Moroccan King Shuns President Jonathan’s Request for Telephone Conversation, Says Not Before Elections

The Moroccan monarch, King Mohammed VI, has rejected a request from President Goodluck Jonathan for a telephone conversation, saying it was an “inappropriate” move by the Nigerian leader to curry electoral favour just weeks before a crucial poll.

Mohammed VI snubbed Mr. Jonathan’s request last week, saying it was more of an attempt to seek electoral favour than a genuine diplomatic act, the country’s foreign ministry said Friday.

“The request by Nigerian authorities for a phone conversation between HM King Mohammed VI and Nigerian President was refused by the Monarch who deemed it inappropriate on grounds of the upcoming elections in Nigeria,” the Moroccan Foreign Affairs ministry said in a statement.

The statement explained that the monarch rejected the request for a phone chat and the sending of a Nigerian envoy to the country because Mohammed VI viewed the overture as an attempt by Mr. Jonathan to take advantage of Morocco’s influence to secure Muslim votes in the forthcoming election.

Confronted by an increasingly popular opposition, in perhaps the closest election in Nigerian history, Mr. Jonathan is frantically exploring unusual avenues for support, particularly from the largely Muslim northern region of the country.

Mr. Jonathan’s closest rival, Muhammadu Buhari, comes from Northern Nigeria and has a cult following in the region.

A move to patch the diplomatic relation with the influential Moroccan monarch is seen as a potentially impressive step that may endear the president to some Muslims.

Relations between Nigeria and Morocco have been anything but cordial for years, largely over Nigeria’s decision to support the independence of the Western Sahara region of Morocco.

Nigeria recognises the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic declared by the separatist group, the Polisario Front.

The Algeria-backed Polisario Front has led an armed insurrection against the Moroccan government for decades. Western Sahara is a largely desert region but rich in petroleum and phosphate deposits.

Nigeria has lobbied the United Nation to set up human rights monitoring group to investigate right abuses by Moroccan forces in the area, a position the Moroccan monarchy frowns at.

The Moroccan foreign ministry made it clear in its statement that Mohammed VI refused to speak to Mr. Jonathan partly because of “Nigeria’s positions regarding the sacred national, Arab and Islamic causes”.

The Moroccan monarch is one of the two surviving sovereign monarchs on the continent.

While the monarch’s decision appears popular in the North African country, some Moroccans have also questioned the judgement of the King in apparently discarding a fresh opportunity to normalise relations with Nigeria, and win over a strong ally.

“If the Palace’s foreign affairs’ advisers recognize the role Morocco can play in Nigerian politics, why haven’t they use it to persuade the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan to change his hostile positions on the Western Sahara?” asked Hassan Masiky, a Washington-based Moroccan blogger.

“Notwithstanding the fact that Abuja is strong supporter of Algerian positions, in reaching out to King Mohammed VI at the height of a close presidential election, Nigerian officials show how much they value the role the Monarch could play in their country,” Mr. Masiky wrote in an article published by the MoroccanWorld News.

“Moroccan diplomats give the impression that they don’t have a plan on how to use the Kingdom’s religious clout to advance ethnic and religious reconciliation in Nigeria. If Rabat takes the initiative once the political uncertainty ends, it will certainly offset Algeria’s plan in the region and create an opening for a smoother relations with Nigeria’s next president,” he added.

Mr. Masiky also criticised the Moroccan authorities for not offering “aggressive and vocal…religious advice and assistance to the Nigerian authorities in the fight against the extremists of Boko Haram”.

 

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Boko Haram Joins Islamic State Group

An audio tape believed to have been made by the leader of the Boko Haram insurgent group, Abubakar Shekau where the militant group pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS), has surfaced.

“We announce our allegiance to the Caliph…and will hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity,” Abubakar Shekau, said in the recording.

“We pledge because there is no cure of the dissimilarity that ummah [Muslim nation] has except caliphate,” he added. “We also call on all the Muslims to join us.”

Although the audio message could not immediately be verified, it was posted on the twitter account of the Boko Haram insurgents group.

If confirmed, it would be the latest in a series of groups to swear allegiance to IS.

The Boko Haram group have been speculated to have opened links with the Islamic State (IS), group when Shekau in 2014 praised the group’s leader shortly after he declared an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria.

The sect has since the declaration of a caliphate taken many Nigerian towns and their fight has since spread to neighbouring states. Many of the towns have so far been recovered by troops from Nigeria and Chad.

 

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Boko Haram Gathers Fighters, Reinforcements at Gwoza to Fight Battle of Life and Death

Reports from Nigeria say members of the Boko Haram militant group are gathering in their stronghold of Gwoza and bringing in reinforcements from other locations.

An intelligence source who is monitoring the situation tells VOA that military forces are getting closer to the town and the militants may be preparing to defend Gwoza, which is one of the last major towns they control in northeastern Nigeria.

The source says Boko Haram reinforcements are traveling to Gwoza from their refuge in the nearby Sambisa forest.

Gwoza is located about 135 kilometers south of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri.

The Associated Press reports the militants are surrounding the town with land mines and warning civilians to flee. It says the fighters have released some young women they had been holding.

VOA’s source says earlier this week, militants in Gwoza killed some civilians who refused to take up arms with Boko Haram to defend the town.

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Niger Delta Ministry Spends N8 Million on Recharge Card in 2014

House of Representatives committee on Niger Delta yesterday queried the ministry for alleged purchase of recharge cards worth over N8 million as reflected in the breakdown of its 2014 budget.

Chairman of the committee, Warman Ogoriba (PDP, Bayelsa), who presided over the budget defence session of the ministry, frowned at such careless spending.

The committee members demanded explanation from both the minister, Dr Steven Oruh, and the permanent secretary, Ms. Fatima Bello, on how N8 million could be used for recharge card.

While responding, the Minister and his Permanent Secretary couldn’t give a satisfactory account of the money the ministry claimed to have spent on recharge cards, which was reflected in its submission.

Bello said some of the money was yet to be spent and was supposed to cater for some staff requesting reimbursement of what they spent making calls.

The performance of the ministry’s N51.693 billion budget was marred by shortfalls comprising arrears of salary due to centralisation of such at the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, OAGF, outstanding liabilities of N131,790 million due to non-release of full appropriation for overhead and scaling down of projects as only N20.632 billion of the N40 billion appropriated was released.

 

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Court Grants Tinubu Accelerated Hearing Over Suit Against AIT, Wole Olanipekun to Lead Tinubu’s Legal Team

In a motion Exparte filed before an Ikeja High Court on Friday March 6th 2015, the court granted an accelerated hearing for motion on notice in the case of defamatory and libelous documentary aired on DAAR Communications, AIT. The granted accelerated hearing comes up on Monday March 16, 2015.

The exparte motion brought before  Ikeja High Court – sought an order of interim injunction restraining  the respondent, AIT whether by itself, agents, privies and or other persons from producing  or continuing to broadcast, airing, or continuing to reproduce any defamatory documentary against the applicant which AIT started to broadcast on Sunday 1st of march , 2015 and has been repeating on a daily basis since then, pending the airing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction dated 5th March ,2015  filed in this suit.

The motion further noted as a fact that damages would not adequately compensate applicant/claimant if this ex-parte order is not granted. It prayed that the res of this suit may be extinguished if the ex-parte order is not granted. That there is real, imminent and urgent threat and danger of continuing to decimate the person and integrity of the applicant by the respondent by continuing to air the offensive broadcast if the ex-parte motion is not granted. That unless this application is granted, the defendant will not relent or suspend the broadcast of the said libelous documentary and that it is in the interest of justice to grant this application.

The legal effect of the filing and notification of the pendency of a law suit under the legal doctrine of lis pendens is that all parties should exercise extreme caution particularly restraint in continuing with the act complained of. This is the minimal requirement of any law abiding citizen.
This duty also extends to other members of the society who are expected to refrain from aggravating the damage complained of or in any way contributing to the quantum of damage. It takes on a more compelling dimension in this instance where the claimant has applied for injunctive restraining orders against the material complained against.

The contrary can hardly be argued against the fact that affront to the judicial institution attracts criminal implications.
The Tinubu legal team is led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN. Dr. Tunji Abayomi is also part of the legal team.

 

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40% Of Weapons Seized From Boko Haram Fighters Are Made In France, Chadian Govt Says

By Divine Elangwe

Hassan Sylla Bakari Ben, Chadian Minister of Communication has said that 40% of weapons seized from Boko Haram fighters are French made. The Chadian politician and minister made the declaration during a news conference he held jointly with his Cameroonian counterpart on Wednesday night in Yaounde. Minister Hassan Sylla Bakari stressed that, “we do not designate a country as supplier of arms to Boko Haram. We just show images of weapons and ammunition confiscated from Boko Haram fighters. My country will continue to show these images so that those who manufacture these weapons know they do not end up where they should be”.

The statement by the Chadian minister created some sensation in the conference hall as officials from the Cameroon Ministry of Communication looked embarrassed. Cameroon Concord gathered that after a brief consultation between some leaders of the Cameroon Ministry of Communications, one of them came blowing in the ear of the Chadian minister who attempted to rectify the situation. For his part, Cameroon’s Communication minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary observed that “African countries do not manufacture weapons, but buy them from countries like France, Russia, the United States”.

– See more at: http://cameroon-concord.com/news/item/2660-40-of-weapons-seized-from-boko-haram-fighters-are-made-in-france#sthash.CXfeJ9kl.dpuf

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Civilian-JTF Liberate Bama From Boko Haram

Members of Civilian Joint Task Force popularly known as CJTF Friday liberated Bama from the grips of Boko haram terrorists.

This happening as Chad and Nigerian military action has destroyed Boko Haram’s command and control. Nigeria’s military has been accsued by the Chadians under directive of president Jonathan to have been stalling the advances of Chadians. This week after Chad displaced Boko haram from Dikwa, the Jonathan government told the Chadiands to step out.

The Civilian-JTF after successfully chasing away the terrorists from Bama are said to have proceeded toward Gwoza with the backing of the Nigerian army, in pursuit of the terrorists as the joint action against Boko Haram continues.

According to our sources, the Villagers saw the Boko Haram terrorists fleeing towards Gwoza through Ngurosoye and other linked villages. The Civilian-JTF were in hot pursuit along with the Nigerian army.

Civilian-JTF rifing shot-gun with Nigerian army

Now that there is serious commitment especially by Nigeria’s partners to defeat Boko Haram and block their criss-crossing the borders, the Civilian-JTF who have always been at the forefront in the battle have again shown their mettle, driving out the terrorists and liberating the land.

Nigerian brave civilians are remembered for being the agents of change after their capture of Mubi caused serious embarrassment to the Nigerian military and Jonathan government which caused them to decide this January to seriously engage in liberating Nigeria from the crutches of terror.

Bama has been occupied by Boko Haram since September last year a month before Jonathan govt declared a fake ceasefire with the terrorists. Since then as many as 20,000 Bama indigens have been killed by the terrorists.

There had been reports of hundreds of troops being moved to Bama over the past days.

The liberation of Bama is a great victory for the people of Nigeria.

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Playing Politics with Boko Haram: How Terrorists Killed Hundreds In Dikwa After Nigeria Stalled Chad’s Advance

NR-Dozens of defenseless Nigerians were massacred by Boko Haram in Dikwa and Kala Balge towns in Borno state after Nigeria chased out Chadian forces from their successful operation there.

Chad took control of Dikwa Monday this week, a strategic town that Nigeria had hoped to be the one to liberate.

Nigeria has been reported to be stalling the Chadian war against Boko Haram because president Goodluck Jonathan is allegedly embarrassed that the Chadians spearheaded the efforts against the terrorists this January and are claiming vital victories in a war Nigeria’s president finally engaged in for desperately needed political re-positioning purposes.

According to reports from the region, after the Nigerian army told the Chadians to leave Dikwa, citing Nigeria’s plans to bomb terrorist positions in the town, the Chadians were forced to exit the mission leading to Boko Haram making a deadly run back through the town, massacring dozens of innocent Nigerians as they did so.

The Chadians had earlier killed over 100 Boko Haram terrorists hiding from their forces, many in a wardrobe in Boko Haram’s Dikwa command control mansion, and chased the terrorists out of Dikwa before the Nigerian army told them to quit.

Boko Haram command and control mansion in Dikwa where Chadian troops defeated the terrorists

Reuters describes of Chad’s operations “… the tide finally appears to be turning against them as Chad has spearheaded a regional push against the group and Nigerian forces notch up some military gains as well. Chad’s victory at Dikwa is one that Nigeria would have like to have called its own. Its army chief previously said his soldiers listed Dikwa as a town that troops wanted to recapture before elections, due to have been held in February but pushed back to March due to insecurity.”

Chad TV Video shows Chad Army Victory In Dikwa

Video Player

 Nigeria reportedly pushed out the Chadians and stopped their successful mission at Dikwa and terminated their advances against the terrorists, also hindering their pursuit of Boko Haram leader, “Abubakar Shekau” who according to Idriss Deby of Chad, fled them in Dikwa. But without replacing the Chadians, the Nigerian army under command of General Tobias Minimah, left the Dikwa residents exposed and Boko Haram returned, massacring dozens there and in Kala Balge before fleeing. Many fled to Gamboru.

Chad has recently accused Nigeria of having stalled the war against Boko Haram for months since the Paris summit and continuing to do so again, apparently for political purposes and out of embarrassment.

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Change is Inevitable, Former Army Chief Declares, Urges Military to Stay Away from politics

Former Chief of Army Staff and Chairman of SURE-P retired Gen. Martin Luther Agwai has said change in leadership is inevitable, declaring that the country’s leaders must accept it and move with it.

Gen Agwai also cautioned the military to stay out of partisan politics if they should win the war against Boko Haram insurgency and other security challenges.

He made the assertion yesterday in a speech at the 78th birthday anniversary celebration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta.

“In life,” he said, “you find out that everything needs change, if that is what the community wants, what the people want, you must give it to them and as such, it becomes inevitable.”

He added: “You can have everything nice, but, if you don’t have the right leadership to propel it, it cannot go anywhere.

“Integrity matters, doing what is good for the larger society, and not just what you want to do for a narrow society to please yourself.”

In a lecture titled, “Imperatives of a National Security framework for the development and progress of Nigeria,” Gen Agwai said the involvement of the military in politics would retard the growth and development of the country.

He said the military should remain professional, adding that integrity also matters in providing quality leadership.

Agwai described Gen Obasanjo as an inspiration to a generation of military officers in the country, adding that they should always be appreciative of his contributions to their lives.

The chairman of SURE-P said the former President has been a source of inspiration for him and others, particularly from the minority ethnic group.

“I for one, from somewhere (small) ethnic group in Nigeria; from a small village to have become Chief of Staff. I will always remain appreciative of this,” Agwai said.

Ogun state governor, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun in his remarks described Obasanjo as a special breed of specie for Nigeria and Africa.

He said the All Progressives Congress (APC) “will give the desired growth and development of your dream when the party is elected come March 28.”

National Leader of the APC, Sen. Bola Tinubu, in a goodwill message, eulogised the virtues of Gen Obasanjo.
Also, the National chairman of the APC Chief John Oyegun described Obasanjo as a statesman with genuine and committed dream for the country.

He recalled that when the former President gave his PDP card for someone to tear, the APC had wanted to come and offer him a replacement, “but, we had a rethink.”

“We reasoned that this nationalist and statesman has crossed the threshold. He has become truly the father of the nation and it would be demeaning by going to present APC card to him.

“Nigeria and Nigerians have an icon now, a nonpartisan man has arrived, somebody we can all go to and if you do well he tells you and if you have not done well, he can look at you in the eyes and say you can go to hell.

“Baba Obasanjo, you are the only symbol of this country everybody can now run to meet. We know where you are and we know your views too.

“You have done great service to APC, you have done great service to the politics of this nation. We know you desire change, rather than continuity of nothingness.”

Obasanjo thanked all those present for being his guests, noting that all issues raised in the papers presented were not new “and they are issues we have been saying needed to be attended to.”

The event was attended by guests, including former Osun state governor and National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), now APC stalwart, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; former Ekiti state governor and now South West chairman of the APC, Segun Oni.

However, as at the time of this report, no top member of the PDP was in attendance, except an ally to the celebrant, who is a member of board of trustees of the party, Chief Tunde Oshunrinde.

The event also coincided with the annual summit of the Centre for Human Security of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL).

 

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The Leader Nigeria Needs Now – Obasanjo

Why is Nigeria so troubled? How do we resolve this country’s problems?

These were some of the questions yesterday at an intellectual exercise to mark former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s 78th birthday.

Two distinguished citizens  – former Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Martin Luther Agwai and National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion Director-General Dr. Umar Bindiri – tackled the topics of the day.

But it was Obasanjo himself who summed it all up. The problem, according to him, is leadership.

The lectures were delivered at his Presidential Library in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

The former president, who praised his guests for coming to honour him, reiterated that his loyalty to the country comes first and cannot be undermined.

He said once Nigeria gets it right by putting the correct leader in place, the nation’s thirst for greatness, all-round growth would be fulfilled.

He said it would take one person – the leader –  to make the positive difference everybody is yearning for, adding that Nigeria has not got every other aspect of her life right because the leadership question has not be addressed.

Obasanjo said: “Loyalty to Nigeria should not be undermined by anything, except the truth; what is right and what is in the best interest of this great country of ours. May God continue to bless Nigeria.

“We have listened to two beautiful lectures, presentation or what you will call them. For me, it has been very instructive and I have not been disappointed by either of the presenters and they have met the expectations.

“But you have seen that they haven’t presented us with magic as solutions to our problems and there is nothing they have told us that is impossible but all they have said boils down to one thing and one thing only – leadership.

“And until we get it right, anytime we do not get it right, we cannot get any other thing right, don’t let us deceive ourselves, whether it is security, science and technology or innovation or the development of the economy or education they all boil down to leadership and at all levels.

“May God give us the leadership that occasions like this deserve in Nigeria. Because when we have that, we will get there. I’m an incurable optimist about this country, and may be because I have seen in a little bit in my short span of life, a little bit of what is possible and a little bit of what can  go wrong and what can be made to go wrong.

“And may be that is why I am, incurable optimist and I believe that all will be well in this country. We have no choice anyway, all has to be well.

“We are about 180 million now, our brothers and sisters in West Africa are worried, and when they talk to me and I said why are they worried, they said, ‘if  half a million Nigerians go to Republic of Benin, we will overwhelm them; if two million go to Ghana. That is a big problem.

“Even Britain is worried. They are worried. They said the problem is that if one million Nigerians go to Britain, they said in 10 years time, there will be 10 million Nigerians in Britain and they will rather keep us here.

“There is no reason why any Nigerian child, at this point in  time should not have a basic education, food and nutrition, not only Nigeria child, any Nigerian should not go to bed without food.

“We have the resources to achieve all that, that we are not achieving it does not mean we don’t have the resources. It is because we haven’t manage our resources well.

“Employment. If all other things are right, there should be no reason for any Nigerian who wants to be employed not to have the opportunity for employment. And if the things that all the young ones are expecting are not there, in 15 years time, they will be good recruits for Boko Haram or its equivalent. Do not let us deceive ourselves.

“You can suppress but if other things that are supposed to be there are not there, you will only suppress. Sooner than later, it will rear its ugly head, and what should be done, you should remove the  root, stem and branches and I believe that too can be done.”

Chief Odigie – Oyegun said the APC was on the verge of issuing the former President a membership card after he shredded his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) card, but changed its mind.

He said the tearing of the PDP membership card via proxy was a significant milestone, causing Obasanjo to cross the “threshold” and making him to qualify fully as the “true father of the nation” that anybody can now run to for guidance.

According to Odigie-Oyegun, issuing the former President with the APC membership card would be “demeaning” to a man who should now be seen as “true nationalist, statesman and non- partisan icon”.

The APC National Chairman said Obasanjo stood out as the “only symbol of this country everybody can run to” whenever the need arises.

Odigie-Oyegun said: “Speaking seriously, a few weeks ago, we saw somebody tearing a party card on his behalf and we all went ecstatic, fantastic! So, leaders of the party quickly conveyed a get together and authorised me if we should issue him a fresh card.

“But we sat down soberly and discussed the issue and at the end of the day we said, we use this word, nationalists and statesman very loosely in this country and a wise counsel prevailed and we said this event is more significant than we think, this man has crossed a threshold; he has now become truly father of the Nigeria nation.

“We will be demeaning him if we went to him now and said ‘Baba this is APC party card’. We thought we would be demeaning him by issuing him a card and we said finally, what Nigeria never had; an icon, a father, a non partisan person, the very first in the history of this nation, finally has arrived, somebody we can now all go to; everybody. He will just be open to all of us.

“And what is important was that given the nature of the man, if he says well done, you can go back home, buy a bottle of champagne and toast because if you have not done well, he will equally look you straight in the eyes and tell you to go to hell.

“This is the kind of man General Obasanjo has become and I want to say, thank you very much, may God grant you very long life to enjoy your new status.

To Tinubu, Obasanjo is one man who has great passion for the country. He recalled when he and a delegation of APC members visited him in Abeokuta, the former President assured them if they do the right in the interest of the nation, he would set aside partisan politics to assist them.

Tinubu said: “You trapped me innocently with a great wisdom of a 78-year-old. I’m honoured to be here and many of you will see this as a rare occasion but this is an opportunity to pay tribute to a nationalist, a teacher, a disciplinarian and a tutor in dignity and boldness.

“Yes, it is true, there are no permanent friends or Permanent enemy in politics. What is common is common interest. Once upon a time, some nine years ago, I went to the Villa.

President Obasanjo asked me to walk out.

“And he was just abusing me in the newspapers and I said, ‘Baba, you are a tenant here. This house (Aso Villa) belongs to Nigeria. If I get to Ota, you can send me out. I brought a file about Nigeria’ and he said, ‘that is true, sit down’.

“If I would tell you several events that occurred between the two of us in the interest of the nation, I would write an epistle but today is not for that. But how do you celebrate, truly and honour a man who has kept you on your toes?

“No matter what,  between Baba Olusegun Obasanjo and myself, what I can say is a gratitude to you because you kept me on my toes.

“Each time we disagreed on things, on principle, I took him to court one time as the President and he saw me and said, ‘you took me to court, we can’t be friends after the court’ and I told him, ‘I didn’t take you to court, I took Nigerian President to court’ and he said, ‘get off my way’ and I told him, ‘I wouldn’t get out of the way, until I get what I want.’

“And one morning, very early, Professor Mabogunje was there and we were discussing and it was about the development of the country, there’s no doubt about that, it was about rail line and urban development, very serious matter, and I dialogued with him and Prof. Mabogunje was  asking me to keep quiet, and Baba said, ‘get out of here.

“And I said, ‘Baba, I am not going out, you asked me to come and we are talking this matter.  You love Nigeria. I love Nigeria. You brought a professor of great reputation and he said, ‘sit down, if you want me to do that thing. I am the President, you must also listen to me.’ And I saw that it wasn’t just an emotional thing, it was a passion for perfection at that particular time.

“And then when we started this present regime of merger and alliances, and we visited him and we told him we wanted him to be a navigator, he said, ‘navigator?

“I will try to avoid it because of Nigeria, but if you people put a good team for the sake of this country together, I will give you wisdom.

“And if you look at what has been happening since then, Obasanjo is an open book, you read a line, you pick a paragraph, you learn, you comply, if you drink from that fountain of wisdom, you will see value in it, he is very committed to Nigeria .

“As we were talking earlier, I said Nigeria is the giant of Africa and he said, ‘I hope you will remove the k-leg’ and I said, ‘the elephantiasis would be killed’. He said by what? And I said by APC.

“And the change that is necessary for now was the day I saw him instructing that shredded umbrella card be torn into pieces, and I said what is happening?

“There’s nothing Obasanjo would have wanted in terms of material, oil well, oil lifting, whatever  – from Jonathan that he wouldn’t have got or what from PDP that he wouldn’t have got as a retention service.

“But he puts all of that aside, believes in the unity, cohesion, and progress of this country in order to free himself from that bondage of commitment to one partisan politics that is probably drifting in the middle of the storm of a political change, he, will rather be afloat and chat a new course.”

At yesterday’s lecture at his presidential library in Abeokuta were, among others, Obasanjo’s wife Bola, All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman John Odigie – Oyegun, National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Senator Amosun, Prof. Akin Mabogunje, former Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former Ekiti State Governor Segun Oni and Akwa Ibom State APC governorship candidate Umana Okon  Umana.

There were also representatives of 34 universities at the ceremony.

 

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Chad Unilaterally Intervened In Nigeria On Its Initiative To Reverse Boko Haram’s Growing Threat Says Idris Deby

Chadian president Idriss Deby has claimed that Chad unilaterally decided upon the much celebrated committed war against Boko Haram this January, the resolute action not being the decision of Nigeria’s Jonathan and with the Nigerian president even stalling the process at every turn.

Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan had claimed that after five years of tolerating the sect that killed thousands, he finally this January embarked on the serious effort to defeat Boko Haram to make him more electable and to allow voting in occupied territory; however the Chadians have said that this real war against the terrorists was decided upon unilaterally by Deby in reaction to Boko Haram obstructing Chad’s trade routes with Nigeria and the economy of the landlocked nation.

Quoting from Reuters’ report:

Officials from Chad, Niger and Cameroon say lack of cooperation from Nigeria has for months hampered efforts to put together a regional taskforce against Boko Haram. Chad was compelled to take unilateral action in January, under a deal that allows it to pursue terrorists into Nigeria, after Boko Haram violence started to choke off imports to its economy.

But for a country proud to be a major African power, it would be an embarrassment to President Goodluck Jonathan as he seeks reelection for a smaller nation to tackle Nigeria’s security problems, diplomats say. 

Chad has been ready to press deep into territory controlled by the Islamist group but Nigeria refused to let them. 

We turned back because Nigeria did not authorise us to go any further,” army spokesman Colonel Azem Bermandoa said. 

But the Chadians say there have been no joint operations between the two forces. 

Nigeria has for months hampered efforts to put together a regional taskforce against Boko Haram. End quote

Nigeria’s military spokesperson, General Chris Olukolade Wednesday denied the Chadian claims of Nigeria stalling Chadian aggression against the terrorists, stating that the Nigerian side has no qualms with the Chadians but leads the mission to liberate the nation.

The revelations from Chad appear to be fueling distrust, suspicion and tensions between Nigeria and its neighbors and discredits the leader of Africa’s most populous nation and a nation that was prior credited as having one of the best armies in Africa.

President Jonathan is yet to react to Chad’s claims of the small country having been unilaterally behind the the drive to liberate Nigeria from the grasp of Boko Haram.

After Chad engaged Boko Haram in Dikwa, Nigeria chased Chad out with the excuse that the Nigerian side planned to drop bombs on Boko Haram in Dikwa. Chad later claimed Boko Haram leader, “Abubakar Shekau” escaped at Dikwa with the Nigerian intervention, and Chad’s president personally warned Shekau that the Chadians knew where he went to and will soon get him.

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Chibok Girls Are Still Alive – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday revealed why he believes the over 250 kidnapped school girls from the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State, are still alive.

Though the kidnapped schoolgirls have spent more than 300 days in captivity since they were abducted in April 14 last year during their West African Examination Council final papers, Mr. Jonathan’s claim that the girls were alive, well and still being kept by Boko Haram.

The claim by Jonathan contradicted Abubakar Shekau’s statement in a video released in October 2014 to the media that he had married off the pupils.

In a previous statement, the group’s leader had threatened to sell the girls as slave brides.

However, Jonathan argued during an interview with the African Independent Television during a current affairs programme, Kaakaki that if the schoolgirls had been killed, the Boko Haram insurgents’ commander, Shekau, would have released a video showing how they the girls were murdered.

According to the President, the Nigerian security forces are also wary of storming the main stronghold of the terrorists because they fear the insurgents may use the girls as shields.

He said, “Because they may use them as shields so we are working with the global best practices. We can’t just move in with artillery and clear the place. The good story is that they’ve not been killed. They are still alive because when terrorists kill they display.”

 

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