Sunday , 22 September 2019
Latest
Home » 2019 » September » 08

Daily Archives: September 8, 2019

Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna governors sign security MoU with Nigerien counterpart

The governors of Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara states have jointly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Governor of Maradi region in Niger Republic on best approaches to addressing the security challenges in their states.

This was contained in a statement issued by Yusuf Idris, the Director-General, Press Affairs to the governor of Zamfara and made available to journalists on Sunday in Gusau.

He said that the meeting was called at the instance of the governor of Maradi region, Zakari Oumoru.

Mr Idris added that the meeting was attended by Governors Bello Matawalle Aminu Masari and Aminu Tambuwal of Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto states, respectively.

He said that the meeting, which was held at the Government House, Maradi, dwelt on trans-border crimes, especially banditry, kidnappings and cattle rustling in the four states which share common borders.

Mr Idris stated that the participating states agreed to maintain good neighbourliness and cooperation among themselves, while jointly addressing the issue of security.

He said that the MoU agreed to uphold the renewed efforts of the three Nigerian states and Maradi of Niger Republic in curbing the menace of armed banditry within their borders.

Other areas covered by the MoU included their resolve to join hands in the fight against banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping and armed robbery within the affected borders for the purpose of having peaceful states.

In his speech at the meeting, Governor Matawalle described peace, dialogue and reconciliation as necessary tools of curbing the insecurity situation in the four states.

He explained that his administration had adopted dialogue with bandits after very wide consultations and later created contacts with men of the underworld, which led to a joint meeting with all the groups.

10 killed as armed men attack Ebonyi community

Armed persons on Saturday night attacked a community in Ebonyi State killing at least 10 people.

The reason for the attack and suspected attackers were yet to be identified at the time of this report.

The attack occurred at Ukwuagba in Mgbo community in Ohaukwu Local Government Area.

The Chairman of the local government, Clement Odah, announced the attack when he received the deputy governor of the state, Kelechi Igwe, at the council headquarters.

The deputy governor was in the council to hold a stakeholders’ meeting over the incident.

Mr Odah told the deputy governor that before Saturday’s attack, four other persons travelling to Effium from neighbouring Enugu State also went missing in the area

The four missing persons were on their way to a burial ceremony in Effium on August 27 when they went missing.

He said they were among 30 persons travelling for the ceremony when they had an accident at resthouse junction along Enugu-Abakaliki Expressway.

Advertisement

SGF Campaign AD

According to him, all the travellers were brought to Ezzamgbo General Hospital for treatment. But the four of them were in a hurry to get to the burial so they left without the others.

He said that when the other 26 left for the burial, they noticed a roadblock at Agbaesa in Mgbo where some youth tried to intercept them. But they managed to bulldoze their way through the roadblock and got to the burial.

However, they did not see the other four and since then their whereabouts have remained unknown.

Mr Odah said that while the council and stakeholders were trying to investigate the matter in conjunction with security agencies, Ukwuagba Community in Mgbo was attacked on Saturday night.

“Yesterday, Ukwagba community in Mgbo was attacked and nine persons were killed and later another person died. They were massacred in their homes,” he said.

Deputy Governor Speaks
Reacting, Mr Igwe frowned at the fresh violence and threatened to arrest and imprison anyone in the area found complicit in the matter.

He gave stakeholders of the area 24 hours to produce the killers of the 10 people and the missing persons in the area.

“I am very embittered in my spirit. The first civilian governor from this state and the grandfather of Ebonyi State is from this local government area. And right inside here, I can see about seven past local government area chairmen.

“It is a shame on all of you. We did not come to paint pictures or clap for you. Do not deceive the government. It is pure falsehood, you know what is happening to yourselves, you are killing yourselves.

“You should know people who are causing trouble in your domain. The traditional rulers should be able to fish out people who are causing trouble. We have not come with the message of comfort but to sound a note of warning.

“We are tired of hearing sentimental stories of what is happening in Ohaukwu. What we want is action. Some people wrote an undertaking to the government. Most of you are here and for those who are not part of it, we will make you part of it. Because they had agreed that if anything as tragic as this happens in Ohaukwu again we should hold them responsible.

“All the people that signed that undertaking must produce those people that killed and those that waylaid the people going to Effium. You can set up a vigilante to do that. Enough is enough. We must stop playing games,” he fumed suggesting the violence was due to communal conflicts.

Troubled Community
The reasons for Saturday night’s violence in Mgbo community is yet to be ascertained.

However, the community has in the past been enmeshed in intermittent communal clashes with their Agila neighbours from Benue State.

The clashes which have spanned over 100 years are said to have caused hundreds of deaths.

Also, over a decade ago, the Mgbo also had land disputes with their Effium neighbours with many lives lost on both sides. The state government has, however, managed to contain that dispute.

There were also unconfirmed reports that families of the missing four persons had threatened to retaliate if their relatives were not provided.

JAMB announces admission deadlines for public, private varsities

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has started the processes for placement of candidates into all tiers of tertiary institutions for the 2019/2020 academic session.

JAMB’s Head, Media and Information, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Lagos.

According to Benjamin, the period slated for the admission processes as agreed during a policy meeting with stakeholders on June 11, at Gbongan, Osun, remains sacrosanct.

“The board has commenced the processes for admission for the 2019/2020 academic session in earnest.

“The first choice admission for public universities commenced from August 21 and will end on November 16.

“For private universities, it will be from August 21, 2019, to February 15, 2020.

“The second choice admission for public universities will be from November 17 to December 17, 2019,” he said.

Benjamin told NAN that the projection for 2019 was to ensure that candidates utilise more available spaces, unlike in 2018 when there were over 500,000 unutilised available spaces in all the tiers of tertiary institutions.

He said that this development was contrary to the general narrative that there were no access to tertiary institutions, with about 60 per cent of available spaces unutilised.

Meanwhile, the spokesman said that the attention of the board had been drawn to reports in some quarters against the principles of transformation of scores by the board.

According to him, this reports are misleading and borne out of misconception or ignorance.

“In every selection examination, marks of candidates are obtained as raw scores and then processed into usable scores.

“What this means is that, if, for instance, JAMB examines about two million candidates in 23 subjects, it is only natural that you normalise these scores so that the candidates can be rated on the same scale.

In the process of normalising these scores, candidates who have scored zero in a particular subject can also have a value of a mark which may not be up to 20.

“In doing this, the psychometric formula globally used by all examination bodies gives even zero a value,” he said.

Benjamin added that score transformation was not peculiar to JAMB.

According to him, it is done in countries such as India, Kenya and United Kingdom.

“The natural thing to do by anyone who does not know how this is carried out is to research about what normalisation means.

“In any case, in the course of transforming the worth of any candidate’s score, results are not lost.

“If the raw score indicates that a candidate has come on top in an examination, after the normalisation process, the candidate’s position will remain intact.

(NAN)

 

Mugabe to be buried September 15

The Zimbabwean government plans a state funeral for longtime ruler Robert Mugabe in a sports stadium in Harare next Saturday, with a burial ceremony a day later, it said in memo sent to embassies on Sunday.

Zimbabweans have been confused about when they would get to pay their last respects to Mugabe since his death in a Singapore hospital on Friday after a long illness.

Mugabe had dominated Zimbabwean politics for almost four decades from independence in 1980 until he was removed by his own army in a November 2017 coup.

Revered by many as a liberator who freed his people from white minority rule, Mugabe was vilified by others for wrecking one of Africa’s most promising economies and ruthlessly crushing his opponents.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who worked closely with Mugabe for decades before helping to oust him, granted Mugabe the status of national hero within hours of his death.

The memo sent by Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to embassies in Harare and seen by Reuters said the funeral would be in the National Sports Stadium but did not specify where the burial would be.

It said heads of state would be expected to leave the stadium immediately after the funeral ceremony because officials would be busy with preparations for the burial.

The Zimbabwe Independent newspaper reported last month that Mugabe didn’t want to be buried at National Heroes Acre – a site reserved for the country’s heroes – because he felt bitter about the way he was removed from power.

Xenophobia: Over 400 Nigerians ready for evacuation from South Africa —Mission

The Nigerian Mission in South Africa has said that no fewer than 400 Nigerians have indicated interest and registered to be evacuated from South Africa following the recent xenophobic attacks.

Nigeria’s Consul General in Johannesburg, Godwin Adama, said this in a telephone interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja.

Adama noted that Air Peace had offered to airlift those willing to return home sequel to the attacks on Nigerians and their businesses by South Africans.

According to him, the first batch of Nigerians who are willing to return home will be repatriated on Wednesday.

“We have more than enough for that aircraft. Over 400 Nigerians have already registered; more are still coming,’’ he said.

The Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, Kabiru Bala, also said that Nigerians had responded positively in good numbers.

Bala said that the mission was equally responding to the needs of those willing to return, especially those who had issues with their documents.

“We are documenting them. Those without travel documents, we shall provide them with Emergency Travel Certificates.

“There are other governmental procedures that we must observe. Relevant agencies of government in Nigeria must be informed and must be ready to receive the returnees.

“Hard work is now going on at the High Commission and Consulate in this regard. As soon as all procedures and relevant protocols are observed, the return is assured and guaranteed.

“A little more patience will be helpful. The response of Nigerians is just amazing,’’ Bala said.

Obaseki fired the only commissioner I nominated – Oshiomhole

Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo state, removed the only commissioner he nominated into his cabinet.

In an interview with Channels Television, Oshiomhole said the governor took the action after a reconciliatory meeting between him and his successor.

He said four other governors attended the meeting.

The duo have been in the news in recent times over the crisis in the Edo. The misunderstanding between them led to a split in the Edo house of assembly.

A faction of the assembly is said to be loyal to the governor while the other is on the side of the APC national chairman.

There are reports that both men fell apart as a result of Oshiomhole’s opposition to the governor’s reelection bid but the APC chairman told Channels that he has nothing to gain by opposing the governor’s second term ambition.

“We have no argument over money or appointment… In the meeting we held with four governors, including Governor Bagudu, I asked the governor, how many commissioners did I nominate in your cabinet. He agreed that I only nominated one person out of more than 20 commissioners,” Oshiomhole said.

“Not many Nigerians will believe that because for me I was out of government and I have convinced myself that the day I step out of government, that is it. After that first meeting, the governor decided to remove that one commissioner along with seven others. But that is not my business.

“The governor can never tell you that I have interfered in his choice of projects and so on. The only thing I feel a bit worried about is that some of the projects we started together have been abandoned. There is no way to solve disagreements without talking to the aggrieved parties.

“Let me assure you. This governor is not under threat. It is those who make money from crisis, those I call merchants of confusion, who can tell the governor that he wants to be impeached. What will I gain if Godwin does not run a second term?”

Armed South African protesters hit the streets, ask foreigners to leave

A fresh round of violence is currently building up in the streets of Johannesburg, South Africa, as armed protesters are out again, demanding that foreigners should return to where they came from.

According to Sowetan Live, a South African newspaper, the protesters, who carried weapons such as knobkerries, are waiting to be addressed by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, a notable politician and Zulu tribe leader.

This is coming one week after attacks on foreigners sparked reactions across the continent.

Nigeria, Rwanda and Malawi had pulled out of the World Economic Forum which held in South Africa while Zambia cancelled an international friendly match with South Africa over the violence against foreigners.

In reprisal attacks in Nigeria, South African-owned businesses were targetted. An MTN office was burnt down in Ibadan, Oyo state, while another office of the telecoms giant was vandalised in Abuja.

MTN had to shut its offices nationwide. Shoprite outlets were also targetted in Lagos, forcing the company to halt its operations across the country.

The South Africa High Commission in Nigeria also suspended operations.

During an assessment tour of some of the affected places, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos state, said 5,000 people were currently out of jobs as a result of the reprisal.

The police announced that 125 persons were arrested in connection with the violence while South African authorities said over 400 persons were arrested.

But amid the rift between Nigeria and South Africa, Naledi Pandor, South African minister of foreign affairs, said many Nigerians in her country are involved in drug trafficking. A comment which irked Geoffrey Onyeama, her Nigerian counterpart, who accused her of fuelling xenophobia.

In its report on Sunday, Sowetan Live said the leadership of hostel dwellers in Johannesburg has asked the government to engage the citizens about finding solutions to the clashes with foreign nationals.

Siphiwe Mhlongo, chairman of hostel headmen (izinduna) in Gauteng, was quoted as saying: “We are not happy with how government has tried to resolve the problems that the country is facing. The government must come speak to the people and explain what it is going to do with the foreign nationals who are here illegally.”

He said the residents were angry at jobs being take by foreign nationals, unhappy about drugs and RDP houses being owned by foreigners.

“Everyone who is in South Africa has that feeling that foreign nationals must go back home. But we don’t say foreign nationals must be beaten up; we are leaders,” he said

Yahaya Bello picks Edward Onoja as running mate

Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state, has picked Edward Onoja, his chief of staff, as running mate for the November 16 governorship election.

According to a report by The Cable, an aide of the governor, who did not want to be quoted, disclosed this.

The aide said the governor submitted Onoja’s name to the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during his trip to Abuja earlier in the week.

“The chief of staff is the running mate of His Excellency in the forthcoming election. An official announcement would be made soon,” the governor’s aide said.

“Mr Onoja’s name was submitted to the national working committee of the party when His Excellency visited the party headquarters on Thursday.”

Onoja neither responded to calls nor text messages when TheCable tried reaching him on Sunday evening.

Kingsley Fanwo, spokesman of the governor, was evasive when contacted.

“The party will confirm that at the appropriate time,” he said via text message.

An ally of Bello, Onoja is the most influential member of the governor’s cabinet. Their relationship predates the emergence of the governor in 2016.

Aged 49, the indigene of Emonyoku Ogugu in Olamaboro local government area of Kogi, is a Geologist.

He sought the ticket of the former All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) for a house of assembly seat in 2011.

He was the chief strategist of “Yahaya Bello Campaign Organization” in 2015 and the state director of the Kogi Youth Arise Group, which worked for the success of President Muhammadu Buhari, still in 2015.

Sanwo-Olu and I plan to toll Lagos/Ota/Abeokuta, two other roads —Abiodun

The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun has disclosed that the Lagos and Ogun State Governments are planning to commercialise three federal roads: Ikorodu-Ogijo-Sagamu, Epe-Ijebu- Ode and the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta roads.

Abiodun said his government in collaboration with Lagos State government is planning to engage in Public-Private Partnership in the construction and rehabilitation of the three roads.

The governor said this while speaking with members of Abeokuta Club during his investiture as honorary patron by the club.

 

Abiodun said the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and himself had met and agreed to commercialise the roads by allowing the private investors fund and toll the roads so as to ease transportation of people from Lagos to Abeokuta.

Abiodun, however, said N26 billion debt is hanging on the state government’s neck over the construction of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway since the contract was signed in 2001.

Abiodun explained that the government is expected to pay over N1 billion every year to service the debt incurred on the road.

He said, “I met with my counterpart, Sanwo-Olu and we decided that as a matter of urgency we need to take over some roads which include; Epe-Ijebu road, Ikorodu-Sagamu road and Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road so as to reduce the population of the people passing the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

“I and Sanwo-Olu met with the president to hand over those three roads to us, we sat down with the President and explained things to him.

“He told us to put it in writing, we wrote a joint letter which has our two logos on it, we both signed it and I personally handed it over to Mr President, and a few weeks ago, the president handed over the road to us.”

He added, “What we intend to do is to commercialise these roads and turn it to a private-public-partnership and we have people that are waiting to enter a PPP with us so that they will fund the road, they will toll it and this would allow the people to move from Lagos to Abeokuta with ease.”