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Saturday, July 18

Nigeria’s future lies in children’s hands – Aisha Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, Aisha, on Saturday hosted some children to an elaborate reception as part of activities marking this year’s Eid-el-Fitri.

At the party held inside the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the President’s wife told the children to be good ambassadors of their parents and the country.

While saying that the future of the country is in the hands of the children, Mrs. Buhari urged them to face their studies and be obedient to their parents.

She also urged the children to continue to pray for other Nigerian children who are presently residing inside the different Internally Displaced Persons camps scattered all over the country because of acts of terrorism in parts of the country.

She also told them that the present administration attaches great importance to the welfare of children and would stop at nothing to ensure their protection and development.

She said, “The future of this great country lies in your hands.

“You are to complement the efforts of government by working very hard in school and to be obedient to your parents.

“Tomorrow, you may be the President, the President’s wife, senators, honourable members, governors, medical doctors, teachers, journalists, engineers, nurses, lawyers and the rest of our honourable professions.”

The President’s wife also urged parents to encourage and monitor their children.

After spending about two hours with the children, Mrs. Buhari later sought their permission to leave so that she could go and prepare the President’s dinner.

“I’m going to leave you soon. I want to go back home to cook for my husband. Because my children are here playing with you, so nobody is at home, only my husband. So I want to go back home to be with him and also cook dinner for him,” she told the the highly elated children.

The venue of the event was tastefully decorated with various playing spots provided for the children.

The party featured different games, dancing competition and fashion parade, among others.

Mrs. Buhari was accompanied by wives of some former governors.
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Many houses set ablaze as Boko Haram launches fresh attacks on Borno villages

Suspected members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect on Friday evening invaded Sabon Gari, Manjakwa villages of Hawul Local Government Area of Borno state killing no fewer than 10 residents with several others injured.

The insurgents according to reliable sources from the area stormed the village at about 9pm with AK47 rifles and petrol bombs, which they used in setting many houses ablaze after killing innocent residents and looted their farm produce.

The insurgents also snatched one of the three new brand Hilux patrol vehicles donated to vigilante group by one spirited individual (names withheld) who hail from the area.

Hawul is predominantly Christian community south and about 230kms drive from Maiduguri that have witnessed series of Boko Haram attacks, unfortunately, there were no single military presence in the area despite plea from concerned stakeholders.

The terrorists according to Mallam Yakubu Isa Manjakwa came in large numbers, wrecked havoc and succeeded in sacking the whole of the farming communities.

“Another disaster has befallen us today because the terrorists have attacked our village and killed many armless people on sight. They operated for more than 4 hours before they left.

“So far, we have counted 9 people, while one person out of the many others that sustained injuries died this morning (Saturday) as a result of severe gunshot wounds,” Isa said.

The immediate past Caretaker Chairman of Hawul Local Government Area, Dr. Andrew Usman Malgwi confirmed the attacks on Sabon Gari Manjakwa, but however insisted that he did not have details on the number of casualties.
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D’banj wins MAMA evolution award, dedicates it to Don Jazzy

D'banj on saturday won the maiden MAMA Evolution award, and he has dedicated the prestigious prize to his former business partner and producer, Don Jazzy, who is the boss of Mavin Records.

The Evolution category is meant for established artistes who have made a huge impact on the African music scene, taken African music to new heights around the world and pushed the boundaries of creativity.

D’Banj beat fellow Nigerian representatives Asa, Psquare and 2face to the awards. Fally Ipupa (DRC), Samini (Ghana), HHP (South Africa) Chameleone (Uganda), Black Coffee (South Africa) and Anselmo Ralph (Angola) were also nominated

It will be recalled that the musical marriage between D’Banj and Don Jazzy ended on a sour note in 2012.
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MAMA 2015: P-square wins best group

Sensational R&B duo singers, Peter and Paul Okoye have won the best group category of the 2015 MAMA awards in South Africa

The talented Afropop duo were the biggest losers at last year’s edition of MTV Africa Music Awards. The duo were defeated three times. They lost out in the categories; Song of the year, Best Group and Artiste of the Year won by Davido.

Congrats to them.
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Cech makes debut as Arsenal win Asia Trophy

Arsenal won the Barclays Asia Trophy as they beat Everton 3-1 in Singapore on Saturday.

Theo Walcott put the Gunners in front at the break, bef
ore Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil put them three clear.

Petr Cech was handed his debut by Arsene Wenger, but he couldn’t register a clean sheet in his first appearance as Ross Barkley pulled one back for Everton.

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'Buhari plans to send Jonathan to prison'

A civil rights organisation, Vanguards of Nigeria’s Democracy, on Saturday raised the alarm over clandestine moves by President Muhammadu Buhari to “investigate, malign and imprison” former President Goodluck Jonathan on trumped-up charges.

The VND specifically accused the President and his All Progressives Congress-led administration of “unsavoury and patently repugnant action,” which it said, were anti-Niger Delta and against the Ijaw ethnic nationality.

The group believed Jonathan was the target of the controversy surrounding some alleged missing funds from the nation’s treasury during the tenure of the immediate past administration.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, wondered why people would dwell on speculations when nothing concrete had been established against Jonathan.

He said, “All these are speculations and I cannot react to speculations because there is nothing concrete yet against the former President.”

The spokesperson of VND, Mr. Osaghae Ogiemudia, in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, claimed that anti-Niger Delta and anti-Ijaw posturing of the APC government of Buhari had been demonstrated in several ways.

According to him, all Niger-Deltans, especially those from the Ijaw ethnic nationality, should support and rally round Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, “the only Ijaw governor.”

He said, “We, the members of the Vanguards of Nigeria’s Democracy, are aware of some clandestine moves made by the APC-led government to probe, investigate, malign and imprison ex President Jonathan. We are already aware of the trumped-up charges the APC government is leveling against a man who has diligently served the Nigerian state at the highest level of government.

“The APC led government should take notice that the appointments made so far are skewed in favour of the North, as no Ijaw man has been appointed. While an Ijaw President did not discriminate in appointment, President Buhari is implementing a Northern agenda through some of the appointments.”
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32 Boko haram fighters, 16 Niger villagers killed in counter attack in Niger

Boko Haram jihadists killed 16 civilians in an attack this week on a southeast Niger village, near the Nigerian border, a local official said Saturday. “On July 15, Boko Haram elements fired on locals who were praying in a village near the town of Bosso,” said Bako Mamadou, mayor of Bosso, a town in southeast Niger on the border with Nigeria, where the armed Islamist group originated.

“They killed 15 people on the spot and another person succumbed later to their wounds,” Mamadou said on state television. According to the Bosso mayor, four others were injured in the attack. Meanwhile the Niger army said Saturday it had killed 32 Boko Haram fighters from July 15-17 during “sweeping up” operations following the July 15 attack by “Boko Haram elements”.

The defence ministry added that three Islamist fighters were taken into custody, adding that Chadian soldiers also took part in the operation. Nigeria and Niger, along with Chad and Cameroon, have launched a joint offensive to end Boko Haram’s six-year insurgency, which has claimed at least 15,000 lives and caused about 1.5 million people to flee their homes.

There has been a recent spate of Boko Haram attacks in Niger’s southeast Diffa region following weeks of relative calm. The upsurge in attacks on civilians comes after the four-nation coalition pushed the militants out of territory they had seized in northeast Nigeria.
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Messi lays first stone of 2017 African Cup venue in Gabon

Four-time world player of the year Lionel Messi linked up with Gabonese president Ali Bongo Ondimba on Saturday to lay the first stone at a future African Cup of Nations venue.

The Barcelona star, who won a treble of Spanish title, Copa del Rey and Champions League last season, officially started the building process at the Port-Gentil stadium, which will host Africa Cup of Nations matches in 2017.

The ceremony took place on a wide sandy ground where the stadium will be built. It was the Argentine forward’s first visit to Gabon and he signed autographs on team jerseys worn by his fans, before proceeding with the laying of the first stone, accompanied by the president.

“When I was in Barcelona a few years ago, I met Messi who had told me that he would come to visit me in Libreville,” said the Gabon president. “It’s a promise he made me. He is a man of honour who just kept his word.”.

The new stadium will have a capacity of 20,000 and is expected to host matches from November 2016 in the build-up to the tournament. Port Gentil is Gabon’s second city and the country’s oil capital.
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Policeman hits head against road barrier, dies

Tragedy occurred on Sallah day in Bauchi when a policeman on special duty knocked his head against a barrier meant to restrict heavy trucks from plying a road, and died.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the policeman, Corporal Solomon Paul, attached to the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit, Bauchi Police Command, became unconscious and later died at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, Bauchi.

The Bauchi State Police Command’s spokesman, Haruna Mohammed, who confirmed the incident, described it as “tragic”.

He said, “On the July 17(Friday) at about 9am, the Bauchi State Police Command lost one F/N 499348 PC Solomon Paul, attached to the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit, Bauchi.

“The incident occurred when the victim brought his head out of the roof of a moving patrol vehicle while on special duty.

“As a result, he hit the overhead barrier meant to restrict heavy trucks from plying the road, and became unconscious.

“He was rushed to ATBU Teaching Hospital, Bauchi , for treatment but was later certified dead by a medical doctor while on admission.”

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Police dispels bomb attack rumours in Sokoto

The Sokoto State Police Command on Saturday dispelled rumours of a botched bomb attack in Sokoto.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the police anti bomb squad were alerted at about 1.30pm on Saturday of a suspiscious box near a major hotel in the city.

NAN gathered that the box was reportedly brought to the area by four boys, who attempted to open it.

However, the security guards attached to the hotel were said to have instantly alerted a police patrol vehicle stationed at the Dandima round about, very close to the sokoto meat and vegetable market.

The Spokesman of the command, Mr El-Mustapha Sani confirmed the removal of the box by the men of the anti bomb unit.

“The box was just containing some empty packs and it was thought to have been stolen from the nearby sokoto central market by the boys.

“Actually, our men had opened the box which was locked with a padlock and it is now in our custody, and it is not a bomb.

“No arrest was made as the boys fled the scene, with one of them shouting bomb, apparently to divert the attention of the people, hence, evaded arrest,” he explained.

Sani commended the security guards for alerting the police and urged residents to continue to be vigilant.

He said that people should report any suspicious items or persons at places of worship, markets, residences and other public places to security agencies.

This, the police spokesman averred, would enable the police to nip any unforeseen circumtances in the bud.

NAN reports that the bomb scare in Sokoto on Saturday came barely three hours after the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar appealed to Nigerians to serve as security agent of their localities.

The sultan made the call at the 13th Annual General Meeting of Sokoto Education Development Trust Fund.

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Ansar-ud-deen Society of Nigeria begs Boko Haram to allow peace to reign

Ansar-ud-deen Society of Nigeria (ADS) has appealed to the Boko Haram insurgents to sheathe their sword and allow peace to reign in the country.

The society made the call in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Muibi Adebanjo, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Saturday.

It congratulated the Muslims for the successful completion of Ramadan and urged the Islamic faithful worldwide to embrace the righteous ways displayed during Ramadan. It noted that the nation cannot develop nor grow in a situation of insecurity, and charged the insurgents to sheathe their sword and make its agitation known to the government through dialogue.

 The Islamic organization commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his approach to duty, and appealed to Nigerians to be patient with him.

 It also commended the president for bailing out the states with unpaid workers’ salaries problem and advised the states to pay the workers as soon as the money was released. It also advocated diversification of the nation’s economy to check high dependence on oil, adding that the country needed to grow every sector ‘’for strong and quality development’’. It called on its members worldwide to be steadfast in prayers, while also co-existing peacefully within their various societies.
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Popular singer, Omawumi welcomes second child in U.S

Omawumi's baby
Popular Nigerian singer, Omawumi welcomed her bundle of joy in the early hours of today in a hospital in the United States.

According to City People magazine, she delivered a baby boy, this is the second son for Omawumi and her husband Tosin yusuf.

Mother and son are said to be doing great.
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I regret manner of Liverpool exit – Sterling

Raheem Sterling admits that he regrets the manner of his exit from Liverpool, having sealed a £49 million move to Manchester City.

The England international was involved in a protracted transfer saga after turning down the club’s offer of a new £100,000-a-week contract.

Sterling threatened to go on strike as he attempted to force a move and twice called in sick to training, while his agent, Aidy Ward, claimed there had been a “breakdown in trust” between his client and Brendan Rodgers.

Sterling watched on as his new team-mates defeated Melbourne City 1-0 in a pre-season friendly on Saturday, and subsequently expressed his wish that he had handled his departure differently.

“I was a bit disappointed how I left,” he told Fox Sports Australia.

“That was the main problem I’ve had with the situation – how I’ve left it with Liverpool.

“I’m good with everyone at the football club, the manager, the players and I wish them well for the new season.

“But it was really disappointing how it did finish off.”

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Fayose blasts Buhari’s “dictatorship”

The governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, has described the invasion of the residence of a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, by the State Security Services as a sign of the return to the days of military dictatorship in Nigeria.

While condemning the action on Friday in Ado-Ekiti, Mr. Fayose said it sounded strange that the former NSA could be so maltreated through military action over a flimsy excuse of refusing to honour a summon by the SSS.

“Persecution of Peoples Democratic Party stalwarts and others perceived as opposed to the All Progressives Congress federal government is an ominous sign of imminent return of dictatorship and draconian rule in Nigeria,” the governor said.

He, however, said the action by the SSS may not have received the backing of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“If this is being done by some people to please the president, he should check the excesses of those behind it and call them to order because over-zealousness by those that are close to the president is inimical to the image of the government,” he said.

“Rather than invading homes of Nigerians and putting people under house arrest, the government should invade Boko Haram territories and arrest the insurgents.”

Mr. Fayose said he was sad that democracy was already being put on trial less than two months of President Buhari’s administration.

“President Buhari should rather keep Boko Haram under house arrest, not opposition party members,” he added.

“Those heavily armed security men that invaded Col. Dasuki’s Abuja and Sokoto homes should have been put to a better use by sending them to the Boko Haram ravaged North Eastern part of Nigeria.”
The governor also condemned the persecution of Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, saying the plot to remove from office was dangerous to democracy.
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Buhari goes to America

President Muhammed Buhari will go to Washington, DC 19 – 24 July, on a visit that is sure to positively reset the button of Nigeria – United States relationship.

This will be President Buhari’s first visit to the U.S. as the elected leader of the world’s largest black nation and Africa’s biggest economy.

In addition to several hours of engagement with President Obama and other key officials inside the White House, President Buhari will also engage with Vice President Joe Biden; Secretary of State, John Kerry; Congressional caucuses and leaders; the defense establishment; the private sector and Nigerians in the Diaspora.

The timing of the visit is quite auspicious. By tradition, the United States does not usually accord this type of welcome to new national leaders until they have settled properly in their jobs.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bulus Paul Lolo who leads the Ministry in the absence of a substantive minister says the goal of the visit is to revitalize Nigeria – US relations which have bilateral, regional and global ramifications.

All issues will be on the table. Discussions will cover security, defense, economy, commerce, trade, agriculture, law, financial and other crimes, counter-terrorism, and immigration.

The Americans see Nigeria as the most strategic nation in Sub-Saharan Africa. They want to listen to President Buhari’s vision for Nigeria and see how they can key into it to forge a stronger bilateral partnership for mutual benefit and for the good of the African continent.

From the point of view of commerce and investment, the United States is seen world-wide as a great facilitator and President Buhari’s visit to the White House this early in the life of his administration will certainly boost the confidence of American investors in the Nigerian economy and assure them that they can safely do business with the country.

Human rights are a strong issue that governs or directs U.S. international relations. It is on account of this that the last Nigerian administration was denied military procurement and training. Happily for us at this time, we have a new government that has expressed its full commitments to the defense and promotion of human rights. President Buhari recognizes the abiding need to respect and protect the rights of our citizens.

The protection of the well-being of the citizen is the primary purpose of government. When it comes to human rights, the Buhari administration has made it clear that respect for the rule of law and human rights is non-negotiable.

The disagreement we have with those who accuse our military of all manner of atrocities is that they ignore the peculiarity and the sometimes extreme circumstances of the war against terror going on in the country. Soldiers or even their commanders respond to issues on the spur of the moment and sometimes, the exercise of control becomes a challenge. Even with the leading nations of the world, we have seen such challenges in Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria. The important thing for the government is to draw lessons and learn from them.

To go back to the necessity of the visit, especially in view of doubts raised about it by Thisday Saturday Editor, Shaka Momodu, it is important to state that the dynamics of the world have since changed from his narrow and passionate standpoint. Nationalism cannot be outmoded. But it can be tampered by realism.

An important back-drop to this visit is the commitment of the G-7 industrialised states to support Nigeria’s war against terrorism and help General Buhari achieve his objective of giving the nation a new lease of life.
As the president said in his inaugural speech, never in the history of Nigeria have we ever seen such outpouring of goodwill and support from the international community.
The U.S. is the center of the world right now. This visit is sure to Nigeria and its new leader greater recognition by the world.
President Obama and indeed, all America leaders, agree to receive only a few leaders on this type of visit. This visit, coming so early in the life of the Buhari administration should be seen as an acceptance and recognition of how important we are as people and country.
Highlights of the visit will include President Buhari’s meetings with President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden; Secretary of State, John Kerry and bilateral meetings with the US Attorney-General, the Deputy Secretary of Defence and the U.S. military establishment.
President Buhari will have series of meetings with influential groups including the US Chamber of Commerce and the Corporate Council for Africa. The President will meet the Congressional Black caucus; leaders and committees of the U.S. Congress and the Nigerians in the Diaspora. He will also interact with other interests groups at the US Institute of Peace.
Garba Shehu is SSA to the President (Media & Publicity)
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Gunmen abduct Odi compensation fund committee chairman

Gunmen, suspected to be kidnappers, on Friday abducted the Chairman, Odi Compensation Funds Disbursement Committee in Bayelsa State, Prof. Zibokere Daukiye, the police said.

Police spokesman in the state, Mr Asinim Butswat, confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria in Yenagoa on Saturday.

The Police Public Relations Officer said, “In the early hours of Friday, some unknown gunmen stormed the residence of Professor Zibokere Daukiye, the Chairman of Odi Compensation Fund Disbursement Committee, at Odi community, in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area.

“The unknown gunmen abducted him, whisked him to a waiting speedboat and sped off to an unknown destination.

“A manhunt has been launched by a combined team of Marine Police, anti-kidnapping unit and JTF to rescue the victim and arrest the abductors.”

NAN reports that the development has raised anxiety among residents of Odi, which was in 2014, given N15bn as compensation for its invasion by federal troops in 1999.

The community dragged the Federal Government to court for the incident and was awarded N 37.6bn by a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt.

In compliance with the judgment, the Federal Government approached the community for talks and negotiated the figure down to N15bn.

Consequently, the community constituted a committee to handle the disbursement of the money to its people and appointed Daukiye as its chairman.

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We ‘ll not disappoint Ekiti people - Speaker

The Speaker, Ekiti House of Assembly, Mr Kola Oluwawole, has assured the people of the state that the legislative arm of the government would not shark its responsibilities.

Oluwawole, in a statement on Saturday in Ado Ekiti, said:“Ekiti people voted for us on April 11 in expectation of new things, and by the grace of God, the current 26 lawmakers have resolved to do their jobs well.

“We will not cheat the people, we will not cheat Gov. Ayodele Fayose; we will not wage war against Ekiti, we will not disappoint the people who voted for us.’’

The statement, signed by the speaker’s Special Assistant on Media, Mr Stephen Gbadamosi, was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

NAN reports that the 19 lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 7th Assembly had a frosty relationship with the PDP-led administration of Gov. Fayose.

Oluwawole said neither would the House be polarised nor would it bicker with the executive arm in the name of politics.

He reiterated the PDP-dominated House of Assembly’s determination to be part of the drive that would bring about the desired development in the state.

He noted that the bickering and faceoff between the former legislators and the governor were responsible for the ‘war’ that was waged against the state

“We are determined to join hands with the Fayose-led administration to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.’’

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Nigerian airlines decry high operating cost

Airline Operators Association of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to review the charges paid by its members in order to reduce their high cost of operation.

General Secretary of the association, Mr Mohammed Joji, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja that high operating cost was a challenge facing the aviation industry in Nigeria.

Joji stated that airline operators in the country were burdened with multiple charges, which included five per cent ticket sale charge, landing and parking charge as well as passenger service charge and en-route navigational charge.

According to him, aside the charges mentioned, airlines are also subjected to paying Value Added Tax to the Federal Inland Revenue Service, which he described as abnormal.

He added, “The issue of multiple charges is a major challenge facing local airline operators, because the charges are so numerous and have significantly affected airlines’ operations.

“For instance, we pay five per cent charge for passenger’s ticket, which is a compulsory payment for every operator.

“For the operators to survive in the business, there is the need for the government to harmonise some of these charges in the overall interest of the sector.

“The charges are not good for the industry as a whole, and we urge the government to find ways of addressing this issue which has become a major challenge to us.”

Joji identified another challenge of the industry as the high cost of aviation fuel (JET-A1), which is currently being sold at between N160 and N170 per litre.

He added that the aviation fuel, whose price was usually cheaper than the prices of petrol and diesel, was hitherto sold at N40 per litre.

According to him, the marketers have taken advantage of the deregulation of the downstream sector to reap additional proceeds, describing this as illegal and immoral.

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Earthquake hits Solomon Islands

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of the Solomon Islands on Saturday, the US Geological Survey said, but the threat of a Pacific tsunami in the tremor-prone region was thought to have mostly passed.

The shallow tremor was centred about 78 kilometres (48 miles) west-northwest of Lata in the Solomon Islands and about 583 kilometres from the capital Honiara, it said, after revising it down from an initial estimate of 7.5.

Geoscience Australia, which estimated the quake at 7.3-magnitude, said it was possible that a local tsunami could have been generated within several hundred kilometres (miles) of the jolt.

But the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which said its estimate on the quake’s size was 6.9, said that based on all data available “the tsunami threat from this earthquake has now mostly passed”.

“Minor sea level fluctuations of up to 0.3 metres above and below the normal tide may continue over the next few hours,” it added.

The Solomons are part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a zone of tectonic activity known for its frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

“It’s large but it’s not the largest,” Geoscience’s Eddie Leask told AFP of Saturday’s quake.

“The main risk is obviously the earthquake shaking. This is an area which regularly experiences these throughout history.”

In 2013, the Solomons were hit by a tsunami after an 8.0-magnitude quake, leaving at least 10 people dead and thousands homeless after buildings were destroyed.

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US reiterates support for fight against Boko Haram

US on Friday reiterated its continuous support for Nigeria’s efforts to bring those responsible for recent terrorists attacks to justice.

This is contained In a statement by John Kirby, Spokesman of the States Department in New York.

He said the US strongly condemned the attacks.

The spokesman reiterate commitment to help Nigeria and its neighbours counter Boko Haram, both through bilateral assistance and support to the Multinational Joint Task Force.

“The United States offered her deepest sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the attacks of Thursday and Friday at a market in Gombe and a prayer ground in Damaturu, Yobe, Northeast Nigeria,” Kirby said.
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We’ll stamp out insurgency – Osinbajo

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday said the Federal Government was committed to stamping out the activities of insurgents in the country.

Osinbajo said this in Gombe when he paid a condolence visit to families that lost their loved one to the Gombe central market twin blasts on Thursday.

Osinbajo, “The incident is unfortunate; we are convinced we are going to stamp out insurgency in the country,” he said.

Osinbajo said he was directed by President Mohammadu Buhari, to commiserate with the people of Gombe over the incident.

“This morning when we paid the President Sallah homage, he asked me to come to Gombe to commiserate with the people, the Emir and governor of Gombe over the terrible incident that happened.

“He said I should let them know that we are with them; we heard about the death of men, women and children and we feel your pains.

“People should be rejoicing in celebration of Sallah but instead they are mourning; it is unfortunate,” he said.
Osinbajo said it was the duty of the government to protect the lives and properties of the citizenry.

“I salute the braveness of Gombe people. In spite of the unfortunate incident they are still in the market

“This is because they know, it is only God that can protect them, men can only do their best,” he said.

Governor Dankwambo, in his speech, thanked the Osinbajo for the visit, adding that the people of Gombe State were highly honoured with the gesture.

The Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu, also thanked the vice president for the visit.

He said the visit did not come to him as surprise considering the love Buhari and Osinbajo had for Gombe people and the entire north east.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that, the vice president visited the Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe, to see the victims of the blast.

He also visited the scene of the blast and some bereaved families.

It would be recalled that a twin blasts at Gombe central market on Thursday claimed over 50 lives and left many people wounded.
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We Won’t Picket NNPC Says Gani Adams

We Won’t Picket NNPC Says Gani Adams

A factional leader of the Oodua Peoples Congress, Mr. Gani Adams, has said that picketing the offices of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation is not part of the plan to recover debts the oil company is owning OPC and some ex-Niger Delta militants.

In the build up to the last general elections, the media was awash with reports that the former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, awarded surveillance contracts estimated at about N9bn to the OPC and ex-militants. Adams on several occasions thanked Jonathan for the gesture.

But following the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the security contract was allegedly terminated.

Last week, OPC founder, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, threatened to lead an army of OPC members to picket NNPC offices to recover debt allegedly owed them as a result of the botched contract.

Adams told Saturday PUNCH on Friday that even though his group and NNPC were in talks over ways of settling the bills, taking to the streets in protest was not part of the plans to recover the debts.

He said, “It is true that we met in Eko Hotel, myself, Dr. Fasehun and General Shoot-at-Sight and we discussed how we are going to get paid for the job done for NNPC. But we did not say we would carry out any protest and that is why I came out to dissociate myself and my group from a plan by Dr. Fasehun to picket the offices of NNPC.

“We had a valid contract with the NNPC to protect pipelines in the South-West and some part of the Niger Delta; we have the papers and other legal documents. In fact, let me correct it here that the contract was for three months; nobody terminated it. About 4,000 workers were engaged by our companies – New Age Security Company owned by Dr. Fasehun; Galaxy Security Outfit Nigeria Limited owned by General Shoot-at-Sight and Donyx Global Concept Nigeria Limited owned by me.

“We had to source for loans to pay part of our workers’ salaries and after the three months, we met with NNPC to pay up and we are making progress. Dr. Fasehun is entitled to his opinion, but we don’t think it is wise to embark on any protest now which might heat up the polity and worsen the fuel scarcity.

“We are telling the NNPC, if you don’t renew the contract, at least pay for the job we did for three months. The plan to protest is Dr. Fasehun’s idea, not OPC’s. This is not a self actualisation struggle but business. If you start a protest and it is hijacked, there will be crisis and the people will say OPC is disturbing the peace. We are in touch with NNPC but protest is not part of it.”

The factional leader, however, declined to disclose the worth of the contract and what his organisation would do if NNPC refused to pay up.

“That is not for the pages of newspapers,” he said.
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Kano Peaceful As Security Agencies Intensify Patrol

Kano Peaceful As Security Agencies Intensify Patrol

Muslim faithful in Kano city celebrated a peaceful Eid-El-Fitr on Friday amidst tight security put in place by the Kano State Police Command.

In compliance with the directives of the Police Command, worshippers went to the various prayer grounds with mainly their praying mats and avoided taking unnecessary objects along.

Worshippers were also directed by the police to park their vehicles at about 200 metres away from prayer grounds.

The command also deployed plain clothes security operatives to recreational centres and strategic places including roundabouts, markets, and places of worship for intelligence gathering and to boost security in the city.

In a statement, the command’s spokesman, Magaji Musa Majiya, commended the efforts of the general public in cooperating with all security agencies in the state, saying it has contributed to the maintenance of law and order in the state.

Meanwhile, Senator Bello Gwarzo has urged the country’s Muslim community to continue to exhibit good conduct, beyond the holy month of Ramadan fast.

Gwarzo, in a statement released on Friday, which was signed by his Media Assistant, Ibrahim Garba, commended the entire Muslim community for religiously observing the Ramadan fast.

Gwarzo also called on Muslim faithful to use the period to reflect on the security situation in the country and pray for an enduring peace to reign in the entire country.
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Amaechi Calls For Unity And Seeks God’s Blessings

Amaechi Calls For Unity And Seeks God’s Blessings

Former Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has called on Nigerians and Muslim faithful to join hands in moving the country forward.

Amaechi also charged them to pray for peace and unity while celebrating the end of the Ramadan fasting period.

A statement issued by Amaechi’s Media Office and signed by the governor’s former aide, Mr. David Iyofor, the APC chieftain prayed for Allah’s blessings for Nigerians and Nigeria.

He enjoined Muslims as they celebrate to reflect on ways to tackle the nation’s problems and together, cause a positive impact on the peace, unity and growth of the country.

“Together, we can make this country a better place. If we can think of ways to help build our nation and put away sentiments, then we can make it work.

“As our Muslim brothers celebrate Eid el Fitr today, we join them in prayers and thanksgiving, believing that Nigeria will be great again if we work and strive together,” the former governor said.

Amaechi also urged Nigerians to exercise patience with the new administration and noted that President Muhammadu Buhari was determined and on track to deliver good governance to the nation.

He said, “Our President is determined to make Nigeria better. Let us give him time. Let us also work with him to achieve our desires as one nation.

“This should not just be a time of celebration alone. We should also reflect on the troubles and heartaches of our country. How we can move forward and make things right should be key in our thoughts and prayers.

“I believe peace can reign again in Nigeria. I believe Nigeria can be great again. Let us come together and work together.”

He wished all Muslims and all Nigerians a happy, love-filled Eid el Fitr celebration and Allah’s blessings.
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Scores Dump PDP For APC In Bayelsa

Scores Dump PDP For APC In Bayelsa

Scores of the Peoples Democratic Party in Bayelsa State on Friday defected to the All Progressives Congress.

The defection saw two-time member of House of Representatives, Chief Warman Ogoriba, and many other PDP supporters, some former aides of Governor Seriake Dickson, embracing the APC.

Those who also dumped the PDP were former commissioners in the state: Charles Opuola, Nelson Belief, Sylvanus Abila, and Ayiba Nelson.

Others are Adolphus Ofongo, Lucky Yeboah, Romeo Ebizimor, Williams Ofoni, John Ebikake and Moses Tariebe, among others.

Prominent APC chieftains who received the defectors at the party’s secretariat in Yenagoa former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva; former Acting governors Nestor Binabo and Werinipre Seibarugu; Ambassador Felix Oboro, state Chairman of APC, Tiwei Orunimighe; his deputy, Eddy Julius; Secretary, Marlin Daniel and Publicity Secretary, Panebi Fortune, among others.

Sylva said APC would, on February 14, 2016, occupy the state Government House, Yenagoa, as the ruling party.

According to him, the PDP is dead in Bayelsa State and the people are only waiting for its funeral, which will come soon.

Urging all members of the APC to unite, the former governor said, “The party is a sweet family. The message is that all of us should come together and form one big family. The dirt on Yenagoa and Bayelsa will be swept off by the APC and thrown into Opuabadi (sea).

“As for the PDP, do not make any mistake. The PDP government in Bayelsa State is dead. Its funeral is being postponed. We will bury it soon.”
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We’ve Neutralised Radio Biafra, Says NBC

We’ve Neutralised Radio Biafra, Says NBC

The National Broadcasting Commission on Friday said that it had neutralised Radio Biafra.

The commission, in a statement in Abuja by its Director-General, Mr. Emeka Mba, said with the assistance of security operatives, it had confiscated the equipment of the radio station.

The statement read, “The commission has worked with other agencies to remove the transmissions of the illegal station from the satellite and this has put paid to the divisive and disruptive transmissions. We are working on the Internet transmissions.”

The NBC said that it appreciated the concerns expressed by Nigerians about the seditious activities of the radio station.

The commission reiterated its calls on the public to disregard the hate messages broadcast by the radio station. It also said that security operators had arrested operators of the radio and transferred them to Abuja.

“Some of the suspects involved in the illicit broadcasts have also been arrested and taken to Abuja for questioning and prosecution,” it said.
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Nigerians in UK protest after compulsory payment of N10,000 for BVN

Nigerians in UK protest after compulsory payment of N10,000 for BVN

Nigerians in London, United Kingdom, have expressed frustration over the compulsory payment of £30 (about N10, 000) for the registration of the Bank Verification Number, as directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Apparently sad over their plight, some of them during the week stormed the Nigeria High Commission in London to protest against the directive of the apex bank. Others took to the social media to vent their anger.

The CBN had recently extended the deadline for the BVN registration from June 30 to October 31, 2015 as disclosed in a circular issued to all deposit money banks operating in the country.

The Director, Banking and Payment Systems Department of the CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, said the extension became imperative in order to give bank customers more time to participate in the enrolment exercise.

The circular had read in part, “It has come to our notice that the BVN registration has elicited tremendous interest from the Nigerian banks’ customers who crowded the banking halls in order to beat the deadline.

“Furthermore, there is the need to give Nigerian banks’ customers in the Diaspora ample time to enrol on the programme. The guideline for their enrolment is being finalised and will be released soon.”

Though the BVN registration in Nigeria is free, Nigerians living in London have had to part with N10, 000 to enrol on the exercise.

The directive was said to have been issued by the apex bank, as confirmed by the UK chapter of the All Progressives Congress and Zenith Bank.

The APC, UK chapter, had asked the bank on Twitter about the authenticity of the directive and the bank replied, saying, “The letter is genuine. The fee is as communicated by CBN and the enrolment company was contracted by the CBN. We trust this helps.”

Meanwhile, a user of a popular blogging platform, Nairaland, by the name klem93, said he was shocked to have seen photos of Nigerians thronging the Nigeria High Commission in London in frustration.

He wrote, “I thought it is going to be smooth sailing as I read that BVN for Nigerians in London had begun. I didn’t know it is going to be the same way as it went in Nigeria. A reader of my blog who lives in London wrote me an email: ‘The Nigeria High Commission in London needs an urgent overhaul. This afternoon, we Nigerians were treated like animals in Fleet Street, London, all because we wanted to do BVN for those of us who have accounts in Nigeria.

“Things soon became chaotic and someone called police on us. They allowed us to converge on the street and then locked us out. We were also being forced to pay £30.00 each, but none of the officials or the website could explain what the money was meant for. Is it not free in Nigeria?”

Eleojoe23, another user of the platform, protested, “£30? What for? They truly deserve an explanation. Maybe the high commission thinks that since they live in London, they should have enough money to spare. Do they think people just go out and pick money on the streets in London?”

Another user of the platform, Julioralph, said, “30 pounds for what? Members of staff at the high commission should be changed. Even the CBN is at fault as well; they don’t have proper plans for those abroad concerning this BVN stuff.”

Attempts to get the comment of the ministry’s spokesperson, Ogbole Ahmedu-Ode, were not successful as he could not be reached on the phone. He also did not respond to a text message that was sent to him.

But investigations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs showed that the ministry was not involved in the BVN registration held in the UK.

A highly placed official in the ministry explained that the Nigeria High Commission in UK was not involved in the BVN registration, stressing that it was handled by a private firm which has no relationship with the embassy.

The source said that the high commission officials saw the posters advertising the BVN registration in London like other members of the public, noting that the “BVN registration was the private affair of a private company.”

“Neither the Ministry of Foreign Affairs nor the Nigeria High Commission in the UK was involved in the BVN registration; the programme was handled by a private company which has no relationship with the ministry or the high commission,” the official said on Friday.

Also, the Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr. Mu’azu Ibrahim, could not be reached for comments as repeated calls made to his mobile phone did not connect.
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Friday, July 17

Sallah: Fun seekers lament ‘deplorable’ state of National Theatre

Several fun-seekers that thronged the National Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos State, on Friday to enjoy the Eid-el-fitr, expressed their dissatisfaction with the theatre’s management’s “inability to organise events there.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the horse-ride was the only available activity which few fun seekers engaged themselves with.

In separate interviews with NAN on Friday, some of the revelers described the theatre’s environment as “boring,” wondering why there were no events put in place on a day like this.

Mrs. Ayo Olanipeku, a teacher, said she was disappointed to be at the theatre with a view to watching a Yoruba movie that had been advertised before on the television only to be here and discovered it was not going to be shown.

“I came with my children all the way from Egbeda to watch a Yoruba film that was advertised on TV, but on getting here, there is no film to be watched.

“I just wasted my time and money to get here, only to be told that no film is on. This is shameful,” the mother of three said.

One of her children, who was visibly unhappy with the inactivity at the place, quickly urged her mother to let them leave.

Also, Mrs. Taiwo Ojo, a businesswoman, said the management of the theatre should have put in place some activities and fun equipment for relaxation during festive period.

She said the horse brought in by some individuals made relaxation at the place restricted to only few.

“There ought to be varieties of fun for the children to play with but it is only horse ride that is available. This is not too good.

“This is a place that ought to be lively but unfortunately, nothing is going on here,” she said.

Similarly, Mrs Janet Ibe, a civil servant, regretted her coming to the theatre, adding that it was her first time of coming to the place.

“I thought I was going to have lots of fun here.

“I am here with my family but everywhere here is just boring, no games and no films to watch, it could have been better for me to stay at home or better still go to the beach.

“My children are not happy because this is not what they bargained for, in fact, I will never come here again,” the angry woman said.
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PDP condemns DSS’ invasion of Dasuki’s residence

The Peoples Democracy Party has condemned the Department of State Services over the invasion and occupation of the residence of a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisah Metuh, said the action of the DSS amounted to a violation of the rights of the former NSA and was contrary to the constitution of the country and the tenets of democracy.

He stressed that the invasion of the residence of the former NSA was unacceptable in a democratic setting.

Metuh made the comment while speaking with journalists at John Kadiya Street, Asokoro, residence of Dasuki in Abuja, on Friday.

The PDP Spokesman was turned back at the gate of Dasuki’s residence by operatives of the commission, who insisted that the residence was under security watch.

Metuh said while Nigerians elected Buhari because they wanted him, the actions of some of his aides were scary to the citizenry as they were taking the country back to the dark days of military dictatorship.

He said, “I came into Abuja today because I read the situation about the invasion of the house of the former NSA and his detention, house arrest and other matters. So I drove to his house as a personal friend to see him and to find out what is happening. Then about seven or eight security operatives came out and they said I cannot see him because the house is under security watch.

“And I asked them: security watch in terms of treason, or in terms of terrorism, or what? I need to know, and they said they are not in a position to say. And why I asked this question is that if it is under security watch, on account of corruption or on account of any other reason, it is totally against the constitution of this country.

“This is a democracy, and the democratic tenets and principles apply. The fact is that we deserve basic freedom, liberties and movements associated with democracy. The truth is that Nigerians are getting scared; we voted for our President, they voted for the President and he was duly elected. Nigerians wanted him, Nigerians voted for him, and now he is the father of the nation, he is the father of everyone, he is not serving any other interest.

“But there are certain activities, as it is happening now, by some of his aides and people around him. It is like they are taking us back to the military era. The last time this happened was under the military.”

He urged the Federal Government to stop treating those who served in the last administration under President Goodluck Jonahan as prisoners of war.

He said what the PDP lost was an election and not a war.

He called on the government to ensure that those suspected to have committed any act against the laws of the country were handled according to the stipulations of the law.

“There has never been any situation where people would be held against their will. It is completely against his fundamental human rights and we should be careful here. We should be very careful because this is how it started in Zimbabwe, this is how it started in other countries.

“Before you know it, we have a dictatorship, you cannot scare us, we are not guilty because we served under a former President, we are not guilty because we lost an election, we are not losers in a war. We lost an election, not a war, we are not prisoners of war and we should not be treated like prisoners of war.

“What we demand is respect, there is the rule of law, we will not condone corrupt activities or any other illegal or unlawful act,” he added
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Eid-el-Fitri: IBB, Abubakar drum support for Buhari against insurgency

Two former Heads of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), on Friday urged the citizenry to support the Federal Government in its efforts to win the war against insurgents.

The two former leaders made the call after joining others to perform the two Rakaah Eid-el-Fitri prayers at the Minna Eid-el ground.

Babangida urged Nigerians to be patient with President Muhammadu Buhari administration and support it in the efforts to not only end insurgency but also boost the country’s economy.

“I call on Nigerians to support the present administration in the country in its efforts to end insurgency and regenerate the economy,’’ he said.

Also speaking, Abubakar said there was need for the citizenry to be more vigilant to enable in order to help government overcome insurgency, especially in the North Eastern part of the country.

Also speaking, Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger prayed “Allah to accept our devotion during the Ramadan.”

He also prayed to “Allah to guide the leadership of the state and the country at large to enable us overcomes our challenges.”

The governor enjoined the people of the state to continue to co-exist peacefully irrespective of religion and ethnicity.
He congratulated the Muslims for the successful completion of the Ramadan rites. (NAN)
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Kidnapped Catholic priest rescued in Imo

The Parish Priest of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Umuola, Amaigbo, Nwangele local council area of Imo State, Rev. Fr. Francis Ugoo Egbebu, who was kidnapped last Monday, have been rescued by the police.

Confirming the development to newsmen in Owerri, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Andrew Enwerem, a deputy superintendent of police, said that the priest has been rescued from his abductors.

“Yes, the Reverend Father was rescued and released yesterday (Thursday), following the relentless onslaught by men of the Imo State Police Command that stormed the hideout of the kidnappers”, Enwerem said.

Although the PPRO resisted the temptation of giving details of the operation, he however said that the police was still on the trail of the fleeing hoodlums.

“So far, no suspects have been arrested by the police. Full scale investigation into the incident is still going on. Our men are in full pursuit of the fleeing criminals”, the PPRO said.

Confirming the freedom of the Catholic cleric, the Parish Council Chairman, Engr. Adolphus Ogbonna, expressed profound gratitude to God, for making it possible for the priest’s abductor to release him unharmed.

in his own reaction, the traditional ruler of the community, Eze (Dr.) Nelson Nwosu, said he had been reliably informed about the release of Rev. Fr. Egbebu.

“I am very glad about it. Amaigbo community is happy about it. We are grateful to God that the incident didn’t turn out to be a complicated one. We are thankful to the police command for rescuing the priest”, Eze Nwosu said.

Continuing, the royal father commended the citizenry for ensuring that Amaigbo was saved from the embarrassment the incident would have caused the community.
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Teacher jailed for caning pupil

A magistrate court in Alexandra, Johannesburg, has sentenced a school teacher, Philippine Rakosa, to one year imprisonment for caning a grade two pupil.

The Sowetan newspaper on Friday in Pretoria said that the teacher was jailed on Wednesday for hitting an eight year pupil with a hosepipe for failing a class test.

The paper said the incident occurred on Feb. 8, 2014, at Gordon`s Primary School in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg.
The publication quoted the Magistrate, Gideon Suhnetler, as saying that it was time teachers realised that corporal punishment was outlawed in South Africa.

It said that a medical doctor testified that the child suffered hand sepsis, a skin infection that changed the wound to various colours.

“ Her hand no longer works properly and there are fears it might not recover entirely, “ the doctor said.

The paper also said that the pupil testified via video feed that the teacher assaulted her, claiming that she had copied from another pupil.

According to the paper, the pupil`s mother told the court that the teacher offered her bribe to close the case.

The teacher, according to the Sowetan, said she paid the money after being told to do so by her Head Master.

Rakosa said the head master wanted the matter settled before the media got the information.
The magistrate, however, said that it was impossible for an adult like the teacher to accept a liability if she had not committed the offence.

He said the teacher`s testimony was not trustworthy and was aimed at defending herself.
The paper quoted the prosecutor, Jackie Letsoalo, as requesting the court to jail the teacher for five years.

The magistrate exercised leniency and jailed her for one year because she was the sole breadwinner in her family and had two children.

The teacher`s husband, the publication also said, was unemployed.

The Sowetan said that while there were many cases in the country, this was the first time a teacher had been sentenced to prison. (NAN)
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You can help anybody to get a job but you cannot help him to do it - Obasanjo throws jibe at Jonathan

"I have also said that you can help anybody to get a job but you cannot help him to do it. Let us get it clear, there is nobody who has got into any position who has not been helped by one person or more than one person"

Ex-President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo Friday said the immediate past President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan should be blamed for his actions and in-actions while in office and not those who helped him into office.

He asserted that the idea of people like him in 2010 was to ensure that a person from the minority zone is given the opportunity to rule the nation which led to the support he gave to Jonathan, adding however that the former President’s actions in office and his subsequent defeat at the polls will hunt the people of the South South for a long time.

The former President also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to use education to sustain the progress made so far in the war against Boko Haram, just as he attributed the scourge in the North East to poverty and lack of education among the youths which he attributed to the alleged refusal of governors in the North East to pay their counterpart funds when his administration established the Universal Basic Education (UBE), which according to him would have given children in their area to opportunity to enjoy free and compulsory education.

Chief Obasanjo stated this while delivering a lecture entitled “Effective Education, a Panacea for Societal Development and Transformation”, at the 11th convocation ceremony of the Benson Idahosa University (BIU), Benin City.

The former President who was told to defend himself on the allegation that he was part of the alleged failure of President Jonathan in office, since he backed him for the presidency in 2011, asserted that “I have also said that you can help anybody to get a job but you cannot help him to do it. Let us get it clear, there is nobody who has got into any position who has not been helped by one person or more than one person.

“To become Nigeria’s head of state, it was first of all my performance in the war front, now if General Gowon had not sent me to the war front, you won’t know whether I can perform or cannot perform. Now he sent me to the war front, I thank him for it and because I performed we shared the credit, if I had failed, Gowon would not have shared the credit, he would not have shared the condemnation with me, I will be alone.

“Yes as I have said, I believe that opportunity that afforded itself in 2010 for somebody from the minority to become the president of Nigeria, he should never lose the opportunity but what he did with it is entirely to him and don’t forget what he did or did not do with it, will reflect for a long time on that part of the country. And don’t take that lightly, what he did or did not do with it, will reflect for a long time on that part of the country. But again those blaming me, was I the only person that supported him?

“I was not the only 18 million voters who voted for him. You that asked the question who did you vote for, is it not Jonathan? He queried (General laughter in the hall).

While expressing confidence that President Buhari will crush the Boko Haram menace, Chief Obasanjo hinted that it was the major reason the President was traveling to the United States next week, to seek the assistance of President Barack Obama to tackle the menace head on.

While attributing the problem to poverty, unemployment and lack of education, Obasanjo stressed the need to provide compulsory education in the North East and re-orientate the people of the area on the need tackle the Boko Haram insurgency whole heartedly.

His words: “Education is a moral enterprise which we need to re-engage, the issue of Boko Haram President Buhari should also tackle it from the angle of morale education, if we are able to tackle boko haram with education in our schools, both in the social media that they use, we will dilute their messages and positively win their hearts and others who have been swayed by the jihadists messages.

“To succeed with counter messages, we need to be more appealing, and truthful and as intense as those of boko haram if not more. The capacity of all teachers would be strengthened to deliver such messages; morning and afternoon assemblies of our primary and secondary schools should have a strong dose of such messages, our airwaves and social media should also be saturated with such positive messages even if we defeat boko haram on the battle front, we need education to sustain the victory.

“Let me give you an insight, in 2010 there was a survey of education in Nigeria and among the six geo political zones; in the south west, it was 79 per cent that are educated, in the south east, it is about 78 per cent in the North East, where boko haram dominates, it is 19 per cent and that is one of the reasons people believe that boko haram was a menace waiting to happen and it doesn’t matter what we do, we have to reverse that trend maybe the situation has even gone worse in the last five years because people have moved out of school some schools have been destroyed and we cannot fold our arms and say it is up to the North East.

“it is up to all of us in Nigeria, we have to do what should be done to bring parity in the area of education across the length and breadth of the country. The boko Haram insurgency is serious problem which we pray will be a thing of the past soon. There are several factors into the insurgency, I am sure that President Buhari will do the needful to exterminate this scourge.

“That is one of the reasons President Buhari is traveling to the US next week to secure the support of the American Government to fight terrorism in Nigeria. As we tackle it from the military front and other angles, we should also tackle it through the power of education which is what you have asked me to talk about today” he stated.
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Human security is nothing without God - Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday stated that no level of military and police security alertness could be sufficient for his protection or any other Nigerian if God withdraws His shield from mankind.

The president stated that without God’s protection, no one was save.

Buhari’s religious assertion followed his encounter with a crowd of worshipper many of whom were youth who struggled to get a hold of him at the National Eid Prayer ground in Abuja where he had gone to pray in the early hours of Friday.

Sharing the experience with a delegation of Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja residents led by Permanent Secretary of the FCT Ministry, John Chukwu, comprised the National Security Adviser, General Babagaba Monguno (rtd), the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase; among others who were in his residence within the precinct of the Presidential Villa, Abuja to pay him Sallah homage, president Buhari recalled the death of former president of United States, Ronald Reagan, saying that only God protects leaders.

He thanked the people for coming to pay their homage saying they were privileged as residents of FCT.

“I thank you most sincerely for fulfilling the tradition of greetings for whoever occupies this place. I thank you very much for your loyalty to the country, as represented by our institutions and the system
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REVEALED: Three young girls behind Damaturu suicide bombings

Three girls carried out suicide bombings in the northeastern Nigerian city of Damaturu on Friday, killing 13 people celebrating the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, police said.

“Thirteen people were killed in the… suicide blasts,” said Markus Danladi, Yobe state police commissioner. “The attacks were carried out by three underage girls. Fifteen people were also injured in the attacks.”

Boko Haram Islamists have carried out a slew of deadly assaults in northeast Nigeria over the course of their six-year-old insurgency. Over the past year the group has deployed several female suicide bombers.

Residents said twin explosions near a prayer ground in Damaturu killed two people, with a third blast moments later near a mosque leaving another 11 people dead, according to medics.

This year’s Ramadan has been particularly deadly, with suicide bombers hitting mosques and worshippers attacked by gunmen as they prayed.
A medical source who wished to remain anonymous told AFP that 13 bodies had been brought to the hospital.

Damaturu is the capital of Yobe, one of three northeastern states hardest hit by the insurgency that has left 15,000 people dead and 1.5 million homeless since 2009.

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I will not tolerate indiscipline – New Army chief

The Chief of Army Staff Maj. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai has said that he would not tolerate indiscipline in the Army.

The COAS who was reacting to questions from journalists in Damaturu as to whether the over 4,000 soldiers that were sacked by the Army during the Boko Haram fight would be recalled responded that; “I don’t know how they would become a problem to us concerning your questions. But what I would tell you is that I cannot tolerate indiscipline in the force,” Buratai replied.

The Chief of Army Staff explained that his coming to Damaturu to celebrate Sallah with the troops is part of the measures to boost the morale of the troops on ground and help him access the equipment and the discipline of the soldiers so as to come up with a better approach to the counter insurgency fight.

He said: “I cannot tell you why I am here on the strategic level because it’s a strategic decision. We all know the importance of Damaturu and Yobe State in particular. My presence here is to improve civil military relation, we need the cooperation. My presence will boost the morale of the troops. This is one of the reasons why I am here. To see to myself and it will also help me to access the state of readiness in terms of equipment and indeed their state of discipline and we would be able to access the threat properly from this perspective,” Maj. Gen. Buratai
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Insurgency: Support Buhari to sustain peace, Sanusi calls on Nigerians

The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II has called on Nigerians to support the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari at fighting insurgency to sustain peace in the country.

He made the call on Friday while addressing the residents of Kano the Eid el-Fitr prayer at the Kano Central Mosque.

He said that Nigerians needed peace in the country to fulfil the purpose of God in creating them together with diverse backgrounds.

“These religious, ethnic and cultural differences among others should further unite and not divide Nigerians’’, he said.

He also called on the residents of Kano to always live by the dictates of Islam and avoid sinful acts that could earn them the wrath of God.

Sanusi called on Muslims to pray for sustenance of peace and stability in the state and country not only during fasting.

He called on them to be law-abiding and live peacefully with one another for the development of the state.

In a related development, Alhaji Abubakar Yabo, the Secretary of Aliyu Magatakarda Advocacy Group, observed that the activities of insurgents posed a threat to peace and unity of the country.

He, therefore, solicited fervent prayers to expose those behind insurgency activities in the country.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) shortly after the Eid prayer in Kano that Nigerians ought to pray hard to end activities of Boko Haram.

“We must assist the Federal Government to fight against insurgency through intelligence reports on happenings in our locality,’’ he said.

He said that prompt reports on suspected miscreants in the society would enable the security officers to deal with any security threat.

He, nonetheless, advised the Federal Government to provide sophisticated weapons to the security agencies to enable them to confront the insurgents.

He said that provision of state-of-the-art equipment would also stimulate the security agencies to tackling the insurgency activities effectively.

Yabo called on traditional and religious leaders to sensitise the people to the need to be security conscious all the time.(NAN)
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Aisha Buhari, daughters observe Sallah prayers at Ansar-Ud-Deen mosque

The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, and her three daughters on Friday observed the Eid el-Fitr prayers at the Ansar-Ud-Deen Mosque in Abuja.

She was received at the mosque by Alhaja Saudat Dudayemi, the Chairperson, Ansar-ud-Deed Society of Nigeria (ADSN), FCT Chapter, the wife of the FCT Chairman of the association, Alhaja Risikat Yusuf, and other officials.

Others who joined her in the prayer session, were the APC Woman Leader, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, and Dr Hajo Sani, the Senior Special Assistant (Administration) to the wife of the President, among others.

Delivering his Sermon, the Chief Imam of the mosque, Alhaji Musa Olaofe, urged Muslims to pray for the peace and unity of the country.

He appealed to Nigerians to support Buhari’s administration to ensure the achievement of all the set goals.

The Imam advised Muslims to give out Zakat-ul-Fitri to the poor and the needy, so that they would have a sense of belonging.

Also speaking, the FCT Chairman of the society, Alhaji Yusuf Adebayo, informed the audience that the National Universities Commission had granted the association licence to establish `Summit University’.

Adebayo, however, said that the society was now faced with the challenge of raising N5 billion required to fully establish the institution.

“The licence is part of the fulfillment of our objective, which is to promote education among Muslim youths.’’

He urged Muslims to continue to maintain the spirit of Ramadan and lessons learnt from it, as stated in the Holy Quran. (NAN)
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BREAKING: Tragedy averted as 2 aircrafts collide at Lagos Airport

Tragedy was averted on Friday at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 2 (MMA2) in Lagos following a ground collision of two aircraft belonging to FirstNation Airways.

A similar incident had occurred at the airport on July 6, following the collision of two aircraft belonging to Emirates and Hak Air.

It was gathered that Friday’s incident which happened at about mid-day involved two Airbus 330 conveying not fewer than 250 passengers.

The two aircraft had their bodies partially damaged as a result of the collision.

A source at the airport said one of the aircrafts was taxiing from the runway to MMA2, to disengage passengers while the other aircraft was preparing to take off to Port-Harcourt Airport from the same terminal.

The source alleged that the pilot may have been misdirected by the marshals who directed the pilot to taxi to the wrong part of the apron.

According to the source, the Port-Harcourt bound aircraft was parked at Gate 4 while the arriving aircraft was bound for the Gate 3 of the terminal.

However, the source claimed that the marshals misdirected the arriving aircraft to the same Gate as the parked aircraft which led to the two wings brushing each other.

Following the incident, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), immediately, grounded both aircraft while passengers wereasked to disembark by the airline.

It was further gathered that the refunds of tickets were made to passengers on the Port-Harcourt bound aircraft by the airline.

The NCAA also confirmed the incident in a statement issued by its General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr Fan Ndubuoke.

Ndubuoke said no passenger was hurt and that the incident had been referred to the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) for further investigation.

He also reiterated NCAA’s commitment to safety and security of passengers. (NAN)
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Nigerians condemn Damaturu blasts

Some Nigerians have expressed shock over the bomb blasts that rocked Damaturu, the Yobe capital, on Friday, leaving many casualities in its trail.

The respondents, in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, described the incident as unfortunate, adding that it had ruined the celebratory mood across the land.

One of the respondents, Mr Musa Salihu, while condemning the act, described the bombing of innocent citizens on a day millions of Muslims faithful across the world were in celebration as a dastardly act that must attract the rebuke of all peace-loving Nigerians.

“These acts of violence against innocent citizens are an unwarranted affront on our collective safety and freedom; Nigerians must stand as one.

“The reason I went out to vote was for the peace of Nigeria; I am not saying the President is slow at his duty but, I am saying that he should have a better idea to curb the violence.”

In her reaction, Mrs Mario Aliyu, expressed her condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in the attacks.

“I am surprised that we still have the problem of Boko haram in Nigeria; last sallah, I and my family were almost victims.

“There is the need for the Federal Government to reassure all Nigerians of its determination to bring to justice all the perpetrators of today’s acts of violence,” Aliyu said.

Mr Dada Olayiwola condemned the blast, saying that “the jihadist group that wants to create an Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria are enemies of the country.”

“Nigerians must understand the game they are playing and they will fail because nobody can divide us in this country.” he said

NAN recalls that the bomb occurred in the Gwange area as the Muslim faithful prepared to go to the Eid ground for prayers. (NAN)
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Buhari appoints Gana Muhammadu as new Commandant-Gen of NSCDS

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu as the new Commandant-General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Muhammadu succeeded Dr. Ade Abolurin, who has retired from service.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina on Friday confirmed the appointment.

According to the statement, Muhammadu who hails from Muye in Lapai Local Government Area of Niger State was an Assistant Commandant-General of the NSCDC before his new appointment.

He holds a B.Sc in Sociology from the University of Sokoto and a Masters in Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Meanwhile, President Buhari has congratulated Abolurin on his successful tenure, wishing him a happy retirement.
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Osinbajo Visits Gombe after twin Bomb Blasts

Suspected Boko Haram insurgents struck at the largest market in the state while people were shopping ahead of Sallah celebration.

The Vice President arrived Gombe around 3pm Today.

Osinbajo visited the Federal Medical Centre in the state capital, the Specialist hospital, where those who sustained injuries from the attacks are being treated and also the scene of the incident.

Osinbajo had earlier joined the Muslim community in Abuja to pay Sallah homage to President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja.

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Buhari begs Nigerians - 'Forget my slow pace, I’m working hard, Please be patient with me'

Against the backdrop of criticisms that he has been too slow since he assumed office on May 29, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, begged Nigerians for patience, saying he has been working meticulously to tackle the many national challenges which he identified.

In his message to commemorate this year’s Eid-el-Fitr celebrations marking the end of the Ramadan Fast, President Buhari stated that though there were heaps of misdeeds of the past administration, his government would ensure that every wrong of the past was corrected. He added that stamping out corruption still remained one of the cardinal objectives of his administration.

According to him, there is much work to be done and every step would be correctly taken to ensure that there would not be “business as usual.”

He, however, appealed to Nigerians to continue to pray for his government, saying that he would not fail them.

His words: “I remain wholly committed to giving the required leadership towards undoing the wrongs of the past, ensuring that Nigeria truly begins to unlock its great potential and that the benefits of our immense national resources are shared and enjoyed by all, not just by successive cabals of corrupt leaders and their cronies.

“I was aware of your high expectations when I assumed office and I reassure you, my fellow citizens, that since my inauguration on May 29, this year, I have been working with utmost dedication to meticulously plan and tackle the many national challenges which we identified and promised to resolve.

“To succeed, however, I need your continued support, understanding and patience.

“I fully understand and share the thirst of my long-suffering compatriots for corruption-free government institutions that work efficiently to deliver visible development for the benefit of all citizens.

“I also share the feelings of those who think that we should be moving faster. But I urge them and all Nigerians to trust that my commitment to real and positive change in our nation is as firm as ever.
“There is indeed much work to be done, but we must do it well and carefully to ensure that the great opportunity which we now have is not lost to the “business as usual” group who selfishly or shortsightedly prefer a status quo that panders to their personal or group interests.

“The adverse effects of years of rot, corruption, inept and bad governance on our nation are immense, but certainly not insurmountable if we all resolve now to place the well-being of our nation above all other considerations and work whole-heartedly with the present administration to achieve greater peace and security across the nation, and reposition our country for faster economic development and progress.”

President Buhari congratulated the Islamic faithful who successfully completed their Ramadan fast, urging them to embrace self-denial for the growth of the country.

“I greet and felicitate with you all, especially our citizens of the Islamic faith on this auspicious occasion of the 2015 Eid-el-Fitr celebrations.

“I congratulate all those who have successfully completed the Ramadan fast in keeping with the injunction of our Creator.

“Although we have come to the end of this year’s month of Ramadan, I believe that a greater acceptance by Nigerians of its key lessons of self-denial and sacrifice will serve our dear country well as we strive to overcome our present challenges, undo the damage done by years of bad governance and accelerate the pace of national development.

“Reviewing our dire circumstances and the many missed opportunities of the past, some commentators and observers have said that this is Nigeria’s last chance to get its act together and finally begin to fulfill its God-given potential for greatness.

“While not going that far, I certainly believe that now, more than ever before, our country needs greater self-denial, sacrifice and patriotism from all of its citizens, if we are to quickly recover from our numerous problems and start moving in a positive direction.

“This current period of our life as a nation offers us a great opportunity to break from the vicious triangle of insecurity, corruption and under-development. We must collectively resolve to seize this opportunity and unite to confront our problems”, the president said.

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Breaking News: Sallah day bomb blast rocks Yobe, many feared dead

Today's Sallah day celebration has not hindered the rate of terror attacks in Nigeria, as multiple explosions just rocked dreaded Damaturu, the Yobe State capital at Phase I near Eid Praying ground.

This explosions is coming on a day when the new Chief of Army Staff, Major General Tukur Buratai declared that he will spend his Sallah celebration in Damaturu.

The incident which took place on Friday morning have put fear on the minds of Damaturu, the Yobe state capital, as many praying grounds were still deserted as security operatives and men of the anti bomb squard were busy trying to ensure that it condoned off the areas with a view to prevent further attacks.

As at press time there was no actual number of casualties, but sources said, unspecified number of lives were lost.

Reports are that there were double blasts in a main market in Gombe yesterday which killed over 50 people.
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REVEALED: Why Buhari fired controversial NIMASA DG

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday terminated the appointment of Mr. Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi as Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). The termination of Mr. Akpobolokemi’s appointment takes immediate effect, Femi Adesina, spokesperson for the President said in a statement.

The former NIMASA DG was directed to hand over to the management of NIMASA and all government property in his possession to the most senior officer in the agency who will remain in charge until a new Director-General is appointed.

The sack of Akpobolemi whose tenure at the Nigeria’s apex maritime regulatory agency has been riddled with controversies has long been expected.

Under the leadership of the former University lecturer, NIMASA had also become a major source of slush funds for carrying out discreet endeavors and initiatives at the behest of the administration of former President Jonathan.

The NIMASA DG was said to be the main sponsor of series of television documentaries through which hate and false messages about key opposition figures, including President Muhammadu Buhari, the then candidate of All Progressives Congress were dished out to Nigerians in the run up to 2015 general elections.

Akpolobemi has also been in the news over various allegations of contracts racketeering, nepotism and mismanagement of NIMASA since his appointment. Just recently, a bid advertisement by NIMASA for the Sand filling of NIMASA Shipyard/Dockyard at Okerenkoko, Delta state generated controversies.

Reports indicated that contracts for the construction of Shipbuilding/Dockyard have already been awarded and 15 percent mobilization has been paid to the contractors last year. According to a newspaper report, the groundbreaking for the construction of the N58 billion project was done by former President Goodluck Jonathan on May 2014.

The selection of Akpobolokemi to head cash rich NIMASA in 2010 was considered one of the most controversial appointments made by former President Jonathan.

Critics argued that the appointment of the former University lecturer, an Ijaw man like the former President was tinged with nepotism as Akpobolokemi did not possess the necessary qualifications to occupy the office of DG of NIMASA as stated in Sections 6 & 7 of the Act establishing the agency.

The Act had stipulated that the the DG of NIMASA should possess “relevant experience and capacity applicable to maritime administration, recognized expert knowledge, qualification and experience in one or more of the following fields.

As spelt out by the Act, the fields are maritime safety, maritime security, maritime pollution, nautical sciences and hydrographic and maritime engineering, finance, marine law, transport logistics, administration and marine labour. It was believed that Akpobolokemi was nominated for appointment by a group of former Niger Delta militants led by Government Ekpemupolo, otherwise known as Tompolo to capture the cash rich agency.

True to this suspicion, Tompolo became a regular face in the agency soon after Akpobolokemi’s appointment.

Sources told this magazine that the NIMASA usually picks the hotel and other bills of the ex Niger Delta militant whenever he visited Lagos with his large entourage. The frequent visit later culminated in a multi billion naira contracts awarded to Global West Vessel Specialists Nigeria Limited (GWVSNL) a company owned by the former militant for provision of platforms for security of the nation’s waterways, Ships & Ports in 2011.

The former NIMASA DG had claimed that the initiative was a Public Private Partnership arrangement with the company owned by Tompolo.

The contract worth $103.4 million (over N15 billion) was to supply 20 vessels for the use of the nation’s military authorities to secure the waterways. Jonathan, had in a memo dated 9 November 2011, with reference number PRES/99/MT/61, approved the contract, which the Federal Executive Council rubber-stamped on 5 January 2012.

NIMASA maintains that the concessionaire would help the federal government to enforce the sabotage law and collect levies on its behalf. It was reported in December 2014 that Tompolo had acquired seven decommissioned Norwegian battleships as part of the contract.

A probe by the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee investigating the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, CVFF in 2014 has indicted that the management of NIMASA over the $326million payment to Global West.

But analysts had argued that the contract under which Tompolo was able to acquire sophisticated boats for patrol of Nigerian waters amounted to the former President handing out the security of the nation’s entire maritime domain to his kinsman under the guise of public-private-partnership (PPP).
The argument was that government would have channeled the money paid to GWVSNL to strengthen the Navy and Marine Police to secure the nation’s waterways.

Operators and stakeholders in the Nigerian maritime industry had also questioned the rationale behind the concession of the nation’s maritime security to a private company, especially one linked to a former militant.

It was gathered that President Jonathan had ordered the stoppage of payments to Global West few days ago.

The blockade of gas export by Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) by NIMASA over disagreement in revenue payment resulted in huge export losses for the firm and billions of naira in revenue to Nigeria.

However, President Jonathan turned deaf ears to the allegations of mismanagement and corruption that trailed Akpobolokemi to re-appoint him in October 2014 for another five year tenure which was cut short by his sack on Thursday.

Culled from TheNews Magazine
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