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Daily Archives: February 1, 2018

Benue Killings: Your observations are “incorrect”, Buhari tells Saraki

President Muhammadu Buhari has taken a swipe at Senate President Bukola Saraki in a recent letter to the top lawmaker on the lingering crisis in Benue and other states in central Nigeria.

In the January 25 letter addressed to Mr. Saraki, Mr. Buhari enumerated the actions so far taken by his government towards resolving the crisis that has left hundreds dead within the past one month alone.

The president said his government has taken a series of actions that included ordering security chiefs to move to the epicentre of the crisis while senior cabinet officials were asked to find political solutions where possible.

Mr. Saraki had earlier last month led the Senate to reach a string of strongly-worded resolutions about the crisis and the failings or outright inability of the Buhari administration to forestall it.

The lawmakers’ resolutions followed the spate of killings in Benue State, including the January 1 suspected herdsmen rampage that left more than 70 villagers dead and the January 8 killings of police officers in the state.

On Wednesday, Governor Samuel Ortom imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew following police’s confirmation that seven Fulani travellers had been lynched and set alight in Gboko, an industrial town about 90 kilometres southeast of Makurdi, the state capital.

After listing all his interventions, which ranged from a deployment of special forces and a broad-based consultation with key parties to the violence, Mr. Buhari said it was wrong for the Senate to accuse him of doing too little about the crisis.

“To infer, therefore that nothing has been done is incorrect,” Mr. Buhari told Mr. Saraki in the letter which was read on the floor of the Senate Thursday. “The police are strenuously working to apprehend the rest of the culprits of these heartless killings.”

A spokesperson for Mr. Saraki, Yusuph Olaniyonu, declined comments about the president’s jab at his principal Thursday evening.

“There is no question I can take on that,” Mr. Olaniyonu said. “The letter was read on the floor of the Senate and the appropriate response has been issued.”

The president first ordered the Inspector-General Ibrahim Idris to move to Benue in the second week of January, a directive he emphasised in his letter to Mr. Saraki.

“Furthermore, I have instructed the Inspector General of Police to relocate to Benue State, redeploy forces to the most sensitive areas.

“The Federal Government is initiating additional measures to address these and other security challenges, alleviate the consequences of these attacks and forestall reoccurrence,” the president said.

Still, the president said, key elements of the Senate’s resolutions would be looked into for prompt action.

“The Senate Resolutions itemised in your letter will be taken into consideration and I am instructing all relevant MDAs to factor them in their work,” the president said in the letter which was made available to journalists by presidential spokesperson Femi Adesina Thursday afternoon.

Lagos City Marathon 2018: LASTMA announces traffic diversion

As part of efforts to ensure a hitch-free Lagos City Marathon scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 10, 2018, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has announced traffic diversion on the affected routes during the race.

A statement issued on Wednesday by the Authority, said that the event will kick-off at 6am from the National Stadium, Surulere and terminate at Eko Atlantic City, Victoria Island, thus necessitating traffic diversion.

The statement advised motorists and commercial vehicles to use alternative routes as listed below:

•        From Eko Bridge, motorists shall be diverted through Costain to connect Ebute-Metta, Orile, Nigerian Breweries and Bode Thomas through Apapa Road (now Moshood Abiola Way).
•        From Alaka Estate, motorists shall be diverted through Iponri or Iponri Estate.

•        Motorists from Masha inward journey to Stadium shall be diverted to Shitta Roundabout for onward movement through Falolu and Adeniran Ogunsanya Roads to their various destinations.

•        Motorists from Apapa/Orile-Iganmu to Funsho Williams shall be diverted through Apapa Road to continue their journey.

•        On Ikorodu Road, traffic from Ojota inwards Fadeyi, Funsho Williams is allowed; there will be a restriction for motorists who want to link Gbagada through Town Planning Way, Ilupeju to Third Mainland Bridge (Marathon Route).

•        From Apapa – Oshodi Expressway (i.e from Mile 2) motorists shall be diverted through BOC Gases/Armed Forces Resettlement Center on the service lane through Agege Motor Road. Traffic will also be diverted through Town Planning Way before Anthony–Oke. (Note that Gbagada inward 3rd Mainland Bridge will be closed to traffic from Anthony–Oke).

•        From Old Toll Gate to Alapere, Ogudu, motorists shall be diverted through Gbagada, Oworonshoki-Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and navigate their journey to destinations.

•        From Ajah to Ozumba Mbadiwe Road through Lekki, traffic shall be diverted through Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase I.

•        Motorists shall be diverted through Alexandra Road from Cable Bridge while Bourdillon Road will be temporarily closed to traffic.

•        From Awolowo Road, motorists shall be diverted through Falomo Bridge to connect Ozumba Mbadiwe Road while Falomo Roundabout inwards Bourdillon will be temporarily closed and Akin Adesola Street inwards Bar Beach will also be temporarily closed to traffic.

•        From Bonny Camp to Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, traffic shall be diverted through Old Mr. Biggs Junction to Kofo Abayomi Street.

The statement added that all adjoining streets and feeder roads to the dedicated routes of the race would be temporarily closed to ensure the safety and security of participants.

It also implored Lagosians plying the affected routes to exercise patience and obey traffic management officials deployed to the identified routes for a successful exercise.

900 workers trapped in South African goldmine

 At least 900 miners have been trapped down a goldmine in South Africa’s Free State province, a union said on Thursday.

The miners got stuck on Wednesday night due to a power outage, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) said, calling on the company involved, Sibanye-Stillwater, to step up rescue efforts.

Forty miners have since been rescued, but 900 remain underground, the statement said.

Sibanye-Stillwater features among the world’s top 10 gold producing companies, according to its website.

Its Beatrix mine, where the trapped workers are, has shafts at depths of between 700 metres and 2,200 metres below the surface.

“Mining is very unsafe and mine workers risk life and limb daily,” the AMCU said.

“AMCU views this incident as extreme given the sheer number of workers involved.”

Calls by dpa to Sibanye-Stillwater went unanswered on Thursday.


Lagos inaugurates Nigeria’s first sexual offences court

The Lagos state government on Thursday inaugurated four special courts for the prosecution of sexual offences and corruption cases.

Two of the courts will adjudicate on economic and financial crimes, while the other two will try sexual offences.

The sexual offences court is the first of its kind in Nigeria.

While inaugurating the courts, Akinwumi Ambode, the state governor, lauded Walter Onnoghen, chief justice of Nigeria, for initiating the project at the federal level.

Ambode, who was represented  by Oluranti Adebule, his deputy, said the establishment of the courts would facilitate expeditious hearing and trial of sexual and financial related crimes.

According to Adebule, the state had recorded over 400 sexual related cases in the last three years.

She added that the cases would get proper attention with the newly-inaugurated courts.

Adebule said the state was collaborating with the British Council under the rule of law anti-corruption programme to provide technical support for the anti-corruption fight.

“I am particularly glad about the designation of two courts to handle sexually related offences as it complements our fight against sexual abuse,” Adebule said.

“These sexual offences courts will have trained and experienced prosecutors to interact with survivors, provide support and ensure timely prosecution of the cases.

“Between 2015 and now, the DSVRT and Mirabel Centre have handled over 400 cases of sexual offences while 376 cases are being prosecuted in the various courts.

“With a dedicated court now in place to handle these cases, l am sure that these cases will get the attention they deserve.

“We have awarded the contract for the expansion of the operations of the DNA and Forensic Centre and Chemistry section.

“This will automatically place Lagos as one of the leading centres for forensics in Africa.”

Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) was among dignitaries present at the inauguration.

South Korea Winter Olympic sets record for free condoms

This month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea will set a record even before the first athlete comes out of a starting gate, organisers said Thursday — for the largest number of free condoms handed out at a Winter Games.

Over little more than two weeks from the opening of the Olympiad next Friday, a total of 110,000 contraceptive sheaths will be distributed, 10,000 more than at Vancouver in 2010 or Sochi in 2014.

With 2,925 athletes taking part, it equates to an average of 37.6 condoms per sportsman and sportswoman.

But they will be made available to all participants.

“Baskets with condoms will be placed at both men’s and women’s toilets” at athletes’ villages in Pyeongchang and Gangneung, the main press centre, the media village as well as medical centres, the organisers said.

Rubber manufacturer Convenience Co has donated 100,000 of the condoms, saying it did so for “a successful hosting of the Winter Olympics and the prevention of the spread of the HIV virus”.

But spokesman Chung Geun-Sik said many of them would be taken home unopened as souvenirs.

“We don’t expect the athletes to use them all,” he added.


Obasanjo releases more details about Coalition for Nigeria — FULL STATEMENT


Ladies and Gentlemen and members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, I welcome you to this simple but important ceremony of my registering as a member of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement and I thank you for being here.

Last week, I issued a statement which I did not do lightly or frivolously but out of deep concern for the situation of our country. I gave an expose on some aspects of our situations as I have observed them. I also took liberty to offer advice politely knowing fully well that my advice could be heeded or may be ignored.

However, heeded or not, I strongly believe that Nigeria cannot continue with business as usual. So, I proffered a way out or a way forward.

If the instruments we have used so far in our nation-building and governance since independence have not served us well, it is imperative that we should rethink and retool. It was Einstein who stated that it would amount to height of folly for anybody or any group to continue to do things in the same way and expect different results.

Coalition for Nigeria Movement is proposed as the new direction to mobilise our population for unity, cooperation, development, rule of law, employment, law and order, justice, integration, peace, security, stability, welfare and well-being. In these regards, special attention and space must be given to youths and women, who in most cases, have been victims and underlings.

I am particularly happy that yesterday, men and women (of all ages) of like minds joined hands to launch Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM). Among many other things that CNM will do is to raise standards generally but particularly standards of political leadership and governance.

Like all countries, Nigeria has many challenges. That, by itself, is not what we should worry about. What should matter is how, when and with what instruments we address or fail to address these challenges or create more problems.

Let me emphasise important areas, programme, priorities, or processes for improved attention. To start with, we seem to have taken nation-building for granted. Nation-building must be given continued attention to give every citizen a feeling of belonging and a stake in his or her country. For instance, the federal character principle, as espoused in our constitution, was to guide the leadership to search for competent holders of major offices to be distributed within the entire nation and avoid the concentration in a few ethnic hands or geographical places as we currently have in the leadership of our security apparatus. To avoid such non-integrative situation, we have the National Assembly and the Federal Character Commission, both institutions which must raise alarm or call for correction of actions by the executive that violates the spirit of our constitution. In like manner, the spate of violence, criminality, organised crime, insurgency and terrorism have not received sufficient proactive ameliorative responses through transformational leadership – a determined leadership that brings cohesion and wholesomeness to the polity. Nobody and no group should feel excluded in his or her own country. Inclusion and popular participation must be visibly pursued in terms of politics, the economy and our overall social life.

I am happy to be a member of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement. The movement is a pressure point towards good governance. This is the commencement for our popular and grassroots association. Of course, the membership will be free to collectively decide on whether CNM becomes a political party. If the Movement decides to transform itself and go into partisan politics, I will cease to be a member. And as a member for now, I accept all the conditions attached to membership of the Coalition.

We must promote the CNM and mobilise membership all over the country including membership from the Diaspora.

This is an opportunity for women and men, especially youths who have hitherto been feeling marginalised and helpless to go all out and bring friends and families into the CNM fold.

The CNM will remain a popular socio-economic Movement open to all Nigerians who believe in the greatness of Nigeria and are ready to contribute to it.

Some people have started worrying about the problem of personalities, in which some, in other efforts allocate positions to themselves. This Movement is not about personality or personalities; but about platform and system. Our system so far has not given us what we must have. For the first time we are building a platform from bottom-up. The Movement’s base is the grassroots and the people – all the people. When the platform is formed and the new system is put in place, the Movement may decide to sponsor/support candidates or transform itself into a political machine for that purpose.

A socio-economic popular Movement needs to be the new vehicle to give hope to the youths, dignity and encouragement to women and security, confidence, and a promising future to all Nigerians. It must work to bring about a new democratic and efficient Nigeria. The Movement must speak up boldly and bluntly about the truth but politely in accordance with African culture. The Movement will also act collectively with political awareness, social responsibility, sustained and sustainable economic development and progress. Timidity and cowardice must not be part of its make-up or culture and neither must there be indifference. He who keeps quiet, inactive and indifferent in the face of bad act is an accomplice to that act. Self-interest, self-centredness and selfishness must be put aside. National interest must be paramount. The Movement will teach what it believes and practice what it teaches.

It is necessary to make it clear that this movement does not regard itself as a third force. It sees itself as a popular movement that can accommodate all Nigerians irrespective of their political interest or affiliations and will propel Nigeria forward. Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians to be made right and the Coalition with others of the same view and like minds will leave no stone unturned to actualise God-given potentials of our country. The Movement will spearhead process, programme, policies and priorities to make Nigeria a great country playing its expected roles within West Africa, Africa and the world.

Nigerian youth will be emboldened, empowered, have employment, and play meaningful and responsible roles in the leadership and governance of the country in all ramifications. Nigerian women will have dignity, responsibility and equal consideration with men in the affairs of Nigeria.

The Movement is a means to an end. The end is Nigeria, unshackled, united, dynamic, strong, secure, cohesive, stable, and prosperous at home and respected outside, and as result, able to play decisive roles assertively within the comity of nations. A Nigeria of hope, aspiration and assurances which belongs to all with no sacred cow nor sacrificial lamb is what we want. My Nigeria, your Nigeria and our Nigeria with enchanting present and secure and glorious future.

Join the Movement to build a new Nigeria that will be in the hands of God.

I see a new Nigeria in the hands of God, says Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says he has seen a “new Nigeria in the hands of God”.

Obasanjo said this on Thursday when he registered as a member of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM).

The elder statesman said the movement would raise the standard of political leadership and governance.

“Coalition for Nigeria Movement is proposed as the new direction to mobilise the country’s population for unity, cooperation, development, rule of law, employment, law and order, justice, integration, peace, security, welfare and well-begin,” he said.

“I am happy to be a member of the Coalition for Nigeria  Movement. The movement is a pressure point towards good governance. This is the commencement of our popular and grassroots association.

“It is necessary to make clear that this movement does not regard itself as a third force. It sees itself as a popular movement that can accommodate all Nigeria irrespective of their political interest or afflictions and will propel Nigeria forward.

“Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians to be made right and the coalition with others of the same view and like minds will leave no stone unturned to actualise God-given potentials of our country. The movement will spearhead process, programme, policies and priorities to make Nigeria a great country playing its expected roles within West Africa, Africa and the world.

“I see a new Nigeria in the hands of God and we will all be witnesses of the emergence of a new Nigeria.”

The former president said he would withdraw his membership of the movement, if it decides transform into a political party.

“If the movement decides to transform itself and go into politics, I will cease to be a member. And as a member for now, I accept all the conditions attached to membership of the coalition,” he said.

Obasanjo hinted about the coalition in the letter he wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari last week.

Implementation of APC restructuring report will move Nigeria forward, says Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan says the sincere implementation of the recommendations of the All Progressives Congress (APC) restructuring committee will move the nation forward.

The committee led by Ahmad Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, submitted its report last week.

Speaking when Seriake Dickson, governor of Bayelsa, led a delegation to the former president on Thursday, Jonathan said the implementation would also encourage inter-ethnic harmony.

According to Fidelis Soriwei, spokesman of Dickson, Jonathan said the issues which the committee deliberated upon were exhaustively treated during the 2014 national conference.

He said it is a good idea that the APC set up a committee to look into the grey areas which featured prominently in the deliberations of the 2014 conference.

He commended Dickson for playing the role of coordinating the thoughts of the Ijaw people on the sensitive issue of restructuring.

The Nigerian leader said the governor must be appreciated for ensuring that the Ijaw nation did not speak with discordant tones on the issue of restructuring.

“I am pleased with the caliber of people who came with the governor to brief me on the issue of the recommendations of the APC committee on restructuring,” he said.

“I must say that I am happy with the role being played by the governor on this issue of restructuring.

“Ethnic nationalities must not speak with discordant tones on such pertinent issues. I am pleased that Dickson is coordinating the Ijaw nation.

“I am also pleased that the APC set up a committee to look into the grey areas to come up with these recommendations. When we were in government, we came up with a confab and several issues were addressed which if sincerely implemented would encourage relationship in the country. A sincere implementation of the recommendations on these grey areas will make the country to move forward.”

On his part, Dickson said he led the delegation for a consultative meeting and to brief him on the steps the Ijaws had taken to build bridges of understanding in the pursuit of what is right in the country.

He explained the meeting focused on the issue of restructuring and the moves being made to bring about a just, fair and egalitarian Nigerian society.

Dickson noted that the recommendations contained in the report of the APC committee were the same as those contained in the 2014 confab.

“As you all can see, this is a high-powered delegation of Ijaw elders and leaders from all the zones from Ijaw nation,” he said.

“I am leading them to meet and consult with our respected leader, the former president and also to brief him on steps we are taking; steps we will continue to take to unify our people to build bridges of understanding and to support all that is right and good, not only in this region, but across the nation.

“As you are aware, there is a raging issue of restructuring and moves made to bring about a fairer, egalitarian, stable and prosperous Nigeria. And here, in this state and in this region, we are proud to have our leader, the former president and so today we came to brief him about the steps we are taking to study all the reports, including, the reports of the 2014 Confab which was rightly empanelled by Mr. President and it is gratifying to note a number of the recommendations given by the APC panel are the same conclusions that the 2014 Confab arrived at.”

The meeting was a follow up to an earlier one at Kiagbodo, the country home of Edwin Clark on January 20, 2018.

Buhari nominates Edward Adamu as CBN Deputy Governor

President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated Mr. Edward Lametek Adamu as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and forwarded same to the Senate for confirmation.

A statement issued by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Femi Adesina, said the nomination was in accordance with the provisions of Section 8(1) (2) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) (Establishment) Act 2007,

The statement reads: “This was contained in a letter dated January 26, 2018 to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

“Mr. Adamu, from Gombe State, replaces Mr. Sulaiman Barau, from Zaria, Kaduna State, who retired in December 2017.

“The nominee, who has spent 25 years in the CBN, was appointed in 2012 as Director of Strategy.

“He became Director, Human Resources in 2016, from where he was nominated as Deputy Governor.”

Nigeria, Niger to build oil refinery ‘to tackle smuggling’

In a major bid to frontally tackle the menace of cross-border fuel smuggling, Nigeria and the neighbouring Niger Republic plan to build an oil refinery.

Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s minister of state for petroleum resources,  led a Nigerian government delegation to Niamey, the Nigerien capital, on Wednesday to discuss a firm agreement for the design and construction of the refinery to be strategically located at a border town between the two countries.

Kachikwu, according to a statement by his ministry, said the move would be “in line with the commitment to collaboratively work across the region to ensure definitive solutions to [oil] sector challenges”.

The collaboration, according to Kachikwu, willbe “expressed through the construction of a refinery in the border town between the Republic of Niger and Katsina State, Nigeria and a crude oil pipeline from the Republic of Niger to the new refinery”.

He held talks with president of  Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, and the country’s energy minister Foumakoye Gado.

“Bilateral and technical agreements will be signed in coming days,” the statement revealed.

The capacity of the proposed refinery was not made known.

The group management director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Maikanti Baru, had recently raised the alarm that the rising fuel smuggling across  Nigeria’s borders was negatively impacting on availability of petroleum products in the country.

According to Baru, even with petrol supply across the country averaging 55 million litres a day since the beginning of December 2017 — well above the projected consumption rate of 35 million litres per day — the country still experienced shortages because much of the volumes were being smuggled out of the country, as smuggling syndicates cashed in on the obvious petrol price differentials between Nigeria and neighboring countries to make illicit profit.

Nigeria is Africa’s top crude oil producer with output averaging around 2.05 million bpd including condensates.

The OPEC member country has four state-owned refineries with combined nameplate capacity to refine 445,000 bpd of crude, but the poorly maintained facilities hardly produced above a quarter of their capacity.

Niger Republic, on the other hand, sits on some of the world’s largest uranium deposits but has few oil producing fields located in the southern part of the country.

In November 2016, NNPC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with with Savannah Petroleum Company, a UK-based independent oil producer, to supply crude from the latter’s Agadem oil field in Niger Republic to Kaduna refinery.

The agreement then envisaged that an 800-km pipeline will be constructed to transport  crude from Agadem field to Kaduna refinery.

The deal came at the height of militancy in the Niger Delta which saw many pipelines transporting crude to the 110,000 Kaduna refinery in the north, bombed.

JUST IN: Court backs senate’s rejection of Magu as EFCC chairman

The federal high court sitting in Abuja says the senate acted within the law when it rejected the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

According to the judge, JT Osgood, the senate is not a rubber stamp body and was only acting in compliance with the EFCC law when it screened and rejected Magu.

The judgment was made available to journalists in Thursday at a press briefing.

Magu was twice rejected as EFCC chairman by the senate, but he has remained in acting position since November 2015.

More to follow…

JSS 3 pupil in court for allegedly kidnapping eight-year-old cousin

The police on Wednesday arraigned a Junior Secondary School 3 pupil in a Wuse Zone 2 Magistrates’ Court, Abuja, over the alleged kidnap of eight-year-old Innocent Sani, his cousin.

The prosecutor, Mr. Kufreabasi Ebong, alleged that the defendant kidnapped Sani on December 18, 2017.

The prosecutor said the defendant, 18-year-old Ebenezer Istifanus, demanded N40m ransom, but was paid N160,000.

He alleged that the defendant enticed the boy out of the custody of his guardians, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

He said the offence contravened Section 273 of the Penal Code.

Istifanus, however, denied committing the offence, saying he was wrongly accused.

He said he was a Junior Secondary School 3 pupil of Government Science School, Wamba, Nasarawa State.

The defendant said he was fixing electrical faults in the shop of a former neighbour when he was arrested by men of the Nigeria Police Force.

The magistrate, Mr. Emenisi Ebiwari, described the case as “delicate” because it involved members of the same family.

He ordered that the defendant be remanded in police custody and adjourned the case till February 1, 2018, for further hearing.

Legendary music producer, Quincy Jones has 22 girlfriends at 84

Quincy Jones might be 84, but old age hasn’t stopped his womanizing ways.

In a GQ interview published on Monday, Jones revealed that he has romantic partners around the world — some as young as 28 — and they’re all aware of each other.

He told the magazine: ‘I got 22 girlfriends… Hell yeah. Everywhere. Cape Town. Cairo. Stockholm—she’s coming in next week. Brazil—Belo Horizonte, São Paulo, and Rio. Shanghai—got a great girl over there whew.

The famous producer has six daughters and a son through ex-wives Jeri Caldwell, Ulla Andersson, and Peggy Lipton, and former girlfriends, Carol Reynolds and Nastassja Kinski.

Jones further disclosed that he keeps things honest with his numerous partners about his womanizing ways: ‘Yeah, I don’t lie. And it’s amazing—women get it, man. Don’t you ever forget they’re 13 years smarter than we are. Don’t you ever forget it.’

The Thriller producer clearly has an appetite for women, but when asked if he’d date someone his own age, he told the magazine: ‘Hell no! You see me with an 84-year-old woman? Are you crazy?’

When pressed as to why not, he responded with: ‘Why not??? Why? For what, man? There’s nothing…there’s no upside. You gotta be kidding. I got me some technology out there that keep fat and old away from here. Buzzes if they’re too old.’

Jones continued: ‘But you’d be surprised…. These women, the young ones, are aggressive now. Oh my God, they’re fearless, man. All over the world.’

While the Off the Wall record producer prefers to date younger women, he admitted there are some age restrictions in place.

He said: ‘Well, my daughters gave me new numbers, because they kept saying, ‘Dad, you can’t go out with girls younger than us.’ I said, ‘Y’all are not young anymore….’ So the new numbers are 28 to 42. They gave them to me.’

Despite his old age, the music legend said his desire for sex has not gone away: ‘Not to me. Hell no. Never. Uh-uh.’

And while he doesn’t plan to stop being a playboy, Jones thinks his punishment for his womanizer ways was to have gorgeous daughters.

He said: ‘When you’ve been a dog all your life, God gives you beautiful daughters and you have to suffer. I love ’em so much. They’re here all the time.

Even though Jones is dealing with the punishment of having attractive daughters, he told the magazine that he wouldn’t change anything about his past.

He told GQ: ‘Je ne regrette rien de tout.

Basketball player, wife killed in high-speed crash

Former NBA forward Rasual Butler and his wife were killed in a single-vehicle rollover crash in Los Angeles early Wednesday.

The Range Rover crashed at around 2.30am local time in the Studio City area and left a swath of damage along a major thoroughfare.

Los Angeles police said in a statement that Butler was speeding before his vehicle jumped a curb, hit three parking meters and a concrete wall and then flipped over twice.

The vehicle came to rest inside a shopping mall parking lot.

Butler, 38, and Leah LaBelle Vladowski, 31, were pronounced dead at the scene, said Ed Winter, assistant chief investigator with the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Autopsies were pending.

Butler was drafted in 2002 by the Miami Heat out of LaSalle University in his hometown of Philadelphia.

He played for eight NBA teams during his 13-year career, including the Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs. He had career averages of 7.5 points and 2.4 rebounds.

Butler’s death sent shock waves through the NBA.

“This is beyond a sad day for the Miami Heat Family,” team President Pat Riley said in a statement.

“Rasual was one of the greatest people we have ever had play for us; a great player, teammate and better person.” Indiana Pacers President Kevin Pritchard expressed a similar sentiment.

“In his one season with us, Rasual was the consummate team player and a great role model for our younger players on how a professional should prepare and act, while being a positive influence on everyone who associated with him,” he said.


Duke, Oyinlola in Abeokuta as Obasanjo declares membership of Coalition for Nigeria Movement

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has unveiled the Coalition for Nigeria Movement in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital.

The ex-president had said he would register as a member of the movement.

Accompanied by Donald Duke, former governor of Cross River state, and Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former governor of Osun state, Obasanjo filled a membership registration form at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) secretariat in Oke-Ilowo, Abeokuta.

Duke and Oyinlola had supervised the launch of the movement in Abuja on Wednesday.

Obasanjo had recommended the coalition as solution to the leadership crisis in Nigeria.

In a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, Obasanjo had said neither the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) nor the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) could give Nigeria the leadership it deserves.

“We need a Coalition for Nigeria, CN. Coalition to salvage and redeem our country. You can count me with such a movement,” the elder statesman had said.

Obasanjo spent his two terms as a democratic president under the PDP and even became chairman of its board of trustees in 2007.

But in the buildup to the 2015 election, he gave up his membership of the former ruling party, announcing that he had quit partisan politics.

“From today on, in the presence of all us and with your support, I am not going to be in any political party in Nigeria. I am no more a politician but a statesman both internally and externally,” he had said after instructing Sunmonu Oladunjoye, chairman of the PDP in his ward, to tear his membership card.

Ekwueme was a deputy I trusted – Ex-President Shagari

President Shehu Shagari has described late Alex Ekwueme, as a vice president he trusted while their service to the nation lasted.

Mr. Shagari also said that because of the deep trust he had for Mr. Ekweme it was difficult for mischief makers to drive a wedge between them.

The Second Republic president of Nigeria said this in a tribute made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Enugu.

The deceased was a close ally of Mr. Shagari and first democratically elected vice president of the country between 1979 and 1983, under the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN).

“Dr. Ekwueme was a deputy I trusted. We understood each other well and it was impossible for mischief makers to drive a wedge between us.

“He was a loyal lieutenant and because of his excellent contributions to the success of our administration during our first tenure, I had no hesitation to nominate him to run with me again for second term,” he said.

Mr. Shagari recalled how their administration was infamously terminated through a military coup in December 1983.

The former president said that the deceased was a very courageous man, who suffered several months of imprisonment and house arrest with a number of politicians who served in the Second Republic.

“This great democrat dared the military government of Gen. Sani Abacha, by demonstrating against the infamous agenda to transmute from military head of state to civilian president via a contrived political transition programme.

“Taking a great risk, Dr. Ekwueme, together with other nationalists under the aegis of G34 doggedly withstood the military rule of Gen. Abacha, and later mid-wife the People’s Democratic Party (PDP),” he said.

Mr. Shagari in the tribute, described the late Mr. Ekwueme, as a selfless leader and a contented man not given to crass corruption and primitive acquisition of wealth.

“That was why in spite of the ordeals he went through in the hands of the military and the campaign of calumny against his person, his character remained impeccable and unimpeachable.

“He has served Nigeria diligently. He has done his bit. In life he was a great man; a patriot; a statesman. Even in death his many achievements and greatness cannot be diminished.

“It is considered socially inappropriate to speak ill of the dead. So often those who pay tribute to the dead shower on them undeserved praise. I stand not to give undeserved eulogy to this hero.

“Whatever I say here today, I have said of him in his life time,” the former president said.

Mr. Shagari said that though his worthy lieutenant was no more, “I will continue to relish the memory of the good times we shared together.

“Dr. Alex Ekwueme has finished his own race and has gone to rest.

“It is left for those of us still alive to emulate the virtues he exemplified especially serving humanity with the fear of God,” Mr. Shagari said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the former vice president died on November 19, 2017 in a London hospital and would be interred on February 2 in his home town, Oko in Anambra.

Barcelona are a better team without Neymar – Lionel Messi

Barcelona star forward, Lionel Messi, has suggested the departure of Neymar has made Barcelona a more better side.

Neymar became the world’s most expensive footballer when he left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain last summer, after the Ligue 1 powerhouse activated his £198m buyout clause.

Many expected the Camp Nou outfit to struggle, but that has not been the case, with Messi revealing his absence forced them to change their style of play, and they’ve not looked back since.

Speaking to World Soccer’s February “Without Neymar we are more balanced,” Messi told World Soccer‘s February edition.

“His departure meant a change in our way of playing, we lost a lot of attacking potential, but it helped in the defensive sense.

“We are currently very well armed in the midfield; this makes us stronger in defence.” Neymar has to date featured across 16 matches, missing six, during which he has registered 17 goals and created 58 chances, 11 of which have been converted by a teammate.

In one of the PSG most recent outings, an 8-0 rout of Dijon at home, Neymar bagged four goals and subsequently became the second Ligue 1 player after compatriot Carlos Eduardo, then of Nice, to receive a perfect ’10’ rating by the esteemed publication L’Équipe.

Troops destroy Boko Haram tactical ground, recover battle tank, others

Nigerian Army on Wednesday said its troops destroyed Boko Haram’s tactical ground, Camp Zero, in the ongoing clearance operation to dislodge remnants of Boko Haram insurgents in Sambisa Forest.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Sani Usman, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Maiduguri on Wednesday.

Usman, a brigadier general, said the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole under the operation DEEP PUNCH II, recorded tremendous success in the ongoing military offensive against the insurgents.

He said the troops recovered a battle tank, guns, ammunitions, religious scriptures, gas cylinders and assorted fertilisers, ostensibly for making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

The army spokesperson added that the troops also destroyed seven gun trucks, several vehicles, motorcycles and makeshift shelters used by the insurgents.

“Troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE have been making tremendous progress in the ongoing clearance operations: Operation DEEP PUNCH II.

“On 30th January, 2018, the advancing troops had contact with Boko Haram terrorists and engaged them.

“During the encounter, they were able to recover an Eagle Main Battle Tank (EMBT), 1 VBL, 1 AK-47 Rifle, a Police Teargas Rifle, religious books, several gas cylinder and bags of fertilizer.

“Other items destroyed by the gallant troops included seven Gun trucks, four trucks, four Hilux vans, one Prado Jeep, one Golf car, one Mitsubishi pick up, a bus, several motorcycles, makeshift shelters, tents and household items.”

We are practising ‘democrazy’ in Nigeria, says Sagay

Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof Itse Sagay has described Nigeria’s system of government as ‘democrazy’, NAN reports.

He said Nigeria is not yet ready for liberal democracy while lamenting that people in positions of authority often abuse all the privileges of rule of law, human rights and democracy.

Sagay called on the federal government to apply strength and discipline in operating the democratic dispensation to speedily develop the country.

According to NAN, Sagay said this on Wednesday at the 27th convocation lecture of the Federal University of Technology Minna. The lecture was titled ‘Nigeria: The Travails of An Animal Kingdom’.

He said Kuan Yew applied the method in Singapore and rescued the country from poverty, misery, chaos, and underdevelopment by being firm and determined in the use of power.

“Nigeria is not yet ready for operation of a liberal democracy. All we have done is to abuse, abuse and abuse again; all the privileges of rule of law, human rights and democracy are conferred on us by the constitution,” he said.

“We must now utilise our creative powers to operate our constitution without giving room for all these abuses.”

“We need democracy, not democrazy we are operating now where all members of a legislative chamber will abandon the chamber and accompany one other member, charged with criminal offence, to intimidate a lawful tribunal.

“We cannot have a situation in which the legislature, in a feat of petulance, rejects every bill, refuses to confirm executive nomination, postpones consideration of the budget and refuses to consider it because the executive will not be dictated to regarding the officials it appoints to carry out executive responsibilities.

“We cannot tolerate a situation in which 30-60 Senior Advocates of Nigeria accompany a colleague under trial to court in order to intimidate the trial judge. That is gross misconduct on the part of senior advocates.”

Sagay advised that “Nigeria should stay with President Muhammadu Buhari and vice President Yemi Osinbajo” if the country was to get to the promise land.

“Buhari and Osinbajo have absolute integrity; if we don’t use them now, I don’t know when next we will have leaders like them,” he said

Ekiti sets up its own ‘EFCC’

A bill for the establishment of Ekiti Economic Crimes Commission (EECC) has scaled second reading at the state’s house of assembly.

The executive bill was sent to the noise by Ayodele Fayose, governor of the state.

If passed, Ekiti will be the first state in the country to have an independent body charged with the responsibility of investigating economic crimes.

Writing via his Twitter handle, Fayose said is in line with the tenets of a federal system of government, which Nigeria practices.

He wrote: “A bill for the establishment of Ekiti Economic Crimes Commission (EECC) that I sent to the house of assembly was today, sent to the house committee on public accounts and anti-corruption.

“It has passed second reading.

“Nigeria is a federation and we must run it like one.”

This comes a day after a federal high court in the state held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) lacked powers to investigate finances of a state.

Taiwo Taiwo, the presiding judge, had said only the house of assembly and the auditor-general of a state were legally empowered to monitor and investigate the finances of a state.