The Chief Whip of the Senate Orji Kalu has celebrate with the Muslim Ummah on the occasion of 2020 Eid-el-Kabir.
According to Kalu, the festive season calls for sober reflection as individuals and as a nation.
The former governor while calling on Muslims to use the special season to offer prayers for the country, stressed that peace is a panacea for sustainable development.
In a goodwill message from the office of the Chief Whip of the Senate , Kalu acknowledged the role of religious leaders in ensuring peaceful co-existence among different ethno -religious groups across the country.
He said, “I extend warm greetings to our Muslim brothers and sisters on the occasion of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir.
“This period provides an opportunity to remember the submission of Prophet Ibrahim (Alaihis Salam) to Allah, by which he taught the world the value of sacrifice in relating with one another.
“We must endeavour to sacrifice for others in our daily lives.
“In our pursuits, let us demonstrate the spirit of forgiveness, togetherness, tolerance and patriotism.
“Nigeria’s diversity should be seen as a blessing and as such, it is important to shun violence and other social vices.
“We must embrace peace and harmony regardless of our cultural, ethnic and religious differences.
“Let use this season to pray for leaders at all levels of government for the sake of national well being” .
The former governor while wishing the Muslim ummah a hitch free and joyous celebration, called on Muslim faithful to extend the merriment of the sallah celebration to people of other religious faiths.
Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has shows his appreciation to God for his wife’s successful operation.
According to Fani-Kayode,
“My darling wife, I just don’t know where you get the courage. I thank God for His mercy in the early hours of yesterday morning as you went in for this long-awaited operation and I thank Him for its resounding success.
“You are just remarkable and Aragorn, Ragnar, Aiden, Liam and I are so proud of you. We love you Mama Aragorn!”
Dr. Katchi Ononuju, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party and Director General of the Heritage Centre, Abuja, has called on the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi to immediately resign.
Ononuju made the call on Friday when he appeared on a programme monitored by Igbere TV on the African Independent Television (AIT) network, in Abuja.
The call for Amaechi’s resignation comes following the revelation by the House of Representatives that Nigeria risks losing sovereignty to China over a clause in the Agreement of a 2018 Chinese loan taken by the federal government.
The transportation minister had defended the loan, asking the Nigerian parliament to stop the probe into the loans, else, the Chinese government may withdraw the offer.
On AIT, however, Dr. Ononuju accused Amaechi of “perpetrating a fraud” with Chinese loans under the guise of securing funds for Nigeria’s railway projects, Igbere TV reports.
He accused Amaechi of entering into agreement with the Chinese government, writing documents in Chinese language and deliberately withholding the information from Nigeria.
“I have it on good authority that the Chinese authority are targeting the NLNG(Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas). That’s what they want”, he alleged.
The PDP chieftain insisted “Amaechi wants to sell Nigeria to China. For how much? $400m? The same $400m Buhari got back from the Abacha loot?
“My party, the PDP will never allow this to happen. We did business with the Chinese government and we never wrote an agreement to give away our sovereignty.
“This clause was hidden, there were no prints that were actually written in English. It was when we took the papers to interpret that we now discovered that somewhere, somehow, the government signed off Nigeria to give our sovereignty to China.
“The Chinese government are planning to take over our NLNG, that is what it is. They will not touch our military, or diplomatic assets but the NLNG,” he alleged.
Newly married soldier – military officer, Lieutenant Babakaka Shehu Ngorgi of the 202 Battalion, has been discovered to be actually killed by a fellow soldier in Bama, Borno State.
It was earlier reported that he was killed by Boko Haram insurgents but further checks have now revealed that Ngorgi was talking to his wife when one of his colleagues shot him from the back six times.
The attacker, according to a source, was heard shouting after the incident that, “I have achieved my aim”.
It is not yet clear why the soldier killed Lt Ngorgi, who is his senior in the army and on the battle field.
The victim only got married in December 2019 and was looking forward to raising a family when the tragic Incident occured.
Mrs. Victoria Ironsi, the wife of the late Major-General G.T.U. Aguiyi-Ironsi, has fired back at Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, over his harsh comments on the late Aguiyi-Ironsi.
Danjuma, speaking to the Guardian, the former Minister for Defence described the late Aguiyi as ‘useless’, desk-clerk’ head of state.
His comments, which did not go down well with Mrs. Victoria Ironsi the widow, returned fire accusing Danjuma for the death of her late husband 40 years ago.
She also described Danjuma as useless and hopeless and invoked the wrath of God on him cursing him that vultures will feed on his corpse.
For Calling My Husband Who You Killed “Useless” And “Desk-clerk” Head Of State. Vulture Will Eat Your Corpse. Danjuma Is A Mad Man. He’s A Useless Man. This Shows How Hopeless And Wicked He Is.
After killing a man the way he did, and 40 years later, he will still not allow my husband to rest in his grave. He is using such a wicked and senseless language on my late husband.
That means he (Danjuma) is a hopeless man. He is a shameless coward. Danjuma has got no virtue in him other than that wickedness. That is why he can describe Johnny like that even 40 years after he had killed him in such a brutal manner.
But as long as there is God in heaven, and I know there is God in heaven, that is how vulture will describe him too.
Insecurity: If military can’t clear Baga, we will mobilise hunters, vigilantes, The Borno State governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, has pointed an accusing finger at the Military in Baga Town.
It was reported that his convoy was attacked, saying that if the military will not clear Baga, his government will mobilise local hunters, CJTF, and vigilantes to recapture the town as they cannot fold their hands and keep waiting.
Addressing journalists, Governor Zulum insisted that the presence of troops in Baga in the last two years is a shame and unacceptable.
The governor, who was in the volatile town of Baga on an assessment visit to see how residents will return to their town, had to be whisked into the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad, FSARS, personnel armoured carrier and sneaked out of the town.
Speaking on the Baga attack on his convoy, while in Monguno, Governor Zulum said: “As far as I am concern, what happened in Baga is complete sabotage by the military. There is no Boko Haram in Baga.
“I wondered; we have over 1,181 soldiers in Baga: 72 officers, 107 soldiers, 400 soldiers in Mile 4 and 1900 soldiers in Monguno. I see no reason why only five Boko Haram terrorists stop them from occupying Baga town.”
The Nigerian Army has dismissed over 300 soldiers from service for deserting the Operation Lafiya Dole counter-insurgency campaign in the North-East and going away without leave, among other allegations.
Findings by our correspondent revealed that the men were disengaged by their unit commanders between 2015 and 2016
Investigations showed that some of the soldiers were also discharged for certificate forgery, age fraud, inconsistent Bank Verification Number and other conduct deemed inappropriate by the various unit commanders.
Records obtained by The PUNCH on Thursday show that 24 soldiers of the 118 Task Force Battalion, Kaura Cross, Baga, were dismissed from the military on December 13, 2015, for refusing to board an articulated truck from Maimalari cantonment to Baga.
The men had complained about the mode of transportation and proceeded to trek for five days to the battlefront at Baga to retake the location from Boko Haram.
On arrival, their Commanding Officer, Col. S. Omolori, charged them with desertion and dismissed the first batch of 24 soldiers.
Three weeks later on January 4, 2016, Omolori discharged the second set of 30 soldiers and another 24 men also for desertion.
Further investigations revealed that 45 soldiers of 157 Battalion were equally expelled on January 16, 2016, for going AWOL.
Also, on February 28, 2016, 24 soldiers were demobilised for going AWOL just as 36 privates who graduated from the Army depot were sent packing by the authorities for certificate forgery, inconsistent BVN, age fraud, among other issues.
Checks, however, revealed that some of the affected soldiers had challenged their dismissal by their unit commanders, whom they accused of high-handedness and tyranny.
The ex-soldiers, in their petitions to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, pleaded to be reabsorbed into the military.
A lawyer to the former troopers, Johnson Oyewole, expressed confidence that the COAS would address the soldiers’ complaints, nullify their dismissal and reinstate them into the army, noting that many cases were being reviewed.
Oyewole, who is representing over 200 dismissed soldiers, said, “The problem is from some field commanders who have failed to flush out insurgents in their areas of responsibility and were venting their frustration on the troops.”
The Chancellor and Founder of Gregory University Uturu, Professor Gregory Ibe, has felicitated with Nigerian Muslims and faithfuls in Abia State, as they celebrate Eid-el-Kabir.
He charged the adherents of the faith in the Abia state to emulate the good examples of Prophet Ibrahim, who epitomized the good virtues of humility and sacrifice.
This was conveyed in a Sallah message by Deputy Registrar, Media & Public Relations, Sleek Ogbonnaya Ogwo on Wednesday.
Recalling the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ishaq in obedience to Allah, the Chancellor enjoined Muslim faithfuls to use this year’s festival to intercede specially for Allah’s intervention in the global challenge posed by COVID-19.
According to him,” As you join the rest of the global Muslim Ummah in commemorating the Id el Kabir festival, I enjoin you to be guided by the sacrificial love, dedication and passion exemplified by the willing disposition of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ishaq in absolute trust and obedience to Allah, in shunning all mundane desires while interceding for divine solutions to the global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic”.
It will be recalled that the federal government had declared Thursday 30 and Friday 31 July public holidays to enable Muslims in the country join in the celebration of the annual Id el Kabir festival.
The Fulani socio-cultural association, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, on Wednesday, announced the establishment of its nationwide security outfit in order to curtail security challenges confronting the country.
National President and Secretary of the association, Bello Bodejo and Saleh Alhassan, respectively, who disclosed news of the formation of the outfit in a communique issued in Abuja on Wednesday, said the outfit, code-named Miyetti Allah Vigilante, is aimed at assisting security agencies in checkmating such crimes as kidnapping, cattle rustling and banditry.
Dubai Prince Clears Hospital Bill Of Nigerian Couple Stranded With Their Quadruplets
Dubai crown prince, Hamdan bin Mohammed has paid the hospital bill of a Nigerian family that was stranded in the country.
Tijani and Suliyah Abdulkareem had welcomed their quadruplets at the Latifa Hospital for Women and Children on July 1, had no medical insurance and had hospital bills worth $120,000 to pay.
They incurred the medical bill after their babies (two boys and two girls) were placed on ventilators at the neonatal intensive care unit after being born prematurely.
Expressing gratitude to Hamdan bin Mohammed for coming to their aid, Abdulkareem said two of the children will be named after him while one of the girls will be named after the hospital.
“It’s just a huge favour, and we are still in shock because we didn’t even know how to get the money. I had been sleepless wondering how to pay the bill.”
The 32-year-old chef also thanked the Nigerian community and everyone who assisted his family pay for two months rent for a bigger place to accommodate the quadruplets.
“We have been getting calls from Portuguese and Brazilian nationals in Dubai. People have been trying to reach us. The Nigerian community has been following us every step of the way.”
Loan Deals: Parts of Nigeria Could Become Chinese Territory, The Nigerian government may have ceded the nation’s sovereignty to China in the event of a default in loan agreements signed with the Asian country, the House of Representatives Committee on Treaties and Agreements said on Tuesday.
Chairman of the Committee, Rep Ossai Nicholas Ossai, raised the alarm over lethal clauses in Article 8(1) of the commercial loan agreement signed between Nigeria and Export-Import Bank of China which indirectly “wills the sovereignty of Nigeria” in the $400 million loan for the Nigeria National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Infrastructure Backbone Phase II Project, signed in 2018.
Ossai raised the alarm during an investigative hearing into some of the agreements signed between Nigeria and China, during which the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi responded to various questions on the ongoing modernisation of railway projects being implemented by the Federal Ministry of Transport.
One of the agreements in contention, which was signed by Federal Ministry of Finance (Borrower) on behalf of Nigeria and the Export-Import Bank of China (Lender) on 5th September, 2018, reads in Article 8(1) of the agreement:
“The Borrower hereby irrevocably waives any immunity on the grounds of sovereign or otherwise for itself or its property in connection with any arbitration proceeding pursuant to Article 8(5), thereof with the enforcement of any arbitral award pursuant thereto, except for the military assets and diplomatic assets.”
Alarmed by the clause, Ossai said: “I have also seen from the Ministry of Communications where Nigeria signed off some certain level of its sovereignty if part of the clauses is breached?
So, when the National Assembly reacts in this manner, to question some level of agreements being entered into by any ministry of this country with any other nation, we have every right to question that because anything that is going to happen will happen to our generations unborn. Whether we get it from China or not is immaterial.
“The most important thing is that we must save and protect our people as regard agreements, because most of the agreements that have been signed, the National Assembly has no knowledge (of them). Even the details embedded in those agreements are not forwarded to you when demanding counterpart funding.
“You don’t have the details, clause by clause, in line with the Act that established DMO. We need to know those details even before going to sign such agreements. But those details are not provided to the parliament. So, we have the right to question them.”
The committee chairman thereafter summoned the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Usman; Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Ali Isa Pantami and Director-General of Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms Patience Oniha, to appear before the Committee on August 17, 2020 with all relevant documents on the controversial agreements.
The committee, also, during the investigation into various railway contract agreements signed between Nigeria and CCECC on the modernisation of railway projects, demanded details of the agreements signed on the construction of various railway lines including Abuja-Kaduna, Lagos-Ibadan and Lagos-Kano rail projects.
The DMO had said that as at March 31, 2020, a total of $96.15 million had been paid on the loan, leaving a balance of $403.85 million as outstanding, while the interest has been paid based on semi-annually on reducing balance basis, with 30 years maturity date (leaving 10 years pay-off window).
Ossai, who expressed concern over the conflicting positions between the Director (Legal) in the Ministry of Finance, Budget & National Planning, Mr Gabriel Christopher, warned the minister against blackmailing the Parliament.
He said: “You are trying to blackmail this committee.
You are trying to pit this committee against Nigerians,” adding that there was the need to investigate the “variations on interest rates,” which he described as “an aberration. “We are not saying because the money is not paid directly to people in this country. We have seen the agreement.
We have also seen a clause where sovereignty is waived if we default. We have seen it in the document. It is here in the document where the sovereignty of our country is waived and we believe that the particular clause is not part of what they brought to the National Assembly to approve.
“No National Assembly member will look at that clause and approve such. In your own way, you might be right with what you are doing to defend this country when reaching and signing these agreements.
Others might not be so. So, we must take a critical look at them one by one. This committee had not been functioning in the National Assembly before but now, the committee has started functioning, and we must use this committee to defend Nigerians,” he said.
However, while responding to queries, Amaechi disclosed that the sum of $500 million was the loan component borrowed from China while the balance of $349 million is the counterpart funding from Nigeria.
He appealed to the Committee to defer the investigative hearing till December to enable Nigeria conclude the process of the loan He said: “I have said here to the House, and it is a pity that I’m saying it in public, this government, outside Nigeria, they are sensitive to what you say. Nobody is stopping you from your investigation and no government from outside Nigeria can stop you from doing it.
“We are saying that Nigeria has applied for three loans already. For Port Harcourt-Maiduguri (Eastern Rail Line), the Minister of Finance told me that she was stopped and told that the next borrowing plan would not be approved unless you get Port Harcourt-Maiduguri.
Port Harcourt-Maiduguri goes through the South-East and the North-East. The only South-South town is Port Harcourt.
“We are about to apply for a loan. They will not grant that loan.
“Then you summoned us back to the House to ask why we are constructing Lagos-Kano and we are not constructing Port Harcourt-Maiduguri.
“Can we be allowed to get this loan? Then you can summon us, not to start what you are doing and the whole process will then be stopped,” he observed.
Appealing further that the investigation should be stepped down, the minister said: “My fear is that at the end of the day, some sections of this country will suffer if they stop giving us loans; two projects that will suffer: the first one is Lagos-Ibadan (rail line), we have not finished disbursement.
We are asking for a loan to commence work from Ibadan to Kano. The day they (China) say ‘the government is not supporting the loans you people are taking, we are no longer giving you,’ that is the end of the project.
“I completely concede to you, chairman, and to the House of your powers to investigate, to oversight the Executive but in over-sighting the Executive, there is what is called national interest. You don’t underhand the pressure I suffer when I travel down the East and I’m being told that we are not doing any railway in the East.
“Again, the economy of this country can only be propelled by transportation. We don’t mind this investigation but can we please shift it to December or January when we would have possibly taken these loans. Once we get these loans, Chairman, turn me upside down, I will answer you.
“There are rumblings up there in China and there are loans we have asked for. If your government is not in agreement with this – don’t forget that there are all sorts of allegations against China here and there – we can stop.
And the moment it is stopped, the following things will happen: Lagos-Ibadan is not completed. And I want to put it on record, so that when it happens, they would know that I said it; Ibadan to Kano too,” the minister noted.
So Sad! UNIBADAN Student Dies In A Soap-Making Machine In Ibadan
A 300-level student of the Department of European Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan, Gbadebo Richard, has died in an industrial accident in Ibadan, capital of Oyo State, on Tuesday.
SaharaReporters gathered that the accident happened at the Oluyole factory of Henkel Nigeria Limited, producers of WAW detergent and soap.
Twenty-year-old Richard, who was on night shift, was said to have fallen into one of the machines in the factory.
The other workers were not aware until they saw blood coming out through the other side of the machine.
“His family members were not informed by the company until an unknown number called them. So they mobilised to the company and blocked the road, about 30 police officers were called in to prevent disturbance.
“An ambulance later came and Richard’s father was allowed into the building. He later went with the body, packed in a plastic bag in the ambulance to the morgue at Teju Hospital without any of the staff of the factory,” a source told SaharaReporters.
The incident was also confirmed through a broadcast signed by President and Public Relations Officer of the faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan.
“It’s completely disheartening to announce the death of Mr Gbadebo Richard (300-level student) from the Department of European Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan.
“Your fervor to become greater in life was cut short by your sudden death. Team Evolution uses this medium to sympathise with the family of our late Afasite who was active, effective and diligent in studies. We pray that God be with the family and wipe out similar occurrence,” the statement read.
Olugbenga Fadeyi, Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer, neither responded to calls nor replied to text messages over the issue.