According to this professor, Boko Haram should be at the National Conference. No, that was not a joke. Vanguard
Even as the federal government has to wait till March 18 to find out if it can prosecute three Boko Haram suspects in secret. National Mirror
More lives are lost in communal clashes, this time in Benue. Daily Trust
We hear the word cabal, again, from former Central Bank governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, again, about Nigeria’s treasury balances. Again. YNaija
It is prayer and fasting time for Borno, because of Boko Haram, courtesy of the Shehu of Borno. Thisday
Birnin Gwari local government, Kaduna is tired of the scourge of the ‘unknown gunmen’. So they took to the streets, of one of the nation’s busiest motorways to protest. Leadership
If you thought passing through Lagos’ airport terminal was a living hell, brace up for more heat and discomfort. National Mirror
In political promises awaiting manifestation, the North West flank of the Peoples Democratic Party has promised the President the total delivery of the zone come election time in 2015. Daily Independent
There is such a thing as a fake National Youth Service Corps camp. Unbelievable, but true. Punch
If you thought your tax bill wasn’t large enough, warm up. GSM phones, passenger flights and health products are about to go under the taxman’s knife. Thisday
Good news. Nigeria’s estimated 34 million household enterprises now employ about 49 million people. The math leads to 1.4 persons to every business. The bad news is that profit margins are low, and almost all of them are formed for the purpose of survival. Leadership
In more good news, the price of petrol is not moving upwards anytime soon. Now, can the queues please disappear? Daily Independent
This is how a fire in the sleepy town of Ughelli, tucked away in Delta will affect your already poor electricity situation. National Mirror
Yobe governor, Mukhtar Yero wants the whole political universe to forgive him. But for what exactly? Thisday
Manufacturers in Lagos have to step their game up. Their freedom depends on it, literally. Leadership
More suspensions around the country, this time in Adamawa where Governor Murtala Nyako suspends four government officials and reassigns another. Daily Independent
“Ordinarily, Kaduna would have been one of these states converted to Lake of fire but…” Vanguard
This paper has a theory as to how Lieutenant General Aliyu Gusau (rtd) emerged as defence minister. Daily Trust
It isn’t only political watchers that have been left scratching their head over the recent ministerial purges. Apparently, two Americans recently contracted by the sports ministry are mulling their fate because the Nigerian signatory to their contracts is recently sacked minister Bolaji Abdullahi. Thisday
And today’s magic number is N2.7 billion. That is the value of fake phones imported into Nigeria in 2013. National Mirror
[Photo: H/T Issaka Adams]
It was just three days ago when Osun’s Peoples Democratic Party chairman announced April 5 as the date for the party’s governorship primary. Now, the Working Committee of the party Monday announced the suspension of the state secretary of the party, Major Raphael Towobola (rtd).
A statement by the state publicity secretary of the party, Prince Bola Ajao stated that the decision was taken by the Ward, Local Government, Senatorial and State Executive committees of the party following a vote of no confidence passed on Towobola by his ward.
The party speaking through Ajao, and quoting Section 57 (3) of the constitution as amended, rationalised Towobola’s suspension on allegations of anti-party activities, adding that the suspension stands until the state disciplinary committee exonerates him from the allegation.
Party publicity director, Prince Diran Odeyemi added his meat to the controversy, saying that the suspended secretary reported to the state police command that one of the gubernatorial aspirants was threatening him, adding that the action is against the belief of the party in internal settlement of issues.
In his reaction, Major Towobola who neither confirmed nor refuted the allegation said he reported Senator Iyiola Omisore to the police, and that efforts are on to resolve his suspension saga.
Do we take that as confirmation that he is actually suspended? And how can the PDP possibly be this divided a few months to a major election?
[Photo: H/T Nigerian Eye]
The Independent National Electoral Commission Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, had an interactive session with media editors in Lagos on Monday. As always, he had a lot of things to share concerning all aspects of the electoral process. As your one stop shop for all things elections and especially with regard to 2015, here are our top takes from what was a lively and engaged discussion.
Beware all ye lawbreakers
Because according to Jega, INEC is a compiling a list of all of you politicians smashing the nation’s electoral creed. In his words, “When you say vote for me for this office in 2015, it is wrong because there is no platform. This can only happen when primaries have been conducted.’’
There was a somewhat important caveat. The INEC chief however said that parties were free to hold their rallies as long as they did not campaign for votes for the 2015 elections. He however, asked politicians to change their attitude and respect the rules of the game.
Of staff, honest dealing and registers
We are still haunted by the fresh memories of the chaos that occurred during the Delta by-election and the Anambra governorship votes. Thus, Jega had some professional (and personal) redeeming to do.
According to him, INEC has substantially “placed square pegs in square holes’’ to ensure improvement in future elections.
Also, there was this. “We have told our members of staff that anyone who does anything wrong will have himself or herself to blame,’’ a copious reference to the recent prosecution of erring electoral officials.
And then on the mother of all contentions, the register.
“We have cleaned the register. It now compares favourably with any electronic register anywhere in the world.’’
Okay. Even though the last time he said that, Anambra governor-elect Willie Obiano found his name in two registers – one in his hometown and in Lagos.
The number of polling booths in 2015 will be…
150, 000. That number is up from 120, 000 in 2011. Why?
“INEC decided to increase the units because some of them had as many as 3,000 voters, a situation that is not ideal. It should be an average size of 500 voters per unit.’’
“It cannot be held in one day.”
Really, it cannot.
“We cannot do the elections in a day. To try it will be inviting more challenges to the system.”
Explaining further, he said, ‘’We did elections for three days in 2011, starting with the presidential, then the National Assembly and governorship/Houses of Assembly. In 2015, we have reduced the number of election days to two, beginning with the presidential/National Assembly and followed by the governorship/Houses of Assembly.
“Doing the elections in one day will mean deploying five different ballot boxes and ballot papers. We will also have to give illiterates too five different ballot papers. The logistics will be too enormous.”
Here’s another teaser. The number of electoral offences in INEC’s docket awaiting trial is…
At least one million. This is why according to Jega, “we recommended the setting up of electoral offences tribunals in line with Justice (Muhammadu) Uwais’ recommendations.’’
A million electoral offences? Talk of deluxe size.
Still on that African Peoples Congress matter…
“After looking at the documents of the African Peoples Congress, it was duly informed on why it could not be registered. APC met all requirements for merger. INEC was guided by the law in whatever it did. Anybody who feels otherwise can go to court.”
And, will the Electoral Act be amended?
You can see Jega almost grinning when he said,
“INEC’s interactions with the National Assembly suggested that amendments to the Electoral Act might be done by July.”
[Photo H/T: ]
Federal Capital Territory minister, Senator Bala Mohammed is not a happy man, as a matter of fact, he’s livid.
Why? Well, for him, the heads of agencies and directors in the FCT administration cannot be trusted as they have consistently lied to him about the state of the capital city.
You rarely hear that from public officials so we had to listen up.
The Senate Committee on the FCT had last week blasted the minister over the “deplorable state of Abuja”, saying the city had deteriorated to its old state under him.
Addressing journalists after an inspection tour of the city, during which he witnessed first hand shocking levels of environmental degradation in the city, including commercial motorcyclists popularly known as okada operating unhindered in the Area One and Garki districts (they were banned from the inner city under Nasir el-Rufai’s administration in 2004), the minister accused the directors and heads of agencies of feeding him lies about the state of affairs in the city in their reports.
“I have seen that all the information the directors have been giving me in the files are lies. They told me the city is clean but it is not true. We have gone round with you. They told me there are no street traders, but there are street traders everywhere. They told me there are no beggars but we saw them everywhere today. They told me there were no okada riders but in fact, the okadas are more than the vehicles. Definitely, you can see that what they told me is not true.”
Adding rather philosophically, he said, “It is good to go for inspection and supervision, not just sitting in the office but making sure that you go out and do on the spot assessment and find out things for yourself.”
He said that in December 2013, he had read a riot act to the heads of agencies to sit up or be shown the way out, the minister again warned that anyone not willing to work should either resign or potentially face the sack.
“Anybody who feels he cannot capture our vision and passion should humbly resign. My patience and that of my Minister of State is exhausted. They are under strict notice and anyone who does not comply and work hard will be shown the way out,” he added.
[Photo: H/T naijahottestgist.com]
Like you may already know, here at YNaija2015, sports is not our fare. Not that we don’t catch the late game, we just don’t do stories about our athletes and what they are up to.
Until it has the potential to get political. So here it goes.
It is that time of the year when the nation considers its spending priorities for the year and apparently, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is not happy with its allocated share of the national pie. It has insisted that the N1.2 billion proposed by government for the Super Eagles’ (that would be Nigeria’s national football team) participation in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil would not take the team beyond the Round of 16 (that would be the second round of the tournament).
Did we hear you say “What?”
NFF general secretary Musa Amadu, dropped this mini-bombshell Monday, during the NFF’s budget defense before the House of Representatives Committee on Sports.
He said the federation needs at least N2 billion to ensure a smooth outing at the global fiesta. This is how he put it.
“We expect that N1.2 billion will come from government, while the football house will source the balance of the money to ensure a smooth outing for the Super Eagles at Brazil 2014. The N1,254,164,329 proposed by the federal government won’t take the team beyond the Round of 16. We need N2,084,053,765 because this money will cover training camp costs in Houston, Texas, as well as bonuses and allowances for the team, he said.
Committee chairman, Hon. Godfrey Ali Gaiya, while assuring the federation of a smooth outing, implored them to take the available money and await government’s support should the team go beyond the Round of 16. Here he is making his own case.
“Federal government has proposed what it had, that does not mean it won’t increase it should the team do well in Brazil. Government wants the money used judiciously.”
We almost want to laugh. It sounds a bit like financial negotiation (actually, it is). At least, we’ve proven to you that we know our football as well.
[Photo: H/T YNaija]
The Bayelsa government, Monday, disowned a lawyer, who claimed to have been mandated by the state to file a suit challenging the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, for not remitting certain sums of money it recovered from former governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
We didn’t make this stuff up.
George Uboh, cited as Chief Executive Officer of Panic Alert Security System, is reported to have asked the Federal High Court, Abuja to compel the anti graft agency to remit N1.4 billion and $1.3 million respectively to the state, being amounts it recovered from Alamieyeseigha in 2005.
In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Daniel Iworiso Markson, the state government said it did not mandate the said lawyer to file the suit and asked EFCC and the public to ignore the matter.
The statement said in part:
“The attention of Bayelsa State Government has been drawn to a publication in some sections of the media entitled ‘Bayelsa asks EFCC to remit N1.4bn from Alamieyeseigha.’
“The said reports quoted one Mr. George Uboh, Chief Executive of Panic Alert Security System, reportedly acting on mandate of Bayelsa State Government, wrote to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to remit N1.4 billion and 1.3 million USD recovered from a former governor of the State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
“Bayelsa State Government denies the reports and states categorically clear that it did not mandate any individual or firm to act on its behalf to request or institute any suit against the EFCC.”
The lawyer had also asked the court to compel the EFCC to pay an interest at the rate of 21 percent on the sums to the government without further delay.
Uboh, who accused the EFCC of trading with the Bayelsa money by placing it in fixed deposits, said commission chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, who investigated Alamieyeseigha, should be forced out of office as he was not qualified to continue in his capacity as chairman, having traded with looted Bayelsa funds.
Even before the state’s denial, the EFCC was already on the offensive. Commission spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren in a statement, threatened not to back down on its investigations in Bayelsa and its officials despite the filing of the suit, which it maintains is a ploy to deter it from doing its work.
All sounds a bit comical doesn’t it?
[Photo: H/T DailyPost]
Borno has been under the grip of a state of emergency (as well as bombs, killings, kidnappings and school invasions) since May 2013. So what is life really like in the state?
Well, the Borno Elders on Monday spoke in graphic detail at how life in Borno and the entire north east has been reduced “to hell” by the activities of Boko Haram insurgents.
Addressing a gathering of the Northern Elders Forum in Kano, Zanna Hassan Boguma who delivered a goodwill message on behalf of the Borno Elders Forum, was emphatic – the entire region is now engaged in all out war with an enemy who dwells within.
According to Boguma, “we have been seeing hell, our people are constantly decimated, our towns and villages razed, properties destroyed, schools and places of worship burnt, even innocent travelers were not spared” .
The elder statesman said that the near incessant attacks which the region has witnessed in the last few weeks were only a confirmation of how fragile and fractitious the entire region is.
For him, the North-East has become a war zone with an escalating humanitarian crisis, and he added that the time had come for the whole country to be mobilized to stop the almost unending carnage.
Boguma was quick to add that, “much as we know, the whole matter has nothing to do with the claimed intention of a section imposing their will on the others, or issues of sharia or making the country ungovernable for the President or a religious war as they want to look at it”.
He however did not spare the Federal Government for criticism, accusing it of lacking the political will to address the crisis, pointing out that Borno Elders were surprised at the “graveyard” silence of Abuja and its inability to implement several reports on the insurgency turned in by government hired experts.
The Borno Elders said the solution to the crisis did not lie with the PDP or APC, as the insurgency and its consequences transcend politics.
“This catastrophe which has befallen us should be the concern of all Northerners irrespective of tribe, region, or creed. Those of you who are residing far away should know that other citizens need your sympathy and attention.
“Until those who were name as supporters, financiers, and allies to the Boko Haram are brought to justice, until the political Boko Haram are apprehended and prosecuted, until the operations to contain this madness is sincerely handled, the lives of our innocent villagers will continued to be sacrificed”.
[READ: Boko Haram in 2014: A trail of blood and destruction]
[READ: Enough is enough already: NLC, AU, NSGF want decisive action on Boko Haram]
[Photo: H/T YNaija]
The Ekiti Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship Screening Committee, Monday, cleared 13 governorship aspirants for its March 15 primaries.
During the screening exercise, the committee disqualified three governorship aspirants.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Victor Ndoma Egba, who presented the committee’s report to Deputy National Chairman, Mr. Uche Secondus, said the template used for the screening of the 16 governorship aspirants included, evidence of party membership, payment of tax clearance and participation in party activities.
He said a 17th person was not screened because the committee did not have his data as he did not meet the deadline for the submission of completed governorship forms.
Listening to Mr Ndoma-Egba just highlighted the sort of basic stuff that ensured some political ambitions never see the light of day. He said those disqualified failed to provide such documentation as evidence of their basic school certificates, payment of their taxes as at when due and expulsion from the party due to anti-party activities.
Those disqualified include Senator Bode Olowoporoku, Bosede Cecilia Dada and Peter Obafemi, Olowoporoku being disqualified because he was expelled from the party.
However, Olowoporoku insists there is a court order reversing his expulsion.
Committee chairman Ndoma Egba also said Olowoporoku could not provide evidence of his tax clearance, while stating that the committee was unable to peruse the court order because it came late, but said: “We have asked him to take his case to the appeal committee”.
Mrs. Dada was disqualified because of her inability to provide evidence of membership dues, school certificate and tax clearance.
On the reason why Obafemi was disqualified, Ndoma-Egba said he was disqualified because he could not provide evidence of his National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) discharge certificate.
The governorship aspirants cleared to contest the March 15 primaries are, Oluwadare Bejide, former Police Affairs minister, Capt. Olubolade Caleb (Rtd.), Adedayo Adeyeye, Ayodele Fayose, Adeyanju Bodunde Sunday, Erelu M. Ogundipe, Jacob Abiodun Aluko, Adewale Aribisala, Oladeji Omoyeni, Ajayi Ayodeji Eldad, Gbenga Aluko, Olurope Ogunbolude and Omolara Adubiaro.
The party’s appeal committee, headed by Senator Mohammed Magoro, is expected to hear the appeals of the disqualified members Tuesday at the party secretariat.
[READ: INEC WATCH: All the dates around Ekiti elections you need to know]
[Photo: H/T Nigerian Eye]
If Bayelsa’s police are to be believed, then the claim that the abducted 70-year-old Chief Inengite Nitabai, cousin to President Goodluck Jonathan, has been killed in the kidnappers’ den is untrue.
Why the police has had to go on a PR blitz of sorts is that news of the septuagenarian’s death has made the rounds in Yenagoa, the state capital, on Sunday.
According to police authorities, the rumour is a mischievous attempt to throw off track its investigation into the kidnap and the arrest of those involved.
A police source, however, told the Vanguard that law enforcement officials arrested a 57 year old man said to be the father of the leader of the kidnappers’ gang and five others, over the abduction of the former university lecturer, in Odioma community, in Brass local government Area.
The septuagenarian was abducted penultimate Sunday at his Otuoke country home by about ten gunmen, who later established contact with his family demanding a N500 million ransom fee.
It is understood that the family has agreed to pay N30 million, a sum reportedly rejected by the kidnappers.
Another security source says that a crack team of the Anti-Kidnapping Squad of the state police command is close to wrapping up the investigation and securing the release of the septuagenarian.
The security source also confirmed the arrest of an Odioma over being involved in the abduction.
[Photo: H/T Sahara Reporters]
On January 22, President Goodluck Jonathan forwarded a list of 12 ministerial nominees to the Senate for screening, consideration and possible appointment. On February 12, he sacked four more serving ministers (including the much vilified Aviation minister, Stella Oduah, bringing the total of sackings under Jonathan rule to 13).
Now, there are fresh suggestions that he may yet send a fresh list of ministerial nominees to the Senate.
According to the Punch:
Those being touted as possible nominees include, a former Governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, his counterpart in Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, and Senator Gbemi Saraki from Kwara State.
Investigations by our correspondent revealed that the Presidency, in its bid to boost home support for the Peoples Democratic Party in some states, took the decision to pick the politicians as ministers.
It was further learnt that the Senate deferred the screening of Hajia Jamila Salik from Kano State last month following a directive from the Presidency that the woman had been dropped to pave the way for Kwakwanso.
The Presidency was also said to be considering the nomination of Bafarawa to check the growing popularity of the All Progressives Congress in the state and the rumoured ambition of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, to contest the governorship election in 2015.
In the same vein, our correspondent gathered that Saraki, the daughter of the late strongman of Kwara politics, Senator Olusola Saraki, would be a comfortable bridge-builder and accessible rallying point to deliver the state from the APC being led by her elder brother, Bukola.
[READ: Lobbying season: Who replaces the nine ousted ministers?]
[Photo: H/T Ilorin.info]
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