, urging the government to take the lead in water provision campaign and sanitation for all by 2015.
In her address, Minister of Water Resource, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, said the role of water in poverty reduction, social infrastructure, health, environment and other aspects of human development and welfare cannot be over-emphasised.
- The Guardian
Arik Air, has announced plans to suspend its Abuja-London flight services over what it described as unresolved issues about slot allocations at London Heathrow Airport.
The withdrawal of the airline from the lucrative route may ignite a repeat of last year’s face-off over allegations that the British authority ‘elbowed’ the Nigerian carrier out of the route, an allegation British Airports Authority (BAA), managers of UK Airport, has vehemently denied.
The face-off, which led to a row between Abuja and London, was quickly settled. To settle the matter, both governments agreed to raise Arik’s frequencies to 14 from 12. The British authority also reduced the price of slot for Arik on prevailing market price.
These concessions brought to an end the brewing diplomatic crisis between the nations. The latest threat by Arik to suspend its operations to London from Abuja could again lead to another round of crisis in the travel industry.
However, the airline on Thursday stated that it was strengthening its daily service between Lagos and London Heathrow Terminal 4.
Arik’s Vice President and Managing Director, Chris Ndulue, said “effective March 25, 2012, Arik Air is suspending further flights from Abuja to London Heathrow, but its daily service from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, will not be affected by this suspension. The slot issue, which is forcing Arik Air to suspend the Abuja-London Heathrow service, does not affect the Lagos-London Heathrow service.
“Arik Air has, therefore, put measures in place to ensure that its daily service between Lagos and London Heathrow takes care of guests who are likely to be affected by the suspension of Abuja-London Heathrow flights”, he added.
He disclosed that the issue of Yellow Card which he said led to the disruption of Arik Air services to Johannesburg early this month had been resolved, adding that the airline now operates its daily Lagos-Johannesburg flight unimpeded.
- The Guardian
overnor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has placed a total ban on commercial motorcycle (okada) operation in Ikeja area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
As a result of the ban, okada riders in Ikeja have sued the Lagos State Government for banning them from carrying out their legal trade at the Federal High Court, Ikeja, while the matter came up at the court on Wednesday.
As a result of the ban, okada operation in Ikeja has been paralysed, except for the few brave ones who dared to move as police are everywhere on the order of the Commissioner of Police to arrest any rider found operating in major roads in Ikeja.
Hundreds of motorcycles have been impounded by the police.
A statement issued by the Office of the Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos Police Command and signed by the head, Joseph Jaiyeoba, said the state government and the police took the decision to ban okada because of the high rate of robbery involving the use of okadas.
According to the statement issued the okada unions in Ikeja, the police stated that “due to increasing rate of criminality through the use of motorcycles, popularly known as okada, the Lagos State Government in collaboration with the Lagos State Police Command have decided to put a total ban on okada within Ikeja axis.”
The statement said no okada rider must be found in areas such as Oba Akran, Bank Anthony Way, Isaac John, Opebi Link Bridge, Adekunle Fajuyi Way, Acme Road, Alausa, Oregun, Simbiat Abiola Way and Kodeso Road with immediate effect.
Following the ban, okada operation has been restricted to inner and remote streets in Ikeja.
The police in Ikeja are aggressively enforcing the ban as several of them could be seen on almost every major road arresting okada riders.
Disenchanted by the ban, one of the two okada unions in Ikeja, the All Auto-bike Commercial Owners and Workers Association, ANACOWA took the Lagos State Government to court yesterday, praying the court to restrain the government from harassing them while carrying out their businesses.
Counsel to the okada riders, Bamidele Aturu told P.M.NEWS that the okada riders were suing the state government for infringing on their fundamental human rights, saying that government had no law governing the operation of okada riders, thus, it had no power to restrict them from carrying out their businesses.
He said the okada riders were praying the court to stop the government from banning them from doing their legal businesses.
The Ikeja Branch Chairman, Motorcycle Association of Lagos State, MOALS of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Joseph Amadi, said the ban on okada might heighten insecurity in the state.
He stated that with the level of unemployment in the country, banning okada riders meant taking food from the mouth of their families and numerous dependants, while appealing to the government to rescind its decision.
“It is not the commercial motorcycle riders that are using them for robbing. Robbers just capitalise on it to escape fast after carrying out operation. The way the police are intensifying arrest of okada riders since the ban, if they have intensified efforts like this in curbing crime, they would have stopped this menace for long.
“Banning okada will have security implication. Police collect between N5,000 and N15,000 from us to get our bike released. Is government encouraging corruption? If government wants to ensure sanctity, they should allow only one okada union to operate in Ikeja,” he said.
- PM News
Earlier this month, Upper East Side mom Anna Gristina was arrested and charged with running a high end brothel catering to “powerful men.” So who were those powerful men? The first big name has leaked, and it is… utterly unsurprising.
John Edwards, the guy who cheated on his wife when she had terminal cancer, was a client of the brothel, according to a report from DNA Info’s Murray Weiss. Weiss’s sources say that Edwards met up with the hooker in 2007 during his presidential campaign, on a trip to NYC. Furthermore, he says, the police have known for years:
The one-night fling allegedly took place at an Upper East Side hotel suite and was arranged by an aide with help from a New Yorker familiar with Gristina’s prostitution ring, sources said
The prostitute claiming to have slept with Edwards provided a detailed, first-hand account of their encounter to investigators in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in 2008 after they began probing Gristina’s operation, sources said… Investigators found the woman credible, but never notified federal authorities, seeing no reason to involve the feds in a low-level local infraction, sources told DNAinfo.
They could have at least notified the media. Anyhow, it’s somewhat disappointing that it was the first guy you would imagine, allegedly, but Weiss says that there are more high-powered names on the client list yet to come out, so this should be fun.
I guess the lesson is, prostitution should be legal, and don’t vote for John Edwards, ever again.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday told an Abuja High Court that a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai and two of his officials unilaterally revoked some juicy plots of land and allocated same to themselves, their relatives and their companies.
Sunday Idowu, a former operative of the EFCC made the disclosure while being led in evidence by the commission’s lawyer, Adebayo Adelodun, in continuation of trial of the former minister who is facing an eight-count of abuse of office.
The two other accused persons are the Director General, Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS), Atine Jubrin and former General Manager, AGIS Ismail Iro.
Mr Idowu, an Inspector of Police gave detailed steps taken by his investigative team in unravelling facts behind the accusations against the accused persons.
“We interacted with interested parties notably Abuja Geographical Information Services (AGIS), Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) among others who gave us insight into what actually happened,” the police officer said.
He said that his team identified an official memo written by a senior official of FCDA advising against the irregular conversion of the plots.
“At AGIS, investigation revealed that plots 1201 and 3352 which were originally allocated to PHCN and NIPOST were revoked and then re-allocated to 9 private individuals including two wives of the former minister, daughter of former President Obasanjo, Iyabo Obasanjo–Bello, a serving senator, Philip Aduda and the 2nd and 3rd accused persons,” Mr Idowu said.
The witness further told the court that his team discovered from the Corporate Affairs Commission that Misters El-Rufai, and Iro are directors in the three companies which benefited from the re-allocation, namely: System Property Development Company, SPDC, Express Procurement Ltd and Pure Environment Services.
“In the course of investigation, it was discovered that one of the irregularly converted plots, allocated to one of the wives of the 1st accused person ,with new plot number 337 was also used by him as one of the properties declared as his own in his Asset Declaration Form with the Code of Conduct Bureau,” the police investigator said.
A former Executive Secretary with the FCDA, Sani Alhassan, told the court that after a meeting with the management of PHCN it was discovered that the earlier revocation was no more necessary. He said a memo was written to the former minister advising him to revert to status quo.
The case was adjourned to 25 April for further hearing.
Mr El-Rufai and his co-accused persons were first arraigned on an amended eight-count on Thursday 7 April 2011. Their arraignment followed a petition to EFCC, detailing allegations of abuse of office against the former minister on how he misappropriated government land which he allocated to his friends and family members, in flagrant breach of the Abuja Master plan.
- Channels TV
A group of junior officers in the West African state of Mali, upset over the conduct of a sporadic guerrilla war in the country’s north, has seized control of the country’s national television station and its presidential palace in an apparent coup attempt.
In an early morning broadcast on Thursday, a spokesman for the group said Mali’s institutions had been “dissolved” and its Constitution suspended. The spokesman, a previously unknown officer identified in news reports as Lt. Amadou Konare, denounced what he called the “incompetence” of the country’s government. Sporadic gunfire rang out in the capital, Bamako, and several ministers were reported to have been arrested.
Mali has not had a coup since 1991 and its government is considered one of the more democratic in a region marked by instability and military takeovers. The coup attempt was all the more unexpected because presidential elections are scheduled for next month and President Amadou Toumani Touré, a former general, long ago announced he would respect the country’s Constitution and not seek another term.
The country has been considered one of the least likely candidates for a coup attempt in all of West Africa. But discontent over Mali’s so-far unsuccessful attempts to stifle a rebellion among nomadic tribesmen in the vast desert north has been brewing for months in the junior ranks of the country’s armed forces.
The tribesmen, Tuareg armed with weapons from the former armories of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya, have scored surprising victories against the Malian army, taking several of the small towns near the Algerian border, killing soldiers, and forcing the evacuation of garrisons in their campaign for independence.
Previous uprisings among the Tuareg, drawn from a nomadic group of some 1.5 million people spread across countries of the Sahel region, have been put down. But as this one has dragged on, the protests have multiplied, with officers complaining of a lack of proper weaponry and effective leadership in curbing the rebellion. In recent months there have been marches in the capital, bonfires and barricades.
Wednesday morning, as the country’s defense minister attempted to calm soldiers at a barracks outside Bamako, shots rang out, the minister was shouted down and the coup attempt was launched.
Later, soldiers seized the national broadcaster, and gunfire exchanges followed between mutinous officers and President Touré’s guards.
Early Thursday morning the spokesman for the soldiers announced on state television that a new group, the National Council for the Recovery of Democracy and the Restoration of the State, the CNRDR, had seized power. The president’s whereabouts were not immediately known.
The spokesman insisted that the group was not “in any way aiming at a seizure of power,” and promised a “restoration of democratic order.” He denounced the “incapacity of this regime to manage the crisis” in the country’s north, and its “inefficiency in fighting the terrorists.” The officers, he said, had “decided to take our responsibilities in place of an incompetent regime.”
Lieutenant Konare was quoted in news reports as saying the government had not provided troops with adequate means “to defend the nation” against the northern rebels. He promised that civilian rule would be restored at some stage, news reports said, but added that in the meantime the Constitution would be suspended. The leader of the mutinous troops, identified on state television as Capt. Amadou Sanogo, appeared briefly to announce that a curfew was in force.
Whether power in the country has been definitively seized remained an open question. It was not clear how much beyond the presidential palace and the television the officers’ writ extended, or whether they commanded much support elsewhere in the Malian army.
A leading French specialist on Mali, Pierre Boilley of the Sorbonne, told Radio France Internationale Thursday morning: “It’s not entirely clear that power has been taken.”
The French government, meanwhile, called for elections “as soon as possible” in its former colony. Foreign Minister Alain Juppé told Europe 1 radio that France condemns the mutineers’ actions and “demands the re-establishment of constitutional order, and elections, which were scheduled for April, must take place as soon as possible.”
In a later statement, the French foreign ministry said it was suspending cooperation with Mali except for food aid and joint arrangements to combat terrorism. The statement also urged the plotters not to harm President Touré, who had promised to step down in advance of elections set for April 29.
The Malian leader is a former soldier who overthrew the then president-for-life, Moussa Traore, in 1991 before handing power back to civilians. He came to office in elections in 2002 and was returned to office in 2007.
Earlier the United States had also criticized the takeover. “The situation is currently unclear and unfolding quickly,” a State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, said on Wednesday, urging American citizens to stay indoors. “We believe that grievances should be addressed through dialogue, not through violence,” she said.
Apart from the rebellion in the north, Mali has acknowledged in the past that several hundred fighters from Al Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb have found sanctuary in its desert reaches, although most are believed to be Mauritanians and Algerians.
In recent years, the Qaeda affiliate has left a trail of violence across Mauritania, Niger, Algeria and Mali, taking aim at tourists, expatriate workers, local residents and security forces. Hostages taken in the porous border regions have been executed or ransomed.
- New York Times
A serving Senator, Philip Aduda and a former one, Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, who served in the last Senate, were yesterday indicted by a witness at the resumed hearing of the corruption case against erstwhile Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai. The former minister and two others are being prosecuted on an amended eight count charge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
A former operative of the EFCC, Sunday Idowu, who was led in evidence by counsel to the Commission, Adebayo Adelodun (SAN), told a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, that El- Rufai and two of his officials, Atine Jubrin, former Director-General, Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) and Ismail Iro, former General- Manager of AGIS, unilaterally revoked some juicy plots of land and allocated same to themselves, their relatives and their companies.
Idowu, in his testimony, mentioned nine private individuals including two wives of the former minister, daughter of former President Obasanjo, Aduda and the 2nd and 3rd accused persons, whom he said, the parcels of land were re-allocated to. A statement from EFCC’s spokesman, Wilson Uwajaren, said that Idowu gave detailed steps taken by his investigative team in unravelling facts behind the accusations against the accused persons.
However, in another statement, Olumuyiwa Adekeye, Media Advisor to El Rufai, noted that a prosecution witness told the court in the trial of El-Rufai and two other former FCT officials that the PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria) gave up most of the Asokoro plot that was later reallocated. The statement also noted that Prosecution Witness1 (PW1) Mohammed Sani Alhassan told an Abuja High Court that the PHCN confirmed to the FCT authorities that it no longer needed a corridor for a 330kva line.
It continued: “Under cross-examination by Chief Akin Olujimi, counsel to El Rufai, Alhassan, former Executive Secretary of the FCDA confirmed that he wrote Exhibits 5A and 5B dated 27 February 2006 and 28 May 2006, respectively, to advise the Minister on the PHCN matter. Alhassan, who is the first Prosecution Witness (PW1), read Exhibit 5A wherein he wrote that the PHCN had confirmed that it no longer required a 330kva corridor at the site. Alhassan said that based on this, he requested the Minister to direct the AGIS to reverse the earlier decision to revoke affected plots and to restore the previous allocations to individuals.”
- The Guardian
The 17th convocation and 30th Anniversary ceremonies of the Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti (Formerly known as University of Ado-Ekiti) Holds on Friday, 23rd March, 2012.
The convocation ceremony will involve the students who graduated from the University in 2006/2007, 2007/2008, 2008/2009, 2009/2010 academic sessions in all programmes.
- Collins Eboru
National Assembly plenary adjourns until next week in order to allow preparations for the People’s Democractic Party national convention.
The congress is holding this weekend.
- Hauwa Gambo
Ondo State Oil-Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) Chairman Debo Ajimuda, was yesterday arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Akure, the capital.
Ajimuda, who was said to have been on the watch list of the anti-graft body for two weeks, was picked up in a bush by the about 20 operatives near his palatial home at the highbrow Alagbaka quarters of the metropolis at noon yesterday. He was reported wearing only a white singlet and underpants.
When the news of the arrival of the operatives filtered into town, a group of journalists positioned themselves in front of Ajimuda’s house and were privileged to witness the arrest but were prevented by the policemen that accompanied the officials from recording the scene on camera. The camera of a reporter who attempted to snap some shots was seized by the policemen.
The operatives had laid a six-hour siege at the residence located behind the Sunview Hotel where they were told by Ajimuda’s wife that their target was not at home. But the anti-graft agents were said to have been convinced that the man was hiding somewhere when they saw his glasses and phones on a table in his study.
Armed with a search warrant said to have been obtained from a court, the operatives searched the building for documents and had to break the door of Ajimuda’s private study when the wife allegedly refused to hand over the keys.
A mild drama also ensued at the Oba-Ile Office of OSOPADEC where the EFCC had also gone in search of the Chairman when some officials of the commission rounded up the operatives and called the police, alleging that some kidnappers had invaded their office.
- The Guardian