abusidiq

Civil Rights Advocate, #BBOG, “Change” Champion Elvis Iyorngurum Is No More

By Peregrino Brimah

Elvis is no more. Many of us are in tears…with swollen eyes I write this tribute. Prominent civil rights advocate, a Bring Back Our Girls staunch activist who sat almost every evening at Abuja Unity fountain.

He passed this evening at a hospital in his hometown of Benue state from an illness that unfortunately turned south.

A determined ordinary yet not in any way ordinary Nigerian whose writings in more ways than can be expressed, helped bring the “Change” we have today. A brave compatriot, soldier, brother and friend who I met personally for the first time this June in Abuja and we looked at each other and embraced with mutual respect as brothers in the struggle. A guy very noticeable with his trade-mark large Afro hairstyle, we stood up together to #UndressNASS in Abuja and bring change and transparency to the Senate. Elvis Iyorngurum is no more! No title, no burial, no honor, no tribute can befittingly capture the departure of a soldier and proper human being like him.

Elvis first came to our notice as I recollect, when he penned an article exposing the alleged airlift of former CDS Alex Badeh’s family from Boko Haram/Daesh overridden Mubi last year. “The Helicopters That Evacuated CDS Badeh’s Family From Mubi: A Lesson For All Nigerians.” When we found the article on his faceBook page and published it, it immediately went viral. Not long after headlines had it that he was receiving death threats for the article.

A now famous Elvis went on to pen several serious reads that touched the soul of the Nigerian struggle for independence from the corrupt cabal and some 30 odd years of conscience and intellect-less-governance, regression. Some of his titles are:

Nigeria Must Honour Guard That Averted Bomb Blast In Jos Church
Buhari Has Our Mandate, Not The Right To Forgive Jonathan
The Only Hope I Know
How APC Is Not A Political Party
We Are Made Of More; An Amazing Nigerian Story
National Alert: Nigeria Is Broke!
2015 Is Not About Buhari Or Jonathan
Those Who Support This Killer Government Have Sold Their Souls To The Devil

A pillar of the Bring Back Our Girls Abuja family, I wondered seeing Elvis’ commitment, how with his sincere and devoted activism and advocacy, he managed to feed and survive. It has been the story of many Nigerians who have fought hard for change in the nation and remained sidelined and un-commemorated. It is the story of Nigeria’s many true heroes.

I will never forget Elvis.

ENDS will never forget you, Elvis.

The Chibok girls will never forget you, Elvis.

Nigeria will never forget you Elvis.

Dr. Peregrino Brimah; http://ENDS.ng [Every Nigerian Do Something] Email: drbrimah@ends.ng Twitter: @EveryNigerian

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Dear Governor El-Rufai, By Bitrus Jock Adua

Dear Governor,

Please accept my late congratulatory message to your emergence as the new Governor of the North-central state of Kaduna. We played our part as democrats and the majority votes have declared you as the winner of the last election.

I must say, without mincing words that so much is expected from your government in view of your many promises of key-ing into the CHANGE agenda prior to the elections. I learnt of your great impact and prowess from the time of former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo down to the period of the Late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. I equally read of your good works while as FCT Minister, although it came along with its own issues. Whichever way, I do believe you will deliver Kaduna state from the dark times we have witnessed and continue to witness.

I am an aborigine of Kaduna state by birth and by right and as such, I have taken time to study the political phase of Kaduna state and Nigeria in general. Through my course of study, observation and learning the political life of my dear state, I have come to realize that over time, politics has been played by tossing citizens to the winds of deceit and later abandoning them to the fate of ill-government. This and many more are the reasons why I write this open letter. As an indigene of the state, I have a responsibility to point out the erring paths treaded by past governments and suggest ways you can avoid them.

Sir, you would quite agree with me that you rode in on the wings of promises to find yourself in the Sir Kashim Ibrahim government house of Kaduna state as the head. These promises are what patient citizens like me are waiting to see come into reality. Believe me sir, your agenda as the new governor of the North central state is quite huge and laudable; it’s keeping some of us anxiously waiting for that ‘promised change’. In other words, we are living on the hopes of those promises, our fates are hanging up the cliff of your vision for a greater Kaduna, in which I believe, that a man of integrity like you would surely keep to them.

I am happy you started your government on good notes like reducing the number of commissions to thirteen, abolition of state/local government joint account. The primary and secondary school reforms you have embarked on like the free tuition, free lunch and rehabilitation of some of the dilapidated schools. I must quite commend your efforts on that sir.

However, I would humbly love to remind you that Kaduna state is religiously pluralistic and multi-ethnic, it would be worthy if you could kindly put this into consideration as you run your government. The state of Kaduna is not made up of just the Hausas and just one religious group as most people living offshore Northern Nigeria think it is. And that is why we have a portion of the state which is Southern Kaduna, occupied by various tribes, like: The jaba, Ikulu, Kataf, Marwa, Gbagyi and several others.

I am from that part of Kaduna and I have watched government run sixteen years through with no major consideration of that part of the state. Talk about political appointments, it is always in favor of one religious group against the other of people from southern Kaduna. What about employment opportunities in government parasatatals? They are always visited with greater sentiments and bigotry.

For sixteen years and still counting, we have endured political indifference. We have watched raw sentiment played in power sharing and several other times, we are even victimized upon our own rights. I have watched politics played in other parts of Nigeria, in the south-west most especially, they seem not to harbor this same religious bigotry but one is left to wonder why this is a major factor in Northern Nigeria.

The southern part of Kaduna has been left in isolation and in the shadows of underdevelopment. Our only ‘supposed savior’, Late Yakowa of blessed memory whom was beginning to bring the region into consideration by carrying out mega projects that were not just beneficial to the people in that region but the whole Kaduna ended up not achieving it, he passed on with his plans for a greater Kaduna and ever since then, things have swapped back to its usual form. Most of the projects he started in the region have long been abandoned by the then government who took over, and up till date most of them are still lying fallow. At the beginning of Late Yakowa’s projects, it was a huge relief for the people living in the suburb of Kaduna state, but after his demise, their joys and dreams of getting to have better road network system was turned into nightmares. Unfinished road projects were abandoned leaving residents to the mercy of environmental hazards both in dry and rainy seasons. Some of the affected areas include the Catholic road- Narayi, Angwan Maigero, Angwan Sunday, Romi-Karatudu road, Gonin Gora e.t.c .Those developmental projects have continued to be a dream with a bleak hope of becoming a reality. I personally believe you would look into this, according to your proposed plans.

Also Sir, it is no more news that Kaduna state has lost its ranking and stand among other states majorly because of the religious crisis that has countless times rocked our boats. We have battled insurgency caused by religious intolerance and ethnic clashes. Since it started, countless lives had been wasted, and houses destroyed, hospitals and churches burnt down to nothingness. The one time peaceful and communal state that attracted people from various regions in Nigeria, has become like the lion’s den that everyone is fleeing or planning to flee away from.

In light of these, it would be important to focus on building up a better Kaduna where religious intolerance would be nothing but history; it would do us and your government good if you can focus on running an equal effective leadership throughout the regions. History should draw our minds back to 1987 at the college of Education Kafanchan, where the first religious crisis was stirred due to indifference and lack of tolerance. Ever since then, Kaduna has been suffering this menace. We have seen too much that even good dreams have turned to nightmares .The idea of giving more attention to a particular group in neglect of the other group is highly detrimental to our survival as a state. Now is not the time to play favoritism or segregation, rather, it is the time to create a unified society amongst people of different beliefs.

Recently, you released the list of your appointed commissioners and according to my research, out of the thirteen appointed commissioners, we only had four slots allocated to Christians from southern Kaduna and the remaining is given to the other religious group. I am not trying to bring up religious issues now, but I am trying to point out the fact that the southern Kaduna is a larger community comprising of more tribes and as such, I think it would be right if we could play an equal political appointments between the two religious groups.

We are part of Kaduna and yes, we are Kaduna and as people who pay taxes and perform other civic duties, we reserve the right to get more than we are offered in government. Remember once again that Kaduna state does not just belong to the Hausas or our Islamic brothers, it belongs to all of us collectively and I think an equal power sharing is pertinent.

More so, I also read recently on the news that you appointed a non-indigene to head Chikun local government area of Kaduna state owned by the Gbagyi tribe. The youths and indigenes protested, but the police as usual obstructed their actions. This is quite uncalled for, are there not competent indigenes who could handle their own people rather than bringing in a total stranger to head them? These people reserve the right to rule themselves and not a stranger from elsewhere who knows little or nothing about how they fare. Has politics gone this bad? I don’t see this step taken as a way of promoting or restoring peace and it is in negation to some of the promises your government made prior to the election.

Some recent attacks on Christian regions of the southern Kaduna have been visited with laxity from past governments and up till today, we are still experiencing such decadence. The governments are not ready to save us from our plights, the lives of our innocent brothers and sisters are been wasted incessantly and amidst all these, I see no government coming up to help beef up the security in that region. I humbly will like to plead with you, if you could bring this into consideration. The southern part is equally as important as the other parts of the state and as such, it will be pleasing if they are treated as one state. We need a government who would support us in putting an end to the several genocides that have over time been carried out in our region. We are not living in hell for God’s sake; we are living in a state headed by a government. Save us and save Kaduna state.

Mr. Governor Sir, I have watched with keen interest on how you started running your government and to be factual, you started well but along the line, a little fringe of regrets seems to be visiting your political escapade lately. The generality of Kaduna residents have infact been in discontent over the recent manner of running your government. But just before I round up this piece, I will also love to humbly remind you that as the Governor of Kaduna state, it will only be right if you focus more energy on making a better legacy than meddling with national affairs that are of less or no importance at all. It is not time to start throwing tantrums and discredit at past governments neither is it time to start meddling in national governments affairs that are of less concern to you. You have a huge task of liberating Kaduna before you and we are counting on you.

In a nutshell, Your Excellency, This is not an intended backlash on your government but a call to order on some erring decisions that has grossly affected and still affecting we the people of Southern Kaduna. Government I believe should be of law rather than of men. This is a clarion call from the southern part of the state. Meanwhile, we will keep hoping you consider our plights and make adjustments.

Thank you sir!

Bitrus Jock Adua

E-mail:aduabitrusj@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Aisha Buhari: Championing A Cause To Protect Women And Families in Nigeria

In a pre-election recorded interview, the wife of the current president of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari responded to a question on her preferred causes upon assumption of “office”: “I leave that for the people to choose,” a truly selfless Aisha had said.

While championing causes by respectable Nigerians and indeed people of the world need not be on personalized based, i.e. selected by ethnicity, sex or religion, personal experience/affliction, etc; perhaps no one has ever been better poised, equipped and skilled to powerfully transform the fate of women and families in Nigeria than integrity-president Muhammadu Buhari’s adept wife, Aisha.

Providence has it that Aisha is named after the youngest wife of Islam’s prophet Mohammed (p), who is remembered for not only being one of those who contributed wholesomely to the narrated records upon which Islam is based today, but also for being a vociferous woman leader and what one might today call a rights advocate.

Nigerian women suffer untold hardship. While reported domestic violence levels are one in three, it is recognized that the true level is much higher and not obtained in surveys “because of stigmatization.” Our women are largely treated like second class or third class citizens. Married and divorced at will without consideration. In southern parts of Nigeria, straight talk, we even have them routinely killed after being required to serve like slaves.

In the north, women are abused, married-off young without their consent, discarded with their children by their husbands while still vulnerable teens and left no social reprieve than to beg and wallow in poverty. Alimony is not duly observed nor is there any thought for child support where there are issues. As a result children affected are discarded into the Almajiri lifestyle. [Don’t forget to #StandForAlmajiri]

We all know these patterns. In 2013 the women protection bill was passed at last. But what use is a bill to the formally neglected, oppressed and repressed? Nigeria’s women need more and they need so fast. This is not for their sake only, but more importantly for ours as a nation riddled with deadly ills.

Women in Nigeria must be protected: They are an endangered species

The wife of the president can begin to establish educational, and campaign for civic protection facilities for our women. The problems leading to women endangerment in Nigeria are social, religious, health and judicial. These can all be tackled and must be tackled firmly.

Recommendations: 

– Men must know that they face severe and inescapable consequences for maltreating women.

– Women must have access and be encouraged to freely utilize courts to seek redress for infractions against them.

– Women must be protected from any adverse consequences of seeking redress through the courts.

– The judicial system must be positioned to protect women’s rights, including their divorce rights, inheritance rights, Alimony rights and others.

– The society needs to be educated on the rights of women and their role in society.

– There needs to be a discrete victim reporting system that allows victims of domestic abuse to secretly and safely report or be reported by witnesses.

– Victims support systems. [Social media tools provide great opportunities here]

The Northern Issue

As pertains the peculiar situations in the north, Aisha is again perfectly capacitated to address these true and through.

While under Islamic laws and hence as contained in the constitution, there is no lower age limit to marriage, many in the north reportedly still engage in child-marriage, marrying and sleeping with girls who have not yet hit the age of puberty and been determined physically, mentally and socially mature.

The I believe well intended Child No Bride foreign derived frenzy borne out of a lack of understanding, was an erroneous approach and improperly categorized the problem hence serving to complicate it and further alienate the victims –who went under — rather than properly addressing it. Our honorable Aisha Buhari of course understands this cultural and social dilemma better and can initiate concrete steps to addressing it.

Children must not be allowed to marry. The prophet of Islam, Mohammed’s (p) youngest bride, Aisha was noted to be mature before consummation. While marriage under 16 is legal in much of south and north Nigeria and indeed in all but 6 nations of the world, marriage of children, not yet mature is abhorred socially, religiously, traditionally and scientifically. Prohibitions must be coordinated at the community level and not twitter level. Here are my simple recommendations to protect young brides across Nigeria. (These in addition to the above recommendations).

Protecting Young Brides And Grooms In The North

– Communities in cities and within extremes must have certified monitors who authorize, investigate and document all marriages.

– Strict media and social/religious forum announcements must be made for all marriages in Nigeria to be formally reported to/through the above and other formal authoritative agencies.

– A court or responsible and monitored social office must be in place to screen all potential brides and grooms to establish without doubt that:

1. The bride or groom is biologically, physically, socially and mentally mature; this can be done with physical and standardized questionnaire based exams.

2. The young bride or groom fully and consciously desires and has agreed to get married without duress.

3. That the home promises to enable the young bride or groom all opportunities of a continued education as long as is desired.

4. That the new wife or husband is informed of their rights to utilize the courts or equivalent systems for any matrimonial claims, complaints or even termination and that this is boldly enshrined and optimized.

– That we actually provide the schools that we want our youth to go to in the north.

– Enable a productive society that promotes real opportunities for human development and social, cultural and physical nourishment.

We provide better health care, especially maternal and social facilities to adopt and shelter the societal neglects.

It must be mentioned for Islamic readers that these are the rights of a woman as enshrined in Islam. The below passages from Islamic documents elucidate:

Divorcees And Virgins Must Be Consulted To Be Married

“Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as having said: “A woman without a husband (or divorced or a widow) must not be married until she is consulted, and a virgin must not be married until her permission is sought. They asked the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him): How her (virgin’s) consent can be solicited? He (the Holy Prophet) said: That she keeps silence. (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book of Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Book 008, Number 3303)”

“It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that a virgin girl came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and told him that her father had married her off against her objections. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave her the choice. Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2096; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.”

“It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “No previously-married woman should be married off without being consulted, and no virgin should be married off without asking her permission.” They said: “O Messenger of Allah, what is her permission?” He said: “If she remains silent.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4843; Muslim, 1419.”

Quran Says Women Must Never Be Married By Force; Must Be Treated With Dignity And Equity And Their Dowry Must Never Be Seized

“Allah Almighty said in the Noble Quran: “O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower [money given by the husband to the wife for the marriage contract] ye have given them, except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and God brings about through it a great deal of good. (The Noble Quran, 4:19)”

A Guardian’s Decision Cannot Supersede The Free Choice Of The Girl

“Narrated AbuHurayrah: “The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: An orphan virgin girl should be consulted about herself; if she says nothing that indicates her permission, but if she refuses, the authority of the guardian cannot be exercised against her will. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Book 11, Number 2088)”

Mothers Must Be Consulted Before Marrying off Their Daughters

“Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar: “The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Consult women about (the marriage of) their daughters. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Book 11, Number 2090)”

Girls Being Married Off Must Be Done After Seeking Their Explicit Choice

“Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: “A virgin came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and mentioned that her father had married her against her will, so the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) allowed her to exercise her choice. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Book 11, Number 2091).”

Of course there are many more considerations and recommendations to make this project a complete and society changing one. I pray our honorable president’s wife accept my recommendation of this gigantic task in response to her call for submissions of desired projects.

Dr. Peregrino Brimah; http://ENDS.ng [Every Nigerian Do Something] Email: drbrimah@ends.ng Twitter: @EveryNigerian

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Kogi Guber Election: Speculation Laid to Rest As APC Officially Inaugurates Campaign

All roads led to the national secretariat of the APC in Wuse II, Abuja, on Wednesday, 14 October 2015, as the Kogi state gubernatorial campaign was formally inaugurated. There had previously been speculation about the eligibility of the APC candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, to contest the election by virtue of his being a member of the party’s Board of Trustees; with the formal inauguration officially held within the premises of the party headquarters, these rumours and speculations have effectively been put to rest.

In attendance were governors of some APC states, members of the party’s National Working Committee and other key party faithfuls from Kogi state. The campaign schedule has also been released, with rallies scheduled to hold in all Local Government Areas of the state.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Delta Guber Election: Parties Adopt Final Addresses As Tribunal Reserves Judgement

The Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba reserved judgment in the  petitions challenging the declaration of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as winner of the April 11 election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Chairman of the three-man tribunal, Justice Nasir Gunmi who reserved judgement following the adoption of written addresses by counsels to the respective parties in the disputed election, stated that the date of the judgement which must be before October 28 will be communicated to the parties by the secretary of the tribunal.

In petitions number EPT/DT/GOV/32/2015 and EPT/DT/GOV/23/2015 filed by Olorogun O’tega Emerhor and the  All Progressive Congress (APC, the parties had approached the tribunal to nullify the election on the ground of non-compliance with relevant section of the electoral Act.

The counsels to first respondent (Okowa), Alex Iziyon (SAN); second respondent (PDP), Timothy Kehinde (SAN); and third respondent (INEC), Damian Dodo (SAN) urged the tribunal to dismiss the petitions with substantial cost against the petitioners, citing relevant sections of the law and previously decided cases to back their position.

The respondents’ counsel also adopted and relied on their written addresses, replies on the point of law as well as different sets of motions on notice bothering on preliminary objections in urging the tribunal to strike out the petitions which they insisted, lacked merit, lacked locus standi and incompetent.

However, the petitioners who anchored their respective cases on the compulsory use of card reader for accreditation argued that they have been able to prove the cases of over voting and electoral irregularities during the election and therefore urged the tribunal to nullify the election  and order for a re-run.

Counsel to Emerhor and the APC, Chief Thompson Okpoko (SAN) while adopting and relying on his written addresses, contended that Section 153 of the Electoral Act confers on INEC the power to make regulations for the conduct of elections.

“In exercise of this power, INEC issued guidelines and issued press release informing Nigerians that card reader will be used. And Section 155 of the same Act states that any rule or guideline made by INEC remains valid if a court of competent jurisdiction did not set it aside. The card reader has a place in law, and I urge the tribunal to uphold the petition,” Okpoko argued.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

President Buhari’s Cabinet of Lawyers! By Okoi Obono-Obla

It seems President Muhammadu Buhari is in love with lawyers if the numbers of lawyers in his proposed cabinet is anything to go by. At the last count about nine lawyers have been nominated by President Buhari for confirmation as by the Senate as Ministers of the Government of the Federation.

This is the first time in the political history of the country that there will ten lawyers in the highest hierarchy and the Cabinet is packed full with top class lawyers such as Raji Babatunde Fashola, SAN; Abubukar Malami, SAN; Ocholi James, SAN; Adebayo Shittu; Senator Aisha Al-Hassan; Jeffrey Onyema, a top class intellectual Property Lawyer; Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachukwu, a first class investment and corporate lawyer; Oxford trained Senator Udoma Udo Udoma; Senator Heineken Lokpobiri; and Lai Mohammed.

These are well tested professionals and managers! It is beyond dispute now that the discipline of law has the largest representation in the forthcoming cabinet! It is also worthy to note that the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo, SAN, is another top lawyer and academic!

Also the Chief of Staff to President Buhari, Abba Kyari is an Oxford trained Lawyer of many years standing! President Buhari is a through and through military strategist and tactician steep in the virtues of adherence to due process, orderly behaviour and discipline. These traits and virtues are inherent in lawyers. Lawyers are also logical and analytical. Perhaps, this is what has informed President Buhari’s working relationship with the lawyers he has nominated for confirmation as Ministers!

Recall, that in his efforts to become President of Nigeria, he had course to challenge the result of the Presidential election he contested in 2003 and 2007 respectively. In 2011, President Buhari did not personally challenge the result of the Presidential Election but the Political Party under which platform he contested the election, the defunct Congress for Progressives Congress, CPC, contested the result of the election right from the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court! One can therefore understand and appreciate President Buhari’s love for the court and litigation process to assert and ventilate his right to court each time he felt cheated at Presidential Elections in his political career!

I have no doubt that the sheer number of top class lawyers in the government of President Buhari would reflect in policy formulation and implementation and decision making that will go a long way in changing the fortunes of our country after more than 15 years in social and economic turmoil.

God help and bless Nigeria!!!

Okoi Obono-Obla ?

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

“I Don’t Fix Prices”, Fashola Responds To Question On His N78m Website

Babatunde Fashola, former governor of Lagos state, on Wednesday revisited the controversy surrounding the alleged use of N78 million for the upgrade of www.tundefashola.com, his personal website.

Critics of the former governor had accused him of enriching himself at the expense of the state. And during the ministerial screening at the senate, Fashola was asked if he truly spent N78 million on the website and more than N300 million on sinking a borehole.

In his response, he said he was not directly responsible for the cost of the website.

“Some people may be surprise to learn that as governor of Lagos state, I don’t know about other states, I didn’t sign cheques, none of my commissioners signed cheques. I have never signed a cheque, I don’t fix contract prices, it is an institutional process,” he said.

“The only training I have is that of a lawyer, but in order to execute works on a project, we need the input of architects, we need the input of quantity surveyors, we need the input of structural engineers and we have consulting ministries.

“For civil works, it’s the ministry of works, for science, it’s the ministry of science and technology. The statisticians are there to fix prices from biro to iron rod to cement. It is approved and it becomes the  benchmark price of government procurement; nobody can award any other contract over that benchmark.

“All of these things nobody has alleged that I have corruptly enriched myself, and I couldn’t be the master of all on technology, I need something to do my work and you make procurement in senate, who is involve how much you buy your stationery.”

Responding to a question relating to his concept of loyalty, Fashola said: “May our loyalty never be tested,” and the senators chorused “Amen!” He went on to shed more light on his understanding of loyalty, using a story to drive home his point.

“The concept for loyalty is very strange. You know why I say so; in the course of my work, there was a family that had a parent who had a kidney malfunction and the diagnosis was that the patient needed a transplant and needed to go overseas, we had procedures in government where we helped people who applied to get overseas treatment,” he said.

“When we had paid and they were to go, the question was who will be the donor? We found out that the only matching kidneys were those of her two daughters and none of them was willing to give a kidney for their mother, that was their supreme test of loyalty.

“So, I always pray that my loyalty will not be tested, because you do not know, you may have to take a bullet for somebody, it may be a father for a child.

“In public life, I have remained loyal to courses that I assigned on to and all my life, really nobody has fairly accused me of giving my word and going back on it.”

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Ohi of Adavi, Ibrahim Bello Is Dead

The Ohi of Adavi, HRH Ohi Ibrahim Asuku in Kogi Central zone of Kogi state is dead. He was aged 71.

The highly respected traditional ruler died in the early hours of Wednesday.

As at the time of this report, preparations were on for his burial according to Islamic rites.

The late Ohi Adavi will be remembered for enthroning peace in the area throughout his reign and will be missed for his role in developing Adaviland.

Born in 1944 and hailed from Adavi-Eba (Upopo-Uvete) in Apasi group of clans in Adavi Local Government Area of Kogi state, HRH Dr. Bello Asuku Ibrahim attended the then I.N.A Central School Okene between 1955 and 1960 and  was later trained as a Grade Two Teacher at Okene Teachers’ College (OTC) from 1962 to 1966.

In 1967, he enrolled at the Advanced Teachers’ College, Kano where he obtained an NCE preparatory for entry into the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) for the B.Sc. (Hons) between 1974 and 1977, with speciality in Health and Physical Education.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

We’ll Soon Commence Electronic Voting – INEC CHAIR

Nigeria is technologically ready for electronic voting and the country may adopt it as soon as the current electoral acts are amended to that effect, the Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mrs Amina Zakari has said.

Mrs Zakari disclosed this in Abuja yesterday while answering questions from journalists shortly after a courtesy visit by the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Peter Olu Jack.

She said: “We have always used technology as far as electoral process is concerned so as to achieve free and fair elections. Anytime we have the time to recommend amendments we will be able to make amendmments and once that impediment is lifted INEC will partner with agencies to develop framework for electoral voting.”

According to her, “INEC shall however partner with NITDA to fashion a homegrown content that will be for Nigeria.”
The acting chairman said: “INEC is ready to implement what is in the laws, we constantly say that INEC is ever ready to implement what is in the law, but as it is now we have an impediment of the law in terms of electronic voting.”

She however said the impediment would not stop INEC from deploying technology in its processes, adding that the commission relied on technology for improvements in the system.

She added: “As much as we could and that is what we did during the 2015 elections as it does bring about processes and efficiency in our operations.”

During the visit, both agencies said they would collaborate to develop fresh framework for a robust electoral voting in the nearest future, using Information Communication and Technology (ICT).

Earlier, NITDA’s Director General expressed optimism on the deployment of technology to improve the electoral system.
He spoke about the upcoming NITDA’s e-governance conference slated for November noting that it was deliberately planned to focus on the use of technology to explore possibilities to improve the country’s electoral system. He said that  by the time the 2019 elections are conducted, Nigeria would have a fair polls acceptable by the international community.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Exposed: US Supplied Dozens Of The Toyotas To ISIS In Syria

By Tony Cartalucci

The US Treasury has recently opened an inquiry about the so-called “Islamic State’s” (ISIS/ISIL) use of large numbers of brand-new Toyota trucks. The issue has arisen in the wake of Russia’s air operations over Syria and growing global suspicion that the US itself has played a key role in arming, funding, and intentionally perpetuating the terrorist army across Syria and Iraq.

ABC News in their article, “US Officials Ask How ISIS Got So Many Toyota Trucks,” reports:

U.S. counter-terror officials have asked Toyota, the world’s second largest auto maker, to help them determine how ISIS has managed to acquire the large number of Toyota pick-up trucks and SUVs seen prominently in the terror group’s propaganda videos in Iraq, Syria and Libya, ABC News has learned.

Toyota says it does not know how ISIS obtained the vehicles and is “supporting” the inquiry led by the Terror Financing unit of the Treasury Department — part of a broad U.S. effort to prevent Western-made goods from ending up in the hands of the terror group.

“This is a question we’ve been asking our neighbors,” Faily said. “How could these brand new trucks… these four wheel drives, hundreds of them — where are they coming from?”

Not surprisingly, it appears the US Treasury is asking the wrong party. Instead of Toyota, the US Treasury’s inquiry should have started next door at the US State Department.

Mystery Solved

Just last year it was reported that the US State Department had been sending in fleets of specifically Toyota-brand trucks into Syria to whom they claimed was the “Free Syrian Army.”

US foundation-funded Public Radio International (PRI) reported in a 2014 article titled, “This one Toyota pickup truck is at the top of the shopping list for the Free Syrian Army — and the Taliban,” that:

Recently, when the US State Department resumed sending non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels, the delivery list included 43 Toyota trucks.

Hiluxes were on the Free Syrian Army’s wish list. Oubai Shahbander, a Washington-based advisor to the Syrian National Coalition, is a fan of the truck.

“Specific equipment like the Toyota Hiluxes are what we refer to as force enablers for the moderate opposition forces on the ground,” he adds. Shahbander says the US-supplied pickups will be delivering troops and supplies into battle. Some of the fleet will even become battlefield weapons..

The British government has also admittedly supplied a number of vehicles to terrorists fighting inside of Syria. The British Independent’s 2013 article titled, “Revealed: What the West has given Syria’s rebels,” reported that:

So far the UK has sent around £8m of “non-lethal” aid, according to official papers seen by The Independent, comprising five 4×4 vehicles with ballistic protection; 20 sets of body armour; four trucks (three 25 tonne, one 20 tonne); six 4×4 SUVs; five non-armoured pick-ups; one recovery vehicle; four fork-lifts; three advanced “resilience kits” for region hubs, designed to rescue people in emergencies; 130 solar powered batteries; around 400 radios; water purification and rubbish collection kits; laptops; VSATs (small satellite systems for data communications) and printers.

It’s fair to say that whatever pipeline the US State Department and the British government used to supply terrorists in Syria with these trucks was likely used to send additional vehicles before and after these reports were made public.

The mystery of how hundreds of identical, brand-new ISIS-owned Toyota trucks have made it into Syria is solved. Not only has the US and British government admitted in the past to supplying them, their military forces and intelligence agencies ply the borders of Turkey, Jordan, and even Iraq where these fleets of trucks must have surely passed on their way to Syria – even if other regional actors supplied them. While previous admissions to supplying the vehicles implicates the West directly, that nothing resembling interdiction operations have been set up along any of these borders implicates the West as complicit with other parties also supplying vehicles to terrorists inside of Syria.

What Mystery?

Of course, much of this is not new information. So the question remains – why is the US Treasury just now carrying on with this transparent charade? Perhaps those in Washington believe that if the US government is the one asking this obvious question of how ISIS has managed to field such an impressive mechanized army in the middle of the Syrian desert, no one will suspect they had a role in it.

Of course, the trucks didn’t materialize in Syria. They originated outside of Syria and were brought in, and in great numbers, with the explicit knowledge and/or direct complicity of the US and its regional allies. Asking Toyota where the US State Department’s own trucks came from is another indication of just how lost US foreign policy, legitimacy, and credibility has become.

Russia’s intervention, and what should become a widely supported anti-terror coalition must keep in mind the criminality of the US and its partners when choosing its own partners in efforts to restore security and order across the Middle East and North Africa.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

Source

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

How 40 Robbers Raided Lagos Banks, Kill Mother And Baby

No fewer than forty heavily armed robbers, yesterday morning, invaded two second generation banks in 4th Avenue, Festac area of Lagos state and carted away huge sums of money.

Reports said both mother and child later died as a result of injuries they sustained from the bullet.   A commercial motorcyclist who was also hit by stray bullets reportedly died later in an undisclosed private hospital.During the operation which lasted hours, a two-year-old toddler, Mmesoma Ndirika, and her mother, Jane, who were inside their apartment in an adjoining building, were reportedly hit by stray bullets from the bandits who were shooting sporadically in all directions.

It took the Police more than one and half hours to respond.

Recoveries by the Police

However, police authorities said they were able to recover about N27 million and other rounds of arms and ammunition abandoned by the bandits while fleeing from the scene. They could not  give specific figure of casualties.

Reports said the bandits who were dressed in military camouflage uniforms, attacked the banks after alighting from boats at a nearby canal. They reportedly used dynamite to destroy the security entrance gates after which they gained entry into the banks.  Eyewitness account said as soon as the dynamites exploded, the heavily armed bandits started firing bullets in all directions inside the first bank they entered.

According to the witnesses, while some of them were inside one of the banks, another group broke into another  nearby bank, while others took positions in front of the area, at the same time shooting indiscriminately.

A commercial motorcyclist, popularly called Okada, who was close-by, was hit by bullets and he was said to have collapsed later after fleeing from the scene.

Another witness who was also inside one of the banks, said  “After the dynamite exploded, the bandits, who were dressed in army camouflage, invaded the banks threatening to kill anybody who attempted to confront them. They broke into all the rooms inside the bank and dragged everybody into the main banking hall.  While doing that, they were at the same time brutalising customers and hitting others with the butts of their guns.  They broke into the bank’s vault easily and carted huge sums of money away. ATMs were not spared as they also looted all the money in the machine. They operated simultaneously in the two banks, after which they escaped  through the same  canal they entered the area. In fact, as they were fleeing from the scene, they forced some butchers in a nearby market to help them load their massive loot into the canoe before escaping.”

Uju, one of the residents of Block 8, 4th Avenue, where the stray bullet hit mother and child, said: “While the shooting was going on, every one laid on the floor in their respective apartments.  I was with Jane in her parlour while her child was inside the room.  Suddenly, the child started crying and the mother stood up to carry her. As she was coming to the sitting room with the baby, a stray bullet perforated the window, hit the baby in the chest and also got the mother on the left side of her shoulder.  Immediately, she took the child back to the room and started shouting for help.   Nobody came to her rescue because people were running helter skelter for dear life.”

However, when the dust settled, a neighbour, identified as Irabor Sunday, reportedly rushed them to Mother and Child Hospital at the First Gate in Festac where they were confirmed dead.  The baby was, thereafter, taken back to the house while her mother was rushed to Lord’s Chosen  Church where a prayer session was organised for her revival. It was gathered that  at 3pm, her corpse was taken to  Igando General Hospital mortuary where she worked as a nurse.

There were conflicting accounts of police response during the operation which created tension in  Festac town.  While some witnesses said policemen who claimed they came from Ikeja, Oshodi, RRS  arrived almost one hour after the bandits had fled from the scene, the police said they confronted the bandits and during a fierce battle that raged for several minutes, the robbers  fled abandoning some of their loots and weapons. Witnesses also insisted that even the policemen that arrived after the incident were openly blaming their colleagues at Festac Division for not informing them about the attack on time.  According to the witnesses, the huge crowd that gathered at the scene also  booed the policemen for coming after the operation.

Giving a vivid account of the incident, the Area Commander, Festac and former Force spokesman, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Frank Mba said: “Today, the 13th of  October, 2015, at about 8:25 am, the command received information of sporadic shootings going on somewhere around 4th Avenue,  Festac town, Lagos.  The joint team of policemen at Area E headquarters, Festac Division, promptly  responded to the crime and on arrival at the scene, the policemen engaged  the gang of robbers numbering well  over 40,  all dressed in military camouflage  and armed to the teeth in a gun battle.

“We engaged them in a fierce gun battle that lasted several minutes. Not withstanding the clear numerical disadvantage of the police at the beginning of this operation, the hot exchange of fire between the policemen and the robbers who incidentally, had divided themselves into two and were simultaneously robbing two banks, forced the robbers to immediately end their operations.  They, consequently,  abandoned their operation and also abandoned the sum of N27 million. As they were fleeing, they left a total of 240 AK47 live ammunition, and left the scene with money stolen from the bank. The money was later recovered by the policemen and taken to another branch of the robbed  bank around 2nd Avenue, for deposit.

“The CP and other police stations around Ikeja were immediately informed of the operation but my men were sent earlier to see what was happening already. The CP, Fatai Owoseni, while regretting this incident,  vowed to do everything humanly and operationally possible to make sure that the perpetrators of this crime are rounded up within the shortest possible time and brought to book.

“It should be noted that within the two banks, nobody died.  One person sustained a minor injury in one of the banks and the person is adequately responding to treatment. On our part and that of the law enforcement agency, no injury, no death recorded.  We heard about the two-year-old child and her mother who were hit by stray bullets. We are working on that. We are trying to liaise with the police to currently locate the girl and her mother and make sure that they are taken care of. A massive operation is currently going on and if there are other pieces of information that are not available now, we would make sure that we alert the press too.

“Preliminary information shows that they came in through the waterways and they equally exited through the waterways, because there is a canal very close to the area where the robbery occurred. The Marine Police have been  involved in tackling  the activities of hoodlums in waterways and their operations spread  from Badagry to Epe to Lagos Island, Oshodi to Ikorodu and every water side area.   But, you must equally understand that if the waters  are not deep enough, we would not carry out such operations.”

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Combat Ready Soldiers Allegedly Mass at Tinubu’s Residence for Three Days in a Row

The Media Office of former Lagos State governor and national Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu has said that his residence in Ikoyi has been under under surveillance by combat ready soldiers.

The media office said this in a statement made available via email to Abusidiqu on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the helmet wearing soldiers numbering close to thirty were first notice on Sunday and has been making daily visits to the residence since then.

Below is the statement.

For three straight days, the private residence of the national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, has been under surveillance by battle-ready and helmet-wearing soldiers. Numbering close to thirty and riding in three patrol vans and an army truck stationed close to the entrance of the gate to Tinubu’s house along Bourdillon Road in Ikoyi, they have become a permanent feature. Their obvious target, Tinubu himself and perhaps the hordes of politicians and visitors that visit his Bourdillon residence.

The soldiers were first noticed on Sunday a few minutes to 11pm in an army truck. They stationed about 500 meters away from Tinubu’s gate. Later they moved close to his gate as if making efforts to enter. The stern looking soldiers were around for hours on Sunday and returned on Monday to continue their surveillance. Monday night about 10.45pm, they returned to the residence in two army vans and were there throughout the night. Some of the soldiers discharged from the van and walked back and forth in front of the house and around the house in what is clearly some casing effort.

This morning, Tuesday, two vans from the army were stationed on both sides of the house along Bourdillon road their missions shrouded in secrecy.

In a swift reaction, Tinubu said he will not be intimidated by this show of strength, intimidation and possible harassment. 

“I remain resolute in my advocacy and support for the rule of law. Jonathan’s government has through the service chiefs staged a coup against Nigerians and the Constitution and now wants to silence his critics. I will not be muzzled through the barrel of the gun. The guns and bullets they should use to defeat Boko Haram are now being turned against the opposition and innocent Nigerians,” he said.

 Tinubu remains emphatically resolute and committed to the path of change in Nigeria and the liberating manifesto of the All Progressives Party, APC. Tinubu is an unrelenting critic of the maladministration of the Jonathan-led PDP government. Tinubu is credited to have played the most pivotal role in the re-building of the Nigerian opposition and the formation of the APC, Nigeria’s most formidable opposition party since independence.

The exact mission of the soldiers is not known but it fits clearly into a new pattern of intimidation of leaders of the APC and the opposition. The recent massing of soldiers for three days now at Tinubu’s gate might be part of a broader plan by the Jonathan Presidency to intimidate Tinubu and his political associates and scare him from making provocative statements or building a broad coalition against the present government as he did during the NADECO days.

As the scaremongering by the army continues, Nigerians must come to the realization that the military has abandoned its statutory role and have now being dragged into partisan politics. Nigerians and the South West should hold the Jonathan led Military responsible if any harm or danger comes to Tinubu and his family. The case of the “Unknown Soldier” is too recent in our memory. 
 
What do you think about this? Share your thought with others in the comment section below.

Don’t miss the news as they happen. Follow us on Twitter @abusidiqu and on Facebook at Facebook/abusidiqu

To contact us for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to info@abusidiqu.com

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]