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Arrested B’Haram commander: My first assignment was to kill a teacher and three friends

Umar Abatcha, a Boko Haram commander who was arrested in Borno state last month, has reportedly opened up on some of the atrocities he committed when he was under the control of the sect.

Better known as “Skely” in Gwange Sabon Layi in Maiduguri, Borno capital, he was said to have escaped to Lagos after leaving the camp of the insurgents but he was arrested when he returned to the state on May 13.

Mohammed Aliyu, police commissioner of Borno, said the suspect confessed to being a member of Boko Haram sect when he was grilled by detectives.

He disclosed that Abacha claimed he returned to Maiduguri, thinking that nobody will recognise him.

He was quoted as saying he was forced to pick arm to fight with the military, adding that his first assignment was killing a teacher and three of his close friends.

Aliyu said the suspect confessed to have been part of many attacks on security locations in which military weapons were carted away.

Another suspect identified as Ali Ibrahim was arrested on January 6, 2019, by the federal special anti-robbery squad (FSARS) at Dikwa low-cost estate in Maiduguri.

Ibrahim said he spent four years with the group and that he carried out attacks in the shores of Lake Chad and Cameroon.

He claimed to have escaped from one of the group’s camps in Cameroon after denouncing membership of the sect.

“I beg for forgiveness for all the crimes and atrocities I was forced to commit while I was with Boko Haram,” he said.

No immediate plans to ban Almajiri, says Presidency

Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, says the plan by the federal government to ban the Almajiri system of education is not immediate.

Babagana Monguno, national security adviser, had announced that the government was planning to proscribe the educational system in a bid to curb insecurity.

The announcement had generated reactions from Nigerians.

In a statement on Friday, Shehu said while the government of President Muhammadu Buhari wants all children in school, “we don’t want to create panic or a backlash”.

He said due consultations will be made with relevant agencies before any action is taken.

“The abrogation of the Almajiri (Qur’anic learning system associated with begging on economic and religious grounds peculiar to some Northern states) system of education remains an objective but there is no immediate ban of it by the Buhari Administration,” Shehu said.

“The presidency, therefore, calls for caution in responses to the pronouncements by President Muhammadu Buhari on free and compulsory basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age in Nigeria, during his speech on Thursday, June 20, at the inauguration of the National Economic Council (NEC).

“While the Buhari administration is committed to free and compulsory education as a long-term objective of bringing to an end, the phenomenon of out-of-school children, any necessary ban on Almajiri would follow due process and consultation with relevant authorities.

“Indeed, the federal government wants a situation where every child of primary school age is in school rather than begging on the streets during school hours.

“Reports that there are plans for massive arrest of parents are definitely out of place. Things have to be done the right and considerate way.

“Free and compulsory primary school education is a requirement of the Nigerian constitution and any individual or group not in compliance with this is violating the law of the land and liable to be punished.”

Cucumbers are man’s best food – Research

Nature has provided man the best cure for ill health in the form of herbs, vegetables and fruits. One particular vegetable that does wonderful things in human health is the cucumber. Apart from being a vegetable that is good to eat, it has other awesome uses. Its nutritional fact shows that it provides the body with essential vitamins and nutrients and contains a large dose of antioxidants, minerals and polyphenols.

Cucumber, according to medical experts, helps to reduce the risk of chronic disease and prolongs life without producing any side effect. Cucumber is readily available in the markets, supermarkets or at grocery shops. It is low in calories and has a relatively high fibre content, which, when combined with a gram of protein per cup enhances its fat burning properties. Cucumber does not contain any fat, cholesterol or sodium. Minerals present in it include calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, potassium and selenium among others.

Research findings have revealed that cucumbers are 95 percent water. This helps to keep the body hydrated while helping it eliminate toxins. The flesh of a cucumber is a very good source of Vitamins A, C and folic acid, which are antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals and lowers the risk of various cancers and illnesses due to damaged cells.

Cucumber, an edible and nutritious vegetable, which comes from the cucumber plant, Cucumis Sativas, is a part of the gourd family. It can be eaten raw or cooked and this makes it one of the most important items of a good diet.

Felicita Ogbu, a doctor said that cucumbers aid digestion and weight loss. “It is an ideal diet for people, who want to lose weight and the fibre in it is very effective in ridding the body of toxins from the digestive system, aiding digestion and preventing chronic constipation.

Jennifer Ani

According to Jennifer Ani, a nutritionist, cucumber works extensively for men. Cucumbers are useful in the treatment of some special men’s problems.

“The major one is erectile dysfunction and in this situation, the usual cucumber is the cure. This effect is achieved by improvement of blood circulation in the groin area. The plenty of vitamins and microelements help to overcome male pattern baldness,” Ani said.

The skin can be used for skin irritations and sunburns, which affect the body. The silicon and sulphur in it help to stimulate hair growth as well as be a relief to bad breath. Cucumbers are an excellent source of silica, which is known to help promote joint health by strengthening the connective tissues.

“They contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol, which have a strong history in connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer. The juice contains a lot of potassium, magnesium and fibre, which is very helpful in regulating blood pressure. This makes cucumber essentially good for treating both low and high blood pressure,” she said.

She said that the organic compounds in cucumbers, which are known as lignans help to prevent the emergence of cancers, especially those organs, which are connected with reproductive capabilities of the body.

“Cucumbers are among the four most cultivated vegetables in the world and are known to be one of the best foods for one’s overall health and they are often referred to as super foods.

“One of the unknown cucumber benefits is that it can relieve the symptoms of a hangover, you can eat them just before going to bed after a loud party and save yourself a headache in the morning, due to water and other organic elements the alcohol is excreted from the body faster,” she said.

Ani advised that cucumbers should be used in soups and salads, but warned that if they are not “your favourite snack, you can eat crunchy cucumber sticks with creamy low fat yogurt dip, chewing cucumbers gives the jaws a good workout and the fibre in them is good for digestion.

“The daily consumption of cucumber can be regarded as an aid for chronic constipation and it can also help in reducing the uric acid levels in the body and help to keep the kidneys healthy and in good shape,” Ani added.

Botched appointment: How APC chieftains moved against Adedayo

The sack of Dr. Festus Adedayo as special adviser, media and publicity to the President of the Senate came after prominent loyalists of President Muhammadu Buhari and especially the Office of Vice President Osinbajo and supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) moved against him, PRNigeria has reported.

According to the quasi-government information clearing platform, the agitation for Adedayo’s removal was spearheaded by a horde of pro-APC loyalists on various social media platforms.

They cited the columnist’s history of anti-government rhetoric, pointing out that it was inconsistent with the ideals of the ruling party.

Recall that a group known as APC stakeholders, on Thursday morning, had accused the Senate President of rewarding President Buhari’s enemies, after Lawan retained some aides of the immediate-past Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

At a protest march, Abu Andrew, spokesperson of the group, noted that the appointments were “glaring” reward to people who have insulted Buhari.

He said: “No doubt, the appointments are glaring reward for people who have not only insulted the person of President Muhammadu Buhari, but also severally maligned the integrity of the office he occupies.”

However, it was uthoritatively gathered that the massive pressure mounted by some influential APC South West politicians, and powerful individuals in the Presidency compelled Sen. Lawan to immediately reverse the appointment of Mr. Adedayo.

A credible source in the Presidency, who observed how the high-wire intrigue played out, said that even some elected legislators of Yoruba extraction vehemently kicked against the appointment.

The source said the pressure mounted on the Senate President since Tuesday afternoon when the news of Adedayo’s appointment broke, till yesterday afternoon, was quite immense.

He added that Senator Lawan was summoned to Presidential Villa to explain why he should offer such a delicate job to someone who is known to be an irrepressible critic of Buhari and APC.

“Several forces conspired to oust Mr. Adedayo, due to his style and writing antecedent. They were not just pleased that someone who ‘mercilessly’ vilify Mr. President will be invited to come and work for a distinguished politician in the APC central government,” he said.

The source, however, said the ‘Number Three’ citizen did not consider trivial factors such as ethnicity, religion or even party affiliation before picking Adedayo.

“He (Senator Lawan) had first conducted an interview among celebrated Nigerian journalists. He did not just wake up and appoint Mr. Adedayo. One thing those who kicked against Adedayo’s nomination failed to understand is that the Senate President finally settled for Adedayo because of his track record of performance as a one-time media aide to three former governors under PDP and APC in South-East and South-West respectively.

The Senate President took into cognizance the much-espoused criteria of competence, merit and diligence to work, before picking Adedayo, an erudite journalist,” the source added.

PRNigeria

Cadbury Nigeria pays N471m dividend to shareholders

Cadbury Nigeria Plc has rewarded its shareholders with a total dividend of N471 million for the financial year ended December 31, 2018, in line with its current efforts to create more value for investors.

Mr Atedo Peterside, Chairman, Cadbury Nigeria, made the disclosure at the company’s 54th Annual General Meeting (AGM), in Lagos on Friday.

The dividend translated to 25k per share when compared with 10k paid to the shareholders in the comparative period.

Addressing the shareholders, Peterside attributed the company’s positive growth during the year under review to success of its cost-cutting measures, effective marketing strategy and superlative performance of its various brands.

The chairman also assured the shareholders that Cadbury Nigeria would continue to sustain its dividend policy.

“We re-launched our iconic cocoa beverage drink, Bournvita, with a new improved taste, last year, in line with consumers’ tastes and preferences.

“Feedback from consumers indicate that the new Bournvita has gained wide acceptance.

“Cadbury Hot Chocolate 3-in-1 brand, our treat portfolio, recorded substantial growth, driven by its unique offering, while our gum and candy brands also recorded success in their respective categories.

“In addition, we sustained our current price competitiveness, and increased our Route-to-Market coverage/footprint in 2018,” he said.

Responding on behalf of the shareholders, Mr Boniface Okezie, National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, urged the company to continue to evolve ways of consolidating on the performance of its brands.

Okezie called on the company to explore other options, including local manufacturing of Hot Chocolate 3 in 1, which was currently imported from Ghana, to create more jobs locally.

He commended Mondelez International, the company’s majority shareholder and the Board of Directors of Cadbury Nigeria for the appointment of Mrs Oyeyimika Adeboye as the first female Managing Director of the company.
He said the appointment had restored confidence in the ability of Nigerians to lead multinationals.

He, however, charged Adeboye, who took over from Mr Amir Shamsi, to justify her elevation by sustaining the momentum and taking the company to greater heights.

Okezie also welcomed the appointment of Mr Ogaga Ologe, the company’s erstwhile Financial Controller, who was appointed as the new Finance Director.

Cadbury Nigeria Plc is the pioneer cocoa beverage manufacturer offering some of the most loved brands in the country.
Cadbury Nigeria is a 74.99 per cent-owned subsidiary of Mondelēz International, a global snacking powerhouse with an unrivalled portfolio of brands.

The remaining 25.01 per cent of shares are held by a diverse group of indigenous, individual and institutional investors.

Uncertainty as Multichoice plans to lay off 1,790 workers

 

At least 1,790 MultiChoice employees are in danger of losing their jobs as the pay-TV operator plans to restructure the company’s customer service model.

The company reportedly has a subscriber base of more than 15 million.

In a statement Friday, the company said it would cut jobs at its call and walk-in centres, adding that it has begun ‘a consultation process’.

It said the changes in the customer service model were in response to evolving customer behaviour as subscribers opt for digital platforms instead of telephone or walk-in services.

MultiChoice Group CEO, Calvo Mawela, said: “This has not been an easy decision to make but, in a business driven by advancing technologies, we must continue to drive efficiencies yet be agile enough to adapt to evolving customer needs to ensure that we remain relevant, competitive and sustainable.”

The company added that it would create new job opportunities for multiskilled staff who have expertise, skills and technological abilities to enhance the customer experience.

It said it would offer voluntary severance packages and other benefits for affected staff as part of a comprehensive support programme, in agreement with unions and employee representatives.

Earlier on Friday, Reuters reported that a South African trade union said Multichoice Group had notified workers of its intention to lay off 1,790 workers.

The employees were notified on Friday afternoon, but the union has not been officially informed, a statement by the Information Communication and Technology Union (ICTU) said.

It remains unclear Friday evening if the decision would affect Nigerian employees of the company.

MultiChoice Nigeria was launched in 1993 as a pioneering joint venture between MultiChoice Africa and Nigerian businessman and senior advocate of Nigeria, Adewunmi Ogunsanya.

According to details on its website, the company started operating with only 30 employees and since then, has grown to a team of more than 1000 people while indirectly supporting thousands of more jobs.

In servicing customers and serving their needs for great local content, Multichoice said its business’s economic impact “runs to hundreds of billions of naira.”

14,000 Nigerians returned from Libya, France

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Friday said a total of 14,036 Nigerians have voluntarily returned home under the Assisted Voluntary Returnees Programme which began in April 2017.

The Nigerians, who were stranded in Libya, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ireland, France, Gambia, Austria, Poland, Morocco and Liberia, were brought back by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the European Union (EU).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Coordinator, NEMA Lagos Territorial Office, Alhaji Idris Muhammed, made the disclosure while receiving a new batch of 137 Nigerians who returned from Libya on Thursday.

Muhammad said said out of the total 14,036 returnees repatriated so far, 12,457 were brought back from Libya.

He said : “The analysis on the total number that have been brought back indicates that 465 males and 408 females amongst those brought back had psychosocial related needs.

“Also, 454 males and 618 females are having various degree of medical needs.

“The analysis further indicates that there were 61 males and 61 females unaccompanied minors who had been reunited with their relations.

“There are 37 pregnant women brought back so far in the course of the exercise.”

The coordinator thanked the EU and IOM on behalf of the Federal Government for facilitating the return of the Nigerians and also for their efforts in reintegrating them back to the society.

On the 137 new returnees, he said they were brought back in a chartered Al Buraq airline with registration number MVTBRQ189/20.5A- WAC.

He said the aircraft landed at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at 8:20 p.m on Thursday night.

According to him, the returnees comprise of 94 male adults, three male children and three male infants as well as 34 female adults, one female child and two female infants.

He enjoined the returnees to make better use of the opportunities and enabling environment being created by government to forge ahead and become successful in life.

No harm should befall sacked Nigerian prof, UNILAG lecturers warn Ghanaian varsity

The University of Lagos (UNILAG) chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has condemned the dismissal of Austin Nwagbara, a Nigerian professor, by the University of Education (UEW), Ghana.

Nwagbara was sacked by UEW over “unethical and damning” comments he made about the country and its education system.

The professor, in a viral video, had accused the Ghanaian government of maltreating Nigerians.

The professor had urged a group of people to employ the media from Nigeria to reshape the reportage of Nigerians based in Ghana.

Shortly after this, he was arrested by the Ghanaian police for allegedly inciting the public. He was later granted bail but asked to report to the police frequently.

In a statement on Friday, Dele Ashiru, chairman of ASUU-UNILAG, said the union received news of the alleged harassment and detention of Nwagbara with anguish.

Citing article 3 and 4 of the Kampala declaration on intellectual freedom and social responsibility, the union said the professor’s opinion should have been viewed within the context of academic freedom no matter how scathing they were.

The union called on the UEW and relevant government agencies to ensure the safety of Nwagbara, warning that they would be held responsible if anything untoward happens to the professor.

“Our union ASUU-UNILAG received with anguish, the reports of harassment, intimidation, and detention of one of our colleagues Professor Austin Nwagbara who is currently on sabbatical at the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana, based on a leaked video of a meeting addressed by the erudite professor,” the statement read.

“It is the opinion of our union that no matter how scathing the vies of Professor Nwagbara may be to the authorities of the University at Winneba, the Government and the people of Ghana, the fact remains that Professor Nwagbara’s vies should be viewed within the context of academic freedom guaranteed by Article 3 and 4 of the Kampala Declaration on Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibility which states that..

“No African intellectual shall in any way be persecuted, harassed or intimidated for reasons only of his or her intellectual work, opinions, gender, nationality or ethnicity.

“Every African intellectual shall enjoy the freedom of movement within his or her country and freedom to travel outside and re-enter the country without let, hindrance or harassment. No administrative or any other action shall directly or indirectly restrict this freedom on account of a person’s intellectual opinions, beliefs or activity.’

“In the light of the above, our union condemns in absolute terms the unwarranted harassment, intimidation and illegal detention of the erudite professor.

“Our union calls on the authorities of the University of Education, Winneba, relevant government agencies and the people of Ghana to ensure the safety of Professor Nwagbara’s life and property.

“They should take notice that should anything untoward happens to Professor Nwagbara, the authorities of the University of Winneba and the government of Ghana would be held squarely responsible with its reciprocal consequences for Nigeria-Ghana relations and the Ghanaian community in Nigeria.”

 

Lagos parades LASTMA officers for alleged extortion

Lagos State Government has paraded two officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), who allegedly received gratification from a traffic offender.

The officers whose names were not revealed were summoned to the Governor’s office on Friday following a petition from a lawyer to the offender.

The two LASTMA officials allegedly received an undisclosed amount of cash into their personal bank accounts as a bribe to free the offender, who claimed to be driving on a one-way lane unknowingly.

During a fact-finding engagement with the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, the two officers admitted that they collected gratification from the offender, but claimed the offender paid the money to show appreciation.

Dr. Hamzat condemned the act, noting that LASTMA officers did not have a brief to receive gratification from members of the public for carrying out their statutory duty.

The Deputy Governor disclosed that disciplinary actions would be taken against the erring officers immediately, adding that the punitive measures would serve as a deterrent to other officers with a similar motive to extort money from motorists.

He said, “These two officials allegedly extorted money from an offender whose lawyer sent a petition to us. We have listened to their stories, but we are not convinced by their defence.

“For further action, the two officers have been referred to LASTMA for further investigation and possible disciplinary actions. The law must take its course. This effort is to inform members of the public that LASTMA is created to make life easy for all of us.

“In carrying out their statutory duties, no agency of government is allowed to harass citizens. We advise residents not to pay penalty into personal bank accounts of government officials. LASTMA and other agencies have their direct lines to lodge complaints.

“This administration will ensure people live peacefully in Lagos. We are not out to harass anybody. These two LASTMA officers will receive disciplinary actions if found guilty. They will be given a fair hearing to prove their case, but if found guilty, the law would take its course.”

The General Manager, LASTMA, Mr. Wale Musa, who was at the meeting, also warned officers against extortion, saying the agency had stepped up its monitoring activities to eliminate extortion.

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He said: “No LASTMA officer has right to issue penalty ticket. We are ready to discipline erring officers. If they misbehave, the law will deal with them. The public should report any officer through designated numbers published on our website. We don’t condone indiscipline. The way we penalise violators of traffic laws is the way we will deal with our officers too.”

Meanwhile, the government has urged members of the public to report badly behaved officials of the agency to the appropriate authority.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who gave the directive on Friday, noted that government was currently investigating various complaints levelled against officers of the traffic agency. The full weight of the law, the Governor said, would be on any government official extorting members of the public.

Tight security as Africa Cup of Nations begins

A vast security operation greeted tens of thousands of largely red-clad supporters in Cairo ahead of Friday’s opening match in the Africa Cup of Nations, with the tournament kicking off against a backdrop of terror attacks and only days after the death of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
According to local media, citing security sources, the number of security personnel involved throughout the competition will total 15,000 spanning the four host cities — Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and Ismailia — and six stadiums in use.

Heavily armed personnel and armoured vehicles are taking up positions around the grounds, three of which are in the capital, with local media reporting fans for the curtain-raiser between hosts Egypt and Zimbabwe would no longer be granted access to the 75,000-capacity Cairo International after 6.30pm (1630 GMT), three and a half hours before kick-off.

Numerous checkpoints were in place around the perimeter of the expansive venue, while drones will reportedly be used during matches to “identity” fans and take pictures that can be “transferred to the relevant authority handling stadium security to match them with FAN ID database”.

A system will also be used to track “every fan from the moment they enter the stadium until the moment they leave through the gates”, according to local media.

Set to run well into the scorching month of July, the Cup of Nations marks the first time Egypt has hosted a major sports tournament since longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak was ousted by mass protests in 2011.

In the wake of the 2013 military overthrow of his successor Morsi and led by now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was due to attend Friday’s match, Egypt has seen a surge in terror attacks targeting its Christian minority and security forces.

Morsi, its first democratically elected president, was buried on Tuesday following the ousted and jailed leader’s collapse in court and death the previous day.

A source within the Confederation of African Football (CAF), speaking on condition of anonymity, said Tuesday there was “no reason” Morsi’s death would impact the security situation in the country.

Authorities are confident the infrastructure is in place to host the continent’s largest football contest, expanded to 24 teams for the first time, but they are on high alert after attacks on tourists near the pyramids and an insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula.

A roadside bomb near the pyramids last month left 17 people wounded, just months after a similar attack in December killed three Vietnamese holidaymakers and an Egyptian tour guide.

AFP.

Penalty shootouts rules: FIFA reduces punishment as women’s World Cup enters knockout stage

With the women’s World Cup entering the knockout rounds, football’s international authorities have decided not to apply a new rule that could have led to a succession of red cards for goalkeepers in penalty shootouts.

Three times in France, goalkeepers have been shown yellow cards for coming off their lines under a heavily-criticised new rule that they must have at least one foot on the goal-line when facing a penalty.

France’s winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Nigeria and Argentina’s equaliser in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Scotland that denied the Scots a possible place in the last 16 came from retaken penalties after Video Assistant Referee (VAR) reviews deemed the goalkeepers to be marginally off their line. In both cases the goalkeeper also received a yellow card.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) granted a temporary dispensation at the request of FIFA on Friday to suspend the yellow cards during shootouts, although they will still apply at penalties during normal play.

“Both FIFA and The IFAB therefore believe that the requirement to caution an offending goalkeeper in KFPM (kicks from a penalty mark) in matches with VARs is not necessary and risks unfairly distorting the KFPM if a goalkeeper is sent off,” IFAB said in a statement.

The use of VAR has been a constant source of controversy throughout the tournament, but the Chairman of FIFA’s Refereeing Committee, Perluigi Collina, defended the rule changes and the standard of refereeing in France.

“Penalties are finally being taken in a correct way because, in the past, goalkeepers often saved them by being off the goal line,” said the Italian.

“If a law exists, referees must enforce it – particularly when tools like VAR or GLT (goal-line technology) are available.

Israeli churches rise against TB Joshua, want planned visit cancelled

Many churches in the Israeli city of Nazareth have kicked against the planned visit of TB Joshua, Nigerian televangelist and founder the Synagogue Church of All Nations.

According to Haaretz, an Israeli publication, the planned visit of Joshua has generated criticisms among the residents and stakeholders, including church officials.

Joshua is scheduled to visit the Israeli city ahead of his church’s event tagged the “Nazareth Meeting with TB Joshua,” holding on June 23 and June 24.

Some of the church leaders were quoted as saying the upcoming event is an “affront in the principles of Christianity”, asking residents to shun it.

“We beg you to not play in the hands of those organising this type of festival which is an affront to the principles of Christianity, and our national identity,” they reportedly said.

The publication said church officials meeting in Nazareth several days ago urged residents to boycott the event and clerics to avoid any mention of it in their sermons.

“We beg you not to play in the hands of those organizing this type of festival which is an affront to the principles of Christianity, and our national identity, and deals a blow to the social fabric of a city like Nazareth,” they wrote.

Church officials quoted text from the New Testament about how believers must be cautious about false messiahs who try to convince people they are performing miracles.

The publication said both Christian and Muslim leaders have kicked against the scheduled visit except for the Catholic church which argued the event should be allowed to hold just like that of of pilgrims.

The Hadash and Youth for Change parties in Nazareth were said to have also cited Joshua’s source of wealth as part of their concerns.

“We have asked to take an in-depth look at this issue, at why a city like Nazareth would receive such a person who is denied entry to many countries on grounds of criminal suspicions and given his links to the extreme right in Israel,” they reportedly said.

“What’s more, the man is known to have grown wealthy in a way that has raised many questions and therefore we view such a visit as an illegitimate step which contaminates the city and its historic heritage.

“And we absolutely reject the mayor’s claims that such an event would bring $1 million to the city and would see such a sum were it to actually materialise as an illegitimate contribution that would contaminate the city.”

FG directs immediate return of history study to schools

The Federal Government has directed all basic and secondary schools across the country to immediately implement the teaching of history as a standalone subject from the next academic calendar.

Mr Sonny Echono, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education made this known on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

The Federal Government on June 18 promised the return history to school curriculum while ensuring that all primary school teachers are trained to deliver digital literacy.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared at the launch of Education for Justice Programme that government had kick-started implementation in 12 primary and secondary schools across the six geopolitical zones and instructional classes have also commenced.

According to Echono, the directive has already been given and it is automatic that all the schools should implement simultaneously.

“By the next academic calendar, history will be taught as a standalone subject.

“It is with immediate implementation. So, definitely for the next academic year everybody will fall in line because we already articulated the curriculum and the examination should be done along those lines,” he said.

(NAN)

FIFA’s decision to oversee CAF is an embarrassment to Africa – Owolabi

Felix Owolabi, an ex-international, on Friday described the decision of world football governing body FIFA to take over the affairs of CAF as an embarrassment to the continent.

Owolabi told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos State that it was a development that should not be coming at this point in time.

NAN reports that FIFA in agreement with CAF arrived at the decision as a result of allegations of corruption and administrative hiccups.

“It’s a shame, honestly, that this is happening now. The timing is wrong. So many things are wrong. With all eyes on Africa, we don’t need this distraction.

“The spotlight should be on the players and nothing should take that spotlight away from them,” the former left winger of the then Green Eagles said.

On his expectations from the Super Eagles’ first match against Burundi, Owolabi told NAN that while the players should be full of confidence, they should however not underrate any team.

“I believe they know what they need to do, but they need to believe in themselves and be confident against any team.

“But they should also be careful because there is a thin line between confidence and underrating a team,” he said.

Owolabi, however, urged the Super Falcons to ensure that they played cohesively in the round of 16 clashes with Germany at the ongoing 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

Buhari mourns Prof Ogundipe-Leslie

President Muhammadu Buhari has joined the academia in mourning Prof. Molara Ogundipe-Leslie.

In a condolence message issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Friday, Buhari also condoled with family members, friends and professional colleagues of the cerebral scholar, literary theorist, and columnist.

The president noted that Ogundipe-Leslie’s exceptional brilliance and contribution to scholarship in Nigeria, and many countries of the world would always be remembered.

He affirmed that her expositions on gender consciousness, inclusivity and culture would always be relevant in planning for development in the country.

The President commended Ogundipe-Leslie for dedicating her life to research, teaching, and writing, particularly establishing the Foundation for International Education and Monitoring, which was focused on encouraging young women to play active roles in society.

He prayed that the Almighty God would receive the soul of the departed, and comfort her family.

NAN reports that Ogundipe-Leslie who was a Nigerian poet, critic, editor, feminist and activist, died on June 18.

Considered one of the foremost writers on African feminism, gender studies and literary theory, she was a social critic who came to be recognized as a viable authority on African women among black feminists and feminists in general.

She contributed the piece “Not Spinning on the Axis of Maleness” to the 1984 anthology, Sisterhood Is Global: The International Women’s Movement Anthology, edited by Robin Morgan .

She taught English Studies, Writing, Comparative Literature and Gender from the perspectives of cultural studies and development at universities in several continents.

Nigeria committed to ending discrimination against women, girls- Amb. Bande(Opens in a new browser tab) Ogundipe was also a Fellow of the Ebedi International Writers Residency, Iseyin, Nigeria which she attended in 2014.

Her last position was as a Professor of Englsh and Comparative Literature at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State Nigeria.

Akeredolu ‘asked’ cabinet to work against APC in 2019 polls

Sola Amodeni, former commissioner for urban and physical planning in Ondo state, says Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of the state, instructed all his cabinet members to work for Action Alliance (AA) candidates during the last national assembly elections.

Tunji Abayomi, an associate of Akeredolu, who was elected under the platform of the the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2016, was the candidate of AA in Ondo north senatorial district in the 2019 elections.

The APC did not fare well in the state during the elections as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defeated Buhari in Ondo.

This fuelled discontent against Akeredolu within the party hierarchy. The national working committee of the ruling party had accused him of anti-party activities and suspended him.

Amodeni, who is among the three commissioners the governor sacked on Monday, told select media organisations that the governor worked against the ruling party in the elections.

“He (Akeredolu) instructed us to work for Action Alliance candidates. That’s not a secret. He had cause to do that because some candidates were imposed on the people of Ondo state,” he said.

“What we would have expected was that the matter should have been resolved but he (Akeredolu) choose that line… let’s just save the rest for posterity.”

Asked if he followed the governor’s instruction and worked for AA, Amodeni said, “Well to some extent, I worked for AA. Initially, I objected but I was convinced to obey the governor… I have no cause to deny it.

Amodeni

It has come and gone, we have all learnt from that; it’s not good to impose candidates. APC didn’t hold primary elections in Ondo state, don’t let us deceive ourselves. We didn’t hold primary anywhere. The committee that came from Abuja didn’t hold any primary, they just selected some persons. At the state level here, we also wrote different names. There was no internal democracy.”

Amodeni refused to give an assessment of Akeredolu’s administration, saying it’s too early since he just left the government.

“When it comes to assessing the government, I won’t be in position to do that because I just left. I want the public to decide and assess for now. I will be able to do that probably after few months,” he said.

“It’s like somebody that is playing on the football pitch, he may not know the performance of his team until he goes on recess or sits back and watch the playback of the match.”

Amodeni said during his time as a commissioner, he did not know what the state got as allocation from the federal government.

The politician, who also served under Olusegun Mimiko, Akeredolu’s predecessor, added that he did not award a single contract from the time he was appointed till he was asked to leave.

“During the time of Mimiko, the quantum of money coming to this state can’t be compared to what comes now. As a commissioner under Mimiko, you can award a contract to the tune of 1 million naira and management committee can award 2 to 3 million naira contract but in this dispensation, I don’t know of others, but I doubt if any commissioner can award N1 naira contract because the fund is not even there. So I can’t really blame Mr Governor in totality because of paucity or fund.

“From beginning till the time I left, my salary was N297,000 monthly. Cabinet members of Ondo state receive the least in Nigeria. I had to pay my driver, my personal assistant and fuel my car. Most of the times, I use my personal car because there is no official car. As a commissioner, I didn’t know what the state got as allocation. I can’t even say I know it at all.”

We’ll ban Almajiri system of education, says FG

The federal government is considering proscribing the Al-majiri system of education in order to tackle insecurity.

Babagana Monguno, national security adviser, who disclosed this at the end of the national executive council meeting in Abuja, said the ban is to ensure that no child is deprived of basic education.

Almajiri is a system of Islamic education practiced in northern Nigeria. Almajiri was derived from an Arabic word, rendered “al-Muhajirun” in English transliteration, meaning a person who leaves his home in search of knowledge.

Monguno said Almajiris were becoming a huge problem to the society, adding that many of them end up becoming “criminals, drug addicts and willing tools in the hands of those who have very dangerous intentions”.

He said: “I also briefed council on the drivers of insecurity which are unemployment, under-employment, poverty, drugs abuse, rising population.

“I also made suggestions regarding the way forward which include, employment creation and reduction of poverty, and being the culture of impunity and looking at stabilizing certain areas of the country by giving rise to affordable education.

This is very important because in most parts of the country we have a lot of children roaming around without any formal education. And as the president has mentioned earlier, we need to make education compulsory and free for every child in the country because the problem we face today are rooted in the fact that a lot of people who have been denied the opportunity basically the opportunity to get formal education end up over the years, there is accumulation of large mass of human beings who end up becoming criminals, drug addicts and so on and so forth. And they end up becoming tools to be used by elements in the wider society who have very dangerous intentions.

“And therefore, it is very important to proscribe certain groups running around under the guise of maybe getting some kind of education that is not really formal.”

Asked to mention the groups to be proscribed, Monguno said: “The group I spoke about on illiteracy is the Almajiri. Ultimately, government will have to proscribe this Almajiri phenomenon because we cannot continue to have street urchins, children roaming around, only for them in a couple of years, or decades to become a problem to society.

“We are not saying that they are going to be contained in a manner, that you might think we want to do something that is harmful to them, no. What we want to do is to work with the state government to enforce the policy of education for every child.

“It is every child’s right, his entitlement so long as he is a Nigerian. If you recall what happened in the Western region, I think in the 50s and the 60s, when the premier made education free and compulsory at both primary and secondary levels. This is what we are looking at. Let me tell you something, one of the element of national power is the population of a country. You don’t just rely on your armed forces, the location and so on and so forth. Population is a very critical element of national power. It is from the population that you get a critical mass.

“Imagine the child that was 10 years old on 27th July, 2009, in 37 days time, it will be exactly 10 years when Boko Haram erupted, he will be 20 by then. We are not talking of one child, there are millions of them. So, when we look at population, as an element of national security, don’t be surprised if out of every 100 Almajiri, you have two neurologists, four architects, two lawyers, and so on and so forth. You have to start thinking short and long term to overcome this problem, you require collective efforts. You can’t carry this load and drop it on top of the government, even government should not work as a one legged tripod, it has to be three legged. We have to deal with the issue of these children, Almajiri, regardless of how people feel about it. We must work in sync with the rest of international community, how many countries that operate this kind of system.

While responding to a question on the $1 billion approved for equipment to fight Boko Haram, Monguno, who coordinates the nation’s security architecture, said he could not tell if the money had been released.

“The $1billion I believe that you are talking about was actually earmarked for the military, not for security agencies, like the intelligence community and the paramilitary agencies. It was earmarked for the military. As much as I know, whether it was given to them, I really don’t know,” he said.

Metuh: I received N400m from Jonathan … not Dasuki

Olisa Metuh, former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says he received the N400 million traced to him as alleged proceeds of money laundering from former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Testifying before a federal high court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, Metuh denied collecting the money from Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser.

Metuh is facing trial for alleged diversion of the N400 million received alongside his company, Destra Investment Ltd, in the buildup to the 2015 general election.

According to Daily Trust, Metuh said he had met with Jonathan where he promised to make the money available to him.

At the resumed hearing, Metuh was quoted as saying the former president made the money available to him “to carry out the national assignment.”

“Up till May 29, 2015, no individual or group had ever questioned Dasuki’s integrity not to talk of been charged or arrested for any unlawful act,” Metuh reportedly said.

Okon Abang, presiding judge, subsequently adjourned the case till June 24 for further hearing.

In 2017, Dasuki told the court he cannot recall having any dealings with the former PDP spokesman regarding the money.

Airtel to sell shares to Nigerians at N454 per share

Airtel Africa Plc, the second largest telecommunications group in Africa is set to sell its shares to Nigerian investors at between N363 and N454 per share.

The company in an offer prospectus obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos said the shareholders’ offer was part of its global offer to raise 750 million dollars.

The company said the shares would be offered to high networth investors and institutional investors through book building.

Book building is a process used by companies to raise capital through public offerings, both initial public offers (IPOs) or follow-on public offers (FPOs), to aid price and demand discovery.

The offer price is determined after the bid closure based on the demand generated in the process.

It said the company’s shares would be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and London Stock Exchange (LSE) after the book building.

NAN reports that the company plans to offer 501.125 million and 716.406 million shares to Nigerians.

The directors, according to the prospectus, believes that offering the shares in Nigeria and listing on the NSE would encourage operational discipline through the establishment of an independent capital structure and governance framework following the successful turnaround of the Group’s operations.

It added that it would introduce an optimal capital structure and enable improved leverage for greater flexibility in pursuing growth opportunities going forward.

The prospectus stated that listing on the exchange would provide access to the capital markets and diversification of the Group’s capital base to support its continued growth.

The company noted that the net proceeds of the offer would principally be for debt reduction.

The issuing houses for the offer are Barclays Securities Nigeria and Quantum Zenith Securities Investments Limited.

It said the application had been made to the NSE for the Ordinary Shares to be admitted to the official list of the NSE.

“An application for the Ordinary Shares of the Company to be listed on the official list will be done pursuant to the cross-border listing requirements of the NSE.

“It is expected that the Nigerian Admission will become effective on 4 July 2019 and that unconditional dealings in the Ordinary Shares will commence on The NSE on 4 July 2019.

“The Nigerian offer is subject to the satisfaction of conditions, which are customary for transactions of this type including Nigerian Admission becoming effective on 4 July 2019.

“There shall be no underwriting arrangement for this offering,” it said.

NAN reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 18, confirmed that the company had filed an application for listing on the exchange.

A senior management source who pleaded anonymity confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He noted that the application was filed by the company this June, adding that, the commission was presently looking at it in line with its rules and regulations.

The source said SEC would continue to protect the interest of investors in the market in line with its mandate to regulate and develop the capital market.