BBOG Commemorates One Year Anniversary Of Chibok Girls Abduction As Military Keeps Mum

As today marks one year since over 200 girls were abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, by the Boko Haram terror sect, the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group would conclude its one week of global action on the clamour for the girls’ rescue from captivity.

According to the group, the week of global action is meant to raise awareness and also demand expeditious global campaign to accelerate all efforts being coordinated by the Nigerian government and her allies towards their rescue.
Of 276 girls originally abducted a year ago, 57 escaped from the terrorists while 219 of them are still missing.

The one week of global action began last week Wednesday with a media briefing at Unity Fountain in Abuja, where the plans for the commemoration were unveiled.

The next day, the group held a walkathon and repeated the same exercise on Friday, but this time tied the red ribbon from Unity Fountain all the way up Shehu Shagari Way, up to the Police Force Headquarters and back.

Also, that same day, special prayers were held at Unity Fountain in Abuja, and a sermon with the topic, “The role of girl child education in Islam”, was preached.
The group on Saturday had a social media network awareness especially on Twitter where they succeeded in having a tweethaton.

The next day, the group held a special service in churches across Nigeria and the world, where the prayer request was for a miracle that would bring the girls back alive.

Although the special commemorative service billed to hold yesterday was postponed for a later date, the  #ChibokGirls monument was unveiled, after which a vigil and candlelight procession was held.

Another highlight of the commemoration was the plan to select 219 Chibok ambassadors who would today carry the message for the rescue of the girls.
According to Co-convener, BBOG and former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, “Their peers that signed up and were selected as our #ChibokGirlsAmbassadors will be the ones carrying the message for their rescue.”

The #ChibokGirls Ambassadors, who are part of the Global Schoolgirl March, are expected to stage a march today from the Unity Fountain to the Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Secretariat, Abuja.

Also to mark the anniversary of the missing girls, it was gathered that the famous Empire State Building in New York would be lit today in purple and red in honour of the BBOG campaign.

The organisers explained that while the red colour stands for the BBOG’s chosen colour, the purple stands for the campaign to end violence against women.

The BBOG on Monday also embarked on a silent protest over the lack of knowledge about the true status of the girls.

The protesters in their normal red attires used red cellotape to seal up their mouths to show their displeasure with the federal government’s silence on the whereabouts or true status of the girls.

One of the leaders of the group, Dr. Emmanuel Shehu, confirmed that as part of activities lined up to commemorate the disappearance of the girls, over 150 teenagers named ‘Chibok Girls Ambassadors’ would stage a solidarity rally for the missing schoolgirls.

The rally, according to Shehu, would commence by 10 am today from Unity Fountain to strategic places in Abuja such as the Three Arms Zone, Maitama, Wuse and other places to call attention to the need to rescue the missing girls.
Also showing their support, about 900 Bangladeshi students yesterday stood in solidarity with the BBOG group in Nigeria, creating the hashtag #EndChildMarriage.

In a picture posted on the twitter handle of @WGLBangladesh, it showed girls with cut out papers spelling out ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ at the Tillagaon High School, in Kuluara, Mouivibazar, Bangladesh.

In the same vein, Nobel Peace laureate, 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai wrote a letter to the Chibok girls, where she lamented that both the Nigerian government and international community had failed them.

She said: “In my opinion, Nigerian leaders and the international community have not done enough to help you. They must do much more to help secure your release. I am among many people pressuring them to make sure you are freed.
“Nigerian forces are re-gaining territory and protecting more schools. Nigeria’s newly elected president, Muhammadu Buhari, has vowed to make securing your freedom a top priority and promised his government will not tolerate violence against women and girls.

“I look forward to the day I can hug each one of you, pray with you and celebrate your freedom with your families. Until then, stay strong and never lose hope. You are my heroes.”

Also in Lagos today, the Women for Peace and Justice group, one of the foremost groups championing the cause of the missing girls, would hold a briefing and a rally to mark the one-year anniversary.

According to information by Temitope Olajiga, the rally will kick off at Falomo roundabout between 6 pm and 8 pm.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian military has refused to speak on the fate of over 200 girls who were abducted from Government Secondary School (GSS), Chibok, Borno State exactly one year ago by Boko Haram terrorists.

All efforts to get the military authorities to comment on the issue proved abortive as spokespersons for the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) and Nigerian Army shied away from discussing the matter.

It was gathered that the decision not to speak on the missing girls was deliberate in order not to be caught making statements that might require unnecessary retractions or clarifications.

“If I will tell you the truth, the authorities don’t want to speak on this matter because we don’t want to be dragged into its unnecessary controversies,” a military source said.

Already, the source added, there is indication that some of these girls might have been killed in Bama and other places with some likely to be held in Sambisa forest but that is yet to be verified.

The DHQ has on more than one occasion been forced to clarify or retract statements on the Chibok girls.

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How Soldiers Aided Boko Haram to Capture Gwoza, Escapee Narrates, Indicts Chadian Govt

By NewsRescue

Today NewsRescue met with man from Gwoza whose identity we must conceal. His revelations are quite shocking.

The man told us that when Boko Haram took over Gwoza, on that day he saw military helicopters providing weapons and other dangerous material tot he terrorists in nearby villages. The man said that the villagers complained about this but no one in the Nigerian military responded.

He said before Boko Haram took over Gwoza, the inhabitants were told not to out that day that (soldiers) had security information that Boko Haram were in other villages. The soldiers then said that they will go and reconstruct the bridge that was bombed by the Boko Haram ( though he again narrated that actually it was not Boko Haram that had bombed the bridge in the first instance but soldiers) after they reconstruct it they again came back to the town and the next day they (the soldiers) packed all their belongings in Gwoza and the told the people that the were going to villages around to confront Boko Haram.

The people did not know the soldiers were actually retreating. Barely 3 hours after they left, Boko Haram invaded and took over Gwoza.

The man told us that the same tactics was used used in taking over Mubi; after soldiers said they planned to take over Michika but the bridge was already bombed and that they will reconstruct it; after they reconstructed it on that day DHQ sent weapons so that they will reclaim Michika which was taken over by Boko Haram. Again they allowed Boko Haram to capture Mubi.

Additionally, fuel tanker escorts with police or soldiers some times are seen going to the villages where Boko Haram are aalso taking food stuff and other materials. They park the trucks and leave it for the terrorists to come and take.

Ali Modu Sheriff

One of his sisters who ran away from Gwoza told him that when Boko Haram were in control of Gwoza, they were told that a special guest will visit them one day. To their surprise, in the morning they were called to come out and welcome the guest; as they came out they saw black SUV jeep from which SAS, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff came out with militants surrounding him and as he greeted them, he ordered militants to bring out money inside the second jeep which they distributed to them. Later in the late afternoon he (SAS) left.

The janjaweed connection: Idris deby of Chad with Nigeria's President and ex-Governor of Borno, Ali Modu Sheriff

Chad Involvement

He also told us that one of his friends who come back Nigeria from Chad  last month told him that stolen vehicles including buses from state University Mubi with the name of university  written on the buses and with Adamawa state government plate number were being driven freely in Chad.

He said other Nigerian private vehicles with private plate numbers are  operating in Chad freely, and other stolen properties are being sold openly in many markets in Chad including building materials; he said to us that Chad only sent soldiers so that they will cover up their involvement in Boko Haram menace, if they are not involved then why does the Chadian Government allow stolen vehicles operate with Nigerian plate numbers, and the selling of other materials freely and openly in Chad without arresting the perpetrators or sending the  stolen properties back to Nigeria?

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We’ll Do Our Best To Rescue Chibok Girls If They Are Alive– Buhari

As the world marks one year of the abduction of about 276 schoolgirls from Government Secondary School, Chibok, President-elect Muhammadu Buhari has assured parents of the girls that his government will rescue and bring back their children.

“I say to every parent, family member and friend of the children that my government will do everything in its power to bring them home,” Gen Buhari said in a statement from Daura, Katsina State.

“What I can pledge, with absolute certainty, is that, starting from the first day of my administration, Boko Haram will know the strength of our collective will and commitment to rid this nation of terror, and bring back peace and normalcy to all the affected areas,” he said.

The world woke up to the sordid report of the kidnap of the schoolgirls writing their final examinations in the night of April 14, after hours of operating unchallenged.

Buhari, however, said that the rescue mission was dependent on whether the girls were still alive.

He also promised that his government would counteract the ideology of the militants whose name translates to ‘western education is evil.’

“We will ensure our citizens in the affected areas have improved educational opportunities as a direct counterbalance to Boko Haram’s twisted ideology.

“In particular, we will educate ever more young girls, ensuring they are empowered as citizens of Nigeria,” the president-elect stated.

The former head of state added that the anniversary of the girls’ kidnap should remind Nigerians “that the attack on Chibok was an attack on the dreams and aspirations of our young people.

“We stand united in our pledge to resist terror in Nigeria – not just through military means but also through the power of opportunity and the hope of a better future for all.”

Part of Buhari’s statement read: “Today, we remember the kidnapping of 276 girls from a school in Chibok one year ago. This crime has rightly caused outrage both in Nigeria and across the world.

“Today is a time to reflect on the pain and suffering of the victims, their friends and families. Our thoughts and prayers, and that of the whole Nigerian nation, are with you today.

“I want to assure all of them, and particularly the parents, that when my new administration takes office at the end of May, we will do everything we can to defeat Boko Haram. We will act differently from the government we replace: we hear the anguish of our citizens and intend to respond accordingly.”

He, however, said he did not know whether the Chibok girls could still be rescued – as their whereabouts remain unknown, and that as much as he wished to, he could not promise that they could be found, but that his government would do everything possible to look for them and bring them home.

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Chibok Girls Seen Alive in Gwoza – BBC Report

A BBC report indicated that more than 50 of the abducted Chibok girls were seen alive three weeks ago.

A woman who spoke with the BBC said she saw the girls in Gwoza town in Borno State before the Boko Haram militants were driven out of there by Nigerian soldiers and other regional forces.

Boko Haram sparked global outrage when it seized more than 219 girls from Chibok town a year ago.

The US, China and other foreign powers promised to help find the girls. However, the girls have never been traced, and little has been heard of them since they were taken from their boarding school.

In an open letter, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai called on Nigeria’s authorities and the international community to do more to secure the release of the girls.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said the girls had been converted to Islam and married off, fuelling concern that the militants had treated them as war booty and sex-slaves.

The woman, who lived under Boko Haram’s rule in Gwoza, told the BBC that she saw the girls in Islamic attire, being escorted by the militants.

“They said they were Chibok girls kept in a big house,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals.

“We just happened to be on the same road with them,” she added. Three other women also told the BBC they had seen the girls in Gwoza.

Boko Haram was believed to have turned Gwoza into its headquarters after it captured the town in August 2014.

Defence headquarters said troops recaptured the town last month.

The militants were suspected to have fled to the nearby Mandara Mountains, near the border with Cameroon. It is unclear whether the girls are with them there.

Another woman told the BBC she last saw some of the girls in November at a Boko Haram camp in Bita village, also in the north-east.

“About a week after they were brought to the camp, one of us peeked through a window and asked: ‘Are you really the Chibok girls?’ and they said: ‘Yes’. We believed them and didn’t ask them again,” the woman said.

“They took Qur’an lessons, cleaned their compound, cooked for themselves and they braided each other’s hair. They were treated differently – their food [was] better and water clean. “

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World Bank Backs Buhari to Probe NNPC, Others

The World Bank has thrown its weight behind President-elect, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to probe the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation over allegations of missing funds.

Speaking in a video conference from Washington to journalists from across Africa on the release of the bank’s analysis of issues shaping the continent entitled, ‘Africa’s Pulse’, top officials of the bank commended President Goodluck Jonathan for exhibiting political maturity after the March 28 presidential election that would end the tenure of his administration on May 29.

The World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa, Mr. Francisco Ferreira, said looking into financial records of the country, especially allegation of corruption at the NNPC, would check impunity and build public institutions in the future.

He said, “One norm that has to change is the norm of impunity. I am from Brazil myself. So I am also used to a country where people could be corrupt and escape justice. That keeps the people to keep doing it.

“So, the current stand of the government-elect to look into what happened in the past hopefully will have consequences for the future. And those consequences will be that institutions will be stronger; norms will be cleaner and people will not have to steal millions of dollars from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

“People have alleged in the past that there had been major corruption scandals there. If that stops, then that will have very high returns in terms of the money staying around to be spent on education, health, roads and power that the poor people across the country need.

“So, my sense is that it will be good to promote cleanliness in politics.”

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Abducted Nigerian Women, Girls Forced To Join Boko Haram Attacks- Amnesty International …Submits Report To ICC

At least 2,000 women and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram since the start of 2014 and many have been forced into sexual slavery and trained to fight, said Amnesty International on the first anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok school girls.

Based on nearly 200 witness accounts, including 28 with abducted women and girls who escaped captivity, a new 90-page report, ‘Our job is to shoot, slaughter and kill’: Boko Haram’s reign of terror, documents multiple war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Boko Haram, including the killing of at least 5,500 civilians, as it rampaged across north-east Nigeria during 2014 and early 2015.

The Amnesty International report sheds new light on the brutal methods used by the armed group in north-east Nigeria where men and boys are regularly conscripted or systematically executed and young women and girls are abducted, imprisoned and in some cases raped, forcibly married and made to participate in armed attacks, sometimes on their own towns and villages.

“The evidence presented in this shocking report, one year after the horrific abduction of the Chibok girls, underlines the scale and depravity of Boko Haram’s methods,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

“Men and women, boys and girls, Christians and Muslims, have been killed, abducted and brutalized by Boko Haram during a reign of terror which has affected millions. Recent military successes might spell the beginning of the end for Boko Haram, but there is a huge amount to be done to protect civilians, resolve the humanitarian crisis and begin the healing process.”

The report contains graphic evidence, including new satellite images, of the scale of devastation that Boko Haram have left in their wake.

Abductions 
The 276 schoolgirls abducted from Chibok gained global attention with the help of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. But the missing schoolgirls are only a small proportion of the women, girls, young men and boys abducted by Boko Haram.

Boko Haram would take the women and girls they abducted directly to camps in remote communities or to makeshift transit camps such as one established in Ngoshe prison. From transit camps Boko Haram would move them to houses in towns and villages and indoctrinate them with their version of Islam in preparation for marriage.

Aisha, aged 19, spoke to Amnesty International about how she was abducted from a friend’s wedding in September 2014 along with her sister, the bride and the bride’s sister. Boko Haram took them to a camp in Gulak, Adamawa state, home to approximately 100 abducted girls. One week later, Boko Haram forced the bride and the bride’s sister to marry their fighters. They also taught Aisha and the other women and girls how to fight.

“They used to train girls how to shoot guns. I was among the girls trained to shoot. I was also trained how to use bombs and how to attack a village,” Aisha told Amnesty International. “This training went on for three weeks after we arrived. Then they started sending some of us to operations. I went on one operation to my own village.”

Aisha said that during the three months that she was held captive, she was raped repeatedly, sometimes by groups of up to six fighters. She also saw more than 50 people killed by Boko Haram, including her sister. “Some of them refused to convert. Some refused to learn how to kill others. They were buried in a mass grave in the bush. They’ll just pack the dead bodies and dump them in a big hole, but not deep enough. I didn’t see the hole, but we used to get the smell from the dead bodies when they start getting rotten.”

Mass killings 
Since the start of 2014, Amnesty International documented at least 300 raids and attacks carried out by Boko Haram against civilians. During their attacks on towns, they would systematically target the military or police first, capturing arms and ammunition, before turning on the civilian population. They would shoot anyone trying to escape, rounding up and executing men of fighting age.

Ahmed and Alhaji, aged 20 and 18, were seated with other men, waiting for their throats to be cut after Boko Haram took over Madagali on 14 December 2014. Ahmed told Amnesty International that even though his instinct told him to run, he could not. “They were slaughtering them with knives. Two men were doing the killing…We all sat on the ground and waited our turn.” Alhaji only managed to escape when a Boko Haram executioner’s blade became too dull to slit more throats. “Before they got to my group, they killed 27 people in front of me. I was counting every one of them because I wanted to know when my turn would come.” He said that at least 100 men who refused to join Boko Haram were executed in Madagali on that day.

In Gwoza, Boko Haram killed at least 600 people during an attack on 6 August 2014. Witnesses told Amnesty International how anyone trying to escape would be pursued. “The motorcycles went to surrounding areas, each street corner, where they will shoot you. They are only shooting the men.”

Thousands fled to nearby mountains where Boko Haram fighters hunted them down and forced them out of the caves where they were hiding with tear gas canisters. The women were then abducted. The men were killed.

Burning and looting: new satellite images of the destruction of Bama

Satellite imagery commissioned by Amnesty International has enabled the organization to document the scale of devastation wreaked by Boko Haram.

This includes new before and after images of Bama commissioned for the report. These show that at least 5,900 structures, approximately 70 percent of the town, were either damaged or destroyed, including the hospital, by retreating Boko Haram fighters as the Nigerian military regained control of the town in March 2015.

Witnesses interviewed by Amnesty International described how Bama’s streets were littered with bodies and how people were burned alive in buildings. One woman said: “When the military got close to the barracks [in Bama] and almost took over, they [the military] later withdrew. Then the insurgents started killing people and burning houses.”

Life under Boko Haram
The report documents the reign of terror for those under Boko Haram rule. Soon after taking control of a town, Boko Haram would assemble the population and announce new rules with restrictions of movement, particularly on women. Most households became dependent on children to collect food or on visits by Boko Haram members who offered assistance, distributing looted food.

Boko Haram enforced its rules with harsh punishments. Failure to attend daily prayers was punishable by public flogging. A woman who spent five months under Boko Haram control in Gamborou told Amnesty International how she had seen a woman given 30 lashes for selling children’s clothes and a couple executed publicly for adultery.

A 15-year-old boy from Bama, spared by Boko Haram due to his disability, told Amnesty International that he had witnessed 10 stonings. “They stone them to death on Fridays. They will gather all the children and ask them to stone. I participated in the stoning… They will dig a hole, bury all the body and stone the head. When the person dies, they will leave the stones until the body decays.”

The report also highlights growing tensions between Christians and Muslims. Many Christians interviewed by Amnesty International believe that Muslims have informed Boko Haram of their whereabouts or failed to share information about impending attacks and this has left a legacy of distrust between some communities that previously lived harmoniously side-by-side. Whilst Boko Haram has destroyed churches and killed Christians who refuse to convert to Islam, they have also targeted moderate Muslims.

Amnesty International is calling on Boko Haram to stop killing civilians and for the Nigerian government to take all possible legal steps to ensure their protection and restore security in the north-east. The international community should also continue to assist the new government of Nigeria in addressing the threat posed by Boko Haram.

“The change of government in Nigeria provides an opportunity for a new approach to security in Nigeria after the dismal failure of recent years,” said Salil Shetty.

“The abducted must be rescued, war crimes and crimes against humanity must be investigated. Bodies must be disinterred from mass graves, further killings must be prevented and those guilty of inflicting this unspeakable suffering must be brought to justice.”

The information on Boko Haram documented by Amnesty International should be considered by the International Criminal Court as part of its ongoing preliminary examination of the situation in north-east Nigeria.

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Sultan Snubbed Jonathan Before Election, JNI Says; Denies Receiving N12bn

The ?Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, on Sunday dismissed speculations that it received N12 billion from President Goodluck Jonathan to support his re-election.

The group, led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar, challenged the author {Obinna Akukwe} to produce evidence.

The organisation also threatened legal action if the author of the rumour failed to substantiate, withdraw the information and apologise to JNI.

This was contained in statement issued by the Secretary General of JNI, Khalid Aliyu, in Kaduna.

The statement said the allegation, publicised online by an individual, had gone viral on the social media and other electronic media platforms.

“The most unfortunate part of the article was its deliberate and scantiest reference in the paragraph JNI featured, details were not provided at all, whereas to some extent nitty-gritties were provided for the other stated organisations,” it read in part.

The JNI expressed worry over the allegation considering its gravity.

“We wish to place on record and for posterity that such has never occurred and we (JNI) don’t really understand the ill motives of those behind the release,” the JNI said.

“We did not understand or is it because some other faith(s) are said to have collected the presidential largesse?

“Hence, Muslims must be asserted to have collected same? Why do they want to discredit and smear the JNI at all cost?

“Why is the allegation coming now, despite knowing fully that the JNI never had any political romance with the government before and or during the elections.

“It is our firm belief that the purported write up was orchestrated to smear the name of Islam and Muslims who suffered undue discrimination and deliberate marginalisation under the outgoing government, and to cause bad feelings among the Ummah.

“Without mincing words, JNI is proud to make it known to all and sundry that the out-going President requested for an audience with its leadership and it was turned down outrightly by the leadership of the Muslim Ummah,” said the scribe.

While noting that the allegation was ill-timed, the JNI said it has serious reservations about the motives behind that meeting and its impending implications.

It challenged the writer of the article to name the particular person who was contracted to collect and share the said money in the name of JNI.

“Whoever has any relevant information as to who, where, when and how the said money was collected, should please come out with evidence.

“We expected that common sense was enough to refute such spurious and mischievous allegation, N12 billion is indeed a huge amount that cannot be transferred unnoticeable.

“In fact, it would be pertinent to ask, into which bank and or account could such amount be deposited without being known? Into whose office could such amount be kept for goodness sake?’’

“How many trucks do you need to carry such amount? For the avoidance of doubt, I swear by Allah (SWT), to every discerning mind that as the Secretary-General of JNI, nothing of such happened and nobody and or any party contacted us for the disbursement of any type of largesse.”

The body advised Muslims and the general public to disregard the information, describing it as false, baseless and without an iota of truth in it.

It warned that the JNI would certainly take legal action to protect its image, integrity, respect and honour if no genuine redress was made by those behind the script.

(NAN)

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President-elect Buhari Slams Okonjo-Iweala, Says His Ministers Will Declare their Assets

By SaharaReporters

President-Elect Buhari spoke exclusively with SaharaTV on how he plans to deal with corruption, the government’s finances, Boko Haram, and Nigeria’s economy. Most notably he blamed Minister Iweala for the financial situation in Nigeria, and that he will make his Ministerial appointees declare their assets to the public.

When asked about statements from Minister of Finance Iweala on the fiscal conditions and government spending in Nigeria, President-Elect Buhari told SaharaTV that “I’m afraid the Finance Minister has no cause to complain because the governors cannot force the central government to act outside the Constitution.”

President-Elect Buhari firmly stated that “all those that were governors, ministers, permanent secretaries, head of foreign staff and all those with political appointments will have to declare their assets on the assumption of their appointment and definitely with the courts. And once they leave they have to re-declare their assets.” He said this would ensure greater accountability among public servants.

However, he did tell SaharaTV that he does not plan to interfere with the judiciary and whatever action it may take pursuing corrupt public officials. He stated that his administration would not “become embroiled in investigation every ministry, then the government will not have time to move forward.”

On the contentious issue of Oil Block ownership in Nigeria, and an equitable distribution of the country’s wealth, he suggested that partisan politics in Nigeria is the cause of inequitability in the oil sector. President-Elect Buhari claimed that he wanted to professionalize the oil sector in Nigeria. He said that the “proliferation of oil fields to people who don’t even know what it is, is one of the messes partisan politics has brought.” Within the equitable distribution of wealth and job creation for youth, the President-Elect pointed to the APC manifesto calling for greater emphasis on mining and agriculture development.

When pressed on rumors that former president Obasanjo was exercising inordinate influence on Buhari’s administration he said, “I think that people have to accept the realities of Nigeria’s political development. General Olusegun Obasanjo is the only living Nigerian that led Nigeria for more than 11 years, so for anybody to think that General Obasanjo is irrelevant or he was trying to push his influence over issues, I think is being uncharitable and not being fair to Nigeria’s political development.”

President-Elect Buhari is now confronted with the challenge of appointing a ministerial and cabinet team, and he has stated publicly that PDP defectors should not expect to receive Minister appointments.

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Polls: Kwara Speaker Commends INEC, Security Operatives, Nigerians Over Peaceful Conduct

The Speaker of the Kwara State Assembly and Member-Elect of House of Representatives, Barr. Razak Atunwa has commended the Independent Electoral Commission over the successful conduct of the polls in Kwara and other states in Nigeria.
 
Atunwa who made this known when answering questions from newsmen after casting his vote at Berikodo Polling Unit of Asa Local Government, expressed satisfaction in the improvement made by INEC to make the elections more credible than the presidential election of March 28th.
 
“There are serious improvements on the path of INEC in the conduct of the governorship and state assemblies polls. The fact that INEC was able to correct major challenges recorded in the presidential polls has reinstated the commission’s commitment to a free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.
 
“During the presidential polls, in my polling unit, the card reader usage was very slow which affected the time voting commenced. This challenge was also recorded across Nigeria, as a matter of fact INEC had to resolve for manual accreditation process at some point during the March 28 polls. But at this governorship poll, there are improvements, the card readers are working very well and the accreditation has been fast and hitch free, no delay, no hiatus” he stated.
 
Atunwa who said there’s low turn out of voters also commended security operatives and voters across the nation for a peaceful conduct during the elections. Atunwa described this as a sign of maturity and noticeable growth in Nigeria’s democratic system, stating that the era of force and violence during election has gone while the era of peaceful casting of votes has commenced.
 
“Even though there is low turn out, I’m very impressed by the peaceful conduct of the election processes. So far, I have not heard of any snatching of ballot, fighting or shooting at polling units here in my local government and other parts of Kwara. This should be the case in other parts of Nigeria too. Our people are out peacefully, no tension, no display of anger or use of force. They have voted peacefully and accepted the results in the spirit of sportsmanship.
 
“This success wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of security operatives. Those who are stationed in each Polling Unit and those who were patrolling from one Polling Unit to another. They have uplifted mission Nigeria above their selfish interests and quick gains, working rigorously to ensure peace is maintained throughout the elections. I also commend observers from local and international organizations who have shown interest in measuring our democratic growth and pass objective comments that will help the nation make amendments” he stated.
 
Further speaking, Atunwa said he is determined to make a difference and perform better at the National Assembly. He stated that he will serve the nation with accountability and sponsor bills that reflects the interest of his constituents and Nigerians at large.
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My Threat to Kill 10 Civilians for Any Policeman Killed Worked – AIG Mbu

The Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 2, Joseph Mbu, says the threat he issued to kill 10 people for every policeman killed made the governorship and assembly elections to be peaceful in Lagos.

Mbu spoke on Saturday after monitoring the elections in some parts of the state with journalists.

The AIG visited the Ikeja, Agege, Alimosho, Somolu, Ogudu, Yaba, Lagos Island and Gbagada areas of Lagos State, among others.

There was no chaos or fight in all the areas as residents cheered the police team.

However, three people were arrested in the Ikeja GRA for moving around in their cars, while a passerby, who attempted recording the scene, was equally apprehended.

His Smartphone was smashed on the ground by a policeman.

At the end of the tour, Mbu lauded the courage of policemen in the state and the orderly conduct of the elections.

Asked what was responsible for the peaceful conduct of the elections, Mbu said, “Generally, people are becoming more and more mature.

“Also, the statement I made, which people misconstrued, also helped the police because people say, ‘this man has come o, and whatever he says, he means it’, and that instilled fear in them. Go and check all the places where I served, how many people have died? We don’t kill anyhow.

“But you have to instill fear so that people will have more respect for the police.

“Now we have succeeded as far as I am concerned.”

The AIG acknowledged some fracas in the Agric, Ikorodu area of the state, saying it was minor and the police were able to arrest the situation.

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FG Names Presidential Transition Committee [See Who Made It]

The names of the 16-member Federal Government’s transition committee, and its secretary, have been released.

The committee to be headed by Vice President Namadi Sambo, the committee will work with the incoming government of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in ensuring a smooth transfer of power.

Major General Muhammadu Buhari of the APC defeated incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the March 28 general elections. The new government takes office on 29 May 2015.

The members of the committee include the Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala; the Minister of State for Finance, as well as the ministers of Justice, Transport,
Police Affairs, and the Niger Delta.

The list also includes the Managing Director of the Assets Management Company of Nigeria, the Head of Service of the Federation, the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), as well as the Directors General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigeria Export Processing Zones
Authority(NEPZA) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, will service as secretary.

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Military Kills 4 Voters In Kebbi State

Reports from citizen reporters are suggesting that the Nigerian military killed four voters in Bayan Dutse Polling Unit, Ginga Ward in the Suru Local Government of Kebbi State.

Nafiu Abubakar, the Police Public Relations Officer, confirmed the incident to journalists.

“Yes, we have received reports of the killings of four people allegedly killed by soldiers and I will give you details of the killings as soon we conclude our investigation,” he said.

Abdullahi Suru, the House of Representative-elect representing Suru federal constituency, also confirmed the deaths to journalists.

He said the incident happened around noon on Saturday, as accreditation was going on in the the APC-supporter area.

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