Monday, 25 September 2017
Items filtered by date: January 2017

SPONSORED BY YES434.COM...THE BUSINESS DIRECTORY:  Former President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday  sneaked into Ibogun ,Ogun State, the ancestral village of  one of his  predecessors in office, and an architect of his defeat in the 2015 election, ex – President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The rare meeting between the duo who were bitterly divided in the run-up to the election saw Obasanjo tell his host how wise he (Jonathan) had become since leaving office.

“When leaders come, they have little or no experience. When they have to go is when they have really amassed a lot of experience, where they have wisdom, their  experience is in high demand.

“Those like you and me who have the grace of God to bow out gracefully, if there is now what I call constitutional office, we have residual responsibilities for Nigeria,”Obasanjo said.

With Jonathan on the trip, which observers branded as fence mending  yesterday ,were former Minister of Special Duties, Tanimu Kabir Turaki; a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Suleiman Abubakar; King A.J.Turner ;and a former Chairman of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency( FERMA), Engr. Jide Adeniji.

They flew into the village in a chartered helicopter at about  11.30am.

The visit lasted about four hours of which Obasanjo and Jonathan alone spoke behind closed doors  for  40 minutes.

No member of Jonathan’s  entourage or Obasanjo’s associates was allowed into the inner room where the  secret talks took place.

One source said yesterday that the   visit was part of Jonathan’s new rapprochement with some of the  key figures that had a hand  in his defeat in the April 2015 polls.

Obasanjo received his visitor in company with former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who was ousted as National Secretary of the then ruling PDP by Jonathan and his loyalists.

Obasanjo took  Jonathan round the village for a door-to-door greeting of the elders and the residents.

The people sang and danced in appreciation of Jonathan’s visit.

Obasanjo, welcoming Jonthan, said: “The first point I want to make is to thank you very sincerely and most sincerely for taking it upon yourself to pay us a visit at this point in time and at this location.  Secondly, since you left office, you hardly have time to sit down and relax like you have been able to do today and I hope, I sincerely hope and pray for more such relaxed situation where we can reminisce on situations of the past that we have been through in this country and we can also look at what the future portends.

“I believe that not only Nigeria, West Africa and Africa and indeed the world will continue to tap our experiences,   our wisdom and I hope and pray that when the call is made to you, you will be more than ready to put your experience, the lessons you have learnt into the service of this country, for African and indeed for humanity in general.

“ I have said to you before and I will say again that there are plenty of opportunities out there, within the country, within West Africa, within Africa and indeed in the larger world where people will want you to make contributions.

“I believe that you are resting now and when you have fully rested and you will be hearing from me because I have this opportunity to be around the world and if I mention your name in dispatch, I thank you sincerely that you have received us as we are in this village to prove to you that we are in a typical village, I was telling you that your village is better than mine.

“I want to say that we have it. Nigeria is a good country and we must never be tired of lifting the country up to the height that God has created it to be and God did not make a mistake when he put all of us together and if He doesn’t want us to be together no power in the world will have made us come together.

“My regards to everybody at home, especially your wife. Please, tell her that my wife sends her regards and I hope sooner or later we will be on your part of the world to enjoy the atmosphere together.  I want to thank you on behalf of everyone here in this village.”

Explaining his mission,Jonathan said he had planned to visit Obasanjo during the yuletide in  company with former military ruler, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB), but the plan fell through owing to unforeseen circumstances.

He said the idea came about when he visited Babangida in Minna when the two of them agreed to come to Ibogun.

Jonathan thanked Obasanjo for the warm reception accorded him and entourage.

Thereafter,  Obasanjo and Jonathan retired to one of the sittings rooms for  “strictly personal talks for 40 minutes.”

Talks over, Obasanjo and one of his friends launched into the popular Yoruba game of ayo.

Jonathan watched as the game went.

A source at the meeting said he was “full of admiration” for it.

It was not immediately clear if the trip was part of the ongoing political realignment for 2019 general elections.

But a top source simply said: “It is a reunion of Papa and his son. Do not read any meaning into it.

“The ex-President decided to make it a private visit in order to be able to have frank talks with Obasanjo.

“During the visit, Obasanjo and Jonathan locked themselves up for 40 minutes. No member of Jonathan’s entourage nor Obasanjo’s associates in Ibogun was allowed to be part of the private session.

“All I can tell you is that the two leaders were able to iron out a few things and Jonathan has since returned to Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.”

“At the end of the visit, ex-Minister Turaki, who is the Chairman of ex-Ministers Forum, gave the vote of thanks.”

Jonathan  started out as Obasanjo’s political godson having been plucked out of  office as Bayelsa State governor to become  presidential running mate in the 2007 election.

He went on to become president, following the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua and won the 2011 election.

The parting of ways came in 2015, following  persistent disagreements between them with Obasanjo launching vitriolic attacks  on Jonathan culminating in the     tearing of his membership card of the PDP and openly campaigning against Jonathan’s re-election.

They had not seen eye to eye since then until yesterday.

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY X365TV.COM: Asamoah Gyan’s 21st-minute goal vaulted Ghana into the quarter-finals of the 2017 AFCON in Gabon as the Black Stars defeated Mali 1-0 in a Group D, Day 2 match at the Stade de Port-Genti on Saturday.

With the win, the four-time AFCON winners earned 6 points from two matches and a slot in the quarter-finals, even with the Group’s Day 3 matches still to be played.

Ghana is the second team to qualify for the quarter-finals after Senegal reached the last eight from Group B.

The other Day 2, Group D match, between Egypt and Uganda, will be played later in the day.

Published in Sports

SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: Asamoah Gyan on Saturday headed in the only goal for Ghana as the Black Stars zoomed into the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Gabon.

Andre Ayew fired wide from six yards before Asamoah Gyan headed in the opener in the 21st minute as Ghana started well.

The Ghana skipper became his country’s all-time top scorer in the competition with eight goals, overtaking Osei Kofi.

He is also the first player to score at six consecutive Nations Cup finals.

Gyan and his team-mates celebrated his goal with a choreographed dance routine and the striker then held up a t-shirt which carried on it a get well message for Baba Rahman, who is out of the tournament because of injury.

Ghana withstood intense second-half pressure to beat Mali 1-0 and reach the AFCON quarter-finals.

Mali’s Moussa Marega missed two good chances with a header and a shot, and Razak Brimah superbly saved Kalifa Coulibaly’s volley late on.

The win puts Ghana into the last-eight with a game to spare, while Mali must beat Uganda to keep their hopes alive.

It could have been very different for Mali had they taken some of the chances they created in the second half.

As well as those misses from Marega and Coulibaly, Mali threatened with efforts from Salif Coulibaly, who drove just wide, and Hamari Traore, whose 20-yard volley was not far away from the top corner.

They also had a last-gasp appeal for a penalty turned down.

Ghana, who were in total control in the first half, were run ragged after the interval and their split-personality performance will be a major concern for coach Avram Grant.

Mali must find a way to finish off their opportunities – they have yet to score at the tournament – if they are to have any chance of avoiding a group-stage exit.

Published in Sports
Saturday, 21 January 2017 22:20

HIRING234: Jammeh leaves Gambia for exile


Jammeh-bye-bye-to-Gambia

Alhaji Yahya Jammeh, former president of Gambia has left Banjul, the capital to begin an indefinite term in exile. He left just after 10.00pm for Conakry, along with President Alpha Conde. 

To rub his large ego, he was given a full ceremonial honour by the military brass band and a red carpet treatment.

Hordes of journalists and a battery of photographers had camped all day at the Banjul International Airport waiting for his departure, after an agreement was reached Friday night with President Alpha Conde of Guinea and President Abdul Aziz of Mauritania, for him to vacate power voluntarily.

Paparazzi waiting to take Jammeh’s flight out of Banjul

Signs of Jammeh’s exit came at about 9pm Nigerian time, when one of the journalists keeping vigil, tweeted:

“The #Gambia military brass band is here @ the airport. The red carpet has been rolled out. Yahya Jammeh should be on his way.”

Alpha Conde and Mauritania’s leader Abdul-Aziz

The former soldier turned civilian leader held sway in the country for 22 years and had vowed to rule the country for a hyperbolic ‘billion years’ until he was thrashed in the presidential election by a political green horn, Adama Barrow.

It is not clear where Jammeh will end up eventually. He flew out with President Alpha Conde in an aircraft owned by Mauritania.

After landing in Conakry, Jammeh may finally be heading to Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea, ruled by another African pseudo democrat,Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo who has been in power since 1979.

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY YES434.COM...THE BUSINESS DIRECTORY: 

Wayne Rooney became Manchester United’s record goalscorer when he netted his 250th goal for the English giants in a 1-1 draw away to Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday. 

Rooney equalised in the fourth minute of stoppage time to break fellow England great Bobby Charlton’s United record of 249 goals.

The 31-year-old forward, making his 546th United appearance, surpassed 1966 World Cup-winner Charlton’s record in style when he bent a free-kick into the top corner of the net at the Britannia Stadium.

Published in Sports

SPONSORED BY X365TV.COM: U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to be the president of all Americans irrespective of their colour or status.

Trump, who made the pledge in his inaugural speech as the 45th President of U.S., declared that “it is a new era for America.

“Whether we are black, red or white, we all bleed the blood of the same patriots”, Trump added.

Trump also said that he would make the American people the focus of his presidency.

“We are not taking power from one president to the other or from one party to the other but we are taking power from Washington to you, the people”, Trump said.

“January 20, 2017 will go into history as a day that the people become the president of this country again.

“I will fight for you with every blood in my body and I will never ever let you down.

“America will start winning again, winning like never before”, the president said.

He promised to concentrate on the security of the American border and the security of the country, lamenting that the country spent trillions of dollars to secure other countries instead of America.

He also promised to make affordable education, healthcare and housing the hallmark of his administration.

In a country deeply divided by Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s unusual campaign, Trump called for the unity of all Americans.

“When America is united, we can do the impossible”, he said.

The president also said that the era of vain promises was over.

“It is no longer the era of talk, but now it is the era of action.”

He pledged to destroy terrorists wherever they are all over the world, saying that the world will be safe and secure under his presidency.

“We will seek peace and prosperity of other nations but we will put the interest and security of America first.”

“Let nobody tell you that it can never be done because no challenge is too big that can confront the determination spirit of the America.”

The president promised to bring back the prosperity of America saying, his slogan will be “Buy America, hire America”.

“America will start winning again, winning like never before.”

“We will bring back our jobs, bring back our wealth and we will bring back our dreams.”

“Together, we will make America great again, we will make America strong again, and we will make America better again”.

Trump paid glowing tributes to former president Barack Obama and his wife for their roles in ensuring peaceful and orderly transition.

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton attended the inauguration with their wives, including Hillary Clinton, who was Trump’s fiercest challenger in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

 

Full text of President Donald Trump’s speech on inauguration day

Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans, and people of the world: thank you.

We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people.

Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for many, many years to come.

We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.

Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent. Thank you.

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.

For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.

Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth.

Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed.

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.

Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s Capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.

It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America.

This is your day. This is your celebration.

And this, the United States of America, is your country.

What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.

January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

Everyone is listening to you now.

You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before.

At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens.

Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves.

These are just and reasonable demands of righteous people and a righteous public.

But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime and gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

We are one nation – and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.

The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.

For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry;

Subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military;

We’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own;

And spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.

We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon.

One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind.

The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world.

But that is the past. And now we are looking only to the future.

We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power.

From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.

From this day forward, it’s going to be only America First. America First.

Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.

We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.

I will fight for you with every breath in my body – and I will never, ever let you down.

America will start winning again, winning like never before.

We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.

We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation.

We will get our people off of welfare and back to work – rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.

We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and Hire American.

We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world – but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.

We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example — we will shine — for everyone to follow.

We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones – and unite the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.

At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.

When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.

The Bible tells us, “how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”

We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.

When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.

There should be no fear – we are protected, and we will always be protected.

We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we will be protected by God.

Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger.

In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving.

We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action – constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.

The time for empty talk is over.

Now arrives the hour of action.

Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America.

We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again.

We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow.

A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions.

It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag.

And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.

So to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, from ocean to ocean, hear these words:

You will never be ignored again.

Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams, will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.

Together, We Will Make America Strong Again.

We Will Make America Wealthy Again.

We Will Make America Proud Again.

We Will Make America Safe Again.

And, Yes, Together, We Will Make America Great Again. Thank you, God Bless You, And God Bless America.

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: Former president of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh has finally surrendered and asked for a shift in deadline of mid-day to 4pm to vacate office as ECOWAS soldiers close in on him.

Jammeh made the request when he met the leaders of Guinea and Mauritania in the capital, Banjul, in a last-ditch diplomatic effort to get him to cede power.

A regional military force that crossed the border in support of his democratically elected successor, Adama Barrow, was awaiting orders on Friday.

Marcel Alain de Souza, chair of the west African union ECOWAS, said troops would force Jammeh out if he refused to leave the country.

The West African troops entered the Gambia on Thursday night, hours after Barrow was forced to hold his inauguration as president in Dakar, the capital of Senegal.

De Souza said the west African force, which includes tanks, has so far met no resistance. Banjul, the capital, was deserted on Friday.

Dozens of vultures spread their wings on the large ground outside State House, and a lone cyclist, perhaps one of the few remaining tourists in the country, made the most of the empty roads.

The country’s chief of defence staff, Ousman Badjie, was seen speeding in the direction of Banjul.

He has switched allegiance several times over the past month, and was celebrating with Barrow supporters in the streets last night.

It is unclear what side he and the military would take in the event of an ECOWAS attack on the State House, though most sources believed he was no longer with Jammeh.

The twitter handle of Charles Onyango-Obbot ‏@cobbo3 said “Jammeh asks for deadline extension – from midday (local time) to 4pm!

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: Publisher of Premium Times newspaper Dapo Olorunyomi and Judicial reporter Evelyn Okakwu have been released by the police in Abuja.

Both were arrested Thursday afternoon in Abuja.

Dapo Olorunyomi, publisher of the newspaper, was arrested alongside the judiciary correspondent, Evelyn Okakwu, at around 5:00 p.m.

They were released on bail and instructed to report at the FCT Police Command Headquarters by 8:00 a.m. Friday morning.

But a highly-placed police source said the invitation could be a ploy to detain the journalists for an extended period.

The police source said there are chances that the two could be taken before a Magistrate’s Court.

“From what I understand, if they report tomorrow morning, they will be taken to a Magistrate’s Court and arraigned before a judge that will readily comply with the police arrangement and grant order for them to be detained,” the source said. “That way, they can then claim to be detaining them legally.”

The development has sparked widespread condemnation, with the Amnesty International promising to launch an investigation into the motive behind it.

The journalists were arrested after several plain-clothed officers raided PREMIUM TIMES office in Abuja.

The newspaper’s managing editor, Idris Akinbajo, hailed the “overwhelming” support from Nigerians and readers around the world.

He said the paper would release a full statement after the journalists meet the police Friday morning.

Published in News & Stories

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM: The Nigeria police have raided PREMIUM TIMES head office in Abuja, and arrested the newspaper’s publisher.

The publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi, was arrested alongside the paper’s judiciary correspondent, Evelyn Okakwu.

Plain-clothed officers conducted search at the office shortly after 5p.m. Thursday, and said they were acting on a complaint filed by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.

The arrests came days after PREMIUM TIMES turned down the army’s demand to retract news stories about the Nigerian Army and its operations.

The paper’s Editor-in-Chief, Musikilu Mojeed, condemned the raid.

“They should stop deluding themselves that they can muzzle the press and intimidate PREMIUM TIMES,” said Mr. Mojeed. “They should know that our loyalty lies with our readers and the Nigerian people who have a right to know.”

He said the paper will continue “to discharge its responsibilities in line with global best practices, social responsibility and patriotism, even at great risk to our personal liberties”.

Published in News & Stories

SPONSORED BY CHIQUEMAGAZINE.COM: The UN Security Council on Thursday affirmed that Adama Barrow is now the legitimate President of The Gambia, declaring that “former President Yahya Jammeh is out”.

The President of the Security Council, Olof Skoog (Sweden), told the UN Correspondents after the adoption of the Resolution 2337 (2017) by consensus by the 15-Member Council.

The Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Resolution was sponsored by Senegal on the situation in The Gambia.

NAN reports that the Resolution by Senegal, sought the Council’s approval and support for ECOWAS to take all necessary actions to remove Jammeh and install Barrow as President.

“I just made a call to The Gambia’s President Adama Barrow to tell him that the Security Council is behind him and support him as the president.

“The Security Council affirmed support to President Barrow. The Resolution adopted just now is political.

“There is a strong request to former president Yahya Jammeh to carry out peaceful transfer of power to President Barrow.

“The Council resolved that the will of the people of the Gambia as expressed on Dec. 1 must be fully respected. That is the message of the UN Security Council.

“The Council urged all parties to exercise restraints. Jammeh is now out.

“The Security Council is now behind ECOWAS stands behind the efforts of ECOWAS to resolve the issue.

“The Council is following the events in The Gambia closely.

“The Security Council has directed the Secretary-General to report to the Council within the next 10 days.

“We know as we speak, political efforts are still ongoing to resolve the crisis peacefully,” Skoog said after the adoption of the Resolution.

He said that the Council wanted the political crisis to be resolved as bloodlessly as possible and would have preferred a peaceful resolution, if Jammeh would heed the call.

NAN reports that the Members of the Security Council, who contributed to the debate of the Resolution, included that of China, Japan, Russia, U.S., Senegal, among others.

They all affirmed their support to the Resolution and expressed concerns on the consequences of Jammeh’s action on the civilians in the country, the sub-region and the region, as a whole.

Published in Business and Economy
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