Thursday, 31 August 2017 09:42

SURRENDER YOURSELF, ALLOW SECURITY AGENCIES DO THEIR JOB, DANIEL'S AIDE TELLS KASHAMU

A Former Special Assistant to Otunba Gbenga Daniel during his administration as Governor of Ogun State, Mr Steve Oliyide has called on Senator Buruji Kashamu to surrender himself to security agencies to allow them investigate the case of assassination levelled against him.

Former Governor Gbenga Daniel had petitioned the IG and other security agencies that the Senator representing Ogun East at the National Assembly was after his life.

The special assistant who was reacting to Senator Buruji's counter petition to the Inspector General of Police described his reply as "a pot of lies".

Below are the details of the statement sent to Nigerian Newstrack. 

 

Assassination Attempt: Senator Kasamu's Pot of Lies

In his desperate but very unintelligent effort to exonerate himself from culpability in the failed ignoble attempt to assassinate the former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel on the 24th of August, 2017, Ogun East Senator, Buruji Kasamu, raised some issues, many of which fall within the borderlines of irrelevances, spurious but crafty attempt to divert and shift public attention far away from the main focus and the real subject matter which is "life threatening".

While it may be apt to concede, trust and repose confidence in the Nigerian Police and other Law Enforcement agencies to do the needful especially in treating the Petition of Otunba Gbenga Daniel in respect of the attempt on his life on its merit, it is equally important that some of the lies, half-truths and outright falsehood in Senator Kasamu's response are exposed for the sake of the unsuspecting public who might be tempted or be swayed by the tissues of lies contained therein.

In his response, some of which smack of criminal libel (and one would think he will be man enough to honour police invitation this time around to substantiate his claims with facts at his disposal and assist their investigations), Senator Kasamu claims and alleges:

1. That he is the most senior political office holder in Ogun State: 

even as I do not see the relevance of this to the issue of "threat" to life which is the real matter in contention, one is however at a loss as to how the not well educated Senator derives his theory of political seniority and ranking. That someone who was elected in one senatorial district (just one out of three), and practically lost the elections in most local governments council areas under his native Ijebu constituency but was literally assisted to electoral victory with votes from the Remo Constituency where another popular candidate, Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu was flying the flag of the same party will beat logic.

2. That Otunba Daniel plan to foist an illegal caretaker committee on the PDP in Ogun State, despite a subsisting court judgement that the expired, dissolved Bayo Dayo-led executive committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to be in office till 2020: 

This is laughable because in the first place, the Nigeria Police is not a court of law; bringing up the issue before the law enforcement agency in a matter bordering on assassination attempt is out of place; perhaps if Senator Kasamu has been better educated and less mischievious, he would have appreciated that the issue of Caretaker committee for the Ogun State PDP goes beyond just one man, it is a creation of law purposely designed and initiated to take the party out of the quagmire which Senator Kasamu had thrown it over a period of time. The caretaker committee option is a stop-gap to kickstart the PDP in the state, just as in other states on a new footing and re-set the process of reconciliation and rebuilding the party for greater accomplishments and reposition it into an election winning machine which it was before the likes of Kasamu found their way into the party. Rather than dragging the police into such needless distractions, it would have been more sensible for the Senator to answer strictly to his culpability in the allegations raised which is about threat to life. 

3. That OGD has lost relevance and seeking to revive his dwindling political career and hijack the structure of the PDP in Ogun State:

Contradictions. In one breadth Senator Kasamu claimed someone who has "lost" relevance politically "foisted" a caretaker committee on the party in Ogun State, and in another breadth he acknowledged that OGD was on the entourage of the National Caretaker Committee chairman, Senator Ahmed Maikarfi on political assignment to broker peace in troubled states in the South West. One needs to ask the question whether such assignments are given to somebody desperate for and seeking political relevance? Why was Buruji (the self acclaimed most senior political office holder in the state) not considered for such exalted intervention? Senator Kasamu equally alleged that Otunba Gbenga Daniel was trying to turn the heat on his political opponent with his petition to the police, but failed to reference the part where the former claimed that was his first petition in his "entire life". This underscores the fact that Otunba Gbenga Daniel is not one who believes nor relies on writing petition as a political weapon. Most Nigerians know those who take a vocation in frivolous and spurious petition writing as a political tool. It is also important to state, and emphatically too, that Buruji Kasamu (if that name actually exist in flesh and blood) can never be Otunba Daniel's political 'opponent' as long as he remained a member of the PDP, rather Kasamu is just another member of the party under which OGD served as Governor for eight years.

4. That Otunba Daniel is the Arrowhead of the "illegal" caretaker committee:

I repeat, the issue and legality of the caretaker committee is a matter for the court to determine and not Kasamu who felt he has lost out in the power equation and political calculus in Ogun State, South West and Nigeria. Kasamu should also be reminded that, not only in Ogun State has Otunba Gbenga Daniel been involved in troubleshooting to bring back PDP into political reckoning, his intervention has seen a lot of aggrieved members in Oyo and Lagos States reconciling and agreeing to work together for the growth of the party. Just as the entry of Kasamu has done great damage to the party, forcing many credible politicians out of the fold, OGD, on the other hand has been busy trying to bring many people back and initiating cohesive arrangement for their mutual coexistence and participation.

5. That Daniel is a pathological liar:

This is vague and appears like a blanket statement without any specifics. Suffice to say that men of ignoble characters are immune to the purity of saner men and are highly irritated by the good conducts of noble man, they therefore describe such good conduct and expression of nobility in the only available words in their lexicon. Were these not so, people like Kasamu whose entire lifestyle is shrouded in circumstantial mysteries, controversial identities and who live a total life of lie and falsehood would not have the effrontery to call some other person a liar and he expect the public to believe him?

6. That OGD is not the first to be "defeated" but refusing to let go and begging Senator Ben Bruce to beg you from exposing his political deficit:

The recurring reference to being "defeated" also lacks substance because this is highly subjective. Sounds more like the cry of a child who was trounced and beaten by somebody older and stronger consoling himself even while crying "I refused to be beaten, I beat him him when he beats me and he is now sending people to beg me". It should interest intelligent readers to know what Kasamu has to offer now that "begging" him should be the next option. Even while it mattered, OGD conceded the Senate seat to Kasamu like an elder seeking to pacify a crying child and offered him his own toy. Many will be interested to know what has that child done with the 'toy' handed over to him; instead of being pacified, he is still crying about.

7. That Everyone is aware of OGD's movement on the day in question:

Crime bursters and investigators agree on one point, the criminal always leave a trail. They also know that criminals often return to the scene of crime. Why is Buruji so much in a hurry to help security operatives to do their jobs? Why is he so eager and impatient to divert attention away from very salient questions that they will need their professional experience to unravel. Perhaps he fails or refuse to understand that Investigators will still be interested to know why he is so interested in monitoring the movement of OGD. In Kasamu's hurried attempt to divert attention, he conveniently did not say that OGD went to Ibadan in the same flight with the NCC Chairman, Ahmed Makarfi and the other team from Abuja and that while Makarfi and the team returned to Abuja same evening, Kasamu's hired goons and scouts miscalculated on OGD's movement and thought he had returned with Makarfi that same night, especially because they did not see him sit at the Dinner where the post reconciliation press briefing was addressed by the South west chairman, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, that was why they were so certain he was at home in Abuja because he had a full compliment of his vehicle convoys including jeeps parked in the Abuja compound just as he keeps them in all his residences in Sagamu, Lagos and Ijebu Ode. They also did not know that he left for Ekiti after the Dinner.

8. That the Policeman "sleeping" and his his gun was "miraculously" hid in the same toilet where he was locked:

same in the spirit of hurried conclusion, Senator Kasamu as a very "experienced" customer of police will claim to rightly know where a policeman on duty should keep his gun(s) but in his less than clever attempt at 'justification' will forget that because of potential criminals that still abound not all disclosures are meant for public consumption because of other time.

9. That "we all know the antecedents of all the atrocities of your killer squad while you were governor and all this evidence shall be availed the police in my counter petition. I am well aware that you are planning to kill me before 2019 in your frustrated effort to take my Senate seat which is democratically invisible given the current realities. I wish you the best in yourself imposed adversities against God’s wish. Senator Kashamu.”:

I have checked the entire Dictionary of Political Lexicon, I am yet to find such combination as "democratically invisible ", but if hazzard an interpretation, it suggests something like a "voodoo" mandate, that which cannot be seen. In other words, Kasamu's mandate is indeed not visible to anyone; this pays a lie to his claim of being the most senior political office holder in the state in the first instance. What is not seen is not valid in logic. Be that as it may, on the phantom "killer squad" which has assumed more or less a political cliché in the lexicon of those who claimed and publicly admitted to have spent three billion naira (N3 billion) to "destroy" the OGD government, the police need not look far to ask the needed question about what such hiking amount was spent on. We know for sure that part of that amount was spent on propaganda to demonize OGD and we cannot take that away from desperate politicians and people with such sinister antecededents and controversial identities. 

They apparently bred such "killer squad" to assist their objective of "destroying" that government. OGD has been out of government for the past six (6) years, if it takes that length of time and a petition on threat to life to bring that propaganda back to life, the reasonable question that should interest security operatives is why has Buruji not raise this and see it to conclusion, given the level of hostilities between him and OGD? Two things are most likely certain: (i.) that of Buruji's complicity or (ii.) that there is no such thing as a "killer squad" except only in the wild imagination of those who mouth it and write it on the social media. It is equally unthinkable that in all the years of their political differences, as hostile as it was, Buruji has not alluded to any attempt or threat to his life, rather most of his narratives had always been on a Third Party, and not one of direct personal experience. In case Buruji has also forgotten, in the history of political succession in Nigeria, none has been as hostile as between OGD and Senator Ibikunle Amosun, and it is also on record that a probe was empanelled to look into all those propaganda allegations of "killings" and the panel returned a verdict of Not Guilty on OGD. This was in spite of the fact that the panel was deliberately established to persecute and rewards were offered to anyone who has any members of his family missing in controversial circumstances. In this part of the world, people search for their missing fowl, goats and dogs, it demystifies logic that they will ignore profitable invitations to find their missing loved ones (human beings for that matter!).

10.That "I have been in Lagos since the National Assembly went on recess last month. I do not have a killer squad like Daniel and my phones/lines and call logs are available for scrutiny":

Most security operatives are not daft, they know what is called 'alibi' and it does not hold water, nor does it stand as defense where Senator Kasamu is or was to get his devilish or sinister plot executed.

11. That it is true that he has political differences with OGD since 2009 after working together for some time. Even at that, he has not once been linked with any form of violence:

This is self-service. There are very many contrary proofs of this spurious claims. Only those who survived it can tell the tale, Honourable, now Oba Razak Adewusi, the Onijoun of Ijoun will have a very different view of this claim after he was swindled on party ticket for which he paid during the 2015 elections. Many others still nurse their silent fears and afraid to speak.

12. That OGD's reign as the Governor of Ogun State was synonymous with violence, fear and politically-motivated killings which have stopped since he left office:

I hope some of these diaries of violence in Ogun State, after OGD left office in 2011 should assist the uneducated Senator about the implausibility of his claim

  [Nigerian Newstrack - POLICE ARRESTS JAILBIRD, 3 OTHERS WITH HUMAN PARTS IN OGUN] is good,have a look at it! http://www.nigeriannewstrack.com/index.php/knews/item/1117-police-arrests-jailbird-3-others-with-human-parts-in-ogun

 [Ogun man arrested for killing stepdaughter for rituals – Punch Newspapers] is good,have a look at it! http://punchng.com/ogun-man-arrested-killing-stepdaughter-rituals/

 [Secondary school student dies during money ritual in Ogun, another hospitalised - Vanguard News] is good,have a look at it! https://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/02/secondary-school-student-dies-during-money-ritual-in-ogun-another-hospitalised/

 [Prostitutes In Ogun Battle Ritual Killers [PHOTO] - INFORMATION NIGERIA] is good,have a look at it! http://www.informationng.com/2015/08/prostitutes-in-ogun-battle-ritual-killers-photo.html

 [Photo: Native Doctor & Alfa Caught With Fresh Human Body Parts In Ijebu Igbo Ogun State - NaijaGistsBlog Nigeria, Nollywood, Celebrity ,News, Entertainment, Gist, Gossip, Inspiration, Africa | NaijaGistsBlog Nigeria, Nollywood, Celebrity ,News, Entertainment, Gist, Gossip, Inspiration, Africa] is good,have a look at it! http://naijagists.com/photo-native-doctor-alfa-caught-with-fresh-human-body-parts-in-ijebu-igbo-ogun-state/

 [Ogun Police Nab 77-Year-Old Pastor For Alleged Ritual Killing • Channels Television] is good,have a look at it! https://www.channelstv.com/2017/08/17/ogun-police-nab-77-year-old-pastor-alleged-ritual-killing/

 [Another ritualists den found in Ogun - The Nation Nigeria] is good,have a look at it! http://thenationonlineng.net/another-ritualists-den-found-ogun/

 [Police alert public on ritualists’ hot spots — Sunday Magazine — The Guardian Nigeria Newspaper – Nigeria and World News] is good,have a look at it! https://t.guardian.ng/sunday-magazine/police-alert-public-on-ritualists-hot-spots/

 [Police raid ritualists den in Ogun, arrest two – Punch Newspapers] is good,have a look at it! http://punchng.com/police-raid-ritualists-den-in-ogun-arrest-two/

 [Nigerian Newstrack - POLICE ARRESTS JAILBIRD, 3 OTHERS WITH HUMAN PARTS IN OGUN] is good,have a look at it! http://www.nigeriannewstrack.com/index.php/knews/item/1117-police-arrests-jailbird-3-others-with-human-parts-in-ogun

 [Photo: Hoodlums Kill Alfa Abu, wife and children in Ijebu-Ode - News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)] is good,have a look at it! http://www.nan.ng/headlines/photo-hoodlums-kill-alfa-abu-wife-children-ijebu-ode/

 [Iyaloja of Ijebuland, Elewuju assassinated in Ogun - Vanguard News] is good,have a look at it! https://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/07/iyaloja-of-ijebuland-elewuju-assassinated-in-ogun/

 [Assassins kill Ogun monarch, burn corpse, car – Punch Newspapers] is good,have a look at it! http://punchng.com/assassins-kill-ogun-monarch-burn-corpse-car/

 [Unknown assailants kill ex-naval officer, Famuyiwa — News — The Guardian Nigeria Newspaper – Nigeria and World News] is good,have a look at it! https://t.guardian.ng/news/unknown-assailants-kill-ex-naval-officer-famuyiwa/

 [Killers of bank agent explains why the deceased was killed ( Read full story here )] is good,have a look at it! http://www.informationng.com/2017/06/killers-bank-agent-explains-deceased-killed-read-full-story.html

 [UPDATE: How violence erupted at Ogun APC event, eight shot - Premium Times Nigeria] is good,have a look at it! http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/153450-eight-people-shot-ogun-apc-crisis-turns-violent.html

 [Hoodlums Storm APC Secretariat in Ogun, Attack Journalists, Residents] is good,have a look at it! http://www.nigerianmonitor.com/hoodlums-storm-apc-secretariat-in-ogun-attack-journalists-residents/

 [Toyin Hamzat, Ex- Fashola Adviser Assassinated - PM NEWS Nigeria] is good,have a look at it! https://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2012/11/19/toyin-hamzat-ex-fashola-adviser-assassinated/

 [Orange is The New Black drug baron now Nigerian senator | News24] is good,have a look at it! http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Orange-is-The-New-Black-drug-baron-now-Nigerian-senator-20150416

www.nigeriannewstrack.com

13. That over 120 undergraduates in Ijebu North Local Government at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) were murdered; that he (Buruji) got some of those who carried out the dastardly acts to confess to their most horrendous deeds in sworn affidavits and confessional statements made to a Special team of investigators formed by the Office of the IGP and in 2013 and the State Security Service (SSS): 

This is one of the most uncharitable statement from the pit of hell ever uttered and can only come from an insane mind. But it should not come as a surprise from somebody whose entire life is lived in falsehood; somebody who can lie about his own identity will lie on anything. 

I was an interested participant in the crises under reference which was a communal clash between students of the Olabisi Onabanjo University residing in Ago Iwoye and indigenes. 

The students had protested the arrests of some of their members who they claimed were arrested by the local Vigilante groups for sundry offences including stealing and they were detained in the palace of the Ebumawe of Ago Iwoye. The students stormed the palace of the monarch in a bid to set free their members who they claimed were being treated inhumanly in incarceration and in the process burnt down the palace of the Ebumawe. This snowballed into crises between the students and the local Vigilante. 

Sadly the then Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel was not even in the country, he was somewhere around France, so he could not even know what was happening until around 6pm in the evening when he was briefed on phone. He there and then ordered that urgent steps be made firat for the evacuation of the students from the community. I had two younger brothers who were also at OOU then and this fired my interest on the rescue operations. Now, I think the senseless writer would assume his readers are as senseless as him without asking the question on what would a Governor stand to gain with the killing of over 120 students? Even as I can say authoritatively that the casualty figure was not anywhere near the 120 figure so senselessly quoted. 

The then Commissioner of Police was retired AIG Alapini whom we met at the Presidential Lodge (which served as his temporary accomodation when he newly resumed in the state before his Official quarters was put in order); he mobilised Mobile Policemen who came to the state from somewhere in Niger State to do some verifications at the Mopol 16 because he do not have enough officers on ground to assist in the evacuation process. We went to the Government House to hijack some newly procured long buses, distributed the policemen in each of the buses, bought fuel on credit at the Fatgbems Petroleum on Abiola Way junction with a promise to pay on our return because of the emergency situation at hand. We parked the buses at Aiyegbami junction and go into houses to rescue the students, take them to Ijebu Ode garage and give transport moneys to some of them who cannot afford it. 

How and where does Otunba Daniel come into all these? Except in the warped minds of criminal people.

14. That "OGD during the recently held PDP National Convention sponsored the filing of a suit purportedly meant to stop the convention and turned round to lie to notable leaders of our party that I was the one who filed the suit. That is what he seeks to do with this latest hoax, all because of his morbid fear of my towering political status": 

There is a suggestion here that somebody is sick in the mind. He claimed in one breadth that OGD "sponsored" a suit and yet Buruji is the one claiming to be beneficiary of the by-product of that suit which is the purported "Order" seeking to legitimize an expired executive committee which Buruji is claiming. Is he in anyway claiming OGD sued on his behalf?

15. That "this was the strategy employed by Adebutu (who works closely with him) exactly one year ago. The matter ended up in the court and the Police have since issued an interim report exonerating me of the unfounded allegation (See Annexures 8 and 9)": 

But Buruji failed to tell the public that instead of answering to police invitation on the said allegation he rather went to court trying to stop the police from inviting him. If he has nothing to fear, why is he running away from the police and other security agencies, and one would hope he will not deploy the same strategy in this circumstance when invited.

Steve Oliyide

Former Special Assistant to the Governor (Media) 2003-2011

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Thursday, 31 August 2017 08:11

FRESH CRISIS LOOMS IN PUBLIC HOSPITALS AS DOCTORS BEGIN STRIKE ON MONDAY

in News

National Association of Resident Doctors, NARDs, has issued a nationwide strike notice effective September 4.

Dr Olusegun Olaopa, President of NARDs, University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, announced this on Wednesday in a statement made available in Ibadan.

Olaopa said that resident doctors would commence an indefinite industrial action on Monday to press home their demands.

According to him, the action is sequel a to statement signed by Drs John Onyebueze and Aneke Emmanuel, National President and Secretary of NARDs, respectively.

The statement said that it was resolved at the NEC meeting of NARDs held in Abuja on August 26 to embark on the strike.

“Neither the federal nor state government has shown commitment to the resolution of issues at stake nor honoured previous agreements.

“Consequent upon this, the association resolved to proceed on a total indefinite industrial action from Monday, September 4, 2017, until all these issues are permanently resolved.

“Nationwide pre-strike protests against this injustice are to hold in all our branches and states of the federation on August 30, 2017.

“All heads of tertiary health institutions who have received funding for payments to our members should be directed to pay same immediately,” it said.

Members of NARDs are demanding for the resolution of persistent shortfalls and unpaid arrears of salaries earned in both federal and state tertiary health institutions.

Other issues are the enrolment of resident doctors into the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) since 2003, and non-implementation of adjusted House Officers’ Entry grade level equivalent since 2014.

The resident doctors are also asking for the resolution of issues around their stagnation of promotion and non-promotion of members who have met requisite criteria despite all collective bargaining agreements and circulars.

It would be recalled that doctors in UCH had on January 6, embarked on a one-day protest rally over non-payment of their November and December 2016 salaries.

NAN

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Thursday, 31 August 2017 08:08

BUHARI'S COMMENT ON THE ECONOMY IS MOCKERY OF SUFFERING NIGERIANS - FAYOSE

in News

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has taken another swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari saying his latest comment that he was pleased with Nigeria’s economy shows he has lost touch with the economic realities in the country.

The president had recently while receiving a briefing from Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma; Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, and governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele said he was pleased with the records made so far in the economy.

But in a statement issued on Wednesday, by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said it was obvious that President Buhari’s more than three months stay in London ‘had taken its toll on his mind.’

Governor Fayose, who said the economic growth of a nation can only be measured by the welfare of the people, said the president ought not to have made the statement.

“How can a President who has spent more time abroad than he spent in Nigeria be telling Nigerians that he is satisfied with the sufferings of the people? It is like the President endorsing the sufferings of Nigerians and this is painful,” Mr Fayose said.

“That President Buhari, who met exchange rate at N197 to $1 said that he is pleased with the economy when the exchange rate is now N370 to $1 is a clear indication that the government is being run on his behalf.

“National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in its unemployment report for the fourth quarter (Q4) 2016 said 3.67 million Nigerians became jobless in one year and that the number of unemployed Nigerians rose from 7.51 million at the beginning of October 2015 to 11.19 million at the end of September 2016.

“The same NBS, said in its June 2015 to May 2016 National Corruption Report, that over N400 billion was paid as bribes to public officials in Nigeria in one year (June 2015 – May 2016). Yet, they will tell Nigerians that they are fighting corruption when indeed, corruption is thriving under the All Progressives Congress (APC) government of President Buhari,” the governor, a known critic of Mr Buhari said.

“As at May 29, 2015 that Buhari became President, a bag of rice was less than N8,000, a bag of rice is about N18,000 now, more than 25 states cannot pay workers salary regularly owing to dwindled revenue from the federation account, and someone is telling Nigerians that the economy is doing well? It is clear that the President has lost touch with real economic situation of the country,” Mr Fayose said.

He added that “Even a two-year-old child knows that there is hunger in the land, Nigerians are hungry, they are suffering and telling them that all is well is like adding salt to their injury.”

PT

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Thursday, 31 August 2017 08:04

FG DETAINING HUNDREDS IN SECRET FACILITIES - AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

in News

Hundreds of people are being held in secret detention in Nigeria, Amnesty International has said.

The rights agency made the allegation on Wednesday at an event to mark International Day of the Disappeared.

The day is observed across the world every August 30 to draw attention to the fate of individuals imprisoned at places and under poor conditions unknown to their relatives or legal representatives.

Relations of some of the victims of secret detention in Nigeria attended the event on Wednesday at the Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja.

“Today is very important for us as Amnesty International because of the work we do to promote and protect human lives.

“And the fact that we want to ensure that victims and victim’s voices are heard, it is important for days like this to give them the opportunity to do so,” Osai Ojigho, the organisation’s Country Director said at the event.

Some families who alleged that their members were suffering arrest or detention by security forces in Nigeria shared their ordeal at the event.

Ibrahim Aliyu, 38, said he had not known the whereabouts or condition of his three younger brothers since 2012 when they were allegedly arrested by State Security Service, SSS, during a raid at his residence.

“Sometimes in 2012, security agents from the State Security Service arrested my brothers at Gora along Keffi-Abuja highway. They came as early as 2 a.m. in the night.

“Unfortunately for us, SSS officials stormed my house at the middle of the night and picked them away after jumping my fence, broke the gate and my door. My wife was thinking whether (they were) armed robbers but I told her not to panic because seeing them I noticed that (they were) not armed robbers.

He said he had invited his brothers to his house the day preceding the fateful night so that they could plan their trip to their hometown for Sallah.

“I invited them from their working place to come to my house so that we can know the exact days we would spend in our hometown so that I could write to my office to seek a casual leave to enable us travel for the Sallah,” Mr. Aliyu narrated in tears.

“Before my three brothers disappeared, we used to contribute money to support our extended family. Now without them, the burden is entirely on my shoulders. I have to do everything; take care of their families and provide for our mother. Our mother is now perpetually sick, because she thinks a lot about my brothers’ fate. Sometimes I feel I can’t bear the pain anymore.”

Amnesty International said it feared that hundreds of people were being held in secret detention in Nigeria, a conduct it said is prohibited under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons From Enforced Disappearance.

Saying Nigeria is a signatory to the convention, the group called on Nigerian authorities to release details on the fate and whereabouts of all those who have allegedly disappeared.

“Many families of the victims of enforced disappearance spend painful years searching for justice, truth and reparation but are ignored or misled about the fate of their relatives.

“The authorities must do the right thing now, by releasing all of them or disclosing information about their fate or whereabouts,” Mrs. Ojigho said.

The group said a research it conducted revealed that “most enforced disappearances take place in the conflict ridden North-east of Nigeria where young men are often seized by the military after being accused of affiliation to the armed group, Boko Haram.”

The organization said it had also obtained details of men, women and children victims of enforced disappearance in other parts of Nigeria.

The country director also highlighted allegations of human rights abuse levelled against the military during the clash that reportedly led to the killing of over 300 Shiites in Zaria in December 2015.

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Thursday, 31 August 2017 08:00

AFENIFERE CRIES OUT AS HERDSMEN ATTACK FALAE'S FARM AGAIN

in News

Some suspected Fulani herdsmen have again attacked the farm of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Olu Falae, at Ilado village, in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State, destroying crops worth millions of naira.

Publicity Secretary of pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said this in Akure after a monthly meeting of the association held at the residence of the leader of the group, Mr Reuben Fasoranti, on Tuesday.

Odumakin, who read the communique of the group to journalists, accused the Federal Government of showing no concern for the incessant attacks of the Fulani herdsmen on the people of the South-West and the Middle-Belt of the country.

He said, “We are worried about the renewed onslaught of Fulani herdsmen on Yoruba land. Recently, a Permanent Secretary of Osun origin, Mrs. Funke Kolawole, was killed on Okene-Lokoja Road on her way to Abuja.

“Also, another 72-year-old woman was recently gang-raped in the Odigbo area of Ondo State and the hoodlums have yet to be brought to book. Of course, Mr Olu Falaye, whose farm has become a source of attacks by the Fulani herdsmen, only yesterday (Monday) came under a renewed attack with policemen on his farm shot at by these Fulani herdsmen.

“We are aggrieved that the Federal Government has continued to turn the other eye while the herdsmen continue their unlawful activities in the country, especially the southern Nigeria and the Middle-Belt.”

The association called on the governors of the South-West to emulate the Ekiti State Government and ensure that they put in place appropriate laws to deal with activities of herdsmen in the region.

Personal Assistant to Chief Falae, Captain Moshood Raji (retd.) confirmed the incident, saying many crops were destroyed.

Raji said, “They attacked Baba’s (Falae) farm and destroyed crops there. We have reported to the police.”

Punch

 

 

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Thursday, 31 August 2017 07:57

NORTH KOREA: TALKING IS NOT THE ANSWER, SAYS TRUMP

in Foreign

US President Donald Trump has said that  "talking is not the answer" in dealing with North Korea's military operations.

"The US has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years," he wrote on Twitter.

But the US Defence Secretary, James Mattis, insisted on Wednesday that there was still room for diplomacy.

North Korea has said its firing of a missile over Japan on Tuesday was "the first step" of military operations in the Pacific.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has told US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by phone that any further strengthening of sanctions against North Korea would be counter-productive.

Mr Trump's comments come just days after he said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was "starting to respect" the US.

On Tuesday, Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile over Japan's northern Hokkaido island, triggering public alerts to take cover before landing in the sea.

Speaking ahead of a meeting at the Pentagon with his South Korean counterpart, Song Young-moo, Mr Mattis said, "We are never out of diplomatic solutions."

Russia has said that US military activity in the region is partly to blame for the increase in tensions, and has urged restraint and called for negotiations.

Mr Lavrov stressed on Wednesday that diplomacy was the only way to overcome tensions on the Korean peninsula, which have been escalating in recent months.

North Korean state media this week also repeated threats to the US Pacific island of Guam, which it called "an advanced base of invasion".

Mr Trump said earlier this month that any such threats would "be met with fire and fury".

UN Security Council has unanimously condemned North Korea for its military actions.

Meeting late on Tuesday in New York, the council called the launch "outrageous", demanding North Korea cease all missile testing.

While the statement said the regime's actions were a threat to all UN member states, it did not threaten new sanctions against Pyongyang.

North Korea has repeatedly conducted missile launches in recent months, despite being barred from doing so under UN rules.

The latest, a domestically made Hwasong-12, was launched early on Tuesday Korean time from a site near Pyongyang.

It travelled some 2,700km (1,678 miles), at an unusually low height for North Korean missile tests, over Hokkaido before crashing about 1,180km off Japan's eastern coast.

Japan sent out alerts telling people in Hokkaido to take cover. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later called it "unprecedented, serious and a grave threat".

For the first time, North Korea's official news agency KCNA admitted deliberately firing a ballistic missile across Japan. Previous projectiles which crossed the mainland were later claimed to have been satellite launches.

BBC

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Thursday, 31 August 2017 07:51

NORTH KOREA: WHAT ARE THE MILITARY OPTIONS?

in Foreign

President Trump has said "all options are on the table" after North Korea fired a missile over Japan. So what could military action against Kim Jong-un's regime actually look like?

As a ballistic missile passed over the Japanese island of Hokkaido residents were warned to take cover.

The launch was a provocative act, which has been followed by warnings from the North Korean regime that it was just a "first step".

UN and several nations have imposed sanctions on North Korea, while President Trump said he was considering the next steps.

But while US has unrivalled military strength, the range of options it actually has against the hermit country are limited.

Option 1: 'Enhanced Containment'

This is the least risky but arguably least effective option available since it would simply build on deployments that have long been in place and have had little success in deterring North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programme.

US could move additional ground forces into South Korea, including ground-based missile defences such as the controversial Thaad system, heavy artillery and armoured vehicles, to demonstrate its willingness to use force to back up its demands.

However, South Korea has halted the current Thaad deployment and is strongly against any increases in US ground forces, because of concerns about provoking the North. 

Indeed, North Korea would almost certainly interpret such moves as a prelude to a ground invasion, given its reactions to annual joint exercises between the US and South Korean militaries.

China and Russia would no doubt strenuously object too and both have the power to make life difficult for the US in other areas such as Eastern Europe and the South and East China Seas.

US Navy could increase its presence around Korea, sending more cruisers and destroyers able to shoot down ballistic missiles and, possibly, deploying a second carrier strike group.

Alongside the naval options, US Air Force could bolster its forward-based airpower, with more attack fighter squadrons, support tankers, surveillance aircraft and heavy bombers at bases in Guam, South Korea itself and Japan.

However, US Navy and US Air Force are both extremely heavily tasked around the world and are feeling the strain of well over a decade of continuous high-intensity deployments in support of operations, including those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

More importantly, perhaps, time is on North Korea's side, since an enhanced US military presence would not itself force a halt to its rapidly maturing nuclear weapons programme and ballistic missile testing.

And any statement of intent to shoot down North Korean ballistic missiles which travel outside the country's airspace would itself require a major increase in US Navy presence around the peninsula. 

North Korean has a large ballistic missile arsenal and US interceptor missiles are extremely expensive and available in limited quantities aboard each ship.

It would, therefore, be possible for the North to overwhelm and deplete the US Navy's stocks, leaving them vulnerable and forced to return to port.

Such a policy would therefore represent an extremely expensive and probably unsustainable challenge to North Korea, as well as a dangerous escalation towards direct military conflict.

Option 2: Surgical strikes

US Air Force and US Navy possess the most advanced surgical strike capabilities on Earth.

Using volleys of precision Tomahawk missiles fired from submarines off the North Korean coastline and attacks by B-2 stealth bombers against key North Korean nuclear sites and ballistic missile facilities may seem like an attractive proposition, at first glance.

It is undoubtedly the case that heavy damage could be inflicted on high value targets, with deeply buried and hardened underground facilities vulnerable to the 30,000lb Massive Ordinance Penetrator bomb.

The immediate danger to US aircraft would depend on many factors, including the amount of warning North Korea received, the number of strikes flown and the contribution of non-stealth aircraft within range of its defences.

However, the state of North Korea's air defence network is very hard to determine since it is a mix of Soviet/Russian, Chinese and home-grown surface-to-air missile and radar systems acquired over 50 years.

The defences are among the densest on Earth, but they have been modified and upgraded to an unknown degree and their readiness is difficult to assess.

If the US lost aircraft to enemy fire or accidents it would then face the nightmare scenario of having to try to rescue its aircrew, or abandon them to a very public fate.

Far more significant, however, is the fact that even successful strikes on nuclear and missile sites, command centres and even the leadership itself, would not stop North Korea retaliating.

The People's Army would still have the ability to inflict almost inevitably devastating damage in immediate retaliation against South Korea - a key US ally.

It consists of over a million regular soldiers and, by some estimates, over six million reserves and paramilitary troops.

A huge number of conventional and rocket artillery pieces, mostly dug in near the demilitarised zone, include hundreds which are within range of parts of the South Korean capital city Seoul, which is home to around 10 million people.

Even the US military would take days to fully eliminate just these artillery batteries, which would be able to fire tens of thousands of shells and rockets during that time.

The catastrophic damage that these batteries would inflict on a crowded modern city, as well as the South Korean military forces, is why the South Korean government is opposed to any pre-emptive military action against North Korea.

Even without a usable nuclear weapon and without actively invading South Korea, the Kim regime could inflict devastating damage and probably end the US-South Korean alliance as we know it.

Option 3: Full scale invasion

Given the sheer size of the People's Army, the power of its artillery, its dense air defences and South Korea's reluctance to support any US military action, this option is extremely far-fetched.

Any attempt to actually invade North Korea would require months of visible US military build-up, full-scale South Korean participation and a way to guarantee the neutralisation of North Korea's mysterious nuclear capabilities.

It would also cost hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides.

In addition to heavy artillery bombardments, the People's Army has long trained for large scale commando infiltration into South Korea, using low, slow-flying biplanes which are hard to detect on radar, small boats and midget submarines.

These would add to the chaos and loss of life in the event of any large scale conflict, and ensure that the comparatively fewer, albeit much higher-technology US and South Korean forces would be stretched painfully thin.

The last time the US and its allies advanced into North Korea, during the Korean War in 1950, China entered the war on the side of the North to prevent the establishment of a unified Western-aligned Korea on its land border.

Such a development is still something which China is not prepared to contemplate - the main reason it has propped up the Kim regime for so long.

Finally, even if somehow these huge problems could be overcome, a successful invasion of North Korea led by the US would leave it responsible for rebuilding a shattered country.

North Korea has existed in an unparalleled state of psychological manipulation, chronic economic hardship and isolation for over 60 years.

The monumental task of reintegrating East Germany after the Cold War pales in comparison.

The reality is that none of the military options available to the US for dealing with North Korea come without high costs and significant risks - considerations which it will have to weigh up against uncertain and problematic potential outcomes.

 

BBC

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Wednesday, 30 August 2017 09:48

SUSPECTED BILLIONAIRE KIDNAPPER, EVANS REMANDED IN PRISON, PLEADS GUILTY IN COURT

in News

Alleged billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans, who appears unruffled today at the Ikeja High Court has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and kidnapping before a judge of the Court.

Evans and five others were arraigned on a two-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping.

The judge ordered that all the male defendants be remanded at Kirikiri Maximum Prison while the female defendant, who pleaded not guilty to all the charges, be kept at the Kirikiri Female Prison.

He adjourned till October 19.

Earlier on Tuesday, a Lagos Division of the Federal High Court adjourned till September 5 to hear arguments from Evan’s lawyer and police lawyers on why he should not deliver judgment on the fundamental rights application brought by Evans.

Justice Abdulaziz Anka had initially fixed Tuesday to deliver judgment on the suit but a lawyer to the Inspector General of Police and the Nigeria Police Force, David Igbodo, appearing for the first time since the hearing began, said he had filed a counter affidavit before the court.

“It will be an injustice for judgment to be delivered without hearing our own side,” Mr. Igbodo, Commissioner of Police (Legal Section), said.

Later, when he spoke to journalists outside the courtroom, Mr. Igbodo said police investigation into the Evans’ case was “almost complete.”

“The case is a very controversial one, it is a sensitive case,” he said.

“The Inspector General of Police devoted time, efforts, intelligence, and strategies to ensure that he was arrested. He beat strategies for the past six years. When he was arrested, it took time for the police to complete investigations and very soon, Nigerians will be made to know what is the next line of action for Evans.”

Mr. Igbodo dismissed claims of the police not having the authority to detain Evans saying they had obtained a remand order from a federal court to hold the suspect in their custody for three months.

“The Inspector of General of Police is a lawyer, in the first instance. He is somebody that respects the rights of every citizen,” he said.

“He has been organising conferences and seminars for the Nigeria Police, both investigators and prosecutors, to make sure nobody is kept in custody beyond 24 or 48 hours without an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

“The Inspector General of Police cannot keep Evans without a court order, there is a valid court order that is still subsisting as I speak with you for three months. You know Evans was arrested on the 10th of June; since when he was arrested till now, it’s not up to three months.

PT

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Wednesday, 30 August 2017 08:52

SOUTH AFRICAN MINISTER BLASTS BUHARI, MUGABE, OTHERS OVER 'HEALTH TOURISM '

in Foreign

A South African minister has criticised African leaders who seek medical treatment abroad.

Aaron Motsoaledi condemned "health tourism" while speaking in Zimbabwe.

President Robert Mugabe, who frequently receives treatment in Singapore, had left the meeting of health ministers when Dr Motsoaledi made the comments.

Mr Mugabe's spokesman has said that the president's doctor "is not only Zimbabwean, he is actually black… He is very, very, very black".

George Charamba made those comments to Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper in May, insisting that President Mugabe was not turning his back on Zimbabwean medical help.

Nigeria's Muhammadu Buhari and Angola's José Eduardo dos Santos have also been criticised for seeking medical treatment abroad this year.

At this week's conference Dr Motsoaledi said: 

"We are the only continent that has its leaders seeking medical services outside the continent, outside our territory. We must be ashamed of that." 

"This is called health tourism. We must promote our own," he added.

Dr Motsoaledi also urged governments to increase funding to local facilities. 

He has been praised by South Africans for using public hospitals instead of private facilities.

It was the elephant in the room as over 30 of Africa's health ministers met to discuss strategies to tackle the continent's public health problems.

The list of African heads of state who have recently sought medical treatment abroad includes President Muhammadu Buhari, Angola's outgoing President José Eduardo dos Santos, Zimbabwe's 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe, Benin's President Patrice Talon and 80-year-old Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

When Dr Motsoale made the comments in a plenary session, his remarks were met with silence from other member states represented.

Dr Motsoaledi admitted his position is a controversial one, but added that it needed to be said.

Mugabe's medical leave in 2017

17 Jan: President Robert Mugabe leaves Zimbabwe on an official trip then, according to the Standard, takes a detour to Singapore for routine checks

8 May: State media report that Mr Mugabe has left for Singapore on another routine medical check-up

9 July: Mr Mugabe leaves again for Singapore - a youth rally is postponed as a result and the main opposition accuse him of "ruling from a hospital bed".

BBC

 
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Wednesday, 30 August 2017 08:22

FG DECIDES ON ASUU'S DEMANDS TODAY AS UNION SHUNS MEETING

in News

There are indications that Federal Executive Council will, at its meeting on Wednesday (today) decide on the demands of Academic Staff Union of Universities.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, who gave this indication in an interview with journalists on Tuesday, said the university lecturers had deliberated on the offers made to them by the government at a meeting on August 17.

Also, the union, in a statement on Tuesday, said it would call off its strike after receiving a positive response to its demands from the Federal Government.

The lecturers boycotted a meeting which was scheduled to hold between the government and the union on Tuesday.

ASUU, on August 13, began a nationwide strike over the failure of the Federal Government to implement an agreement it reached with the union in 2009.

The union also alleged that the Federal Government did not implement the Memorandum of Understanding the two sides signed in 2013.

Based on the 2009 agreement, the demands of ASUU include funding for the revitalisation of public universities; payment of earned academic allowances; and the registration of Nigerian Universities Pension Management Company and pension matters.

At the meeting on August 17, it was learnt the Federal Government offered to pay the union N23bn and carry out an audit of N30bn earlier given to the university lecturers.

It was also gathered that government rejected a request by ASUU that universities should be exempted from the Treasury Single Account, but agreed to set up an interest-bearing account for university endowments.

Ngige, in the interview with journalists explained why ASUU did not attend a meeting it was scheduled to hold with the government on Tuesday.

He said the union, in a letter dated August 28, stated that it had considered offers made by the government and made its counter-offer.

The minister said the Federal Government would deliberate on the union’s counter-offer.

“Tomorrow (today, Wednesday) is Federal Executive Council meeting and there are aspects that we will need FEC approval to go on with. Thereafter, we will meet with ASUU team either tomorrow evening or Thursday morning, whichever will be more convenient,” Ngige added.

The labour minister explained that the government side was expected to discuss ASUU’s counter-offer in order to hold a meeting with the lecturers’ body to resolve the areas of disagreement.

He stated, “The government, as you know, has made an offer to ASUU through ministry of education and late yesterday (Monday) ASUU got back to us with their counter-offer.

“By then, this meeting had been scheduled and the government side needed to deliberate on their counter-offer before we can have a reconciliation meeting to further discuss areas of disagreement. That is the position right now.

“We are holding a government side meeting, while Minister of Education is also holding meeting and we will meet later today (Tuesday) and formalise our position.”

But in the statement on Tuesday, the union explained why it boycotted the Tuesday’s meeting with the Federal Government.

It stated that government’s positive response to its demand would bring the strike to an end.

The union, in a statement by its President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, referred the government to its letter dated August 28, 2017, where it expressed its demands.

The government had, in a statement on Monday night, announced that Ngige would meet with the president and executive members of ASUU in Abuja.

In its statement on Tuesday, ASUU said it was awaiting a positive response to its demands, thanking Nigerians for their understanding.

It read, “Following due consultation, we have collated the views of our members on the offers from government in dispute in the letter dated August 16. These views were submitted to FG vide our letter dated August 28.

“As we await the Federal Government’s action on our letter, we hope that it would not be long before we receive a positive response which will bring an end to the dispute.”

When asked why his team failed to show up for the meeting with the government, Ogunyemi declined comment, referring one of our correspondents to his statement.

Ogunyemi also refused to disclose the contents of ASUU’s counter-offer to the government in a telephone interview on Tuesday.

He stated, “We submitted our report to the FG yesterday (Monday) but we can’t discuss that with the press now. What they have promised us is that they were going to get back to us as soon as possible.’’

However, a source told one of our correspondents that what the union presented to the FG on Monday was not new.

“Our demands are not new and they include the revitalisation fund that we have been asking for, the retirement of academics with the full complement of their salaries and others. Nothing is new,’’ said the source.

Meanwhile, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Sabi Abdullahi, has called for patience as the Federal Government and ASUU seek an amicable solution to the strike embarked upon by the lecturers.

He said the Senate, being a responsible institution, was concerned about the crisis and was intervening in the dispute to assist in bringing about a lasting solution to the crisis in the education sector.

He stated, “If you remember, Senator Barau Jibrin has been on this matter despite that we are on recess. This issue is about continuous engagement but as you know, the bulk of the issue is not with us (Senate).

“I will just call on Nigerians to be patient with us because of this holiday. I am sure after Sallah, when we are all on the ground, things will begin to take shape.”

Also, National Association of Nigerian Students has summoned an emergency meeting to deliberate on its next line of action on the ongoing strike by ASUU.

The meeting, it was learnt, would deliberate on the strike and other issues of critical national importance and take a position on the way forward.

The students also called on the Federal Government and ASUU to engage in constructive discussion to resolve the lingering issues that led to the declaration of the strike.

It called on the parties to “save the education sector and the future of Nigerian students in the interest of the nation.”

The President of NANS, Chinonso Obasi, said this on Tuesday.

Obasi stated that NANS would await the outcome of the meeting between government and ASUU to determine its next line of action.

He said, “We have fixed an emergency meeting of NANS, which will give approval to the action of NANS upon the expiration of the 21 days ultimatum given for the ASUU strike to be called off.

“The meeting is scheduled to hold on September 7 in Ilorin, Kwara State capital.”

NANS decried the incessant and prolonged strikes as one of the factors responsible for the falling standard of education in Nigeria apart from the attendant untold hardship on the students, parents and guardians.

Obasi said, “Incessant strikes and stoppage of academic activities as a result of lack of agreements or lack of adherence and implementation of duly-executed memorandum of agreement between the Federal Government and ASUU do not reflect and demonstrate commitment to the sustainable development of the nation’s education sector and the development of the nation’s human capital.

“We are calling on the government and ASUU to demonstrate sensitivity and a great sense of patriotism in resolving the issues at the earliest convenience to save education in the nation and avert unfortunate developments associated with the idleness of young people.”

Punch

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