Thursday, 23 November 2017
Items filtered by date: August 2017

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected back in Nigeria today Saturday 19th of August 2019.

The President had left Nigeria since May 7th to meet up with follow up consultation with his doctors in the United Kingdom.

A statement by the Special Adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, reads ‘The President had left the country on May 7, this year, after handing over power to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who has functioned as Acting President since then.

“President Buhari is expected to speak to Nigerians in a broadcast by 7 a.m on Monday, August 21, 2017.

“He thanks all Nigerians who have prayed ceaselessly for his recovery and well-being since the beginning of the health challenge, ” it stated

The President had left the country on May 7, this year, after handing over power to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who has functioned as Acting President since then.

He returned in March to announce to his countrymen that he had never felt so ill in his life.

It would be recalled that President Buhari left Nigeria on May 7 for another round of medical attention two months after his return from similar medical vacation, the same day he received 82 Chibok Girls freed by Boko Haram.

While away in London, President Buhari received a number of visitors, beginning with the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who first hinted Nigerians about the President’s massive recovery.

After him came a stream of visitors, that included leaders of the All Progressives Congress, state governors, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and the leaders of the National Assembly, Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara. His last visitor on Friday was Pastor Enoch Adeboye, leader of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

After his visit, Saraki announced confidently that Buhari’s return was imminent.

Published in Business and Economy

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo attends the inauguration of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda in Kigali, the country's capital city, August 18th, 2017.

Published in Business and Economy
Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial capital, has been ranked as second world’s least liveable city.

It ranked second behind Damascus in an annual report by The Economist, which placed Melbrourne, Australia, as the world’s most liveable city for the seventh year running.

The Lagos rating was a fall from the third position from the bottom as contained in the 2016 report. 

The 2017 ‘Global Liveability Report’, which was released on Wednesday by The Economist’s Intelligence Unit, stated that terrorism and diplomatic tensions were eroding living conditions worldwide.

The report was premised on the criteria of stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

The “overall rating” of Lagos State stood at 36 per cent with stability, pegged at 10 per cent; healthcare, 37.5 per cent; culture and environment, 53.5 per cent; education, 33.3 per cent and infrastructure, 46.4 per cent.

Agence France Presse reports that conflict and terrorism were the major factors responsible for those cities finishing on the bottom of the survey.

“Violent acts of terrorism have been reported in many countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, France, Pakistan, Sweden, Turkey, the UK and the US.

“While not a new phenomenon, the frequency and spread of terrorism have increased noticeably and become even more prominent,” the report added.

Melbrourne, the Australian city was ranked number one out of 140 cities, slightly ahead of the Austrian capital Vienna, with the Canadian trio of Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary completing the top five.

The survey revealed that medium-sized cities in wealthy countries fared best.

“These can foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure,” the report said.

Major hubs like New York, London, Paris and Tokyo which were hives of activity reportedly lost points due to high levels of crime and overcrowded public transport.

Published in Headliners
Friday, 18 August 2017 00:23

Saraki, Dogara visit Buhari in UK

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Thursday visited ailing President Muhammadu Buhari at the Abuja House, London.

The visit came over 100 days after Buhari left Nigeria for the British capital for his second medical vacation since he assumed office in May 2015.

He had left the country on May 7, 2017, shortly after receiving the Chibok girls who were released by their abductors the previous day.

The Presidency on Thursday posted a picture from the visit of the National Assembly leaders to the President on its twitter handle, @NGRPresident.

A message, “President @MBuhari today received Senate President @bukolasaraki and Speaker, House of Representatives @YakubDogara in Abuja House, London,” accompanied the picture.

Saraki and Dogara, who wore suits, were seen in the picture discussing with Buhari.

Published in Headliners

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo Thursday in Ibadan described members of the National Assembly as a “bunch of unarmed robbers”, over their huge salaries and allowances.

Obasanjo, who hit hard at the National lawmakers, said the current legislators are one of the highest paid lawmakers in the world, despite the fact that  an estimated 75 percent of Nigerians populace live in poverty.

He added that the arm of government should be roundly condemned.

The former president spoke at the book presentation of Prof. Mark Nwagwu entitled: “I am Kagara, I Weave the Sands of Sahara”.

The event, which held at the University of Ibadan, had Obasanjo as the Chief Host while the former Minister of Education, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili chaired the occasion.

Stressing that he is expecting another round of bashing from the federal lawmakers, the former President said he would continue to lambast them for constituting a huge percentage of the nation’s overhead cost.

He lamented that the nation would hardly develop when about 90 percent of revenue was spent on overhead costs, rather than on capital expenses.

Speaking on the ongoing impasse between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the 2009 agreement, Obasanjo, said government allowed itself to be stampeded into signing agreements without full consultation within government.

However, he added that regardless of that, the government was bound to implement whatever agreement reached with workers’ unions.

He said: “Government allows itself to be stampeded into signing agreement particularly when one group or the other withdraws their service and go on strike. After the agreement has been signed, without full consultation within government, and implementation becomes an issue.

“But an agreement is an agreement whoever the agent is that signed that agreement on your behalf, you are bound by it. You may now have to renegotiate to have a new agreement but the agreement earlier signed remains an agreement.

“The universities teachers go on strike, there is an agreement; doctors go on strike, there will be a special agreement. And when the universities teachers see that the agreement reached with the doctors is different from theirs, they again go on strike and this is bad for our economy.

“The way we are going about spending all our revenue to pay overhead, we will not develop. And we will have ourselves to blame. Ninety percent of revenue is used to pay overhead, allowances, salaries and not much is left for capital development.

“In a situation like that, we have to rethink.

“It is even worse for the National Assembly. They will abuse me again but I will never stop talking about them. They are a bunch of unarmed robbers.”

“They are one of the highest paid in the world where we have 75 percent of our people living in abject poverty. They will abuse me tomorrow and if they don’t, maybe they are sleeping. The behaviour and character of the National Assembly should be condemned and roundly condemned.”

In her remarks at the occasion, the Chairperson of the event, Dr. Ezekwesili, remarked that the 289-page book, was a tool for Nigeria to examine the extent to which she had lost her values and culture.

She decried the loss of community spirit, warning that Nigeria must never negotiate her values.

According to her, the world was currently such that humanity tried to figure out what happened to morality.

The book reviewer, Mr Nwachukwu Egbunike, in his remarks on the book noted the theme of feminism and how women navigate life intricacies towards achieving success in life.

Egbunike also lauded the author’s ability to weave around different concepts in both the spirit and natural world.

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, University of Ibadan, Professor Olanike Adeyemo remarked that Nwagwu’s book was a veritable instrument to help the younger generation keep touch with culture.

The event was attended by both academic and non-academic staff of the university who were on hand to celebrate the author and his wife, Helen.

Published in Headliners
Thursday, 17 August 2017 23:40

Libya repatriates 135 Nigerian migrants

 
 

Libyan authorities on Thursday repatriated 135 Nigerian migrants, including women and children, who had made failed attempts to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, an official said.

“We are organising… the voluntary repatriation of 135 clandestine Nigerian migrants who were rescued offshore by the coastguard,” said Hosni Abu Ayanah of the Libyan government agency tackling illegal migration.

The first group of 75 men and 10 women gathered Thursday in downtown Tripoli to board buses with metal grills towards the capital’s Mitiga airport.

Others were set to depart from other migrant detention centres.

The Libyan authorities have coordinated with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to run special flights to repatriate migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa.

Ever since the rule of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi, thousands of people have crossed Libya’s 5,000-kilometre (3,000-mile) southern border to make perilous bids to reach Europe in often unseaworthy boats.

Following the 2011 NATO-backed revolt that toppled and killed Kadhafi, people traffickers have exploited the chaos rocking Libya to transport ever more migrants towards Italy, 300 kilometres away.

Those who fail often end up stuck in Libya in dire conditions and opt to be repatriated.

Published in Headliners

Zimbabwe's government has sought diplomatic immunity for President Robert Mugabe's wife in the assault case against her in South Africa, South Africa's police ministry has said.

Grace Mugabe was still in South Africa, it added, contradicting earlier reports that she had returned to Zimbabwe.

A 20-year-old South African model has accused Mrs Mugabe of assaulting her at a hotel in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Police expected Mrs Mugabe, 52, to turn herself in on Tuesday, but she did not.

Zimbabwe's government had invoked "diplomatic immunity cover" for her, the ministry said in a statement.

However, South Africa still wanted to make sure that she was "processed through the legal system", the ministry added.

Discussions were taking place with Mrs Mugabe's lawyers and the Zimbabwean High Commission over the issue, it said.

Appearing before a parliamentary committee earlier, South Africa's acting police chief Lesetja Mothiba said that Mrs Mugabe "must go to court".

 
Grace Mugabe is accused of assaulting a woman

She has not commented since police began investigating her over the alleged assault.


South Africa's diplomatic dilemma

Farouk Chothia, BBC Africa

South Africa's government risks a public backlash if it lets Mrs Mugabe go scot-free.

This happened in 2015, when it failed to execute an international arrest warrant for Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir who was wanted by the International Criminal Court.

South Africa's government argued that he qualified for diplomatic immunity, but the country's judges disagreed. The government was then strongly criticised for undermining the rule of law.

It seems that the government wants to avoid a similar backlash and is therefore insisting that Mrs Mugabe must appear in court.

But by taking such an approach it risks a diplomatic row with Zimbabwe's government - a staunch ally whom it has resolutely defended over the years despite international criticism of President Robert Mugabe's human rights record.

So the two governments are bound to be in talks to resolve the crisis over Mrs Mugabe.

One option being mentioned in the South African media is that Mrs Mugabe should plead guilty during a short court appearance, and pay a fine.

But it is unclear whether Mr and Mrs Mugabe - known for their uncompromising nature - will agree to this, especially after Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party said in a tweet on Tuesday that the first lady was "attacked", contradicting the version of her accuser.


Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said the first lady was a "total disgrace and a complete national embarrassment".

"She has to be brought to order and indeed she has to appreciate that she is not a law unto herself," it added in a statement.

Confusion surrounded the case, with South Africa's Police Minister Fikile Mbalula saying at one point on Tuesday that Mrs Mugabe had handed herself over to police and would appear in court.

She did not appear and police later said she had agreed to turn herself in but then failed to do so.

Police opened a case of assault against Mrs Mugabe after the model, Gabriella Engels, accused her of hitting her over the head with an extension cord.

The alleged assault took place after Mrs Mugabe found her with the first lady's two sons, Robert and Chatunga, in a hotel room in Sandton, a wealthy suburb north of Johannesburg, on Sunday evening.

Mrs Mugabe's sons, who are both in their 20s, live in South Africa.

The first lady was in South Africa to be treated for an ankle injury when the alleged assault took place, Zimbabwean media reported.

Ms Engels released an image of a head injury online.

Photo posted by Gabriella EngelsImage copyrightGABRIELLA ENGELS
Gabriella Engels says she was beaten with an extension cord

"When Grace entered I had no idea who she was," she told South African broadcaster News24.

"She walked in with an extension cord and just started beating me with it. She flipped and just kept beating me with the plug. Over and over. I had no idea what was going on. I was surprised. I needed to crawl out of the room before I could run away.

"There was blood everywhere," she added. "Over my arms, in my hair, everywhere."

She registered a "case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm", police said.


Who is Grace Mugabe?

Grace Mugabe addressing her maiden political rally in Chinhoyi October 2, 2014Image copyrightREUTERS
  • Began an affair with Robert Mugabe, 41 years her senior, while working as a typist in state house
  • Mr Mugabe later said his first wife Sally, who was terminally ill at the time, knew and approved of the relationship
  • Married Mr Mugabe, her second husband, in 1996 in an extravagant ceremony. They have three children
  • Nicknamed "Gucci Grace" by her critics, who accuse her of lavish spending
  • Along with her husband, is subject to EU and US sanctions, including travel bans
  • Praised by supporters for her charitable work and founding of an orphanage
  • Received a PhD in September 2014, a month after being nominated to take over the leadership of the Zanu-PF women's league
Published in Business and Economy
Gunmen on Wednesday attacked the head office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja.

The Spokesman of EFCC, Wilson Uwajaren, said in a statement that the gunmen left a death note for one of the Commission’s top detectives.

He, however, said the attack on the complex was repelled by security guards on duty.

Uwajaren said: “A major security breach was recorded at the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the early hours of Wednesday, August 16, 2017, as unknown gunmen attacked the office located at Wuse Zone 7, Abuja.

“The group of heavily armed bandits invaded the office at about 05.00 hours and began shooting into the premises, damaging vehicles parked in the premises in the process. However, the attack was repelled by guards on duty.

“The hoodlums escaped in a getaway vehicle but not without leaving a message; a white envelope dropped by the fleeing attackers was found to contain a death threat addressed to Ishaku Sharu, a senior investigator with the Commission. Ishaku who heads the foreign exchange malpractices fraud section is in charge of corruption investigation involving several politically exposed persons and retired military brass hats.

“The attack on the zone 7 office which houses the commission’s AMCON desk, procurement fraud and foreign exchange malpractices sections, is coming few weeks after another investigator, Austin Okwor was shot and wounded by unknown assailants in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.”

Uwujaren added that the incident had already been reported to the police for investigation.

Published in Headliners

Chris Brown has spoken about his assault on ex-girlfriend Rihanna, describing how a violent relationship culminated with him punching her.

The Barbados-born singer was pictured bruised and with a split lip after Brown attacked her in his car in 2009.

In a new documentary, he said Rihanna had been kicking and hitting him during an argument about another woman before he "really hit her" and bit her arm.

He said he felt like a "monster" and the fight would "haunt me forever".

Brown received five years probation and a community service order for the assault.

In the documentary, Chris Brown: Welcome to my Life, he said the relationship started going downhill after he admitted being unfaithful with a former employee, despite previously denying it.

Chris Brown and Rihanna in 2012Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
The couple got back together after the assault but split for good in 2013

After that revelation, Brown said Rihanna "hated" him and their relationship turned increasingly volatile.

"She didn't care, she just didn't trust me after that," he said. "From there, it just went downhill because it would be fights, it would be verbal fights, physical fights as well...

"We were fighting each other. She would hit me, I would hit her. But it never was OK."

'I was in shock'

The infamous 2009 assault happened on the way back from a party where Rihanna spotted the other woman.

She then found a message from her on his phone, which led to them "arguing and arguing and arguing" in the car, he said.

Chris Brown in court in 2014Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Chris Brown appeared in court in 2014 for a probation violation hearing

"I remember she was trying to kick me. It was just her just being upset. But then I really hit her. With a closed fist, like I punched her and it busted her lip. And when I saw it I was in shock. Why the hell did I hit her?

"From there, she just spit in my face, spit blood in my face, so it enraged me even more. It was a real fight in a car."

He said he realised it was a "petty, stupid fight" and pulled over, and Rihanna drove home on her own.

Of the police picture of Rihanna that showed her injuries, he said: "I look back at that picture and I'm like, 'That's not me, bro'. I hate it to this day.

"That's going to haunt me forever."

Published in Entertainment

At least 600 people are still missing following a mudslide and flooding that devastated parts of Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, a spokesman for the president has told the BBC.

President Ernest Bai Koroma earlier pleaded for "urgent support", saying entire communities had been wiped out.

Nearly 400 people are confirmed dead after a mudslide in the Regent area and floods elsewhere in Freetown on Monday.

The Red Cross has warned it is a race against time to find survivors.

A mass burial of victims is planned on Wednesday to free up space in mortuaries.

Presidential spokesman Abdulai Baraytay told the BBC that bodies were still being pulled from the mud and rubble.

"The entire community is now in mourning. Loved ones are still missing, well over 600 people," he said.

 
Sierra Leone mudslides: Rescue and recovery operation in Freetown

The UN said its teams in Sierra Leone had mobilised and were supporting rescue efforts.

"Contingency plans are being put in place to mitigate any potential outbreak of waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and diarrhoea, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Homes in the hilltop community of Regent were engulfed after part of Sugar Loaf mountain collapsed following heavy rain early on Monday. Many victims were asleep in bed when disaster struck.

President Koroma fought back tears as he toured Regent on Monday and said the devastation was "overwhelming us".

"Entire communities have been wiped out. We need urgent support now," he said.

Map shows the location of the capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown

He urged people to stay away from the affected areas.

"This tragedy of great magnitude has once again challenged us to come together, to stand by each other and to help one another," he said.

Flooding is not unusual in Sierra Leone, where unsafe housing in makeshift settlements can be swept away by heavy rains.

The rains often hit areas in and around Freetown, an overcrowded coastal city of more than one million people.

Published in Business and Economy
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