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Saturday, August 15

We are monitoring Buhari with a lot of respects - PDP Chief

Alhaji Shehu Gabam, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said President Muhammadu Buhari has good intentions for the country and urged the opposition to support him.

Gabam, Chief of staff to former Gov. Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State, made the call on Saturday in Tilde-Fulani, Toro Local Government Area, in an interview .

According to him, President Buhari has a good intention for the country and there is no need for the opposition to start bombarding him.

“Well, I believe the president should be allowed to determine his own pace of speed and also determine his own cruising level.

“As an opposition party, we are monitoring with keen interest with a lot of maturity, and a lot of respects for him.

“He is the president of the country whether you voted him or not, he is the President of Nigeria.
“The institution of presidency must be respected, and I am among one of them who always appeal that everybody should respect the position of the presidency,” Gabam said.

“You can differ with him on issues, operational issues, policies and programmes, and you can take him up on any other issues, we should be decent and not rascal in our approach.
“As for me, nobody should insult the president, nobody should insult the institution of the presidency,” he stressed.

The PDP chieftain further appealed to the president not to run a government that is purely investigative, but run a government that will alleviate the suffering of the people.
According to him, there are too many issues this country is looking forward to for his proper attention.

“The President should, therefore, be sensitive to the needs and aspirations of the people,” he said.
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Three in court for loitering at Murtala Muhammed International Airport

Three persons, namely, Ikechukwu Nicholas (35), Timothy Jackson (26) and Charles Okafor (30) have been arraigned before a Magistrate Court sitting in Ogba, Lagos for allegedly loitering at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.

The trio were arrested by security operatives attached to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

According to the prosecution, the suspects entered the international airport premises without reasonable cause or permission from the appropriate authorities, an offence contrary to Section 3 (e) and punishable under section (e) of the bye laws of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), 2005.

They were alleged to have been found walking aimlessly in the said area, knowing that such action was against FAAN’s Bye Law; an offence under Section 3 (b) and punishable under Section (2) of FAAN Bye Laws 2005.

Each of the suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail in the sum of N100,000.00 with two sureties who must be gainfully employed and whose addresses can be verified.
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Borno deputy governor buried

The Deputy Governor of Borno State, Zannah Umar Mustapha, who died on Saturday in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, has been buried according to Islamic rite.

Zannah was said to have died in his hotel room in Yola.

It was gathered that the deputy governor was in Yola to represent the state government at the convocation of the Modibbo Adama University of Science and Technology, Yola.

A statement by the Secretary to the Borno State Government, Alhaji Usman Shuwa, on Saturday, added that the deceased was also scheduled to visit Borno State indigenes, who are quartered in the Internally Displaced Persons camps in Yola.

The statement by Shuwa read, "It is with deep sense of utter shock and disbelief but with complete submission to the will of the Almighty Allah that the Borno State Government hereby announces the passing away of His Excellency, Alhaji Zannah Umar Mustapha, the Deputy Governor of Borno State.

"He died in his sleep this morning(Saturday) in Yola, Adamawa State, where he was to represent Borno State Government at the convocation ceremony of Modibbo Adama University of Science and Technology, Yola.

"He was also scheduled to follow up on his earlier visit to Yola, in connection with the welfare of Borno State citizens internally displaced as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency.
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Buhari mourns Borno deputy governor

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said he received with shock and immense sadness, news of the death of the Deputy Governor of Borno State , Alhaji Zannah Mustapha.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President extended condolences to the deceased's family and friends on behalf of himself and the Federal Government.

Adesina said the President also commiserated with Governor Kashim Shettima and all the people of the state on the loss of Zannah, who died on an official assignment in Yola, Adamawa State.

"President Buhari joins Governor Shettima, members of Alhaji Zannah's family, his friends, political associates, colleagues in the Borno State Government, constituents and supporters in praying that Almighty Allah will receive his soul and grant him eternal rest," the statement added.  
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Power outage stalls INEC taskforce from sorting election materials in Rivers

The special taskforce set up by the acting chairman of the Independent National Election Commission, INEC, Mrs. Amina Zakari to supervise the inspection of materials by the Rivers All Progressive Congress was frustrated yesterday due to lack power supply at INEC office in Port Harcourt.

It was learnt that the taskforce team members led by the Director of Legal Services, Ibrahim Bawa, were confronted with the reality that the two generating plants supplying power to the INEC office were bad and public power supply had been severed by the Port Harcourt Electricity Company, PHED.

Henry Odili, the leader of the APC legal team at the Rivers State election tribunal revealed this morning that it is disturbing that all these are happening at this time.

“It is a wonderful coincidence that the two power generating plants supplying power to the INEC office suddenly packed up at the same time and public power supply cut off from electricity pole. I don’t want to point fingers to any direction but I can assure you that before now, we forwarded a court order to INEC to allow the inspection of the electoral materials but we were denied access and what is happening now has further proven that INEC has been lying,” Odili posited.

Henry Odili assured that taskforce team members are doing everything possible to get the job done.
Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Mrs Gezila Khan was arrested by the Department of State Security, DSS, based on the allegation that she had disobeyed the court order by denying APC access to election materials.

The Director of Legal Services, Mr. Ibrahim Bawa, is accompanied by three administrative secretaries from Bayelsa, Cross River and Ebonyi states INEC office.

Power supply is needed to power the photocopiers to reproduce the high volume of duplicated copies of vital electoral materials to be produced at election tribunal.
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NSA, Service Chiefs avow end to Boko Haram insurgency

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen (rtd) Babagana Monguno and four other Service Chiefs for Defence, Nigerian Army, Air Force and Police have declared to end Boko Haram insurgency that has claimed many lives and property in the North East sub-region of the country.

Monguno made the “declarations and pledges” yesterday in Maiduguri, when five Service Chiefs paid an official courtesy visit to Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state at the Government House.
The four other Service Chiefs include the Chief of Defence Staff, Maj-Gen. Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Army Staff, Maj-Gen. Tukur Buratai, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Baba Sadiq Abubakar; and the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, led by Monguno.

He said the most pressing issue in the country, was the Boko Haram insurgency; and that was why President Muhammadu Buhari has replaced all the Service Chiefs to end these terror attacks and bombings in the affected North East sub-region of Nigeria.

“There was a tendency of replacing the service chiefs with a mandate from the President to end Boko Haram insurgency that has claimed a lot of lives and property in the North East. In less than 24 hours after we were sworn in and decorated by the President, we are here in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital for the reassessment of military operations end insurgency in three months,” said Monguno; noting that the President has picked the right service chiefs end terrorism.

He assured the governor and the people of Borno state that the service chiefs, will not be found wanting fight and end Boko Haram insurgency that has claimed many lives and property.

“For us here in Maiduguri to end this insurgency, we are to assess all the military operational details that will facilitate various ‘aerial and ground troops’ fight Boko Haram to the finish. This could be completed before we can launch a consistent and rapid campaign against terror and terrorists activities in the North East and the country at large,” pledges Monguno yesterday.

He however noted that the military alone cannot end insurgency that has already destroyed many people’s lives and property.

He said the victory over Boko Haram cannot be won, without involving the larger society.
“We are not going to work against your interest of restoring peace and unity in the North East. We are here to all of your affected by this terrorism that claimed the lives of many of your sons, daughters, parents, guardians, including your traditional and religious leaders sacked from towns and villages for over six years. We want you also to help us with credible information end this insurgency,” warning that the people should come out from their closets and assist the military end insurgency.

Responding, Governor Shettima said that the people had been cooperating with the military and other security agencies end Boko Haram insurgency; that has caused a lot of havoc on people’s lives and property for the five or six years.

“We are giving you our unalloyed support and cooperation to all the Service Chiefs committed in fighting to end this Boko Haram madness that killed over 300, 000 people and the destruction of towns and villages in 20 Local Government Areas of our state, Borno,” said Shettima to Monguno, who led the delegation of service chiefs.

On victims of insurgency, Shettima said: “We will continue to work for the people by investing in education, so that our children and future generations do not become another new set of insurgents.
“We are saying that we are against Boko Haram, because of the establishment of our Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) to end this madness of incessant killings and destruction of people’s property in not only in Borno state, but the neighbouring states of Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Taraba and Bauchi in the North East.

“If this Boko Haram madness comes to an end; your names will be written in gold; and the country and its citizenry be proud of all of you here in Maiduguri”
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Jihadists kill Imam for refusing recruitment

Jihadists killed a village imam in central Mali who had refused their repeated attempts to recruit him, a local official told AFP Friday.

Gunmen with suspected links to radical Islamic preacher Amadou Koufa killed the imam of Barkerou village, Aladji Sekou, on Thursday night, the official said on condition of anonymity.

The two men arrived by motorbike, leaving it on the edge of the village before approaching the imam’s home on foot where they shot him, he said, adding that the assailants appeared to be familiar with the area.

“In recent months, the jihadists have tried without success to get the imam of Barkerou to back their cause,” he said.

The 63-year-old iman’s nephew Oumar Sekou also confirmed his death, adding that he had been killed “because, for them, he is their opponent”.

Security sources say that Koufa has linked with the Macina Liberation Front (FLM), a new group that emerged earlier this year and has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks, some targeting security forces in central Mali.

The FLM draws its support from the Fulani people of central Mali, where Koufa is also from, and is also linked to Ansar Dine — Arabic for “defenders of the faith” — one of the groups that took control of Mali’s vast arid north in April 2012.

Washington added Ansar Dine to its terror blacklist in 2013, accusing it of close ties to Al-Qaeda and of torturing and killing opponents in the north.

Investigators have found evidence linking the FLM to a deadly raid on a hotel in Sevare on August 7 that killed four foreign UN employees.

Three suspects arrested so far were supporters of Koufa, a security source said.

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Cameroon pledges 2,500 troops for regional Boko Haram force

Cameroon will send nearly 2,500 soldiers to join a west African regional force to fight Boko Haram Islamists that will number 8,700 men, the defence minister said Friday.

Nigeria’s neighbours Chad, Cameroon and Niger, which have all suffered attacks by Boko Haram, launched the force earlier this year to end a conflict that has claimed more than 15,000 lives since 2009.

The group has now widened its attacks from Nigeria’s Muslim-majority north to across the country and staged cross-border killings and raids in neighbouring countries.

“The president of Cameroon has authorised the deployment of 2,450 soldiers to join the multinational force,” said Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o, in a statement read out on national radio.

The group has stepped up raids on Cameroon recently staging bombings, killings and burning homes before fleeing across the border to Nigeria.

The multinational force is headquartered in the Chadian capital Ndjamena. It is expected to deploy imminently.

Benin, which also neighbours Nigeria, has pledged 800 soldiers for the force.
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Edo gives flood warning as Cameroon opens dam

Edo State Government has advised residents living in low lands, river banks and other flood-prone areas in the state to take proactive action and relocate to safer parts of the state to avoid being affected by flood which may arise following the opening of a dam in the Republic of Cameroon.

The Government in a statement signed by Austin Akhuamhenkhun, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Public Utilities on behalf of the Commissioner, said “the Federal Ministry of Environment has alerted on the opening of a dam in the Republic of Cameroon which may lead to flooding in parts of the country. This is in addition to the current heavy rainfall being recorded in the year.

“To this end, Edo State Government through the Ministry of Environment and Public Utilities has put in place an action plan to ensure a flood-free 2015 through elaborate and extensive de-siltation exercise of major towns in addition to the on-going Benin City Storm Water master plan.

“The good people of Edo State are therefore advised to collectively take the following precautions to forestall an incident of flooding and its consequence in the State.

“The people are advised to desist from indiscriminate waste dumping habits that end us blocking the drains which can result in the breeding of mosquitoes, flies and other disease carriers that may eventually result in a high prevalence of malaria, yellow fever, Lassa fever and cholera. Always use the provided waste bins.

“Ensure to de-silt the drains in front of our houses and cart away same.

“People living in low lands, river banks and other flood-prone areas such as Ilushi, Agenebode, Udaba and others are advised to re-locate to higher grounds.

“Because of the expected rainfall pattern in 2015, residents are advised to take a second look at the binding of their roofs to ensure that they are firm.

“The Government also calls on Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to immediately take another look at all their distribution facilities within the state to ensure that they are firm and strong enough to withstand any stormy weather in order to avoid electrocution-related but avoidable deaths.”
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How I escaped death 12 times - Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has given insight into how he has so far escaped death by the whiskers at least a dozen times in his 78-year stay on earth.

In his latest three-volume autobiography, “My Watch”, Mr. Obasanjo wrote about how he survived infant mortality that consumed all but one of his siblings, how local herbs and concoction helped kept him alive after a life-threatening scorpion bite, and how he almost perished in the Ogun River while learning to swim.

Obasanjo licking a cup of Ice cream few days ago
The former president, who recently spoke to Premium Times about the book, also narrated how he escaped unhurt in several auto crashes, and how he survived a plot by suspected assassins to kill him at the University of Ibadan.

Mr. Obasanjo narrated, “Being one of two of my mother’s surviving children (out of seven), I must have had the grace of God to cross the hurdle of infant mortality. The other five never lived up to age one. The vicissitudes of rural life and limited resources did not guarantee survival for children born in my time and in the place I was born. Growing up in the village I was bitten by a scorpion once, and I survived it. The local herb and concoction applied by the native doctor worked in my case. I heard later that it did not work in some other cases.

“When I was in primary school in Abeokuta, I went to the Ogun River to try to swim. My friend and classmate who went with me urged me to dive with him into the water; I asked him to go in first and I would follow. He dived in and hit his head against a rock, and he never survived. My mother pulled my ear and warned me never to go to the river for swimming again. That marked the end of my attempt to learn swimming.

“When I was attached to the Welsh Guards in Pirbright, I had an accident while learning to drive. It could have been fatal for me and and for the oncoming motorcyclist, but we both survived. On returning to Nigeria, I had another accident in which the military vehicle I was driving without proper authority was a write-off. I survived with a fractured hand. As a young officer on a UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Congo Leopoldville, now Democratic Republic of Congo, I had an encounter with Congolese soldiers that could have been fatal.

“I returned home from the Congo and was posted to the Nigerian Army Engineers, where I had to learn to ride a motorcycle for reconnaissance purposes. I took a motorcycle ride out alone on training and had a nasty accident where, again, the motorcycle was damaged beyond repair, and I was saved by wearing a steel helmet. The story of my escaping death by the skin of my teeth during the civil war when four of my bodyguards died on the spot has been told elsewhere.

78-year-old Obasanjo playing football
“When I left public office as a military head of state, I was appointed Distinguished Fellow of the University of Ibadan in the Institute of African Studies. I was given a house to stay in when I had work in the university. On one occasion, I was to give a lecture and to spend the night there; but curiously, I decided to inspect the whole building and the compound. I found, to everybody’s surprise, a neat hole cut through the glass window; and on the mosquito wire netting on the window was a hole close to the head of the bead, just big enough to accommodate the muzzle of a pistol. I never slept in that house again. The whole university community, and Professor Tekena Tamuno as the vice-chancellor, was alarmed.

“On my way from Abeokuta to Ogbomosho to attend the graduation ceremony of pastor Bolarinwa, who I sponsored to Baptist Theological Seminary, I was waylaid by armed robbers. They cut in front of my car to stop it, got out and shot into the air, and entered their car and drove off. Calmly, I got out of the car with my driver and other passengers. I came to understand that if they had known that I had been the one in the car, they would not have zeroed in on that car, or they would have killed me to avoid getting arrested. I also understood that the police followed them to a logical conclusion.

 In addition, I have heard all sorts of fetish stories about how people tried or were trying to kill me and how I escaped through supernatural powers. I neither believe in nor practice anything fetish.
“My greatest escape from untimely death was brought about through the machinations and snares of Abacha. Even that was God’s doing.”

Mr. Obasanjo said because of his several close shaves with death, people built a myth around him, circulating tales that he was more than an ordinary human being.

“Once, a writer described me as a man with seven lives,” the former President said. “That is, of course, an exaggeration; there is no man with more than one life. But when you have almost miraculously escaped death on a number of occasions, superstitions and myths are built around you. One might even be credited with powers that do not belong to one. For instance, being called ‘ebora’, which means spirit.”

Saying he does not believe or indulge in fetish practices, Mr. Obasanjo said he had remained alive till now simply because of God’s consistence generosity to him, a debt he said he would continue to pay by “thanking and worshipping God while placing myself unreservedly in the service of humanity and God”.

“In my opinion, to whom much is given, much must be expected. God has done so much to preserve my life and protect me,” the former President said.

“He has done so much to pave my way and crown my efforts with success. Bishop Hassan Kukah put it this way: “God has singled you out and has been overgenerous to you.” I agree with him. And I have nothing o do excerpt to keep thanking and worshipping God while placing myself unreservedly in the service of humanity and God, continuously on the watch. It is leadership and responsibility.”
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Lagos Helicopter Crash: Full investigation commences – AIB

The Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Dr Felix Abali yesterday said that full investigation to unravel the cause of the Bristow helicopter crash would now get underway with the recovery of its Black box.

Abali spoke with aviation correspondents while displaying the device at the bureau’s headquarters in Lagos.

The Sikosky 76 helicopter marked 5N-BGD, crashed into the Lagos Lagoon as it approached its destination at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, in Ikeja.

Six of the 12 passengers on board the helicopter died while six others were rescued and taken to hospital for treatment.

Abali said that the AIB would download information from the black box and analyse it, which would help it in getting its report before making it public.

“We are still in custody of these two devices and we will take them to our laboratory in Abuja.

           CrashED Bristow helicopter Black box
“The information will be downloaded before it is analysed to retrieve vital information in preparation for the final report.

“The flight data recorder will show us the speed, altitude of the helicopter, while the cockpit voice recorder will reveal the conversation between the pilots and the control tower in Lagos,” he said.

Abali said that he could not be definite on when the investigation would be concluded as it could take any dimension.

“Like any other investigation, we cannot give a specific time-line as it can take any twists and turns.

“All we can do to hasten the investigation is that we have competent investigators that will do their best, but we cannot tell when we will finish the report,” he said.

Abali said that investigation had been extended to retrieving documents and other materials from Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the airline operator.

He said that other information would be released to the public as they unfold and according to International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annexe 13.

The commissioner had earlier announced the recovery of the flight recorders, popularly known as black box, of the ill-fated Bristow helicopter.

Abali said that the search party, led by Julius Berger, with the assistance of a hired diver, located the recorders.

The flight recorder, also called black box contains the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and the Flight Data Recorder (FDR).

NAN reports that the biggest part of the wreckage of the ill-fated aircraft was recovered on Thursday but without the black box which was eventually found on Friday. (NAN)
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Borno state confirms sudden death of deputy governor, Zannah Mustapha

The Borno State Government has confirmed that the state’s Deputy Governor, Zannah Mustapha, has passed on.

A statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Usman Jidda Shuwa, said Mr. Mustapha died in his sleep Saturday morning while visiting Yola, the Adamawa State capital, to attend the convocation ceremony of Modibbo Adama University of Science and Technology, Yola.

Mr. Shuwa said the remains of the late politician would be brought back to Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, where he would be buried at 4.PM. Saturday (today).

The statement reads, “It is with deep sense of utter shock and disbelief but with complete submission to the will of the Almighty Allah that the Borno State Government hereby announces the passing awy of His Excellency, Alhaji Zannah Umar Mustapha, the Deputy Governor of Borno State.

“He died in his sleep this morning in Yola, Adamawa State where he was to represent Borno State Government at the convocation ceremony of Modibbo Adama University of Science and Technology, Yola.

“He was also scheduled to follow up on his earlier visit to Yola, in connection with the welfare of Borno State citizens internally displaced as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency.

“His remains would be brought to Maiduguri for funeral at the Government House, Maiduguri at 4pm today, Saturday, 15th August, 2015. He will be buried in Maiduguri.

“His Excellency, Hon. Kashim Shettima, the Executive Governor of Borno State, expresses his heartfelt condolence to the family of the Deputy Governor and the entire people of Borno State for the irreparable loss and appealed for prayers for the repose of the soul of our late Deputy Governor.
“May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace, Ameen.”

Usman Jidda Shuw
Secretary to the State Government.
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Why oil theft persists in N’Delta – Navy commander

Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship, Delta State, Commodore Aliyu Sule, has identified impunity and slow pace of adjudication as factors responsible for the persisting illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta region.

Sule stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Warri.

He said the process of trial of arrested suspects for oil theft was slow which encouraged the perpetrators to easily go back into the illicit act.

According to him, the cases of more than five ships apprehended by his command over stolen oil since 2005 were yet to be resolved in the courts.

“It takes a longer time for justice to be done in matters of oil theft that is why the illicit business persists.

“So suspects should be tried almost immediately and jailed,” he said.

Sule stressed the need for effective surveillance and speedy trial of oil thieves, saying these were germane in eradicating illegal bunkering in the region.

He disclosed that his command had adopted a constant and effective surveillance of the hinterland from both land and air with a view to adequately comb the terrains.

He noted that the approach was yielding positive result.

“We will continue to go after them until they desist from it,” he said.

NAN recalls that Sule, who assumed leadership of the NNS Delta in April, had destroyed 28 illegal refineries and over 2,700 metric tons of crude oil in less than three months.

The exercise was carried out in three separate operations between June and August in Warri South and Warri South-West Local Government Areas of Delta State.

Sule said in the recent operation in Kantu forest on Aug. 13 in Warri South-West, nine illegal refineries and over 700 metric tons of crude oil were destroyed.

He said three generating sets and five portable pumping machines were recovered in the raid.

NAN reports that it was the second time Kantu forest would be invaded by the naval personnel to destroy illegal refineries in three weeks.

“Again, my men raided Kantu forest and destroyed nine illegal refineries and about 700 metric tons of crude oil over a large expanse of land,’’ he said.

The Commander said the determination of the navy to combat illegal oil deal was in line with the Chief of Naval Staff’s zero tolerance on crude oil theft and other illegalities in the waterways.

The commander also warned the perpetrators against the consequences of their actions warning that whoever is caught would face the full weight of the law.
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BREAKING: Borno State Deputy Governor, Zannah Umar Mustapha is dead

Fresh reports reaching NE revealed that the Borno State Deputy Governor, Zannah Umar Mustapha is dead.

According to reports, Zannah was said to have died in his hotel room in Yola and his remains had been taken to the Federal Medical Hospital, Yola.

More details later.
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Athletic Bilbao stun Barcelona 4-0 in Spanish Super Cup

Barcelona were seeking their fifth trophy but suffered a shock 0-4 defeat at the hands of Athletic Bilbao. 

Aritz Aduriz’s second half hat-trick sent Barcelona spinning to a shock 4-0 defeat at Athletic Bilbao in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Friday.

An under-strength Barca side were seeking their fifth trophy of the year but went behind after a stunning drive from the centre circle by Mikel San Jose sailed over keeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen after 13 minutes.

Aduriz headed his first after 53 minutes and then sloppy defending allowed him to drive Bilbao’s third.

Dani Alves then fouled Xabier Etxeita and Aduriz sent Ter Stegen the wrong way from the penalty spot to complete his treble after 68 minutes.

Unsettled forward Pedro started the game and came closest to scoring for Barca with a shot against the woodwork after 50 minutes.

The return leg is at the Nou Camp on Monday but even for Lionel Messi and company it may be asking too much to turn the tie around, though coach Luis Enrique is confident they can.

“If anyone can turn this result around then it is Barca and if not we will still try with all we’ve got,” he told a news conference “It is not being arrogant to think that we can come out on top.

“This was not our best performance but still we were not fortunate.”

Barca had the better of the opening minutes but Bilbao, who also had a number of players missing through injury, began to press.

Javier Eraso’s shot from a tight angle was pushed behind for a corner by Ter Stegen and then Bilbao took the lead.

Ter Stegen came out of his area to head away a long clearance by opposite number Gorka Iraizoz and San Jose hit the ball straight back over him.

The visitors had a lot of the ball but their passing was slow. Pedro battled hard and after the break he was unlucky when his volley hit the bar.

Barca beat Sevilla 5-4 after extra-time to lift the European Super Cup on Tuesday and Luis Enrique had made several changes with Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic and Gerard Pique among the players that began the game on the bench as the coach looked to rest them after the Sevilla match.

“There were a lot of changes but it had to be that way after playing for 120 minutes,” he added.

“Football is a game of errors but we have gone from a side that concedes fewest to one that concedes too easily.

“I have made changes to the side and I accept the responsibility for the loss.”

(Source: AP)
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Our refineries will now make profits — NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, yesterday, stated that its ongoing restructuring was designed to reposition its operations and refineries to profit-making ventures.

This was even as the NNPC denied claims that it was pursuing an ethnic agenda in the ongoing restructuring of the corporation.

The NNPC, in a statement issued after an interactive session with the top management of the Corporation in Abuja, disclosed that it is poised to ensure that all its refineries are run efficiently and profitably to meet the energy needs of the country.

Speaking at the forum, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Emmanuel Kachikwu, stated that the days when the Corporation was perceived as a civil service organization instead of a Corporation were over.

According to him, the Corporate Service Unit and all the Strategic Business Units of the NNPC would henceforth be run as profit centers.

To this end, Kachikwu solicited the support of the management of the NNPC and its subsidiaries in closing the skills gap and in turning the fortunes of the Corporation around.

He stated that efforts are in top gear to create a conducive working environment for members of staff, adding that for the NNPC to transform into a profit center like its peers in other climes, the morale of the work force must be high.

He urged the management to provide leadership by example to the workforce while adding that sectionalism, tribalism and any form of non-transparent transactions must be completely stamped out of the NNPC.

He also appealed to members of staff to act as change agents, assuring them that in the next 60 days some of the strategic targets would be translated into concrete milestones to the appreciation of all Nigerians.

Commenting on claims that it was pursuing an ethnic agenda, the NNPC disclosed that its recent appointments and retirement were done with the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari and in compliance with federal character principles.

It said, “The NNPC has decried attempts by a section of the media to politicise the recent appointments and retirements in the Corporation by imputing ethnic colouration to the exercise.

“The appointments were made with the express approval of President Muhammadu Buhari and in compliance with extant laws regarding federal character, while the retirement exercise affected all those who were to retire between now and 2016 without any regard to ethnicity or state of origin.
“The recent appointments, promotions, and retirements are all a part of the ongoing restructuring exercise aimed at repositioning the Corporation into a lean, efficient, profit-driven organization in line with international best practices without regard to primordial sentiments.”

The NNPC, however, called on the Nigerian public to discountenance any report aimed at denigrating the ongoing reorganisation exercise in the Corporation.”
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Naija girls can be very annoying at concerts

I was watching entertainment news on TV with a couple of friends and it got to a part where Tuface was on stage performing and a girl who probably was as drunk as a skunk, dragged herself on the stage and started hugging him and even took off her shirt . What is actually wrong with Naija babes at concerts? How do you expect your boyfriend to feel watching his girlfriend on national TV jumping around Tuface on stage like a chimpanzee wearing just a bra and with boobs wobbling from side to side? Well, Tu-baba surely didn’t mind. He probably would have grabbed at those bouncy boobs if it wasn’t a concert. Twale Baba!!!

Here are some of the annoying things Naija babes do at concerts.
  1. Taking pictures the entire show: I get it. You want to show all your friends on Facebook and Twitter that you were at the concert. Fine. Take a photo. Take five if you want. But please, don’t take 1000! You always manage to hold your camera right in my line of sight. You don’t even look like you’re enjoying the show while you’re doing this. All your attention is on the pictures you are taking. And you know what? Those pictures are all going to look like nonsense, every single one of them. You’re too far away from the stage. You’ll probably never even look at them. Also, you see those guys right in front of the stage with the giant cameras? They’re taking great professional pictures. There’s really no need for yours.
  2. Checking Facebook, Twitter and Instagram every couple of minute Unless you’re a surgeon who’s expecting an emergency call or message, everything can wait. Live in the moment. Enjoy the show. You paid gate fee to be here. You can tweet your friends when you get home. Also, your fake China phone emits a very harsh and distracting light. For the love of God, turn the damn thing off!
  3. Incessantly talking to your friends: You might not like whatever song is playing. You may be bored with the show in general. You may have been dragged here by your boyfriend against your will. But you’ve been talking all through the entire show, and I can hear everything you are saying. It’s driving me crazy. Please shut the hell up! I can’t tell you how many shows I attend where the girls in front of me are yelling in each other’s ear the entire night. Not only is my sightline blocked when their cheap wigs or weave-on come together, but I can hear their gossip. Take your chit-chat to one of the food vendor’s shed and stay there till the show is over, or go spread a wrapper under that pawpaw tree and lie down and talk till morning. I don’t care. Just shut up so I can enjoy the show.
  4. Yelling out requests: ‘Yaaay, I want Styl-plus to play “Imagine That”’. Hey girls, imagine if you shut up and stop screaming in my ear; most of the time, the song list is pre-determined, and they can’t even hear you from up there. They’re going to play what they’re going to play. Just go along for the ride. Damn it!
  5. Yelling out the names of the artiste on stage: This is another level of irritation. This has never been funny. Maybe it was cool in the 80s. Now, it’s just madness.
  6. Pushing your way to the front: If a concert is general admission, the people in front earned their spots. They got there early and laid claim to their space. The people all the way in front might have even spent all day waiting by the doors, so when the show begins and you shove your way to the front, you’re being a huge distraction. Don’t do that. If you show up late and there’s only room in the back, you’ve just have to deal with it.
  7. Getting so drunk you puke: Girls these days drink like sharks. You see them at Felaberation smokingigbo even more than TerryG. I feel sorry for those who have to clean up the venue after the concerts. I can imagine the types of vomit and stench they have to clean up.
  8. Loudly complaining after the show because the artiste didn’t play your favourite song: This is actually one of the crazy things we see after each concert. Babes, try to enjoy the show you’re getting as opposed to the one you wish you were seeing. Besides, haven’t you heard “Kukere” and “Shoki” enough?
  9. Filming the entire show on your mobile phone: This distracts people even worse than taking pictures, and usually results in an equally horrid product. The sad irony is that people tend to film their favourite songs, but the smiles on their faces are gone when all their concentration goes into capturing these moments on film. Next morning, Instagram will be cluttered with crappy cell phone videos of every song from the concert. Stop tagging me to these crappy videos. I was at the concert for Christ sake! You paid good money to see a show, and you’re joylessly watching it through a tiny screen on your mobile phone. It just doesn’t make any sense.
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UI student slumps, dies during examinination

A distance learning student of the University of Ibadan slumped at the Adebayo Akande e-Centre, Ikeja, Lagos, after waiting for hours to write the examination.

The 100 level student of political science, identified as Pelewura Bolaji, was said to have written the first paper for the day before the incident happened.

The victim, according to an identification card found on him, is a worker with Greengates Specialties Limited. Though the ID card expired in September 2014.

An official of the school, who identified himself as Mr. Olayinka Kehinde, said he was the only UI official at the centre to supervise the examination. He said the matter had been reported to the school authorities and he was awaiting further directive concerning the examination.

It was discovered that while the body of the student was lying down in a car within the premises, examination was still going on.

One of the examiners confirmed that there was an instruction that the examination should continue.

A student, who simply identified himself as Tony, said, “The management of the centre had earlier told us that the examination might not hold successfully in Lagos due to some challenges and that they subsequently notified the authorities.”

Some of the students alleged that they were made to pay medical fees, but expressed concern that the management failed to put in place necessary medical facilities in case of emergency.

The victim was later confirmed dead at the Lagoon Hospital, Ikeja.
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PHOTOS/VIDEO: 65yr old man shocked to see his own obituary posters in Benin

65 year old Clifford Osawaru, said he got the shock of his life when friends alerted him to posters announcing his death and funeral arrangements, which were pasted on some streets in Okunmwun community, Ovia North East LGA of Edo State yesterday.

The man who said he was hale and hearty wondered why anyone would print his obituary

"When I am alive, they said I am dead. This is not wife at all" he said referring to the names printed on the poster

He said he had served the community for over 20 years and didn't deserve to be treated this way. He called on security agencies to look into the matter.

See more photos and the video below...

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'We don’t use human beings for rituals in Ile-Ife' - Ife chiefs deny reports that Abobakun escaped

Ile-Ife chiefs have denied that the Sarun, otherwise known as Abobakun, was on the run to evade been buried with the late Ooni, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.

They also denied that five people were missing during the Oro festival performed as part of the burial rites for the late monarch.

The chiefs, in separate interviews with journalists, said no one had ever been buried with a late king.

The Lowa Adimula of Ife, Oba Joseph Ijaodola, who is the Head of Inner Chiefs, said, “No one was caught during the Oro festival, it is all lies. It has never been done in Ife land that somebody must be killed or buried with the Ooni.”

The Laadim Adimula of Ife and Secretary of Royal Traditional Council, High Chief Adekoye Odewole, also debunked the insinuation.

He said, “We don’t use human beings for rituals in Ile-Ife. We can use rams, goats or other animals, but not human beings.”
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PDP begs members that plan to defect to APC

About 570 key members of the Peoples Democratic Party in Bayelsa State are planning to dump the party for the All Progressives Congress on Saturday (today).

But an association within the PDP in the state called the Unity Group begged the aggrieved members to reconsider the move.

The group made the appeal at a news conference in Yenagoa on Friday against the backdrop of mass defections of prominent members of the party to the APC.

Addressing journalists on Friday, Coordinator, PDP Unity Group, Mrs. Marie Ebikake, urged the aggrieved members not to defect to another party.

Ebikake, a former Commissioner for Transport in the state, who was recently relieved of her position because of her alleged closeness to the former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, said the group was committed to the unity and resolution of the crisis confronting the PDP.

She said, “We cannot deceive ourselves. Some of our people have vowed to go to the APC. We want to use this medium to appeal to them to return. The home they have built, they cannot allow it to collapse.

“We are a group in the Bayelsa State PDP that is committed to the unity of our party, particularly after the outcome of the recent general elections.

“We believe that losing power at the centre after 16 years should unite rather than divide us. We salute the commitment of our members and supporters in the last 16 years.

“However, we are not oblivious of the most recent defections from our great party in Bayelsa State to the opposition APC. We cannot also pretend to be unperturbed of the planned defection of our esteemed members on Saturday (today) in Yenagoa.

“There is no doubt that some of these defectors are men and women of high political substance and pedigree who have contributed to our past achievements.”
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Buratai seeks collaboration between army, DSS

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has called for collaboration between the army and the Department of State Service.

Buratai also called for joint training exercises and intelligence sharing between the two security agencies for successful joint operations.

The Army Chief’s comments were contained in an electronic mail on Friday signed by the Chief of Staff, Army Public Relations, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, for the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman.

Buratai was quoted as having made the call while paying a courtesy call on the Director-General of the DSS, Alhaji Lawal Daura, in Abuja.

He was said to have highlighted the strategic importance of the DSS, especially in the area of intelligence gathering and urged the nation’s secret police to collaborate with the army.

Buratai restated the determination of the army to carry out its statutory responsibility of defending the territorial integrity of the nation.

The Army Chief, who was quoted as stressing the importance of collaboration, offered to provide the requisite expertise when necessary.

In his response, the DSS boss, Daura, urged officers and men of the Nigerian Army to consider the DSS as partners in the security of the nation.

He was said to have described the DSS as an extension of the army.

Meanwhile, the National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.) and the four service chiefs on Friday in Maiduguri promised to end the Boko Haram violence and return peace back to the troubled North-East.

Monguno, who led the four service chiefs, Gen. Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin (Defence), Lt.-Gen Tukur Buratai (Army), Air Marshal Sadiq Baba Abubakar (Air Force) and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, said the recent change of guard in the nation’s security establishments by President Muhammadu Buhari was to end the persistent attacks by the Boko Haram terror group.

Monguno said, “There was a tendency of replacing the service chiefs with a mandate from the President to end Boko Haram insurgency that has claimed a lot of lives and property in the North-East. In less than 24 hours after we were sworn in and decorated by the President, we are here in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, for the reassessment of military operations and to end insurgency in three months.”
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Nigerians blast Ogun governor for sacking six workers in the state over ‘offensive’ question

Some Nigerians have blasted the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, for the sacking of six workers in the state Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, including a secondary school teacher, for allegedly setting an offensive examination question.

The sacked workers include two Grade Level 17 officers, former Director, Education Support Services, Mrs. Folashade Oresegun; former Director, Curriculum Development and Evaluation, Mr. Rotimi Odunsi; and a Grade Level 16 officer, Mr. Majekodunmi Oluwole.

Others are a Grade Level 10 officer, Mr. E.O. Asegbe; a Grade Level 8 officer, Taylor Damilola; and an English Language teacher in Mayflower Secondary School, Ikenne, Mr. Joel Adegbenro.

It was reported that the sacking of both Oresegun and Odunsi had been converted to compulsory retirement, while the four others were summarily dismissed.

Their “offence” might be connected with a comprehension passage in the English Language examination conducted by the ministry for the Unified Examination in Public Secondary Schools for the third term of the 2014/2015 academic session, where pupils were asked to summarise a comprehension passage on policy defect on education. The governor’s action has, however, caused uproar among many Nigerians on social media, who described the sacking as “undemocratic.”

A man simply identified as Odeleke, said the governor’s action did not reflect good leadership.

“Amosun is a dictator in the making. The All Progressives Congress should call him to order before he turns the state to his fiefdom,” Odeleke said.

Meanwhile, the teacher sacked alongside the five others, Adegbenro, has declined to comment on his dismissal.

Adegbenro was the examiner in the English Language examination conducted by the ministry for Unified Examination in public Secondary Schools for the third term 2014/2015 academic session.

Journalists met him on Friday at the Abeokuta office of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools and sought his reaction on the dismissal, but he declined.

He said politely, “Please, I don’t want to say anything on the issue. Thank you.”

However, Chairman, ASUSS, Ogun State chapter, Mr. Akeem Lasisi, urged the state government to have mercy on the sacked workers.

He said, “As you are aware, five officers of the state’s Ministry of Education were involved and a teacher from a secondary school in Ogun State.”
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Another student reveals how UNILAG lecturer, Akin Baruwa sexually harassed her

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761 killed by fulani herdsmen this year

About 761 persons have lost their lives to cultism and clashes involving Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria between January and July this year.

Findings which was based on reported cases of violence involving cultism and Fulani herdsmen in the media, revealed the information.

The analysis showed that out of the figure, violence involving the Fulani nomads claimed 621 lives across the country within the period, while that of cult clashes claimed the remaining 140 victims.

It should, however, be noted that some killings were unreported and the attacks also left several persons injured, some of whom could have lost their lives later.

Of the 621 who died in clashes involving Fulani herdsmen, more than half of the deaths occurred in Benue State, a major flashpoint of the crisis in the country.

In January, 27 persons were killed in violent incidents involving Fulani herdsmen. In February, 96 persons died in similar circumstances; 236 in March; 28 in April; and five in May.

One of the most deadly attacks in the state this year occurred in March, when on a Sunday morning, Fulani herdsmen attacked Egba village in Agatu Local Government Area, killing 90 persons.

Other major flashpoints in the country as regards clashes involving Fulani herdsmen include communities in Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Zamfara, Ekiti and Kwara states where scores of people were also killed.

In Taraba State, for instance, 47 persons reportedly died in similar circumstances in January, 15 in April, eight in May, and four in July.

Also, on Saturday, April 4, clashes between suspected Fulani cattle rearers and local youth vigilantes from rival Hausa ethnic group in Zamfara State left at least 72 persons dead.

In Kaduna, 11 persons died in similar circumstances in January and 13 in June, this year.

Lagos State is the major flashpoint for cult violence in the country with the state alone claiming at least 80 out of the 140 victims.

A senior police officer at the Lagos State Police Command recently said no fewer than 80 persons were killed in cult clashes in the state between January and June.

The police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity noted that the figure could be higher than 80 because not all cases were reported to the police.

He said, “We have had so many cult killings within the past six months. Most of the cases involved former university students who left school and decided to carry on with their cult related activities after school in their areas.

“The number of cases reported cannot be less than 80, and that is leaving out the number of unreported cases.”

Meanwhile in July, there were at least two incidents involving cult clashes in Lagos, each claiming at least one life.

In January alone, no fewer than 16 persons were killed in cult-related circumstances, while 17 others were killed in similar circumstances in February.

Major flashpoints of cult attacks in the state are Mushin, Somolu, Bariga, Ikorodu, Ketu, Onipanu, Bariga, and Igando.

Next to Lagos are Ogun and Delta states, where 21 and 15 persons were reported dead in cult clashes between January and July.

In Edo State, which was the next deadliest state as regards the number of casualties to cult clashes, 10 persons reportedly died in similar circumstances.

A United Kingdom-trained criminologist and Chairman, Puma Eye Security Services, Mr. Pedro Ayandokun, blamed the recent cult clashes in the country on youth unemployment, illiteracy, and poor police and parental control.

He, therefore, called on the government to encourage community policing and increase investments in vocational training to engage the youth.

He said, “There should be compulsory education for children and vocational centres in each of the local governments in the country.

“Community Development Associations should also live up to their responsibilities and work with the police to dismantle illicit youth gatherings and forestall these killings because they have to be stopped.”

On the clashes involving Fulani herdsmen, Ayandokun suggested that the government introduce a legislation to address the issue.

He said, “Such legislation should carve a way for the herdsmen to graze their cattle and spell out how and where they would graze.

“It should establish a task force to enforce the laws that are spelt out by the legislation. There should also be a process of reconciliation because there will be a need for sensitisation since the herdsmen believe that there is nowhere they cannot take their cattle to graze while community residents want to protect their farms.”

The Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Ojukwu, did not answer calls to his mobile phone or respond to a text message sent to him.
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We won’t give up anti-corruption war – Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Federal Government will not relent in its anti-corruption battle.

He said the anti-corruption crusade embarked upon by President Muhammadu Buhari was not meant to intimidate anybody in the country as being insinuated in some quarters.

Osinbajo, who stated this in a chat with some journalists on Friday at a burial ceremony of a member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, the late Mrs. Janet Oladoye, in Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State, accused the Peoples Democratic Party of trying to prevent the anti-corruption war.

The Vice-President, who was welcomed at the event by a large crowd of residents of the town and members of the APC from the 18 local government area of the state amid tight security, explained that the anti-corruption crusade was not designed to intimidate any politician.

According to him, the list of the people who have been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission so far shows that the anti-corruption war is not a witch-hunt.

He, however, said that anyone found guilty of corruption would be made to face the wrath of the law irrespective of his status.
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The late Ooni of Ife died a born-again Christian - Cleric

The final burial rites of the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II, was performed on Friday, a cleric, Evangelist Toluwase Akeredolu, had disputed insinuations that Sijuwade, as a prominent monarch, was in the cult. Akeredolu had said that Oba Sijuwade died as a born-again Christian.

Akeredolu said this on July 29 after the transition of the monarch was announced by the media.

The cleric, an evangelist with the Christ Apostolic Church, said the monarch had few weeks before his transition, confessed all his sins to God after he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to him.

Akeredolu said he was privileged to have ministered to the monarch few weeks before his death.

He said, “Oba Sijuwade told the congregation at the last crusade we organised in Ile-Ife that he had forsaken sins and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and personal saviour. He confessed publicly that he would live the rest of his life to serve the Almighty God.

“During the revival, Oba Sijuwade said he had committed the rest of his lifetime to Christ, the saviour of all and had sung the popular song ‘All to Jesus, I surrender.’”

It will be recalled that the late monarch dropped the title of ‘Oluaye’ (owner of the universe) in 2010 in deference to the Almighty God.”
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“Nobody can see the Ooni after his death, not even his wives and children or President Obama'

“Nobody can see the Ooni, not even the US President, Barrack Obama. We are with him. It’s only the initiates who can see him. His wives and children cannot see him.”

The final burial rites of the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II, was performed on Friday, but his wives, children and family members were unable to pay their last respects as they were barred from the programme.

Some other people who had expected to see the body of the monarch lie in state were also disappointed as his remains were neither brought out for people to see nor was any casket displayed during the burial service.

The event was attended by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Rear Admiral Akin Aduwo (retd.), Gen. Alani Akinriande (retd.), Senator Babajide Omoworare, Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko and many other dignitaries and government representatives.

Traditional prayers were offered for the late monarch by Tadimole Awo Ilare, Chief Faloba. The event was conducted in less than three hours.

A source at the palace told one of our correspondents that no member of the royal family was allowed to see the remains of the monarch since he was brought back to the palace.

He said, “As we are holding this interdenominational service here, those concerned are performing their own rites inside the palace where the body is kept.

“You can see that the gates of the palace are locked and nobody is allowed to go inside. Nobody can see him again except those who will bury him.

“The wives and children were not even supposed to see his corpse at all but tradition was broken this time around because he (Sijuwade) died in London. But no family member can see him again. Those performing the rites are there now and they will complete it today (Friday). He will be buried in the middle of the night, but nobody will be there apart from those who will lower him into the grave.”

The source said those who saw the bodies of the previous Oonis were attacked by smallpox and did not survive the ailment.

A monarch in Osun State, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, disclosed to one of our correspondents that traditional rulers of the town went to various shrines, including the Obalufon shrine in Ife to perform some rites for Sijuwade on Friday.

He said the traditional rulers later went into Ooni’s palace shortly before an interdenominational burial service for the king commenced on the palace premises.

The monarch said, “Nobody can see the Ooni, not even the US President, Barrack Obama. We are with him. It’s only the initiates who can see him. His wives and children cannot see him.”

During the service, the Preacher, Bishop of Ife Diocese of Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Oluranti Odubogun, said despite his riches, Oba Sijuwade died when it was God’s time to take him away.

The bishop, who was represented by the Very Rev. Olusola Akanbi, said the Ooni brought fame and popularity to his domain.

His said the monarch’s demise demonstrated that every mortal man would die no matter their status.

He said, “Baba has gone. He will stand before the King of Kings who will judge what he did while here on earth.

“Some persons have started jostling to succeed him now but we must all remember the judgement day when we will give account of all that we did on earth.

“I urge you to make today a memorable one and give your life to Christ. Jesus is the only way, accept him today.”

But as the interdenominational service was about to take off, there was a mild drama as worshippers of Oro cult in Ife, also called Isoro, stormed the venue and attempted to stop the service. The worshippers claimed that it was a sacrilege to hold an interdenominational service for the departed king. And as the service went on outside the palace, the traditional worshippers sang and danced inside the palace.
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REVEALED: Nigerian women turn innocent girls to sex slaves in Dubai

Esther Nicole Otubo
Sometime in 2014, a young beautiful girl, Ms Precious, completed her university education and the National Youth Service Corps programme in Edo State. Precious, as she identified herself while nude in a video, decided to seek better opportunity outside Nigeria. She chose a booming beautiful Arab city, Dubai, as her port of future success. Precious convinced her parents to finance her desire to travel. Her mother had no option than to support her by processing the needed travel documents to her dreamland.

On August 28, 2014, the naïve, young and pretty lady was ordered to stand naked in front of a camera by one of the most notorious Nigerian sex slave and human traffickers in Dubai, Esther Nicole Otubo. The video recordings of this innocent girl were to blackmail her and other girls under her “PROSTITUTION BUSINESS EMPIRE” in case they refused to pay their daily dividends to her. Precious hopelessly agreed to Otubo’s terms of engagement, as captured in the video transcript:
Esther Nicole: What’s your name?
Precious: Precious.
Esther Nicole: Precious, which part of Nigeria are you from?
Precious: Edo State
Esther Nicole: Okay. Where are you right now?
Precious: Dubai.
Esther Nicole: Dubai? What did you come to do here?
Precious: Prostitution.
Esther Nicole: Prostitution. Were you forced to come here?
Precious: No.
Esther Nicole: You agreed on your own to come here. Did you go for swearing (sic)?
Precious: Yes.
Esther Nicole: Who and you (sic) went for the swearing?
Precious: Me and my parents
Esther Nicole: You and who?
Precious: Me and my mother (sic)
Esther Nicole: Okay …so you just arrived in Dubai, yeah?
Precious: Yes
Esther Nicole: What’s today’s date?
Precious: August 28, 2014.
Esther Nicole: So this is to show that this is what you came to do here and you are going to abide by the rules in this house. Do you agree?
Precious: Yes ma.
Esther Nicole: And when you are done paying your money, everything here would be deleted, but if you go against the laws in this house, this would be published and sent to your family. Do you agree?
Precious: Yes ma.
Esther Nicole: Okay. Thank you very much.

This week, the video exploded on social media and exposed the sex slavery and prostitution of Nigerian women by their fellow citizens in Dubai. The Dubai Madams have, within the past five years, slowly grown into a profitable money-making adventure for these human traffickers. The business, according to sources in Dubai, is mega profitable, netting an average of $30,000 (about N6m) monthly for the Madams that camp these girls in sex units or three-star hotels in the United Arab Emirates, the centre of glitz and glamour where commercial sex by these Nigerian women seems to be in high demand.

Dubai has all the aura of a sin city. It’s beautiful, sitting 52 feet above the sea level, the economic and powerhouse gate pass to Asia and the Middle East. It is a liberal rich city that accommodates and tolerates all creatures, great and small. Though its socio economy is controlled by rich merchant Arabs and middle easterners, Nigerian women have found a spot to syndicate their hospitality and human services in commercial sex, pimping vulnerable young girls they lure from their various Nigerian towns and villages to the Emirates’ mega city.

Emeka Ugwuonye, an attorney, is representing Precious. Ugwuonye, through his advocacy group, Due Process Advocates, is in the lead to hunt and prosecute these Nigerian ‘Dubai Madams’ who are involved in the sex slavery and human trafficking of young naïve Nigerian women desperately but innocently seeking to better their lives.

Ugwuonye and his advocacy group have, through their investigations, successfully identified some of these ‘Madams’ and their illicit and illegal business of importing Nigerian young girls to Dubai, with a promise of making lucrative money in the city, but only to get there and be subjected to commercial sex slavery and garnish their wages.

He told me, “Jebose, I have videos of two different girls recorded under the most debasing conditions, naked and scared. What Nicole does is to videotape these girls in the nude and blackmail them into prostitution in Dubai. This woman is like none that you have come across before. She is a ‘Madam’ and a human trafficker. She takes desperate young Nigerian girls on a sex slave mission to Dubai or other Middle Eastern countries for prostitution. Before they leave Nigeria, she would first make the girls and their parents swear an oath at a local shrine in the belief that such would place a curse of sudden death on those girls were they to disobey her. The total amount she plans to get from each girl is about $30,000.

“The girl is to become a prostitute, make money from her ‘clients’ and keep giving such money to the woman until she agrees she has received $30,000 from the girl. This Madam uses blackmail as an additional means of enforcing her plan. She would take a video recording of each girl, who would have been made to stand stark naked. She would tell each girl that if she failed to pay her $30,000 when she gets to Dubai or elsewhere, she would release the video tape on Facebook and would delete it when she eventually gets paid.

“These girls apparently agree to this. I use the word “apparently” on purpose to raise questions about the voluntariness of these girls’ participation in this. Ostensibly, some of these girls have not paid the Madam all the money she demanded of them. That must have been what led Madam to release that video on Facebook. I have seen videos of three girls in such humiliation. People forwarded them to me in order for me to use DPA to help track down the woman that is behind all this.

“There are many, many Nigerian girls suffering under her control. These girls lack the ability to cry out. They are in slavery and bondage. We must set them free and we must have the ‘Madam’ arrested.”

Ugwuonye also identified a second ‘Madam’ in this Dubai commercial sex deal gone bad.
He added, “Madam Ann, which is the only name we have of her, has five girls under her control. Madam Ann lodges her girls in a three-star hotel while she would stay at home and offer them men in exchange for cash. After each girl must have slept with four or five men, Madam Ann would come and collect the money they would have made from them.

“The hotels cannot be busted by the Dubai Police. These Madams change hotels like every two days to remain undetected. Any girl that stays in the hotel for more than four days would be expected to leave because of the slow sex seekers’ traffic. The hotel’s members of staff may not know what is going on. So if there are steady traffic of clients in the hotel and to a particular room, after two days, the hotel would notice and ask the girls to leave. The only things they take to the hotels are sexy lingerie to entice customers.”

Earlier in the week, the police had reportedly apprehended the ‘Madams’ who had been on the run since the video went viral on social media.

Culled from Punch
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