Boko Haram: Baga Military Commanders May Face Court-Martial

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Read Time:1 Minute, 45 Second

 The Nigerian military has given a strong hint that the Commanders, officers and soldiers responsible for Baga debacle, where newly acquired sophisticated weapons were abandoned to advancing Boko Haram terrorists who took over and ransacked the town early this month.

This hint was given on Friday in a statement signed by the Director of Defence Information (DDI), Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, saying that the affected personnel who are part of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) must account for the seeming lack of commitment and professionalism.

Following the loss of Baga, THISDAY reported that the DHQ was disappointed at what they saw as a calculated attempt by some elements within the military to sabotage the operation in the North East.

Accordingly, they set up a probe panel to ascertain the fall of the strategic town, barely two days after delivery of new weapons to the units.
Consequently, Olukolade has confirmed that the "Nigerian officers in key command positions of the MJTF are in the process of accounting for their actions leading to the loss of weapons, men  and location in their area of responsibility in the mission area.

"This is a normal military procedure in major operations or after encounters. The essence is to extract and collate relevant information for subsequent missions."

According to him, the probe “could also lead to or determine appropriate disciplinary action where necessary".

In a related development, the Defence spokesman said that  an extensive mopping up operation to search for arms or stranded terrorists and other casualties was ongoing in Michika, Adamawa State, after troops sacked the terrorists that had been operating in the town and its environ.

He said that the assault on terrorists’ main positions reported by THISDAY, was concluded on Thursday as many of them died in the combat.
Olukolade also revealed that troops who sustained injuries in the operation were receiving necessary medical attention.

He said that other troops are continuing the pursuit of those who are on the run from the town, adding that normalcy had been restored in the town.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Debate: APC Shielding Buhari’s Intellectual Laziness, Says Fani-Kayode

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Read Time:4 Minute, 36 Second

 Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential Campaign Organisation said on Friday that the decision by the APC not to participate in the presidential debate being organised by the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) was simply to shield from Nigerians and the international audience its candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari’s “intellectual laziness and inability to constructively engage contemporary national issues in a live television and radio debate.”

The presidential candidate of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Chief Dr. Chekwas Okorie also described the decision of the former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) not to participate in the presidential debate as a great disappointment.

Director of Media and Publicity of the Campaign Organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode stated that the APC knew that General Buhari “will flunk it if he is subjected to the rigours of debate on issues of national governance and development.”

Fani-Kayode said he was aware that the APC had already expressed its concerns, when approached by an international news channel for a debate, about the intellectual acumen of General Buhari and had assured the news channel that it was only comfortable with its vice presidential candidate, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who has capacity to feature brilliantly on the programme.

Fani-Kayode said: “We have just read a report in the media credited to the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation that the party would not allow its candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, to participate in the radio and television presidential debate organised by the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).

“The APC accused the organisers of the debate of unhidden bias and campaign of calumny by some key organisers of the programme against the corporate political interest of the party and its candidates.

“Whilst we will not bother ourselves with the many reasons adduced by the APC, we wish to state that we see the APC decision as an attempt to shield its presidential candidate from displaying his intellectual laziness and inability to constructively engage contemporary national issues in a live television and radio debate.

“We had envisaged that the APC would be reluctant to expose General Buhari to the rigours of a live television debate because the opposition party knows that its candidate will flunk it. If the APC truly believes that it is a party of progressive intellectuals as it claims it should allow General Buhari to prove that at the debate.

“Should the APC fail to participate in the debate, it would also show the disdain both the party and its candidate have for the Nigerian people, denying them the opportunity to make informed choices on the basis of what each candidate will articulate as propositions on issues that will be raised.

“We are convinced that General Buhari does not have what it takes to sustain a coherent argument on germane issues of governance and development.

“We challenge General Buhari to a debate on any national and international medium of mass communication and our candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan will be ready to participate.

“On the other hand, President Jonathan’s running mate, Vice President Namadi Sambo is also ready to participate in the debate and any other debate. Our presidential candidate and his running mate will not raise flimsy and escapist excuses such as “unhidden bias” and the like, since we believe that they are well-rounded intellectuals who have been prepared by their experience in office to answer any question under the sun on the governance of our nation.”

UPP chides Buhari over boycott of presidential debate…

The presidential candidate of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Chief Dr. Chekwas Okorie yesterday described the decision Buhari not to participate in the presidential debate as a great disappointment.

Okorie in a statement said the presidential debate was a unique event in the current development of democracy in Nigeria that should be encouraged and not boycotted.

"The news that the APC presidential candidate, General Buhari, will not participate in the scheduled debates is a great disappointment,” Okorie said.
In the statement signed by the Director-General of his campaign organisation, Dr. Ugorji Okechukwu Ugorji, the UPP flag-bearer urged Buhari, "to reject his advisors’ voices and show up for the debate".

Among the reasons given by the APC for boycotting the presidential debate organised by Nigeria Election a Debate Group (NEDG) debates scheduled for February 8, 2015 was the composition of its board.

However, Okorie said he did not find the rationale given by the APC for withdrawing from the debates convincing.

The UPP Presidential candidate said: “It is an encounter that the UPP candidate had looked forward to because the match-up was consistent with independent polling around the country that identified President Jonathan’s PDP, General Buhari’s APC, and Chief Okorie’s UPP as the three most serious contenders in the highly anticipated general elections to choose Nigeria’s next president for a four-year term.

"The Chekwas Okorie Presidential Campaign Organization (COPCO) believes the leadership of the most significant and largest democracy on the African continent should not be acquired by avoiding what may be difficult questions. My Vice Presidential candidate, Barrister Bello Umar (SAN) and I are ready for the debates

“I urge my compatriot, General Buhari, to reject his advisors’ voices and show up for the debates.  That is what the nation and the international community expect of him.”

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: Jonathan Not President of Ijaw Nation, Says PDP

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Read Time:5 Minute, 3 Second

 The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday cautioned Ijaw leaders threatening war over the second term bid of President Goodluck Jonathan and added that Jonathan was not the President of the Ijaw nation alone, “but the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Also, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Prof Rufai Ahmed Alkali, debunked allegations by the All Progressives Congress, APC, that the Presidency and the PDP were involved in surreptitious schemes to postpone the February 14 Presidential elections.

The National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Olisa Metuh, who cautioned the Ijaw leaders during an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja, also expressed optimism that if the general election were to hold today, the party would win over 64 per cents of the total votes.

The party also warned its members and supporters against making provocative statements in their course of supporting the re-election of the President.

Metuh said: “Though the PDP should not be held responsible for all their (Ijaw leaders) comments, we caution them to be mindful of what they are saying, especially as it concerns the unity of the country. PDP is a national party.
Though the President is from Bayelsa State, but he could be loved more by the people of Anambra State than the people of Bayelsa State.  The President is not the President of Ijaw nation alone; he is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Even yesterday in Yola, the President said that he received more votes from the people of Adamawa State than he received from his home state, Bayelsa State. He said that Adamawa State gave him more votes than Bayelsa State, so he is not the President of the Ijaws alone.”

The National Publicity Secretary of PDP also cautioned other supporters of Jonathan to adhere to the presidential directives of ensuring that all campaigns were based on issues and not casting aspersions on candidates.

“The various support groups of the party should be cautious of what they say and ensure that they follow the dictates of the founding fathers of PDP. There is need to respect the sanity of individual privacy and human dignity and avoid issues that are personal to the families of the candidates.

“There is the need to maintain decency and ensure that campaigns are issue-based. This is how we intend our campaigns to be.”

On the evaluation of the campaigns of the party, the spokesman said it had surpassed more than 70 per cent and so far, “if the votes are cast today, the PDP would be winning with more than 64 percent of the total votes in all the elections, including the presidential election.”

Metuh who slammed the APC for making empty promises, dismissed them as unrealisable dreams.

“APC said that they would create three million jobs and pay benefits to the unemployed people. But the PDP is asking: How will they finance these projects that they are promising? These are nothing but empty dreams. We view these promises as mere mirage. The campaigns of the PDP have exposed their mirage and the insincerity of their campaigns.

“The APC said that they would end insecurity and insurgency in the country within three weeks and PDP would like to ask: Did the APC start the insurgency. Are they magicians or voodoo politicians?”

The PDP spokesman said Buhari was already weary of the campaigns and willing to pull out, stating that his body language was indicative that he was tired. According to Metuh, “It is because of the body language of Buhari that he is tired that the APC is accusing the PDP of plotting to shit the presidential election. The body language of Buhari is that he is willing to concede defeat; that is why the APC is claiming that PDP wants to shift the election.

Alleged plot to postpone elections unfounded, says Presidency…
Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Prof Rufai Ahmed Alkali has debunked allegations by the APC that the Presidency and the PDP were involved in surreptitious schemes to postpone the February 14 Presidential elections.

In a press statement issued in Abuja, Alkali said rather than the Presidency and PDP, it is the APC through their members and supporters that had been doing everything possible to frustrate the conduct of a free and fair electoral process.
He alleged that the APC had been breaching the Abuja Peace Accord which all the presidential candidates subscribed to with impunity.

He emphasized that Jonathan had been receiving unprecedented support since he embarked on the nationwide campaign and “he is fully prepared for the election with the PDP.”

Alkali added: “From our tours and the unprecedented outpour of goodwill, we are confident of a wider margin of victory than ever before. We are ready and fully prepared for this election.

“We wish to assure Nigerians that the President is committed to a peaceful and successful conduct of the February 14 polls and will not be distracted by tissues of lies and cocktails of deceit from people who have run out of ideas on how to move our country forward.”

February Election Must Hold, Benin Monarch Insists…
Meanwhile, the Benin monarch, Omo N’ Oba N'Edo Uku Akpolokpolo said in Benin that protagonists pushing for the postponement of the February 14 general election were only calling for anarchy, insisting that election must take place as scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

He also warned those making inflammatory statements to desist from heating up the polity while predicting that the election will be peaceful in spite of the beating of drums of war by politicians.

The Oba spoke at a press conference through the Benin Forum, an apex body of the Benin people. It was addressed by its Chairman, Chief David Edebiri.

The forum expressed satisfaction with the way and manner the major political parties in Edo South Senatorial District have conducted themselves.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: S’Court Frees Lebanese Jailed for Unlawful Importation of Firearms

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Read Time:5 Minute, 53 Second

 The Supreme Court has freed Mr. Talal Ahmad Roda, the only Lebanese who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for unlawful importation and storage of prohibited firearms in Kano.

This is coming on the heels of another Supreme Court judgement approving the resumption of trial of former Aviation Minister, Professor Babalola Aborisade and others for alleged forgery and corrupt enrichment.

The apex court quashed Roda's conviction and sentence after holding that the Federal High Court in Abuja which convicted him had no jurisdiction to do so.
With this judgment, all the suspects have now escaped punishment despite the fact that firearms were unlawfully imported and stored in Nigeria, giving credence to the allegation making the rounds that the prosecution bungled the case.

Roda, was on November 29th, 2013 sentenced to life imprisonment by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, having been found guilty of conspiracy.
In setting aside the sentence and conviction of Roda, Justice Musa Muhammad who delivered the court's lead judgment with which four other justices concurred, said that since the alleged offences were committed in Kano, the trial ought to have taken place at the Kano division of the Federal High Court.

"In my considered view, the decision of the Abuja Division of the trial court to try an offence which took place in Kano and bears no relationship whatsoever with the offence in Abuja having not stemmed from any provision of the enabling statutes, is manifestly perverse.

"By virtue of Section 45(a) of the FHC Act and the similar provisions contained in section 64 of the Criminal Procedure Act, the appellant could only be tried by the Kano division of the trial court within which territorial expanse the offence was committed.

"The absence of any evidence to suggest any understanding between the appellant and others in Abuja or a link between the storage of the firearms at Kano and those in Abuja further disentitle the Abuja Division's assumption of jurisdiction under sections 45(b)-(e) of the FHC Act and or the similar provisions in the criminal Procedure Act."

His Lordship also held that Roda was not charged under any known law. According to him, the offence of conspiracy is not contemplated under Section 1(14) (a)(i) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 Laws of the Federation 2004.

Justice Muhammad said: "It is trite that where the prosecution fails to charge an accused person for an offence known to law, an appeal against condition under the incompetent charge will succeed.

"In the sum, the appeal succeeds. The proceedings of the lower court and that of the trial court it purports to affirm are hereby set aside. The conviction and sentence of the appellant, consequentially are hereby quashed."

The trial judge at the High Court level had discharged and acquitted Mustapha Fawaz and Abdallah Thahini on the 16 count charge filed against them.
The court also discharged Amigo supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park “as no concrete evidence was established against the two organisations linking them to terrorism.”

The trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, held that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubts that the discharged persons were terrorists.

He further held that going by Nigerian law, it had not been established that the Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah was a terrorist organisation and that the court could not hold to the contrary.

Justice Ademola who reviewed all the 16 charges preferred against the three Lebanese, freed Fawaz and Thahini while Roda was convicted on Count 8 and 9 which bothered on conspiracy.

The court however noted that some aspects of the investigation were shady.
The judge also held that the prosecution failed by the evidence brought before the court to establish a case of terrorism against the accused persons.
Specifically, the court held that the ammunition seized from No 3 Gaya Road, Kano ought to have been brought to the court or the photographer who took the picture should have been brought to the court.

The judge said that better still, the prosecutor should have brought an application to move the court to the site in Kano.

The court held that failure to do this by the prosecution made the evidence brought inadmissible.

The judge also noted that the witness brought by the prosecution who conducted the search confessed that he was neither a forensic nor a ballistic expert.

The court further ordered that both Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park, all in Abuja be unsealed with immediate effect.

He added that the 61,170 US dollars seized from the 2nd accused be returned to him and that all other personal properties seized from the discharged persons and their relatives be returned to them forthwith.

It will be recalled the Federal Government had on July 29 arraigned the accused persons for terrorism and over link with Hezbollah military group.
They were also accused of act of terrorism and illegal firearms after a large arms cache was discovered in the residence linked to the suspects in Kano.
They were further accused of plotting attacks against Western and Israeli targets in the country. They had all pleaded not guilty.

Says Trial of  Aborisade, Others Must Go On…
The Supreme Court has ordered the resumption of trial of former Aviation Minister, Professor Babalola Aborisade and others over alleged forgery and allegedly corrupt enrichment.

Aborisade and others were charged before an Abuja High Court in Maitama, Abuja by the Federal Government on allegation of collecting bribes.

The Supreme Court order was contained in its judgment yesterday on an appeal filed against the decision of the Court of Appeal, Abuja on an earlier appeal by the former minister.

Aborisade, who is standing trial with a director of Nigerian Airspace Management Authority (NAMA), T.A. Dairo, and two others, had appealed the decision of the trial court to admit in evidence, a statement made by Dairo.
The Court of Appeal upheld his appeal, prompting the Federal Government to appeal to the Supreme Court.

In unanimous judgment yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld the appeal, upturned the decision of the Court of Appeal and directed prompt resumption of the trials that had been stalled for over one year.

Justice Kumai Bayang Akaahs, who read the lead judgment wondered why Aborisade appealed against a ruling that was not directed against him.

He noted that the ruling was on whether or not to admit the statement by the third accused person (Dairo) and not his (Aborisade's) statement.

The court, in an earlier judgment also set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal in the appeal filed by Dairo and others in relation to the same ruling of the trial court, which admitted his (Dairo's) statement in evidence.

The apex court held that from evidence before it, the trial court was right to have held that the statement was made voluntarily.

It ordered the trial court to re-admit the statement and proceed with the trial.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: 14,000 PVCs Snatched By Hoodlums in Rivers, Says INEC

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Read Time:2 Minute, 57 Second

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said hoodlums forcibly snatched about 14,000 Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) from officials of the commission during the collection exercise in Rivers State.

The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mrs. Gesila Khan, made the disclosure while speaking to journalists in Port Harcourt on Friday.

She said some of the cards were stolen from local government collection centres where the PVCs were deposited at the close of the collection exercise to enable the rightful owners pick them up at their own time before the elections.

Khan also said over 50,000 PVCs would be distributed to their owners before the general election, adding that more than 80 per cent of the registered voters in the state have collected their PVCs.

She stated that her office received 2,990,056 PVCs and distributed 1,869,379.
The resident electoral commissioner, who expressed dismay at the action of the hoodlums, expressed regret that Rivers State recorded one of the highest cases of stolen PVCs in the country.

Her words: “I am appealing to Rivers people because we have lost a lot of cards. We have lost more than 14,000 PVCs and it is one of the highest figures in the federation.

“All the cards that are being snatched are useless and meaningless because we are going to use a new system called card readers.  Your card readers are just like ATM cards. You take it there and they slot it into the card reader to confirm if it is yours before you are allowed to vote.

“So, if you go there with another person’s voter’s card, it is meaningless. So, I am advising those of you with other peoples’ cards to return them to the local government offices so that the rightful owners can collect them so that they can participate in the general election”.

"Polling officer will, on the presentation of the PVC by an electorate, slot the card into the card reader to confirm if it belongs to you. The next stage is the confirmation of your finger prints by the card reader before you are allowed to vote. If you go to the polling booth with someone else’s card, you would not be able to vote because each card is unique and can only be authenticated by the real owner. The PVC’s are meaningless to those who have stolen them”.

Mrs. Khan further emphasised: “The PVCs are beyond registration; the cards are beyond voting. People now use these cards in the banks as a means of identifying themselves. All those who snatched these cards should please take them to the designated collection centres so that we can give them to the rightful owners so that the rightful owners can use them during the elections to perform their legitimate civic duties”.

Khan further warned politicians that it would be doubly difficult for them to rig the forthcoming election either through ballot box snatching, ballot box stuffing or the writing of bloated election results in hotel rooms or the homes of influential politicians.

She explained that ballot papers and result sheets for each of the 23 local government areas in the state would be coded and had also been printed in colours that could be traced to each local government. Mrs. Khan assured that the 2015 election would be peaceful because of the cooperation among INEC, police and other security agencies in the state.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Kuku: Only Northern Leaders Can Stop Boko Haram

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Read Time:2 Minute, 37 Second

Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, has stated that military option alone could not resolve the problem of insurgency perpetrated by the violent Islamist sect, Boko Haram; arguing that only conciliatory moves by leaders from the North-east could end the reign of terror.
Kuku said insurgency had festered because northern political, religious, traditional, and  opinion leaders, particularly those from the North-east geo-political zone failed to embark on the kind of moves by their compatriots in the Niger Delta region, which brought militancy in the oil-rich area to an end in 2009.

The presidential aide, who spoke in Abuja  at a public policy discourse on resolving the Boko Haram challenge via the adoption of lessons learnt from the resolution of the Niger Delta crisis, said the Niger Delta crisis was resolved through the sincere, committed and fearless participation of leaders  from that region.

Kuku regretted that so far, leaders from the northern part of the country, particularly, the North-east were yet to galvanise themselves and take up the gauntlet that would culminate in bringing the dreaded Boko Haram sect to embrace peace.

Arguing that military option alone may not end the orgy of violence unleashed by the sect, Kuku challenged respected, committed and trusted leaders from the North-east and other parts of the north to rise up, reach out to the insurgents with a view to ending the blood-bath and massive destruction being visited on people and property.

He recalled the roles played by President Goodluck (then vice president) and other notable leaders from the Niger Delta, who risked their lives to reach out to ex-militant leaders, which eventually resulted in the federal government’s Amnesty Programme and the concomitant peace being enjoyed in that region presently.
Kuku, who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) lamented  that  insurgency could engulf  and  destroy the whole country if not checked  urgently.

He stated that the sect was affiliated to ISIS, which was already sponsoring the insurgents, noting that this had led to Nigerians losing the command structure of Boko Haram.

According to him, this international link had culminated in the infiltration of Nigeria by insurgents from the Islamic Maghreb region, adding that this had been  given practical expression by recent arrests of the sect members .

He said all of them who were arrested by the military were of Arab descent, noting that their activities had been massively destructive since they were non-Nigerians.
The presidential aide said the bravery of the Nigerian military had continued to checkmate the rampaging insurgents, who were well-funded and armed from over-running the North-east and the entire country.

The PAP Chairman said the size of the country was a disincentive to the insurgents, noting that for Nigeria's massive land mass, the insurgents would have wreaked havoc in more communities.

While urging leaders from the northern part of the country to collectively lead a peace initiative to stop insurgency, he also called for support from all Nigerians to overcome the crisis.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Kuku: Only Northern Leaders Can Stop Boko Haram

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Read Time:2 Minute, 37 Second

Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, has stated that military option alone could not resolve the problem of insurgency perpetrated by the violent Islamist sect, Boko Haram; arguing that only conciliatory moves by leaders from the North-east could end the reign of terror.
Kuku said insurgency had festered because northern political, religious, traditional, and  opinion leaders, particularly those from the North-east geo-political zone failed to embark on the kind of moves by their compatriots in the Niger Delta region, which brought militancy in the oil-rich area to an end in 2009.

The presidential aide, who spoke in Abuja  at a public policy discourse on resolving the Boko Haram challenge via the adoption of lessons learnt from the resolution of the Niger Delta crisis, said the Niger Delta crisis was resolved through the sincere, committed and fearless participation of leaders  from that region.

Kuku regretted that so far, leaders from the northern part of the country, particularly, the North-east were yet to galvanise themselves and take up the gauntlet that would culminate in bringing the dreaded Boko Haram sect to embrace peace.

Arguing that military option alone may not end the orgy of violence unleashed by the sect, Kuku challenged respected, committed and trusted leaders from the North-east and other parts of the north to rise up, reach out to the insurgents with a view to ending the blood-bath and massive destruction being visited on people and property.

He recalled the roles played by President Goodluck (then vice president) and other notable leaders from the Niger Delta, who risked their lives to reach out to ex-militant leaders, which eventually resulted in the federal government’s Amnesty Programme and the concomitant peace being enjoyed in that region presently.
Kuku, who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) lamented  that  insurgency could engulf  and  destroy the whole country if not checked  urgently.

He stated that the sect was affiliated to ISIS, which was already sponsoring the insurgents, noting that this had led to Nigerians losing the command structure of Boko Haram.

According to him, this international link had culminated in the infiltration of Nigeria by insurgents from the Islamic Maghreb region, adding that this had been  given practical expression by recent arrests of the sect members .

He said all of them who were arrested by the military were of Arab descent, noting that their activities had been massively destructive since they were non-Nigerians.
The presidential aide said the bravery of the Nigerian military had continued to checkmate the rampaging insurgents, who were well-funded and armed from over-running the North-east and the entire country.

The PAP Chairman said the size of the country was a disincentive to the insurgents, noting that for Nigeria's massive land mass, the insurgents would have wreaked havoc in more communities.

While urging leaders from the northern part of the country to collectively lead a peace initiative to stop insurgency, he also called for support from all Nigerians to overcome the crisis.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Duke to Jonathan: Start Developing South-South, Your Home Region, Now

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Read Time:3 Minute, 54 Second

President Goodluck Jonathan was on Friday advised by former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke to start developing his South-south region in demonstration of the truism that charity begins at home.

Duke stated this at the UJ.Esuene Stadium, during the PDP Presidential rally in Cross River State where he insisted that giving amentities to his people did not qualify as selfishness.

Duke who apparently spoke against the excuse advanced by Jonathan in Port Harcourt that the non-implementation of projects in the South-South region by his administration was an indication that he was not selfish.

Speaking at the rally, Duke said,”Mr. President, I join all others in welcoming your delegation to Cross River State. Today we come here to celebrate your victory, not to campaign.

“Now, when you return Mr. President, alongside all the wonderful things you have done for us, we will ask you for three things. Those things are within your ambits to do for us in Cross River State. Mr. President you promised me and you will fulfil this; all the lingering issues regarding our oil wells, we ask you for this. We deserve it; you must find the political solution to this thing for us Mr. President.

“The two others; I know they are in the works. The federal roads in Cross River State require your attention. The first road between us here and Akwa Ibom requires your attention. The road between here and Ogoja requires your attention. It takes five hours to get from one end of Cross River to the other. Now Mr. President, now that you have done terribly (well) abroad, you should come home. Thank you and I congratulate you”, he said.

Addressing the crowd at the stadium, Jonathan made no response to any of the demand but promised that if re-elected, his administration would ensure the construction of a railway line from Lagos to Obudu Ranch so as to attract traffic to the tourism facility. He also promised to extend the East-West Road to Calabar.
“God willing, when you send us back, we will sit down with you and look at the priorities of the state and how we would go about it,” Jonathan said.

In his remarks, Governor Lyel Imoke stated that the President didn’t need to campaign in Calabar because the state belonged to him as long as support for 2015 elections was concerned.

Imoke said the president did not need to come to the state to campaign as they were already completely behind him.

Before going to the venue of the rally, Jonathan inaugurated the Margaret Ekpo Airport by-pass, a 6.8km road with an interchange bridge, named after him, designed to ease vehicular traffic within and outside Calabar.

Speaking before inaugurating the road, the President said: “I am glad to be in Cross River State, a state that is entertaining Nigerians. That was why I selected your own, Chief Edem Duke to come and handle tourism at the centre because we saw what he was doing in Cross River.

“This is a great story which symbolises the vision of PDP, to create environment that will stimulate and help people in commerce and industry and social integration
“For the government and people of Cross River to notice that they need a bypass from the airport to divert traffic and decongest the city is indeed a visionary leadership”, he said.

He expressed gratitude to Imoke for the gesture done to him, saying, “I want to thank you very sincerely for immortalising me with the naming of this all important road after me.

“I pray that the day I will leave office, I will leave enough foot print that people will use in remembering me.”

In his remarks, Imoke said: “You have come back to where we believe is your strongest stronghold. You are a Cross Riverian. Today we have the privilege of you commissioning one of our very many projects by the grace of God in the state".

“It is an airport bypass road designed to bring out traffic out of the city. It is constructed through swamp and started 2011 and we are glad to complete this 6.8 kilometres road with an interchange bridge.

“This road will amongst others led to the creation of a new development area for house which we are complementing with the needed infrastructure

“This road has been named Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Bypass out of everything that you represent to us in Nigeria, but more particularly what you represent to Cross River State.”

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Queens of Africa dolls are outselling BARBIE in Nigeria

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Read Time:1 Minute, 51 Second

A man who couldn't find a black doll in the shops as a gift for his niece decided to take matters into his own hands.

In 2007, Taofick Okoya, 43, created his own doll that Nigerian girls could identify with by recreating their skin colour and style – and it is now so successful that it is outselling Barbie.

The doll, which is called Queens of Africa, comes with traditional outfits and accessories and costs around £4.50.

The dolls' look is modelled on three of the country's biggest tribes and aims to promote strong feminine ideals, like love, peace and endurance.

The doll is now so popular that, according to Reuters, it is selling up to 9,000 units a month – a staggering 15 per cent of the country's toy market.

But the Queens of Africa aren't just selling in their home country.

Thanks to the doll's online presence, customers are coming from as far as America, Brazil and Europe.

Speaking to ELLE about his dolls out-selling Barbie in his native Nigeria, Okoya said: 'My mission is to make the Queens of Africa a symbol of hope, trust, and confidence by promoting African history, culture, and fashion.'

One person that Okoya really hopes the dolls will have a positive impact on is his daughter, who, he explains, once wished she was white.

He explained that even though they live in Nigeria, there was a lot of Western influence. He said: '[This] might have been responsible for her wishing she was white. It made me aware that I needed to make her proud and happy being a black African girl, and not limit it to her alone as this was a common trend among the younger generation. The Queens of Africa became a platform to achieve this.'

Unfortunately, Okoya has been told that he won't be able to sell the dolls on the shelves of mainline stories in America and will have to limit his business to specialist stores.

But he is determined to see the decision overturned, he said: 'I am looking to prove them wrong.'

 

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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February Polls: MTN, INEC, NOA Unveil Election Monitoring Application

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Read Time:2 Minute, 44 Second

Telecommunications service provider, MTN Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the National Orientation Agency (NOA), on Friday in Abuja unveiled an innovative software application, called “BetterMe App”, designed to bring transparency to the electoral process through real time online election monitoring, voters education and engagement.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, the General Manager, MTN Consumer Marketing, Mr. Richard Iweanoge, said the application which was now available to over 60 million MTN subscribers had inbuilt content on voter education ostensibly geared towards deepening the country’s electoral process; adding that Nigerians would now have the unhindered access of monitoring the coming February through their mobile devices.

He said: "A subscriber can access information on candidates for the elections, their plans and manifestoes as well as their strategic thrust and policy direction of the various political parties."

In a remark, INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, represented by Mr. Oluwole Uzzi, a Director at the commission said the purpose of the collaboration was to bring more credibility to the entire electoral process through voter education and engagement.

He said: "When the idea was mooted, we were quite excited because of the positive benefits that the app has in engaging the voter and enhancing their participation in the electoral process. INEC went into partnership with MTN because of the reach of its network." Jega commended MTN and Mr. Fola Akinmolayan of NEO 2 limited, the designer of the app, adding, "Without being prompted, they have developed the app to help enhance access to information and voter education."

According to the INEC boss, for elections to be credible, voters must participate in the electoral process in an informed manner. The BetterMe app, Uzzi said, had unusual application security agencies, election observers, the Civil Society Groups and other stakeholders, adding that other public and corporate organisations should key into the application for the country’s overall development.

Also speaking, the Director General of NOA, Mr. Mike Omeri expressed satisfaction that the app was developed by a young Nigerian, adding “This uplifting that the BetterMe app was developed by a Nigerian, an indication of the country’s potential in the IT world.

With the app, he said Nigerians both within and outside the country would be able to witness and participate fully in the electoral process.

On the safe guard of the app from hackers, Akinmolayan assured that the app had inbuilt curators that would make it will very difficult for hackers to distort the streaming of content because the content would directly emanate from INEC or any other credible agency like NOA. He said MTN had the capability to fully monitor all that was generated to ensure that it was coming from the right source.

"Creating content in real time has been made possible by INEC. Social media content are curated from INEC website, syndicated news about the election and other relevant information as released by the commission." he said.

Akinmolayan said: "MTN will be able to curate and allow people to upload contents like videos. we are looking forward to integrating features where we want people on election day to show us information around their areas and the way the voting is being conducted."

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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