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

*Police say nine men killed in an overnight attack on a village in the coastal district of Lamu

Suspected al-Shabab fighters beheaded nine men in an overnight assault on a village in the Kenyan coastal district of Lamu, police said, days after the armed group killed three police officers in an attack on a nearby village.

A witness, who asked not to be named, confirmed the death toll to Reuters news agency.

"They raided Jima and Pandanguo villages and killed nine men. They were slaughtered like chickens, using knives," said the witness.

Kenya's Interior Ministry announced late on Saturday that curfew was imposed in three districts following the attack.

It said in a tweet that the 12-hour curfew, from 6:30pm (1530 GMT), affects parts of Lamu, Garissa and Tana River and is to be in place for the next three months. 

In a televised address on Saturday morning following the death in hospital of Kenya's Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery, President Uhuru Kenyatta spoke of "an unfortunate incident this morning, which we are assessing".

Appointing Education Minister Fred Matiangi as acting security minister, Kenyatta promised there would be "no vacuum in securing our country".

President Uhuru Kenyatta sought to reassure Kenyans when mentioning the latest killings in a speech earlier on Saturday. 

"We have had an unfortunate incident this morning that we are currently assessing and addressing," he said.

Earlier in the week, three police officers were killed in an attack on a police post in Lamu, blamed on the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group.

Published in Headliners

A former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, revealed on Saturday that the late dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha wanted him, the late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and the June 12 hero, the late Moshood Abiola, dead while in prison.

He stated this at a dinner programme organised by an inter-denominational Christian organisation, Christ The Redeemer’s Friends International of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Lagos Province 39 Chapter.

The former president alleged that Yar’Adua was poisoned by Abacha’s killer squad, adding that he was to be next victim, but that he was saved by God’s divine grace.

Obasanjo said, “Two people had earlier told me Abacha promised that three of us would not come out of prison or detention alive; myself. Shehu Yar Adua and MKO Abiola. And two of them did not come out alive. So, that I came out alive, maybe God has a purpose. And therefore if the purpose is for me to serve the people and by so doing,  serve God, then so be it.

“Abacha claimed that I was plotting a coup. I wasn’t the first to be arrested. When Shehu (Yar’Adua) was arrested, I tried to plead for his release. When Abacha said he didn’t know about Shehu’s arrest, I said to him, ‘the number two man in this country cannot be arrested without you knowing.’ He then said he would go and find out.

“In Abacha’s plan, he left God out of it and because he left God out of his plan, it (his government) eventually failed. There is God’s hand in the life of each and every one of us and every institution. I believe that very well.

“When I was arrested, they took me to a house in Ikoyi (Lagos) and that became my abode (I was) in isolation, for three months.

“In the meantime, there were national and international pressures for my release, (former US) President Jimmy Carter was one of the world leaders that came to ask for my release. Some African leaders like Yoweri Museveni and Robert Mugabe came. I believe it was because of those pressures that I was released from isolation in Ikoyi where I was under house arrest.”

Obasanjo described the day he was court-martialled and sentenced as one of the ‘worst days in his life.’

He said, “I must say that, that day, in a split second, it felt like the worst day in my life. What flashed through my mind was that I was forever ruined. I asked myself, ‘What did I do to deserve this? Is this what I get for serving Nigeria?’ But then, I told myself again that this was not done to me by Nigeria, but that one man did it for me.”

Obasanjo said he and Yar’Adua were detained in Jos and Port Harcourt prisons because they were the best prisons in the country at the time.

He said, “I was to go to Jos (prison) and Yar’Adua was to go to Port Harcourt (prison). In Jos, I was visited by my colleagues, including Yakubu Danjuma, Joe Garba, Domkat Bali, many of our colleagues, and then family members and friends.

“Then a decision was made that I was becoming too popular in Jos prison and I had to be transferred to. Yola prison which is a native authority prison and I don’t need to tell you what life was there.

“In Jos prison, before I was transferred to Yola prison, they had decided that Shehu Yar’Adua and myself should be poisoned. So, they took him from Port Harcourt prison to Abakaliki. In the process, he was injected with the virus that killed him. The same was supposed to be done to me. The man who came took me from the prison to a guest house in the GRA in Jos,  said, ‘We know you have problem with cholesterol so I have to take your blood for a test.’ Then I said, ‘Not on your life, I don’t have any problem of cholesterol.’

“I was slightly diabetic. But God had taken care of it because I was checking my blood sugar almost on a daily basis and it had become better than normal. So, I refused him (the man) touching me with anything. So, they took me to Yola and he said, ‘when you get to where you are going, we will come again.’”

The former president said he was saved from being poisoned by a doctor and specialist in the prison.

“The doctor was a professional man in charge of the General Hospital in Yola. He listened to my case that I needed special food because I was diabetic. He said the specialist would come to see me. The specialist turned out to be somebody from Okeogun in Oyo State. Two, he was a Baptist, and three, he had heard about me and knew me. So, he looked at me and said, ‘Don’t let anybody touch you with anything.’

“Within three weeks the man that came to me earlier returned again and said he wanted to take my blood. I said, ‘No, you have to get my doctor to come and take my blood for you.’ That was the arrangement between me and the doctor. And my doctor came and he brought a syringe and he took my blood and gave it to him. He now asked the man, ‘When would we have the result?’The man said, ‘Within 24 hours of my getting to Abuja.’I haven’t heard the result till today.”

Obasanjo said after his release from prison, he gave into pressure to contest for the presidency and he ended up becoming president for two terms by the grace of God. “Nigeria that was a pariah state became a darling (of the world).

“What is the lesson for me? I developed in prison but unfortunately I was not able to sustain it. Maybe because there was nothing else to do in prison except to pray and fast. I used to fast a lot. On three occasions, I fasted for seven days, no water, no food… a unique power was given to me by God.

“In all these, God did not leave me alone, and I know that.  I say to people that God has never let me alone nor disappointed me in spite of all. I am a sinner. It is not because of my goodness, but because of the grace of God, and the grace of God continues to abound.”

Published in Business and Economy

NIGERIA: It was a spectacular show of glamour and opulence in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, by the elite members of the Nigerian society, politicians, captains of industries and service chiefs who thronged the ancient city for the society wedding of the daughter of Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Miss Ayomide Amosun, and Mr. Oladipupo Dabiri; son of former House of Representatives member and Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, on Nigerians in Diaspora, Abike Dabiri – Erewa.

The African Church Primary School, Ita Iyalode, Abeokuta, the venue of the traditional engagement and Nikkah ceremony and  Muhammad Buhari  Presidential Estate where the reception took place, surged with dignitaries whose power dressing and hundreds of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) that ferried them to witness the holy matrimony, marked them out sharply as the fortunate ones.

The location for the Nikkah was particularly significant for the bride’s parents as it was also the venue where Amosun and his wife, Olufunso, cast their vote in the April 2011 gubernatorial election which shot them into power as Governor and Wife of Governor.

The Acting President Yemi Osinbajo prayed for harmony and blessings of God upon the couple while his wife, Dolapo who supervised the cutting of the wedding cake also prayed God to grant them “joy, happiness and favour” in their marriage.

Earlier, the officiating clergy,  Abdul – Rahman Ahmad, who is  the National Chief Missioner, Ansarudeen Society of Nigeria, brought Ayomide and Oladipo together and pronounced them  formally as husband and wife according to Muslim format exactly 1:04pm amid rumble of cheers from the enthusiastic parents and dignitaries.

Sheik Ahmad in his brief sermon, said marriage is an institution ordained by Allah and advised the couple to have the fear of Allah in dealing with one another and love each other.

Chief Obasanjo in his brief remarks, congratulated the parents of the bride and groom as well as the couple, urging them to have the courage to understand there would always be friction in marriage and said when it occurs, they should deploy effective communication to resolve it.

“Marriage is sweet but it must have a time of friction and when frictions happen please I urge you to iron it out immediately, do not let it last more than 24 hours and the only way you can do that is through communication. Always maintain good communication,” Obasanjo said.

Also, Speaker Yabuku Dogara advised parents to spend  their energies to training the child, attributing high rate of moral decadence and loss of values to bad homes.

He said marriage is ordained by God and must be sustained by man, explaining that the family remained the most important institution on earth where discipline takes root.

He noted that the increasing waves of crime and evil in the society is an attestation that the family is not only contracting, but also no longer a place where characters are moulded.

The Speaker urged the couple not to disappoint their parents, and prayed for God’s blessings upon them.

“The rate of crime in the society is not because our security agencies are inefficient but because most parents have failed to properly train their children.”

“As parents, we must deploy our energies at properly training our children because bad homes bring about a bad society,” Dogara said.

Eminent Nigerians that witnessed the wedding include the All Progressives Congress (APC) who was represented by former Finance Commissioner (Lagos State), Olawale Edun, Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dogara, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), Senator Dino Melaye,  former Managing Director of GTbank, Fola Adeola, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Governor Yerima Shettima (Borno), Governor Abdul – Azeez Yari (Zamfara), Governor Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Governor Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Governor Bello Masari (Katsina). Others are Governor Abubakar Badru (Jigawa), Governor Ahmed Abdulfatah (Kwara) and Senator Gbenga Ashafa.

Others are former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alfa Belgore, former President Obasanjo, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Chief Bisi Akande, Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, his Finance counterpart, Kemi Adeosun, Chairman of the defunct Interim National Government(ING), Chief Ernest Shonekan,

Chief Femi Majekodunmi, the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle,  the Osile of Oke – Ona Egba, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, the Olowu of Owu Kingdom and Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu.

Also in attendance are father of the groom Bayo Dabiri and mother of the groom, Abike Dabiri – Erewa, and her husband, Segun Erewa, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, former Commonwealth Secretary, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Senator Olorunimbe Mamora, Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, former Inspector General of Police, Musiliu Smith, former Attorney – General and Minister of Justice, Prince Bola Ajibola, Senator Lanre Tejuoso and Commissioner of Police Ogun State, Ahmed Iliyasu.

Others are business mogul and industrialist, Alh. Aliko Dangote, his counterpart in the oil sector, Femi  Otedola,  Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, Chief Femi Falana, former Ogun State governor Gbenga Daniel, a former Governorship candidate in Ogun State, Prince Gboyega Isiaka, Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, ex – Deputy Governor Femi Pedro (Lagos), Founder First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Olori – Omooba of Ijebuland, Otunba Subomi Balogun, former Governor Lateef Jakande (Lagos), General Alani Akinrinade (rtd), Senator Daisy Ehanire Danjuma, Senator Grace Ita – Giwa and Interior Minister Abdul – Rahman Danbazzau, former Governor Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Governor Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Senator Anthony Adefuye, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. John Odigie – Oyegun, Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Kensington Adebutu, former Governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Ogun State,  Prince Jide Awosedo, and Prof. Pat Utomi and the nation’s  Post Master – General, Chief Bisi Adegbuyi.

Published in News & Stories
Sunday, 09 July 2017 12:54

Adeleke wins Osun West bye-election

NIGERIA: Mr. Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has won the Osun West Senatorial bye-election held on Saturday in Osun State.

Official results of the election showed that he defeated his  All Progressives Congress (APC) counterpart, Mudashiru Hussain in nine of the ten Local Government Areas where the election was conducted.

The results is as follows:

Iwo LG        APC 12,205         PDP 12,547

Ede North   APC 2,784      PDP 18,559

Ede South   APC 2,096      PDP 13,406

Ejigbo           APC 12,229     PDP9,723

Irewole         APC 8,952        PDP9,096

Ola-Oluwa   APC 5,316       PDP5,618

Ayedere        APC 5,360       PDP5,789

Ayedaade      APC 7,179        PDP-9061

Egbedore      APC 4,768       PDP-7,142

Isokan            APC 5,227        PDP-6,539

Collation of ward results of the bye-election began in earnest last night with voters anxiously waiting for confirmation of the final outcome from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The election was generally peaceful.

The two leading candidates -Mudasiru Hussein of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – hailed the election as fair and peaceful although the police arrested three suspected thugs for allegedly interfering with the voting process at Okinni in Egbedore Local Government area .

The day began with a drizzle but that did not stop voters from heading to the various polling units in the 10 local government areas that make up the senatorial zone as early as 8am.

Security was tight and voters had little complaints about the supply of voting materials, especially card readers.

Restriction was placed on vehicular movement across the state, except the Ibadan/Ife/Ilesa/Akure expressway, that links Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti States.

The election was preceded by a curfew in the district from 6pm on Friday to 6am yesterday.

Hussain after casting his vote at Ward 3, Unit 1, Beulah Baptist Primary School, Ejigbo,at about 9.30am  expressed satisfaction ‘so far’ with the election, saying he was confident of winning.

He commended both the INEC and voters for their maturity, saying that “if elections are conducted like this it means democracy has reached an advanced level.”

For his part, Adeleke, who is the younger brother of the late  Isiaka Adeleke, whose death created the  vacancy voted at Saagba Abogunde compound in Ede North at 8.34 am.

He said he was “100 percent confident of victory.”

“As you can see, it rained this morning before the voting exercise commenced. This is a signal to the fact that I will carry the day. With this large turnout also, its unarguable that I will beat Hussein hands down by God’s grace,” he added.

The Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Najeem Salam, also commended the effort of security personnel in maintaining peace in Ejigbo.

Former Minister for Youth Development, Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi, advised the INEC to sustain credibility and standard set up by the last administration.

He spoke at his Ward 5, Unit 16 Ode-Omu, where he expressed satisfaction with the process of the election.

The police said they arrested three suspected thugs for allegedly unleashing mayhem at Igbokiti Unit, Ward 10, Okinni in Egbedore Local Government council. The thugs reportedly attacked  voters and INEC adhoc officers at the polling unit.

Some voters waiting to cast their votes were allegedly matcheted and injured.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fimihan Adeoye, in a telephone chat, confirmed the arrest. He said the suspects were undergoing interrogation.

“With our vigilance and commitment to ensure peaceful conduct of the exercise, we are very happy that there is peace and there is no significant case of violence,” he said.

“We are determined to sustain peace and effective security till the end and even after the entire electoral process.”

Published in News & Stories

Romelu Lukaku was given a citation by police in Los Angeles after failing to heed repeated warnings over noise from a party last Sunday, according to TMZ. 

Lukaku, poised to complete a move from Everton to Manchester United, was warned by LAPD officers six times over noise from a daytime party following multiple complaints from neighbours, according to the report which posted what it claimed was an image of the citation.

On Saturday, United announced that they had agreed a deal with Everton to sign the 24-year-old Belgium international.

Lukaku trained with United midfielder Paul Pogba at UCLA in California on Thursday and could now be part of the club's first preseason session in LA on Monday.

United are set pay £75 million for the striker, who will move to Old Trafford after undergoing a medical -- scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles -- and agreeing personal terms.

Chelsea had made a last-ditch attempt to hijack Lukaku's proposed move to Old Trafford by matching United's bid on Friday.

But Lukaku has decided to join United and the deal should be completed over the weekend.

Published in Sports

The celebration of life of our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Deaconess Elizabeth Obaseki ( Nee Maile ); Sunrise, uly 27, 1936 - Sunset, April 6, 2017.

Date: July 8th, 2017

Venue: 197-01 Linden Blvd, Queens, NY 11412

RSVP: Minister Precious Obaseki Ewoime; Mr. Peter Ade Ewoime.

Published in Arts & Culture

Manchester United are keen to negotiate a deal to take Wayne Rooney to Everton that does not involve the former England captain as a makeweight in the £75 million transfer of Romelu Lukaku, sources have told ESPN FC.

Rooney, who became football's most expensive teenager when he left Goodison Park for United in a £27m deal in 2004, is expected to remain behind in England to finalise a return to Everton when Jose Mourinho's squad fly to California on Sunday for their preseason preparations.

Sources have told ESPN FC that United's initial efforts to sign Lukaku involved Rooney in order to tempt Everton into a deal. But with United now agreeing a fee for Lukaku, the two clubs are attempting to strike a separate deal.

With Rooney winning every major club honour at least once with United during his 13-year spell at Old Trafford, as well as breaking Sir Bobby Charlton's all-time goal-scoring record, the 31-year-old has secured his status as a club legend.

And there is a determination within United that Rooney's exit should not be overshadowed by the big-money arrival of Lukaku.

Rooney rejected the chance to negotiate a lucrative move to China in February, insisting that he wanted to remain at United to help the club achieve its ambitions under Mourinho.

United ended the campaign with two major trophies -- the EFL Cup and Europa League, and returned to the Champions League as a result of their success in defeating Ajax in Stockholm.

Rooney admitted after the game that he had "more or less" made his mind up about his next move, with a return to Everton the favoured option should the club formalise their interest in re-signing him.

Talks have progressed well this week between United, Everton and Rooney's camp, but while there is hope at Old Trafford that the Lukaku move may be completed by the weekend, a deal for Rooney could take longer.

Published in Sports

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says it is the expectation of government and Ghanaians that the Offshore Cape Three Point (OCTP) partners will ensure prudent management of the Sankofa oil and gas project to achieve cost efficiency.

This, according to President Akufo-Addo, is the only way low gas prices can be guaranteed, and, eventually, low electricity tariffs to stimulate development.

“With the addition of the production from the OCTP to those of the T.E.N and Jubilee fields, we are optimistic that our beloved nation will enhance significantly its gas supply for our domestic power generation,” the President said.

Not resting on its oars, President Akufo-Addo stressed that government through the Ministry of Energy, Petroleum Commission and GNPC, is working closely with other licensees and contractors to ensure that the country’s petroleum resources are exploited in a sustainable manner for the benefit of the people of Ghana.

“The need for creative thinking to leverage our oil and gas production for national development is a charge for us to keep – and we must not fail our people,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Thursday, July 6, 2017, after turning on the valves on the FPSO John Agyekum Kufuor to signal the formal production of oil in commercial quantities from the Sankofa oil and gas fields.

Increased Ghanaian participation

The President reiterated the commitment of his government to pursuing initiatives to expand Ghanaian participation in all aspects of the oil and gas industry. 

“Ghanaians have the spirit of entrepreneurship, and it is vital that they are empowered to engineer business growth, and reduce the serious unemployment situation in the country,” he added.

The President continued, “It is gratifying to see, this morning, our young Ghanaians on the FPSO, trained to manage the hydrocarbon production and processing from the Field as technicians and supervisors. I have been informed by the Petroleum Commission that over 100 Ghanaians (representing nearly 60%) are involved in the operation and maintenance of the FPSO John Agyekum Kufuor.”

This number, he indicated, is in addition to the many that worked in the conversion of the facility in Singapore, adding that “I saw them on the vessel, and salute them for their energy, enthusiasm and commitment. They are excellent examples of Ghanaian youth.”

Indeed, more than US$1.8 billion worth of contracts have been awarded to indigenous Ghanaian companies under this project.

President Akufo-Addo, thus, urged ENI and its partners to continue to work with the Petroleum Commission to move Ghanaian participation to even greater heights.

Additionally, the second phase of the Sankofa project will rely on the support services of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as part of the supply chain development, thereby creating opportunities for new and existing businesses in the country.

“In particular, for those engaged in farming and fishing, this project presents a great opportunity to a new market, as many people employed under this project will need to be fed. I urge our youth to go into farming under our Planting for Food and Jobs Programme, and other activities to take advantage of this opportunity,” President Akufo-Addo noted. 

The Sankofa project, and other existing ones in the Western Region, the President was confident “will open up the region for infrastructural development and consequent economic growth. This is in line with the grand plan of making the Western Region a key growth pole for the country.”

Published in Business and Economy
 

Manchester United are increasingly confident of completing the £75m signing of Romelu Lukaku in time for the Everton forward to link up with Jose Mourinho's squad in Los Angeles on Sunday, sources have told ESPN FC.

Despite Everton sources claiming to ESPN FC on Thursday that no deal had been agreed with United for the Belgium international -- raising Chelsea's hopes of beating United to the 24-year-old -- senior figures at Old Trafford believe that the player is now on course to join United.

Plans have been made by United for Lukaku to undergo a medical in Los Angeles, where he is spending his summer vacation, and the formalities could be completed by Friday afternoon, enabling a deal to be sealed before Mourinho's tour squad jets out of Manchester for California on Sunday.

Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, is expected to stay behind in order to complete a return to Everton after being given permission by United to negotiate a move back to Goodison Park, 13 years after leaving the club for Old Trafford.

Mourinho's team had been led to believe Lukaku favoured a return to Chelsea and that a deal to take the Belgian back to Stamford Bridge had, at one stage, been close.

The club had also baulked at Everton's valuation of £100m and were convinced Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata would cost significantly less.

However, reaching an agreement with Real Madrid for Morata has proved more difficult than originally thought with the Spanish side holding out for close to £80 million.

The United manager knows Lukaku from his time in charge at Chelsea. It was Mourinho who sanctioned Lukaku's sale to Everton in 2014.

The 24-year-old has become one of the Premier League's most prolific strikers in his three seasons at Goodison Park, scoring 71 goals in 133 games.

Everton were desperate to keep their main goal scorer, especially after spending close to £100 million this summer to help Ronald Koeman's side break into the top four.

However, Lukaku has made no secret of his desire to play in the Champions League.

 

Published in Headliners

The Senate on Tuesday demanded that the acting President Yemi Osinbajo must obey the resolutions of the Senate, including the immediate removal of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.

It also suspended all confirmation of appointments until compliance with its resolution.

Recall that the Chairman of the EFCC, who was appointed in Acting capacity by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 9, 2015, has consistently been rejected by the Senate.

Upon his appointment, Magu said he was committed to the anti-corruption war, drawing a connection between the economic challenges facing the country and the endemic corruption in the country.

 
Published in Politics
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