Monday, 20 November 2017
My dear citizens,

I am very grateful to God and to all Nigerians for their prayers. I am pleased to be back on home soil among my brothers and sisters.

In the course of my stay in the United Kingdom, I have been kept in daily touch with events at home. Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far.

In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura. Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analyzed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.

Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.

Every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance.

I believe the very vast majority of Nigerians share this view.

This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.

The National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse.

The national consensus is that, it is better to live together than to live apart.

Furthermore, I am charging the Security Agencies not to let the successes achieved in the last 18 months be a sign to relax.

Terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of us can live in peace and safety.

Therefore we are going to reinforce and reinvigorate the fight not only against; elements of Boko Haram which are attempting a new series of attacks on soft targets, kidnappings, farmers versus herdsmen clashes, in addition to ethnic violence fuelled by political mischief makers. We shall tackle them all.

Finally, dear Nigerians, our collective interest now is to eschew petty differences and come together to face common challenges of; economic security, political evolution and integration, as well as lasting peace among all Nigerians.

I remain resolutely committed to ensuring that these goals are achieved and maintained. I am so glad to be home.

Thank you and may God bless our dear Nation.

Published in Headliners
Tuesday, 06 June 2017 03:10

Africa Cup of Nations winner Tiote dies

Ivory Coast international midfielder Cheick Tiote has died aged 30 while training with his Chinese club Beijing Enterprises, his spokesman announced in a statement on Monday.

Tiote, who was part of the Ivory Coast squad that delivered the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations after a 23 year drought although he was injured for the final, had only moved to China in February after ending a seven year stay with English outfit Newcastle United.

"It is with deep sadness that I confirm that my client Cheick Tiote sadly passed away earlier today after collapsing in training with his club Beijing Enterprises," Tiote's spokesman Emanuele Palladino said.

"We cannot say any more at the moment and we request that his family's privacy be respected at this difficult time.

"We ask for all your prayers."

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez paid tribute to the talented Tiote, one of 10 children who like many of his international team-mates grew up in abject poverty and didn't possess a pair of boots until he was 15.

"It is with great sadness that I have this afternoon learned of Cheick's death," Benitez told the Newcastle website.

"In the all the time that I have known him, he was a true professional, dedicated and above all, a great man.

"Our hearts go out to his family and friends at such a sad time."​

Tiote moved to Newcastle from Dutch side FC Twente in 2010 and made 161 appearances for the Magpies, scoring once -- the equaliser when Newcastle recovered from 4-0 down to draw 4-4 with Arsenal in 2011.

The 52-times capped Tiote, who was in both the 2010 and 2014 World Cup squads, began his European club career with Belgian outfit Anderlecht but only played four times in three years with them -- being loaned out to Dutch side Roda JC Kerkrade -- before moving to Twente in 2008.

Published in Sports

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