INEC to recommend residency card initiative to FG

The Acting Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Mrs. Amina Zakari, has said that the commission will recommend the Residency Card Initiative of Ondo State government to the Federal Government for adoption by the commission.

The Residency Card Initiative, also known as Kaadi Igbeayo, is an initiative of the state government to capture the data of the residents of the state, including their bio-data, blood group, medical record and some other details of the holders.

Zakari, represented by the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, during the inauguration of the project said, if adopted, the card would enable owners to vote in any part of the country without the risk of duplication of votes.

According to a statement on Friday by the state Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, the INEC boss also noted that it was interesting to note that the activities of the owner already stored on the card would automatically be detected if presented for verification in any other part of the state.

Also speaking, a former Statistician General of the Federation, Prof. Doyin Akinyosoye, commended the initiative, noting that if adopted at the national level, it would aid effective planning in the country and ensure equitable distribution of the nation’s wealth.

Dignitaries at the event included political activist and National Publicity Secretary of the Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, and the Chairman of Globacom, Mike Adenuga Jnr., represented by Mr. Olushola Ajayi.

Governor Ambode approves welfare support for abandoned mother of third set of twins, as husband flees

Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode the Governor of Lagos State, has directed his deputy, Dr. Mrs. Oluranti Adebule to immediate rehabilitate and provide welfare assistance to Mrs. Ruth Uche, the mother of three set of twins whose husband absconded from their home in Agege, Lagos.

This was made kwon in a statement signed by the Governors Chief Press Secretary Habib Aruna on Friday.

Ambode’s directive followed newspaper publications which narrated the ordeal of the woman, who spoke with reporters during her distress visit to the Government Secretariat, Alausa on Thursday.

The Governor touched by the woman and her children plights noted that as a responsible government, the well-being of the people of the State irrespective of their ethnic, religious or political affiliation is paramount to his administration and assured that his government will continue to provide good leadership that will guarantee adequate protection of lives and properties of all Lagosians.

Her husband, Mr. Benjamin Uche was alleged to have absconded from home as a result of the expected birth of another set of twins from his wife, making it the third in a row.

While acknowledging the present economic situation in the country, the Governor noted that it is not proper for anyone to abandon his family, especially young children that they willingly brought to life, admonishing that it is only when such children are properly taking care of that they can achieve their full potentials in life and become responsible citizens in the future.

Female highway bombers kill 10 in Borno – Police

The Police command in Borno State on Friday confirmed the killing of at least 10 persons after Thursday’s two highway suicide bombings in some parts of the state.

Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Aderemi Opadokun, confirmed this to newsmen in Maiduguri.

Opadokun said a suicide attack occurred at Malari village along the Bama/Konduga highway, involving a suspected female bomber.

The Cp added, “The first attack happened at Malari village along the Bama/Konduga highway when a female suicide bomber detonated an Improvised Explosive Device, strapped to her body, killing herself and seven others.

“Thirteen persons sustained injuries and were rushed to hospital for help.

“The second attack happened along Alao Dam Road near Bama/Konduga highway when another female bomber killed herself and three other persons.”

He said their corpses and the injured persons had been evacuated to the hospital.

Opadokun also confirmed Wednesday’s suspected insurgents’ raid on Kukuwa in Kukawa Local Government Area, in which over 140 persons were killed and houses burnt.

He said eight victims of the attack were still recuperating at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.


N10 Billion fraud: Court stops EFCC from arresting Kwankwaso

A High Court sitting in Kano State on Thursday restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from arresting a former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.

The commission is seeking the prosecution of Kwankwaso for alleged misappropriation of over N10bn meant for pensioners in the state.

The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Yahaya, ordered the applicant and the respondents to maintain status quo pending the determination of an exparte motion on notice in which the former governor prayed the court to restrain EFCC from arresting him.

Counsel to the accused, Mr. Okechukwu Eze, told the court, “My client has been in his house over the threat of arrest by the EFCC and has been denied the liberty to perform his legislative duties as mandated by voters of Kano Central District.

“We fear that Kwankwaso’s right to liberty, freedom of movement as guaranteed under the constitution is likely to be violated by EFCC.”

The court, however, adjourned hearing on the matter till July 15.

A petition filed on behalf of Concerned State Workers and Pensioners by Bashir Nasir and Co had accused the former governor of depositing N2bn in the Kano branch of the defunct Euro Bank Plc shortly before the bank liquidated.

The petition also alleged that Kwankwaso refused to follow up for a claim of the said deposit from the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The petitioner, who laid the complaint nine days to the expiration of the governor’s mandate, said the action of the accused was a flagrant violation of the provisions of the Kano State Pension and Gratuity Law.

The EFFC in a separate but related development had maintained that it would persecute anybody found guilty of financial crimes.

The commission said the laws must prevail in any circumstance relating to embezzlement of public funds.

Lead counsel to the EFFC, Wahab Shittu, gave this assertion at the resumed hearing of a case involving the immediate-past Governor of Gombe State, Danjuma Goje at the Federal High Court in Gombe on Friday.

Queues at Abuja petrol stations will soon disappear — DPR

The Department of Petroleum Resources has said that fuel queues in Abuja will soon disappear as 3.2 million litres of petrol were released to the city from Suleja Depot on Thursday.

Mohammed Saidu, Zonal spokesperson DPR Abuja, made the statement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday.

Saidu said the volume supplied on Thursday would bring fuel supply to the city within two days to 9.3 million litres.

He said that 6.1 million litres of fuel was lifted by marketers from Suleja Depot on Wednesday to meet the demand of motorists in Abuja.

He, however, expressed optimism that the situation would improve before next week.

Saidu warned marketers against hoarding or selling above the official pump price, adding that whosoever was caught defrauding or cheating motorists would face the full wrath of the law.

He said that the DPR would take decisive action against such marketers or filling station owners.

Meanwhile, queues at filling stations have reduced, especially at the NNPC Mega Filling Station on Olusegun Obasanjo Way, Central Area, as well as Conoil and Total filling stations opposite NNPC headquarters.

NAN reports that the major marketing stations mentioned sold products at the official pump price of N87 per litre, while black market operators sold between N120 and N150 per litre.


Get ready to sell your private jets, Oshiomhole tells owners

Gov. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo on Friday advised public officers and politicians to get rid of their private jets as President Muhammadu Buhari had begun blocking financial leakages in the country’s economy.

Oshiomhole made this known at a public lecture titled “Labour and the Nigerian Economy: What needs to be done”, held at the University of Port Harcourt.

He said that businessmen who connived with some officials of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to defraud the nation through subsidy claims would be probed.

“Few people (in Nigeria) are taking away so much wealth, while majority of the people are going home with almost nothing.

“A clear example is when you arrive at the private wing of the airport in Abuja; you will find more than 40 to 50 private jets parked there in one airport alone.

“The question is what sources do these private jet owners get their wealth from; and which businesses do they run to acquire this luxurious lifestyle.

“You find a young man who has connection with state-owned NNPC, which is suppose to work for the interest of Nigeria, corruptly work for only the interest of few persons,” he said.

Oshiomhole said that billions of state funds had being stolen by a few individuals due to alleged chronic corruption perpetrated by some NNPC officials.

He said that the Buhari-led administration is already making moves to rid the nation of these corrupt officials and institutions.

“Very soon, those who maintain luxurious assets and private jets will begin to sell them because they will no longer be able to maintain them.

“The sources of procurement of these ill gotten wealth by these people is currently being disconnected and more will be disconnected in the few days and in the coming weeks,” he said.
Oshiomhole blamed the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) for its failure to call politicians to order in the face of the country’s current falling economy.

He said it was unfair that Senators could earn an annual salary of about N200 million when the lowest grade worker earned a paltry N18,000 monthly as minimum wage or N216,000 as annual salary.

“How NLC has kept quiet and allowed Senators allocate to themselves annual income of N200 to N300 million both as basic salaries and bogus allowances combined baffles me,” he queried.
The governor said that Nigerians should not be deceived with clamour by some politicians to cut their basic salaries by halve.

He recalled that former presidents Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan had cut their salaries and that of their ministers by 25 per cent each, which meant the officials currently earned 50 per cent less salaries.

“Now, in the face of current harsh economic realities, some politicians are saying that 50 per cent should be removed from their salaries to appease Nigerians.

“This implies that if you plus the current 50 per cent reduction demand and the already removed 50 per cent which was never restored by the previous administrations; it will amount to 100 per cent reduction.

“This is a clear case of the more you look the less you see as politicians are bent on deceiving and confusing everyone because the main money are not in salaries but in their allowances,” he said.
Oshiomhole called on President Muhammadu Buhari to revoke licences of electricity generation and distribution companies, saying the sector was “fraudulently” privatised and currently enmeshed with corruption.

According to him, the country will grow economically if policy makers come up with policies that were in-tune with the character of Nigerians. (NAN)

Many Nigerians may be hypertensive – Expert

President and Chief Executive Officer, Omron Healthcare Europe B.V, Mr. Andre Van Gils, has said that the indifference of many Nigerians to their health has increased the number of people living with hypertension in the country.

He said that most of the people living with the ailment were unaware of it, but that people should live a healthy life rather than leaving everything in the hands of doctors and pharmacists.

Gils, in a statement on Friday, stated that there were many health care issues that needed to be addressed in the country, and that his company had entered into partnership with a Nigerian company, New Heights Pharma, to address some of them.

He said, “Currently, the prevailing rate of sudden death in the country is increasing, and based on available reports, this is largely due to poor awareness and personal health management.

“In Nigeria, it takes hours to see a doctor, and we know that one in every three Nigerian adult is hypertensive but many people are not aware of this. So, there is need for health awareness. And that is why we have also made our products affordable so we can help people to improve their health.

Reacting, the Managing Director, New Heights Pharma, Mr. Omaruaye Ogheneochuko, said the essence of the partnership was to make sure that the products would be within the reach of the average Nigerian.

Boko Haram slaughters 11 of their members for running away

Eleven defecting members of the outlawed Boko Haram sect were slaughtered by the group in order to check against defection and instil discipline among members of the terror group, a member of the youth vigilante group, Abba Adamu, told our correspondent on the telephone in Maiduguri on Friday.

Adamu said the militants stormed Miringa town in southern part of Borno State, North-East Nigeria at about 4:30am on Friday, slitting the throats of 11 persons believed to be the members of the group, who defected few days back.

He said, “They came around early this morning (Friday) and slit the throats of 11 of their runaway members.”

Adamu said the villagers had previously received the defectors with caution as “they knew that the eleven persons were up to no good.

“Everyone knew in the village that the men who recently came back to settle among them were Boko Haram members because they had left long ago. So the villagers did not feel safe after they showed up again, considering their unexpected return and appearances.”

A resident of the town, Ahmed Suleiman, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, said about 50 insurgents sneaked into the village and went after the defecting members.

He said, “We heard cries from the area the eleven persons were living as they were being isolated. We were all too scared to come out as the insurgents were shouting and equally shooting in the air.

“By dawn, when we had summoned enough courage to go out, we saw the eleven bodies in the pool of their blood with slit throats.”

The Commissioner of Police, Borno State Command, Mr. Aderemi Opadokun confirmed the Boko Haram clampdown on their defecting members.

Listen to BBC interview: Buhari open to negotiation with Boko Haram

According to President Muhammadu Buhari's special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, he revealed today that Buhari is open to negotiation with Boko Haram.

President Muhammadu Buhari also condemned the latest wave of killings by Boko Haram in Borno State, describing them as inhuman and barbaric.

His special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina spoke to BBC’s Focus on Africa’s James Copnall.

“These were very vicious attacks. People were killed in scores and it’s so sad,” he said.

The President had during his inauguration speech said he had launched a strategy to deal with the sect by relocating the military headquarters to Maiduguri, Borno State.

When asked whether this would work, Adesina replied, “This is going to work. There are machineries being put in place. It’s going to work. The recent killings by the sect were meant to break our resolve, to weaken it, but that will stop. It remains a priority to him (Buhari) to deal with the group.

“You will notice that his first two weeks of administration were dedicated to tackling the insurgency. He visited Chad and Niger Republics and the following week, the Presidents of those countries also visited him in Abuja.

“The President of Benin Republic and the Defence Minister of Cameroon visited him; machinery is being put in place and once we’re through, we will see the end of the group. The target time for the deployment of the multinational force is July ending; that is in a couple of weeks.”

When the BBC also asked if the Federal Government was considering negotiations with the insurgent group, Adesina replied in the affirmative.

He said, “If they are willing, why not? You know attempts have been made for negotiations in the past and they didn’t work. Every reasonable person would want to see the end to this insurgency. So if they are willing, why not? You can’t rule that out.”

Listen to the interview below...

Boko Haram: Gov. Obiano reassures Anambra people on detainees relocation

Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra has reassured that he is on top of the relocation of Boko Haram suspects to Ekwulobia prisons in the state.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mr James Eze, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, in Awka on Saturday.

According to the statement, the governor is still speaking with the relevant authorities to ensure a peaceful resolution of the issue.

“Obiano’s commitment to this extremely sensitive issue remains the same.
“The governor is aware of the strong feelings provoked by Boko Haram among Anambra citizens and the people of the South-East.

“Therefore, he will never use this subject of pain and anguish to play politics,’’ it stated.
The statement urged the people to go about their normal businesses while he continues to engage the relevant authorities on the matter.

It stated that the governor had yet to make public comments on the transfer of Boko Haram detainees to the state, pointing out that Obiano’s position had been consistent.

Unknown gunmen Kill prominent business man in Kebbi

A prominent businessman and politician in Aliero, headquarters of Aliero local government area in Kebbi, Alhaji Ibrahim Lemi,was on Friday shot dead by unknown gunmen.

The security guard at the residence of the deceased,Habibu Shehu,told newsmen in Aliero on Saturday that six masked men pinned him (securityman) to the ground and gained access into the house at about 8:30 pm.

He said that the hoodlums who came in batches,rode on motorcycles.

He stated that after over-powering him, they killed their victim and fled.

A close associate of the deceased,Alhaji Buhari Mohammed , the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly,described the incident as a set-back to business activities in Aliero.

Spokesman of the state police command, Mr Nafiu Abubakar,confirmed the incident, but said no arrest had been made yet.

He said the command had commenced thorough investigations and had intensified efforts at trailing the killers.

Meanwhile, sympathizers had continued to throng the home of the deceased, to condole his family.
The late Alhaji Ibrahim Lemi,68, who is survived by three wives and 22 children, had since been buried according to Islamic injunctions.

Why I revoked contracts awarded by my predecessor- Gov. Badaru

Gov. Muhammad Badaru of Jigawa on Saturday said he revoked the road contracts awarded by his predecessor due to incompetence and delay manifested by contractors handling the projects.

The governor said this in a statement issued in Dutse by his Special Assistant on Media, Malam Muhammad Zaki.

In the statement, Badaru explained that the action was not meant to stall projects initiated by the immediate past administration in the state.

He said that the state government took the decision to terminate the contracts, based on technical advice given by the supervising ministry.

The governor said that the advice indicated that the contractors handling the projects had failed to meet stipulated standards and completion period.

According to him, the contractor collected more than a billion Naira which was not commensurate with work done on ground.

The governor explained that Gagarawa-Bosuwa road of 29.75kilometres was awarded on Dec. 16 2014 at a contract sum of N3.7billion with an 18 month completion period.

He said that the 42-kilometre Budinga-Rambazau-Tsangarwa-Maruta-Zandam Nagogo road, was also awarded on Dec. 16, 2014 at a contract sum of N5billion.

He said that the first phase covering Budinga-Tsangarwa had a completion period of 12 months and both contracts were awarded to one company
According to the governor, the company collected over N1billion as mobilisation fee for the two projects.
“To date, only 18 kilometres of site clearing and 6.3 kilometres of filling have been carried out on Gagarawa-Bosuwa ,more than six months after mobilisation.

” On Kila -Tsangarwa road, only five kilometers of site clearing and five kilometers of filling have been achieved, when the contractor should have reached 50 per cent completion, having been on site for six out of the 12 months completion period”, the governor said.

He said that the state government had no choice than to terminate the contract, recover public funds collected, and re-award same to a more competent and tested contractor.

Badaru said that this was being done in the interest of the communities the roads would serve.
He said that the rehabilitation of Gwaram -Basirka road, awarded in December 2014, was yet to commence because the contractor had not been mobilized to the site, and therefore, the contract had beenwas also terminated.

Badaru stated that the action taken was necessary due to raining season that had commenced.
He said that as a result of the delay in completing the projects on schedule and the continuous rise in price of materials, government had been incurring further losses due to price variations.

29 villagers killed by fleeing Boko Haram

A detachment of fleeing Boko Haram terrorists has attacked a Borno community, killing at least 29 persons, a local official said.

The Chairman of Mussa Youth Association, Sunday Waba, told newsmen in a telephone conversation in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, that the insurgents launched the attack on the village while fleeing from a nearby area.

He said they shot sporadically at people in the village in Askira-Uba Local Government Area of the state.

Waba said, “They (insurgents) have killed 29 people and burnt down about 200 houses in our town.”

He said the attackers arrived the community at about 1pm and left at about 3pm.

A member of the youth vigilante group, Suleiman Idris, who confirmed the incident, said some of the assailants were in vehicles.

Boko Haram has intensified attacks on communities in the troubled North-East state in the last few days, killing over 150 people.

Emir Sanusi urges Muslims to be in tune with modernity

The Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II, on Saturday urged Muslims in the North to adopt new approaches to address the social, economic and political challenges facing them.

Sanusi gave the advice in Kaduna at the 10th Annual Ramadan Lecture organised by VON, FRCN and NTA, with the theme: The Challenges of Muslim Ummah in the 21st Century.

He said that the region’s failure to invest in quality education and scholarship was partly responsible for its backwardness and rise of divisive groups like the Boko Haram.

The Emir observed that due to dwindling socio-economic situation in the region, majority of the people, particularly the youths have been left “without any hope in life”, and therefore, easy recruits into insurgency.

“If there is no future in a society, then Boko Haram ideas will thrive,” he said.

The Emir advised political and religious leaders in the region to take a cue from other regions in the country and thrive to effect necessary changes.

“If Borno and Yobe were a country, they would be poorer than Niger, Chad and Cameroun. No wonder the Boko Haram crisis started there.”

Sanusi stressed the need for Muslims in the North regulate religious preaching and stop exposing their children to “quack Malams”.

He also advised parents to take “very serious interest in the activities of their children”, saying that the new media has radicalised alot of youths across the world and turned them into extremists.
“We need to watch what our children watch. If we do not give them the correct Islamic education, they will get the wrong one from somewhere else.”

He also challenged the Muslims to undertake a holistic change in their approach to socio-economic issues.

“We must not continue to allow culture to be dorminant in our lives. We need to look at ourselves, reappraise our socio-economic approach to life.”

The Emir said Muslim clerics must take common stand on contemporary issues such as age of marriage in Islam, women education, rights and forced marriage, as well as modernisation and education generally.

Hajj 2015: Kano begins screening of pilgrims July 6

The Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board is to commence the screening of its pilgrims for the 2015 Hajj on Monday, July 6.

The Public Relations Officer of the board, Alhaji Nuhu Badamasi, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Kano on Saturday, that the screening would be conducted at the headquarters of the 44 local government areas of the state.

According to him, the exercise is aimed at ensuring that the pilgrims are screened physically to ascertain their health status.

“If, during the screening exercise, a pilgrim is found to have one health challenge or the other, the officials will advise him or her to go and see a doctor for medical advice,” Badamasi said.

He said the exercise would be used to stress the importance of having a male guide for any female pilgrim performing the Hajj.

“The screening is very important because old persons wishing to perform the Hajj must also be accompanied by somebody, especially their relations.

“So during the screening, all these issues will have to be resolved in order to ensure that intending pilgrims do not encounter any problem in the Holy land,” Badamasi said.

NAN reports that a total of 5,537 pilgrims from Kano State are expected to perform the 2015 Hajj in Saudi Arabia.

State APC Chairmen pass vote of confidence on President Buhari’s leadership style

State Chairmen of All Progressive Congress (APC) on Saturday in Abuja, passed a vote of confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari, endorsing his leadership style.

The spokesman of the 37 state chairmen of the APC, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Alhaji Umar Doruwa, confirmed this development to State House correspondents in Abuja.
He said the chairmen passed the vote of confidence at a meeting between them and the President, held at Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

According to him, the decision of the chairmen was informed by the President’s leadership style which respects the rule of law, saying such virtue would further strengthen institutional structures and entrench genuine democratic culture in the country.

Doguwa, who is the Kano State APC Chairman, said in less than 100 days of the Buhari Administration, Nigerians had witnessed noticeable positive changes.

He said President Buhari assured them of his commitment to resuscitate the economy, safeguard lives and property, as well as create employment opportunities for youths across the country.

On the position of APC on the leadership structure of the National Assembly, Doguwa stated that the matter had been resolved amicably.

Nigerian troops recover vehicle loaded with bomb

The Nigerian military on Saturday said a jeep full of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) was among the weapons recovered by troops conducting cordon and search operations after suicide bomb attacks on Zabarmari Muna, near Maiduguri.

The spokesperson for the military, Chris Olukolade, a major general, said the jeep, was recovered along with two Hilux vehicles used by terrorists.

He said the terrorists were trying to escape after simultaneous attacks on targets in the communities on Thursday and Friday.

“A total of six suicide bombers had detonated themselves around the garage, killing scores of people while some people were also wounded. A soldier also died.

“Military Explosives Ordinance experts, backed by Police Bomb Disposal Units, are continuing with vigorous search for any bombs that might have been hidden or left unexploded in the area,” he said.
Mr. Olukolade said all other operations of counter terrorism campaign against terrorists, were continuing in various fronts.

He said additional deployment of men and equipment to enhance the scope of the mission, both within the country and at borders, was also continuing.

Reasons why we don’t want Zakari as INEC boss – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party has said that it will continue to demand the removal of the Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mrs. Amina Zakari.

It said this was the position taken by the party at the meeting of members of the National Working Committee, despite what it described as unwarranted attacks on its officials by the Presidency.

The meeting was held in Abuja at the party’s headquarters on Wednesday.

The party said it was privy to the fact that Zakari, who it claimed has a strong relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari and a very prominent APC North-West governor, is allegedly collaborating with the ruling party to post Resident Electoral Commissioners of its choice to Kogi and Bayelsa States ahead of the forthcoming governorship elections in those states.

The PDP raised the alarm of alleged moves to use the period of Zakari’s stay as head of the commission to allegedly tinker with electoral personnel and materials for the two states in favour of the APC.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement in Abuja on Saturday said President Buhari, in appointing Zakari, failed to take into cognizance the moral call to detach himself from the operation of the electoral body thereby completely eroding the independence of the commission.

He pointed out that the issue at stake was not that of Zakari’s competence or performance in office but the fact of “nepotism and her closeness to the President and some key APC leaders, which calls into question the independence of the electoral body under her.”

The statement said, “We want Nigerians to know that with this appointment, INEC has been stripped of its independence and can no longer command the confidence and respect of the citizens and all other critical stakeholders in the nation’s electoral process.

“We however find it astonishing, discouraging and disheartening that the spokesperson of the President will address Nigerians and lie to the entire citizenry that Zakari never had any relationship with the President or an APC Governor in the Northwest. This is the height of deception coming from the respected office of the President of our dear country.

“We ask, is the spokesperson for the President oblivious of the public fact that the Acting Chairman of INEC was once a staff of Afri-Project Consortium, a company well associated with the President?

“Is he by any means feigning ignorance of the fact that Mrs. Zakari also worked in the past as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Social Development and later that of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Federal Capital Development Authority, then under a current APC governor of the North-West?

“How much of Zakari’s roles in the last general elections does the spokesperson for the President, who has just been appointed, know to warrant his brazen defence?”

He added that even where the party conceded to the argument that the President has the powers to appoint any person he deems fit as the INEC Chairman, he said such powers must take into cognizance the sensitivity of the position involved.

Otherwise, Metuh said the President can as well appoint his wife or brother as the electoral umpire on an argument of merit.

He stressed that as long as the acting chairman remains in office, it would not recognise the electoral body as the being independent.

We will tame Boko Haram very soon - Army chief

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Kenneth Minimah, on Saturday said the Nigerian Army would tame the Boko Haram terrorists and restore peace to the North East region of the country.

The Army Chief made the commitment at the passing out parade of Direct Short Service Commission Course 22/2015, held at the Nigeria Army School of Infantry, Jaji, Kaduna State.

He said that the insurgents “have been seriously degraded”, and pledged that the army would not relent until it ensures peace and stability in the region.

Minimah challenged the new officers to be prepared to join the war“ to crush those bigoted miscreants.”

“You are aware of our current national security challenges, particularly in the North Eastern part of the country.

“As we continue to make progress towards ending the Boko Haram insurgency, you will be joining the rank of officers and men who have demonstrated tremendous gallantry and valour in defence of our fatherland against the terrorists.

“Therefore, you must be ready to contribute your quota towards taming these bandits.
“You will be leading men who have firmly resolved that “Never Again” will a band of bigoted miscreants be allowed to unleash havoc on our country and its citizens,“ he said.

The army chief commended the resilience and sacrifice of soldiers in the field, saying they have demonstrated uncommon courage in the fight against the insurgents.

Minimah urged the officers to be patriotic and committed to the nation, adding that the Army would demand nothing short of the very best from them.

“We operate zero tolerance for misconduct and cowardice, you must eschew any behaviour that could tarnish your honour and diginity as commissioned officers.”

The army chief commended the school for the quality training it offered the cadets, and advised the management and instructors to remain focused on their job.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 152 cadets passed out at the ceremony.


Buhari vows to reopen cases of political assassination

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday promised that his administration will ensure that all cases of political assassination, intimidation and kidnappings in the country are thoroughly investigated.

This, he said, would be done with a view to ensuring that the perpetrators are speedily brought to justice, irrespective of their political affiliation.

A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, quoted the President as making the promise while addressing state chairmen of the All Progressives Congress, who visited him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Buhari was said to have told the APC chiefs that he remains committed to providing a level playing field for all Nigerians to get on with their daily lives or participate in electing their leaders without fear of intimidation.

Buhari also promised that his administration would continuously strengthen Nigeria’s criminal justice system to curb the reign of injustice and impunity in the country.

The President said, “At every point, the law must be supreme and everyone must respect the law, if our democratic system is to survive.

“Injustice cannot survive for long. Justice will ultimately prevail. We will make sure that those saddled with the responsibility of ensuring justice and equity do not rest on their oars.

“The only way we can sustain our democracy is to ensure that the law remains supreme at all times. If the law is upheld, people will have confidence that they can vote for who they want to vote for, without intimidation or threats.

“People must have protection to exercise their rights freely or we could be headed for anarchy.

“The police and the judiciary must ensure that justice is done in the country. We won’t allow impunity to continue in certain states, where the rights of the people are being violated.

“I have a personal commitment to fair play and respect of personal rights. This government will do all that is possible to enforce that.”

While recalling his address to the National Executive Council of the APC on Friday, Buhari said now that the APC is the party in government, it must lead by example and consolidate on the gains of democratic system.

The President urged the APC State Chairmen and other political leaders in the country to keep to prescribed legal processes for the resolution of political disputes and never resort to violence, criminality and other forms of unacceptable behaviour in seeking redress for any perceived injustice.

He also called on the state chairmen to work with the party’s elected officials to ensure that the APC delivers on its promise of better living conditions for all Nigerians.

The leader of the delegation and Chairman of the APC in Kano State, Umar Dogowa, said the APC State Chairmen were on a visit to the Presidential Villa to reaffirm their support for Buhari and his administration .

Dogowa assured the President that the state chairmen would uphold the values of the party, promote peace and unity in the country, and also ensure that APC elected members live to fulfill their promises to Nigerians.

Some of the APC state chairmen in states controlled by other parties complained to Buhari of political intimidation and harassment in their states.

Dogowa later told State House correspondents that the state APC chairmen were in the Presidential Villa to congratulate the President on his election and thank him for what he has been doing for the country and the APC since he was inaugurated on May 29.

He said the President promised them that he would continue to be a true party man and that he would not rest on his oars until Nigeria is back on track.

He said the era of impunity had gone with the last administration, saying everybody is now obeying the rule.

The APC chief added that the country is now programmed for greatness.

He said the leadership crisis in the National Assembly was over.