Monday, 20 November 2017
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News & Stories (1602)

Prime minister Theresa May says there is ‘far too much tolerance of extremism’ in UK and suggests increased prison terms for terror offences

Theresa May has warned that there has been “far too much tolerance of extremism” in the UK and promised to step up the fight against Islamist terrorism following the London Bridge attack, saying “enough is enough”.

The prime minister struck a sombre and serious tone as she spoke outside No 10 on Sunday morning after chairing a meeting of the Cobra committee following the attack in the centre of the capital in which seven people were killed.

She said internet companies must not allow extremism a place to exist, but that there was also a need to tackle “safe spaces in the real world”, which would require “difficult” conversations.

May also suggested the idea of increased prison terms for terrorism offences, even relatively minor ones.

Islamist militancy was the thread that linked the otherwise unconnected attacks in London Bridge, Westminster and Manchester, she said.

“It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth,” she said. “Defeating this ideology is one of the great challenges of our time. But it cannot be defeated through military intervention alone.”

Attackers drove van into pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing people in Borough Market

She continued: “It is time to say enough is enough. Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values. But when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change.”

May said the recent spate of attacks showed the UK was “experiencing a new trend in the threat we face”.

She said: “As terrorism breeds terrorism and perpetrators are inspired to attack, not only on the basis of carefully constructed plots after years of planning and training, and not even as lone attackers radicalised online, but by copying one another and often using the crudest of means of attack.”

May said action was needed in the UK as well as overseas. She said: “While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is – to be frank – far too much tolerance of extremism in our country.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, said his party would resume campaigning on Sunday evening, and to delay any longer would obstruct democracy.

He told Sky News: “We won’t be campaigning nationally during today, but we’ll be resuming later on. I think it’s important to give a message that democracy must prevail. If we allow these attacks to disrupt our democratic process then we will all lose.”

Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, said: “The election must go ahead as planned. It is right that we suspend our national campaigning for a short while out of respect for those affected by these tragic events, but local campaigning can and must continue.”

Rudd said it was presumed the three attackers, all of whom were shot dead by police, were “radical Islamist terrorists”, and authorities needed “to find out more about where this radicalisation came from”.

The home secretary said there did not seem to be any link to the Manchester attack on 22 May. But she said she could not comment on whether any of the attackers were previously known to authorities.

“The operation is ongoing so we are finding out more about who these three are,” she said.

 -Theguardian
Posted On Sunday, 04 June 2017 14:43 Written by

Twelve people have been arrested after the London terror attack which left seven people dead and 48 injured.

The arrests in Barking, east London, followed a raid by police at a flat owned by one of the three attackers.

A white van hit pedestrians on London Bridge at about 22:00 BST on Saturday, then three men got out and stabbed people in nearby Borough Market. They were shot dead by police minutes later.

Condemning the attack, Theresa May said it was “time to say enough is enough”.

Controlled explosions were also carried out at the flat in Barking on Sunday morning.

It is the third terror attack in the UK in three months, following the car and knife attack in Westminster in March, which left five people dead, and the Manchester bombing less than two weeks ago, in which 22 people were killed.

Most political parties have suspended national general election campaigning, but the prime minister said full campaigning would resume on Monday and the general election would go ahead as planned on Thursday.

Eyewitnesses to the attack described seeing a van travelling at high speed along London Bridge, hitting pedestrians, before crashing close to the Barrowboy and Banker pub.

Three men then got out wearing fake bomb vests and began attacking people in the nearby market – an area known for its bars and restaurants, which were busy on a warm summer evening.

Four police officers who tried to stop the attack were among those injured, two of them seriously.

One of them was an off-duty officer and amateur rugby player who tackled one of the terrorists, suffering stab wounds.

Another, a British Transport Police officer who joined the force less than two years ago, took on the attackers armed with only his baton.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick praised their “extraordinary bravery”.

The three suspects were eventually shot dead within eight minutes of the first 999 call being received, BBC reports.

 
 
Posted On Sunday, 04 June 2017 14:39 Written by

The Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria on Saturday began the construction of its N250 million Lakeview Golf Course on the campus.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, which was held in the main campus in Samaru, the Chancellor of the institution, Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Ugochukwu-Achebe, said sports has become big business that could generate massive revenue for organizations such as the ABU.

While describing sports as a big factor for national cohesion, Ugochukwu-Achebe said: “Golf is the premier of all sports which can be played from childhood to the end of one’s life.

“Golf is inexpensive, it is a gentleman’s game which is played without personal contact and it is civilised and non damaging.

“The motivation in Golf, is that if you don’t do well today, you can come back tomorrow to improve on it,” he noted.

In his speech, the Pro-Chancellor, AVM Tukur Sa’ad (Rtd) described Golf as a challenging game that does not restrict based on age, race or status.

He encouraged both staff and students of the university to endeavour to register with the new golf club to broaden their horizon.

Sa’ad assured that by the time the project was accomplished, it would be one of the best in Nigeria.

The Emir of Dutse, Alhaji Muhammadu Nuhu-Sanusi, a veteran golfer, also observed that ABU was blessed to be one of the first universities in Nigeria to own a golf course.

“There are lots of opportunities for students to become professional golfers, I will pay personal attention to the actualisation of this golf course.”

Earlier, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, said lack of knowledge about the game has hindered its rapid acceptance by people.

He said the university was interested in promoting the game considering the fact that it was for the elderly, middle age and the young.

 
 
Posted On Saturday, 03 June 2017 15:30 Written by

A review of Kachi Ogbonna’s book, How They Started by Apeh Omede.

Entrepreneurship has become a major buzz word in Nigeria, and that is not for nothing. Most of us are aware that youth unemployment has gone beyond just an economic problem to also become a social problem. The issues of pipeline vandalism, terrorism, thuggery, electoral violence, kidnapping and sectional agitations are hugely due to the fact that these young ones (majority of them graduates) are not properly engaged.

Those clamoring for entrepreneurship have also come up with different approaches for tackling this, the most notable of them being skill acquisition. Kachi Ogbonna has, however, done something completely different.  As much as he believes in entrepreneurship and skill acquisition, in his new book, “How They Started,” he argues that the solution to unemployment in Nigeria must begin with a fundamental mind shift.

He believes that Nigerian youths are talented enough to tap into the numerous opportunities that exist in the country, but they must first of all believe that they can.  They must first accept that those opportunities are there because, according to him, no one can feature in a future that he cannot picture. The author is an entrepreneurship and youth empowerment consultant.  From his many years of mentoring young entrepreneurs and growing startups he discovered that the ‘entitlement mentality’ and the ‘blame game’ has become about the biggest hindrance to the realization of the full potential of Nigerian youths. He insists that everyone is ultimately responsible for his or her own success or failure.

The author argues that the solution to graduate unemployment in Nigeria is not rocket science. He maintains that if the universities can focus more on how to produce job creators rather than job seekers then unemployment will soon become an issue of the past. He insists that each problem in this country provides a great business opportunity for those who are willing to add value to the society.

In showing how Nigeria has always been a land of opportunities, the author traced how businesses that started decades ago are still waxing strong.  He also gave examples of how other businesses that were launched just about four years ago have grown to become multinationals today.  He profiled 25 innovative brands cutting across different sectors including technology, the Internet, entertainment, learning and development, manufacturing, restaurants, health and transportation.  Through these, he showed that opportunities abound in almost every sector of the Nigerian economy. His efforts in securing one on one interview with the founders of these brands also goes a long way to validate the information in the book. Each of the founders shared his own unique experience of what it takes to start, the challenges faced and how they handled them, how they funded their businesses and most importantly every one of them has words of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Posted On Saturday, 03 June 2017 15:05 Written by

Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State has vowed to use all legal means to recover N50.5 billion allegedly looted by the immediate past administration ex-Gov. Ibrahim Shema.

Masari made this vow in Katsina on Saturday while receiving the Report of the Commission of Inquiry that investigated the whereabouts of some funds and property under Shema’s administration.

“Now that the commission of inquiry has established that over N50.5 billion is looted, we shall use all legal means to recover the money.

“The looted funds belong to the people of Katsina state and we are ready to follow due process in the courts to retrieve the money from the officials of the past administration.

“The people of Katsina state need the money back so that it can be used to provide social amnesties to them.

“We are determined to retrieve the funds from those that looted same and no amount of legal huddles will prevent us from collecting the state money.

“The commission of inquiry has used legal procedures to unearth the financial scandals from the documents that were presented before it.

“The State Government will use the facts that were presented before the commission of inquiry to prosecute those that committed the offence.

“The Katsina state government has no intention to leave the money. All those involved will have to return the money”, he said.

The governor said those involved had tried to stop the commission from sitting and caused the disqualification of Justice Muhammad Surajo, the former Chairman of the commission by an appeal court in Kaduna.

Masari said the state government was determined to continue with the sitting of the commission “and the results had emerged and we are ready to continue with the procedure of recovering the money.’’

Chairman of the Commission, Ado Mohammed, said it received 12 memoranda.

Mohammed added that three of the memoranda were abandoned by the writers while two were disqualified for lack of relevance to the investigation.

The chairman said eight of the memoranda were useful to the commission as they had revealed how state funds were diverted by the officials of the past administration.

“During the six months of the commission’s sitting, it discovered that N50.5 billion belonging to the Katsina Government had been diverted by ex-Gov. Shema and his cohorts.

“The commission discovered concrete evidences that indicated that the funds had been diverted as they were not in the state government accounts as the records of the handing over notes had indicated.

“The commission went through the handing over notes where the monies were allegedly available but we could not trace them”. he said.

Mohammed commended the Katsina state government for giving them the opportunity to serve

The Katsina state government set up the panel to investigate the alleged missing funds within the last nine months of former Gov. Shema’s administration.

Posted On Saturday, 03 June 2017 14:20 Written by

The Federal Government has pledged to complete the South-South Silo located in Yenagoa, Bayelsa.

The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, made the pledge after a tour of the project site in Igbogene area of Yenagoa on Saturday.

Lokpobiri said funds had been released to complete 100,000 ton capacity silo by August.

The silo projects initiated in 2009 is part of the Strategic Grains Reserve scheme to ensure food security by the federal government.

There are six grains storage facilities awarded for each of the six geo-political zones.

Lokpobiri noted that the silos in other zones had been completed, adding that the level of completion of the one in Bayelsa was not encouraging.

Lokpobiri, who said he was not happy with the level of job done so far, directed the contractors to come to Abuja for further briefings to work out strategy for the timely completion of the silo in Yenagoa.

Lokopobiri stated that the silo, when completed, would preserve grains including rice and maize from farmers in various states in the south-south to boost preservation and food security in the country.

The minister of state who is on tour of silos across the nation, said the completion of the projects would also support the agricultural revolution of the present administration.

The Director, Strategic Grains Reserve, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Shehu Bello, said the project was slowed down because of some engineering challenges at the construction site.

An official of the contracting firm, Mr. Otun Abiodun, said the company had applied for the review of the contract sum to take care of the extra cost incurred due to the difficult terrain of the project site, which is largely swampy.

Posted On Saturday, 03 June 2017 14:17 Written by

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has urged the Federal Government to make its Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) compulsory for all corps members in the country.

Mrs Chinyere Ekwe, Head of SAED in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) office of NYSC, made the call in Abuja on Saturday.

She said that making the training compulsory to all corps members would increase the number of youths trained in various skills targeted at growth and development of the nation.

Ekwe explained that SAED was introduced by the scheme to enable corps members to learn and develop one or more skills for self-reliance.

According to her, the initiative was introduced to support Federal Government’s efforts at addressing unemployment in the country, but presently, it is not compulsory for the corps members.

“This defeats the aim of introducing the programme, because if more youths participate in skills training, more youths will become self-employed, self-reliant and employers of labour

“If more youths are trained, they will in turn train many others, but in a situation where this programme is not compulsory for them, you find that a lot of them may show lackadaisical attitude towards it.

“I also think that there is need to reduce the training fee to a minimal rate so that more corps members can participate.

“The FCT Coordinator, Mr Salawu Abdulrazak, has tried to bring down the training fee to N10, 000 for six-month training and for corps members can to pay in installments.

“If more is done to support the corps members by bringing down the fee, it will encourage more of them to join,” Ekwe said.

She also urged the government to support the scheme with provision of materials, saying that training large number of corps members yearly in various skills without materials was a major challenge to the scheme.

According to her, right now in the camp, hands-on training is free, but there are no materials for corps members to use in the training. We also do not have well-equipped skills centres in the area councils.

Ekwe commended the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for its effort in providing an ICT center at the orientation camp for training of corps members.

She urged serving corps members to make use of the opportunity to learn one or more skills in order to become skillful, self-reliant and productive.

She said that emphasis on certificate was waning in Nigeria, adding that it was therefore why learning a skill or more had become necessary.

“You will be empowering yourself and other youths by doing this”.

The NYSC official said that many corps members who had passed through the programme had established businesses, adding that SAED’s partners had also continued to support corps members with start-up capital.

She said that partners like Bank of Industry (BoI) gave corps members loan as much as N2 million, while the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) also had a loan scheme that could give N3 million to a corps member.

Posted On Saturday, 03 June 2017 14:14 Written by

The Benue Police Command on Saturday confirmed the arrest of one Kuma Tyosaar, who was found with a pistol, in Konshisha Local Government Area.

Mr Bashir Makama, the Commissioner of Police, who confirmed the arrest, however, said that the incident had nothing to do with the ongoing local government polls in the state.

“Tyosaar was arrested as a normal criminal, though on an election day,” he said.

He said that the arrest was “an isolated incident”, and assured voters that adequate security had been put in place to ensure peaceful conduct of the election.

Makama commended the people of Benue for their peaceful conduct, and urged members of the public to report any security breach to the nearest police station.

Tyosaar was found with the gun at Clubhouse, Tseagerebga, where election materials were distributed.

He was alleged to be a member of one of the political parties taking part in the elections.

Posted On Saturday, 03 June 2017 14:08 Written by

Mother and Child Care Enhancement Foundation (MCCEF), an NGO, has disbursed N1.5m to 150 widows and orphans in Nasarawa State.

Wife of the Governor, Hajiya Salamatu Al-Makura, is the founder of organisation.

Alhaji Alhassan Adamu, Coordinator of the NGO, gave out the money on Saturday to the widows in Agyaragu, Lafia. He urged them to use the money to start up petty businesses of their choice.

Adamu said the gesture was aimed at reducing the hardship being faced by widows, orphans and the vulnerable children in the society.

He said the NGO was partnering with the Institute of Human Virology in the area of education, health, skills acquisition and child protection to enable orphans and vulnerable children enjoy good life in the state.

The NGO coordinator called on the beneficiaries to ensure judicious use of the money to better their lives and of their children.

Adamu urged Muslims and other Nigerians to use the Ramadan period to pray for the unity and peace of the state and the country at large.

Chairman, Child Rights Protection in the area, Mr Yahaya Madaki, described the gesture as first of its kind in the area and called for its sustenance.

He appreciated the organisation for the gesture, adding that it would go a long way in improving the standard of living of the beneficiaries.

Messrs Oche John and Maisugar Murtala, beneficiaries who spoke on behalf of others, prayed God to bless the organisation and promised to make judicious use of the money.

 
 
Posted On Saturday, 03 June 2017 14:05 Written by

Gov Samuel Ortom of Benue has expressed optimism that the All Progressive Congress (APC) would win the ongoing local government elections in the state.

“I am very impressed with the organisation of the exercise and the massive turnout; I am happy that people are excited to vote. I am optimistic that the APC will sweep the polls,” Ortom said in Guma, shortly after casting his vote.

The governor, who voted at 10.35 am, at Ako polling unit, Ndzorov ward of Guma, urged Benue residents to vote credible and tested candidates so as to ensure the best for the state.

He said he insisted on holding the election “to install democracy and instill discipline, accountability and sanity in local government administration”.

Ortom said that the APC took its campaign to all parts of the state to sell its candidates to the voters, and expressed hope that the “change” message had taken roots in the state.

He urged the people to take advantage of the exercise to install democratic structures that would do their bidding, especially in the rural areas.

Ortom commended the peaceful conduct of the electorate, saying that adequate security arrangement had been put in place toward a peaceful exercise.

He also commended the Federal High Court, Makurdi over its June 2 judgement that gave the electoral body the nod to conduct the polls, declaring that it was wrong for the rival PDP to seek to use its internal crisis as an excuse to stop the elections.

The court had thrown out an appeal by the Makarfi-led faction of the PDP, seeking to stop the election following the rejection of its candidates by the Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC).

A NAN correspondent, who monitored the election in Gwer East, Makurdi, Guma, Tarkaa, Gboko and Butruku Local Governments, however, observed that there was a low turnout of voters for the exercise.

Election materials arrived very late in many polling units, with some still waiting for the materials at 12 noon.

The last local government election was conducted in Benue was conducted in 2012.

 
 
Posted On Saturday, 03 June 2017 14:02 Written by
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