Thursday, September 27, 2012

Niger police arrest 5 suspected Boko Haram members

Boko-Haram leaders
Niger Republic has arrested five people near the Nigerian border suspected of belonging to the militant Nigerian Islamist group, Boko Haram, Niger security officials said on Tuesday.
The group has been blamed for more than 1,000 deaths in Nigeria since 2010. Observers said the suspects are using Niger as a transit route to link up with other militant groups like al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb, now controlling Northern Mali.
“State Security Police arrested the five suspected Boko Haram members who entered Niger on Sunday through the Zinder region. They have been transferred to Niamey for further questioning,” a security official said, asking not to be named told Reuters.
Another security official said Niger had tightened security along its border with Nigeria as the country intensifies its fight against the militant group, which wants to carve out an Islamic state in Northern Nigeria.
Nigeria’s military had announced the death of 35 members of Boko Haram and arrested several during an overnight gun battle in Damaturu, capital of North Eastern Yobe state which borders Niger.



Pregnant woman, cop killed in police pursuit of robbers

Mohammed Abubakar, Inspector General of Nigerian Police.

Yenagoa – A pregnant woman, was, yesterday, shot dead during police pursuit of a car used by suspected robbers in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
One of the policemen attached to the new security outfit in the state, Operation Doo Akpo, also fell from the tail-board of the police pick-up van that was in hot pursuit of the vehicle used by the suspected robbers. He died on the spot as he was said to have hit his head on the tarred road.
The tragic incident, which occurred at 2.30p.m., in Yenizue-Epie suburb of the capital, caused gridlock on the Mbiama-Yenagoa Road.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

13 die as lightning strikes mosque

 lightning
DHAKA (AFP) – At least 13 Muslim worshippers were killed and 15 hurt when lightning struck a mosque in a remote village in northeast Bangladesh as they held special Ramadan prayers, police said on Saturday.
The imam was among those instantly killed when a lightning bolt hit the tin-and-thatch building at Saraswatipur village, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the capital Dhaka, late on Friday.
The lightning appeared to “electrify” the mosque after hitting a rooftop microphone being run on power from a car battery, local council member Abul Kalam told AFP by telephone.
About 35 people from the village in the lake district of Sunamganj were holding prayers known as taraweeh — offered during the holy fasting month of Ramadan — at the time, police chief Sunamganj said.
“All 13, including the imam, died on the spot. The bodies and faces of some of the victims were burnt,” Alam told AFP, adding six of the injured were hospitalised.
Locals had turned the flimsy structure into a mosque because access to the village’s more substantial concrete-roofed mosque had been made difficult due to recent heavy rains that have swollen the Saraswati river.
Villagers rushed to help after hearing cries, Kalam said.
“It was a terrible scene. Dozens were lying on the floor — some dead, others writhing in pain,” he said, adding most of the victims were young men in their 20s and 3Os.
“We took the injured in three boats and headed to hospital in Dharmapasa”, the closest big town, he said. “But it took hours to get there,” he added.
Lightning is a major threat in Sunamganj, home to some of Bangladesh’s biggest lakes. Most lightning strikes occur during the monsoon season between June and September when the district receives huge amounts of rainfall.
Across the South Asian country, hundreds of people are killed by lightning strikes every year, with most dying while attempting to save rice crops from flooding.
Bangladeshi environmentalists blame global warming, which has unleashed a growing number of tropical storms, for the increase in the frequency, devastation and deaths caused by lightning strikes in recent years.
In May last year, at least 29 people were killed — most of them farmers who were harvesting rice — and dozens injured when a series of lightning strikes hit several districts in a single day.







 

Survivors of Deeper Life Bible Church attack count losses

Governor Wada with a  victim at the hospital
The Monday August 6, 2012 attack on worshipers of Deeper Life Bible Church in Okene, Kogi state during a bible study service has left a sour taste in the mouths of survivals and citizens of the state.
Our source who has been following the trend of the event reports on the development of the gory incident
Monday August 6, 2012 evening will remain ever green in the memories of residents of Eika Dagun in Okehi Local Government area of Kogi state and people of the state, especially, the  worshipers at the Deeper Life Bible Church.
It was a day many of them would look back at and not forget in a hurry,  a day terrorists decided to feed their appetite not on food but on human blood and unfortunately, they decided to  feed on worshipers who have gone to engage their souls in discussion with their God
If the story have been told, one might be tempted to say it was a movie. Maybe a scene from a war film – a crowd of worshippers in a church – perhaps praying, their eyes shut – and suddenly, the eering sounds of guns – pandemonium, tears, bloods and anguish. But this was no movie at all. It was real on Monday August 6, 2012 night in Kogi state when unknown gunmen opened fire on worshipers of Deeper Life Bible Church during a Bible study evening service, killing sixteen people at a go and wounding several others.
The gunmen it was gathered stormed the evening service and went straight to the generator stand and switched it off before entering the uncompleted church building and started shooting  the worshipers at close range. In an operation that was well thought of, some of the gunmen also stationed themselves outside the door to stop any of the members from escaping.
By the second day, the death toll had risen from 16 to 20 with nine children counted among them.
All visitors, sympathizers, passers’ by, and commuters who stopped at the scene of the event could not control their emotion. The state governor himself who tried to be brave could not hide his feelings over the act as drops of bloods were still visible even 24 hours after the attack.One of the victims, Lawal Saliu Itopa  currently receiving treatment at the Okene General Hospital due to gunshot wounds he sustained revealed that his escape was just by divine grace.
Narrating how it happened, he said: “We started the Monday service by 6 pm as usual without any premonition that something bad would happen to us. At about 7:30 pm, in the middle of the programme, our generator went off and before we knew what was happening, two men with guns entered the church and started firing at us. Some of our members who attempted to run out of the church were trapped at the door by some of the hoodlums outside. Everyone started running for safety”.
He said most of them dashed under the benches to take cover but the assailants came close and were spraying bullets under the benches to ensure no one escaped the onslaught, adding that he could not really tell how he managed to survive with gunshot wounds on his body.
A brother to another victim at the Okene general hospital, Samuel Ayodele who is still in coma lamented the state of his brother’s health. He said his brother lost his wife and daughter to the attack, wondering how he will convene the news to him when he fully recovered. “As you can see, he is getting better today but what is disturbing us is the fact that he lost his wife and child in the attack. We have not disclosed this to him yet and we don’t know how to tell him.”
He said Ayodele told them that he was going to church but was surprised when he received a phone call that he  was attacked by gunmen who forced their way into the church, shooting sporadically
The gunmen did not only succeed in killing Christians, some have lost their breadwinners . Among the people who died from the attack was Dr, Pastor Stephen Lambe, a senior Lecturer at the Kogi State Polytechnic, Osara Campus and Coordinator of Deeper Life Bible Church, Otite district. Also in critical state of health is the Dean of Science, Federal College of Education, Okene, Mrs Esther Omeiza who according to a family member was shot in the arms and leg and has now been transferred to the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja alongside others in the same state of health.
However, The General Overseer of the Deeper Life Church in Kogi state, Raymond Egunjobi wondered why people should murder innocent worshipers, saying that they have been worshipping at the Church without any problem with any group of people irrespective of their religious inclination.
Meanwhile, Governor Idris Wada assured the people that the perpetrators of the crime would be arrested and that the government will do everything possible to protect lives and property in the state. While sympathizing with the families of those who lost their lives in the incident, governor Wada urged them to take solace in God.
“For one to die while worshiping God is very sad and this shows the level the people have gone to destabilize the country. We cannot allow some miscreants to destabilize the country.”
He commended the security agents for prompt intervention, urging them to fish out the criminals and called on the people to co-operate with the security agents by reporting strange people to the appropriate authority, promising to foot the hospital bill of all the victims.
As if their thirsts have not been quenched, the gunmen again in less than 24 hours after the attacked on Deeper Life Church found their way to the Okene Central Mosque and killed two soldiers. An eyewitness said the armed men came  in a Hilux pickup van chanting Islamic songs before attacking the mosque where some Moslems  were said to be holding tobsil (Ramada) lectures  at the central mosque Okene leading to the death of  the soldiers  who were keeping surveillance at area.
The gory incident caused the state governor, Captain Idris Wada to declare dusk to dawn curfew in Okene and its environs to forestall the reoccurrence of the dastardly act.
The governor who gave the order in a State-wide broadcast, said the State would not spare any resources to bring the perpetrators of the act to justice.
The governor who also said the decision was taken after due consultation with security agents said commercial motorbike activities would be restricted between 6am to 6PM in Lokoja, the state capital until the situation is brought under control.
There was a spill-over of the attack the second day when bomb was discovered to have been deposited in a Church in Lokoja, the State capital, causing pandemonium as residents were seen running helter-skelter. Rumour was rife that bomb was discovered at Revival Hour Church and was said to have exploded while been deffused by security personnel which caused panick across the city.
The development paralyzed government and commercial activities as residents, workers, taxi drivers and commercial motorcycle operators  were seen scampering for safety. Before 12 noon, the town was deserted as  commercial banks hurriedly closed their doors against the numerous customer who in turn took to their heels for safety. Shop owners, restaurants, beer parlours and other joints were not left out as they were forced to close.
At the Government House, workers closed their offices and police stations  locked their gates against any eventuality. There was an immediate midday “public holiday” as some workers hurriedly returned home for safety. The ever busy Ganaja Junction was completely deserted as the daily paid labourers also ran for cover. Churches and Mosques were being manned by security operatives.
Our source who visited the Revival Hour Church gathered from a member who spoke on condition of anonymity that some people discovered a black polythene bag around the church, which  fueled  the rumour but the polythene was later discovered to contain a different thing instead of  bomb being speculated by people.
Presently, the dusk to dawn curfew imposed in Okene, Kogi state and its environment following the attack has now turned to twenty four hours as residents of the area have sealed their respective houses. A source in the town who spoke to Saturday Vanguard on phone  said the area has turned into a grave yard  as residents are unable to move around, while businesses and commercial activities have remained dormant.
According to him, security operatives have taken over Okene town, the headquarters of the senatorial axis, searching from house to house and effecting some arrest. “We have been sealed at home; no one is allowed to move around without harassment from the security personnel. Presently, the town has become silent and police are moving from one house to another arresting people who cannot give adequate information about who they are.”
Our source further stated that the Deeper Life gunmen attack has led the town to the present situation which has hindered legitimate activities wished he had left town before the gory incident
However, police sources confirmed that all they are doing is to ensure full compliance with the directive of the IG who ordered a 24-hour surveillance on the town, saying what they are doing is a normal routine to get to the bottom of the crime in the city, positing that those who are innocent will be released.
But what could have been responsible for the dastardly act? Our source gathered that the situation may be linked to two women who were healed by the pastor of the church. The healing which later led to the conversion of the women from their original religion to Christianity, the source stressed, might not have gone well with extremists who taught of staging the attack.
But another group of thought believes that the gory situation is not only religious but has political undertone.
However,nothing justified the killing of people observing their religious service without prejudice to others. The question on the lips of the people is what could have caused this attack? Why would a right thinking human being resort to bloodletting to quench his appetite. Why attack innocent children ?
However, it seems the prayers of people have been answered by God.The Kogi state police command has said that some persons have been arrested including a woman in connection with the attack on the Deeper life Church. The Police commissioner, Muhammed Katsina who disclosed this while parading the ring leader said they were picked at Ibilo in Edo state after his men attacked the gunmen at their operational base.
The state police boss who said his men overpowered the gunmen at their hideout said they sustained injuries but were taken away by members of the gang who fled with their wounded partners until some of them were apprehended at Ibilo, a border town with Kogi state.
The woman arrested, CP Kastina said, is an accomplice who aided the treatment of the ring leader. Though he refused to mention the number of those arrested, he said they are already in police custody. “Arrests have been made in connection with the Deeper Life Church but I cannot give their names or accurate figures. They are in our custody and we have already commenced investigation to ascertain their involvement so as to deal with the situation once and for all. More arrests would be made in due course,” he said
However, he warned hospitals and traditional bullet extractors to relate to the police, any suspicious person with bullet wounds or else, face being treated as an accomplice.
“Whoever conspired with criminals to inflict pains on the people would be dealt with. The campaign to rid the state of crime and criminality holds no bound.”
The CP who also said they were able to recover the rifles used for the attacks promised that the command would ensure that the citizens pursued their legitimate ventures without fear.
According to him, the police would enforce the curfew imposed in Okene and its environs as well as the restriction of commercial motorcycle operators from 6pm to 6am, saying that whoever violates the law would be dealt with decisively.






 

Survivors of Deeper Life Bible Church attack count losses

Governor Wada with a  victim at the hospital
The Monday August 6, 2012 attack on worshipers of Deeper Life Bible Church in Okene, Kogi state during a bible study service has left a sour taste in the mouths of survivals and citizens of the state.
Our source who has been following the trend of the event reports on the development of the gory incident
Monday August 6, 2012 evening will remain ever green in the memories of residents of Eika Dagun in Okehi Local Government area of Kogi state and people of the state, especially, the  worshipers at the Deeper Life Bible Church.
It was a day many of them would look back at and not forget in a hurry,  a day terrorists decided to feed their appetite not on food but on human blood and unfortunately, they decided to  feed on worshipers who have gone to engage their souls in discussion with their God
If the story have been told, one might be tempted to say it was a movie. Maybe a scene from a war film – a crowd of worshippers in a church – perhaps praying, their eyes shut – and suddenly, the eering sounds of guns – pandemonium, tears, bloods and anguish. But this was no movie at all. It was real on Monday August 6, 2012 night in Kogi state when unknown gunmen opened fire on worshipers of Deeper Life Bible Church during a Bible study evening service, killing sixteen people at a go and wounding several others.
The gunmen it was gathered stormed the evening service and went straight to the generator stand and switched it off before entering the uncompleted church building and started shooting  the worshipers at close range. In an operation that was well thought of, some of the gunmen also stationed themselves outside the door to stop any of the members from escaping.
By the second day, the death toll had risen from 16 to 20 with nine children counted among them.
All visitors, sympathizers, passers’ by, and commuters who stopped at the scene of the event could not control their emotion. The state governor himself who tried to be brave could not hide his feelings over the act as drops of bloods were still visible even 24 hours after the attack.One of the victims, Lawal Saliu Itopa  currently receiving treatment at the Okene General Hospital due to gunshot wounds he sustained revealed that his escape was just by divine grace.
Narrating how it happened, he said: “We started the Monday service by 6 pm as usual without any premonition that something bad would happen to us. At about 7:30 pm, in the middle of the programme, our generator went off and before we knew what was happening, two men with guns entered the church and started firing at us. Some of our members who attempted to run out of the church were trapped at the door by some of the hoodlums outside. Everyone started running for safety”.
He said most of them dashed under the benches to take cover but the assailants came close and were spraying bullets under the benches to ensure no one escaped the onslaught, adding that he could not really tell how he managed to survive with gunshot wounds on his body.
A brother to another victim at the Okene general hospital, Samuel Ayodele who is still in coma lamented the state of his brother’s health. He said his brother lost his wife and daughter to the attack, wondering how he will convene the news to him when he fully recovered. “As you can see, he is getting better today but what is disturbing us is the fact that he lost his wife and child in the attack. We have not disclosed this to him yet and we don’t know how to tell him.”
He said Ayodele told them that he was going to church but was surprised when he received a phone call that he  was attacked by gunmen who forced their way into the church, shooting sporadically
The gunmen did not only succeed in killing Christians, some have lost their breadwinners . Among the people who died from the attack was Dr, Pastor Stephen Lambe, a senior Lecturer at the Kogi State Polytechnic, Osara Campus and Coordinator of Deeper Life Bible Church, Otite district. Also in critical state of health is the Dean of Science, Federal College of Education, Okene, Mrs Esther Omeiza who according to a family member was shot in the arms and leg and has now been transferred to the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja alongside others in the same state of health.
However, The General Overseer of the Deeper Life Church in Kogi state, Raymond Egunjobi wondered why people should murder innocent worshipers, saying that they have been worshipping at the Church without any problem with any group of people irrespective of their religious inclination.
Meanwhile, Governor Idris Wada assured the people that the perpetrators of the crime would be arrested and that the government will do everything possible to protect lives and property in the state. While sympathizing with the families of those who lost their lives in the incident, governor Wada urged them to take solace in God.
“For one to die while worshiping God is very sad and this shows the level the people have gone to destabilize the country. We cannot allow some miscreants to destabilize the country.”
He commended the security agents for prompt intervention, urging them to fish out the criminals and called on the people to co-operate with the security agents by reporting strange people to the appropriate authority, promising to foot the hospital bill of all the victims.
As if their thirsts have not been quenched, the gunmen again in less than 24 hours after the attacked on Deeper Life Church found their way to the Okene Central Mosque and killed two soldiers. An eyewitness said the armed men came  in a Hilux pickup van chanting Islamic songs before attacking the mosque where some Moslems  were said to be holding tobsil (Ramada) lectures  at the central mosque Okene leading to the death of  the soldiers  who were keeping surveillance at area.
The gory incident caused the state governor, Captain Idris Wada to declare dusk to dawn curfew in Okene and its environs to forestall the reoccurrence of the dastardly act.
The governor who gave the order in a State-wide broadcast, said the State would not spare any resources to bring the perpetrators of the act to justice.
The governor who also said the decision was taken after due consultation with security agents said commercial motorbike activities would be restricted between 6am to 6PM in Lokoja, the state capital until the situation is brought under control.
There was a spill-over of the attack the second day when bomb was discovered to have been deposited in a Church in Lokoja, the State capital, causing pandemonium as residents were seen running helter-skelter. Rumour was rife that bomb was discovered at Revival Hour Church and was said to have exploded while been deffused by security personnel which caused panick across the city.
The development paralyzed government and commercial activities as residents, workers, taxi drivers and commercial motorcycle operators  were seen scampering for safety. Before 12 noon, the town was deserted as  commercial banks hurriedly closed their doors against the numerous customer who in turn took to their heels for safety. Shop owners, restaurants, beer parlours and other joints were not left out as they were forced to close.
At the Government House, workers closed their offices and police stations  locked their gates against any eventuality. There was an immediate midday “public holiday” as some workers hurriedly returned home for safety. The ever busy Ganaja Junction was completely deserted as the daily paid labourers also ran for cover. Churches and Mosques were being manned by security operatives.
Our source who visited the Revival Hour Church gathered from a member who spoke on condition of anonymity that some people discovered a black polythene bag around the church, which  fueled  the rumour but the polythene was later discovered to contain a different thing instead of  bomb being speculated by people.
Presently, the dusk to dawn curfew imposed in Okene, Kogi state and its environment following the attack has now turned to twenty four hours as residents of the area have sealed their respective houses. A source in the town who spoke to Saturday Vanguard on phone  said the area has turned into a grave yard  as residents are unable to move around, while businesses and commercial activities have remained dormant.
According to him, security operatives have taken over Okene town, the headquarters of the senatorial axis, searching from house to house and effecting some arrest. “We have been sealed at home; no one is allowed to move around without harassment from the security personnel. Presently, the town has become silent and police are moving from one house to another arresting people who cannot give adequate information about who they are.”
Our source further stated that the Deeper Life gunmen attack has led the town to the present situation which has hindered legitimate activities wished he had left town before the gory incident
However, police sources confirmed that all they are doing is to ensure full compliance with the directive of the IG who ordered a 24-hour surveillance on the town, saying what they are doing is a normal routine to get to the bottom of the crime in the city, positing that those who are innocent will be released.
But what could have been responsible for the dastardly act? Our source gathered that the situation may be linked to two women who were healed by the pastor of the church. The healing which later led to the conversion of the women from their original religion to Christianity, the source stressed, might not have gone well with extremists who taught of staging the attack.
But another group of thought believes that the gory situation is not only religious but has political undertone.
However,nothing justified the killing of people observing their religious service without prejudice to others. The question on the lips of the people is what could have caused this attack? Why would a right thinking human being resort to bloodletting to quench his appetite. Why attack innocent children ?
However, it seems the prayers of people have been answered by God.The Kogi state police command has said that some persons have been arrested including a woman in connection with the attack on the Deeper life Church. The Police commissioner, Muhammed Katsina who disclosed this while parading the ring leader said they were picked at Ibilo in Edo state after his men attacked the gunmen at their operational base.
The state police boss who said his men overpowered the gunmen at their hideout said they sustained injuries but were taken away by members of the gang who fled with their wounded partners until some of them were apprehended at Ibilo, a border town with Kogi state.
The woman arrested, CP Kastina said, is an accomplice who aided the treatment of the ring leader. Though he refused to mention the number of those arrested, he said they are already in police custody. “Arrests have been made in connection with the Deeper Life Church but I cannot give their names or accurate figures. They are in our custody and we have already commenced investigation to ascertain their involvement so as to deal with the situation once and for all. More arrests would be made in due course,” he said
However, he warned hospitals and traditional bullet extractors to relate to the police, any suspicious person with bullet wounds or else, face being treated as an accomplice.
“Whoever conspired with criminals to inflict pains on the people would be dealt with. The campaign to rid the state of crime and criminality holds no bound.”
The CP who also said they were able to recover the rifles used for the attacks promised that the command would ensure that the citizens pursued their legitimate ventures without fear.
According to him, the police would enforce the curfew imposed in Okene and its environs as well as the restriction of commercial motorcycle operators from 6pm to 6am, saying that whoever violates the law would be dealt with decisively.






 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fawehinmi to Jonathan: Show competence or resign



Mohammed Fawehinmi
LAGOS—Mohammed Fawehinmi Chambers has condemned what it called President Goodluck Jonathan’s poor handling of the Boko Haram menace, challenging him to either show his com petence by terminating Boko Haram within one month and start developing the nation properly, or comply with the Boko Haram request to resign.
In a statement by Mr. Mohammed Fawehinmi, the chambers also asked the President to sack allegedly uncommitted ministers.
The chambers also called on the National Assembly to shun partisan politics and put national interest at heart in the impeachment threat against the President, adding that the purported suggestive increase of five years for every elected or appointed political leader is the most absurd suggestion that ever came alive in the nation’s polity and that this had shown that the ruling party had no plan for the country.
He said: “I read with uncontrollable laughter the insult meted out to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. What a shame! The docile nature of the President has allowed such an insignificant group of nuisances popularly known as Boko Haram to insult him, thereby insulting the whole nation, by asking him to resign.
“The President has disgraced this country enough, he must either show his competence and willingness to work by terminating Boko Haram within one month and start developing the nation properly, or comply with the Boko Haram requests.
“Those who are not willing to work and are interested in their previous domains in foreign countries should go, and be replaced immediately with people who are interested in working for Nigeria.  These include Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance/Coordinating Minister of  the Economy; Mr. Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Trade and Industry; Mrs. Diezani Allison-Maduke, Minister of Petroleum and Resources; and  Prof. Bart Nnaji- Minister of Power.





 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

STATE OF THE NATION: OBJ, IBB reach out to past heads of state, eminent Nigerians

Ex Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo
*Inaugural meeting to hold after Ramadan
*’Why peace move may hit brick wall’
*Prof. Akinyemi proposes Eminent Persons Group
Consequent upon the continuing insurgency in the northern part of Nigeria, coupled with the “internecine crises raging across the land”, former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida have intensified efforts to mobilize other former heads of state.
This latest mobilization drive by both men would be extended to cover other national leaders of thought in the country.
Though our source was not told the modalities that would be used to “determine how the leaders of thought would be selected”, it was nonetheless suggested that “both men are reaching across the broad spectrum of Nigeria’s leadership cadre with a view to finding lasting solutions to the plethora of highly combustible issues confronting the present administration”.
Possibly, according to what was suggested by information made available by a very dependable source close to both men, the inaugural meeting of the leaders, expected to hold immediately after this month of Ramadan, “may crystallize into a new body whose mandate would go beyond solving the immediate challenges confronting Nigeria”.
AKINYEMI ON NATIONAL EMINENT PERSONS GROUP, NEPG
Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, had told our source in September 2010, at the height of the zoning crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that “time has become ripe for Nigeria to have a NATIONAL EMINENT PERSONS GROUP, NEPG”.
According to Akinyemi, who spoke to our source again yesterday, “The proposal I made in 2010 is today very much relevant because the time has come for Nigeria to have such a body.  You would recall that in an interview with you in May, I reminded you of the same idea which would go a long way to help resolve some of the problems confronting the government of the day; as well as some of the perennial challenges that are becoming a part of Nigeria’s crises-laden life”.
He continued: “Such a body would be completely apolitical and would operate separately and distinctly from the NATIONAL COUNCIL OF STATES, NCS.  In the NCS, you have state governors and past leaders some of whom have openly shown their preference for political platforms and as such, some of the arguments and discussions at the NCS would likely be shaped by party positions.
“But a NATIONAL EMINENT PERSONS GROUP would be constituted in such a way that political cleavages would not be brought in since almost all the leaders in such a body would not be known to have political affiliations.  These leaders would also be the ones to go back to their respective communities to preach peace as well and give a feed back to the body on the potential issues that are likely going to create larger national crises.  Though it would be advisory, such a body is likely to go very far because it would be divorced from the day to day politicking that seems to becloud everything we try to do in this country”.
On Obasanjo and Babangida’s peace initiative, Professor Akinyemi said “any initiative at a time like this for peace to reign in the country makes a lot of sense”.
WHY PEACE MOVE MAY HIT BRICK WALL
In separate interviews with some national leaders, our source was made to understand that whereas the move initiated by Obasanjo and Babangida is a welcome one at a time of national crises like this, the “down side is that it did not enjoy broad consensus”.
A two-time minister from North West Nigeria, who insisted on talking on condition of anonymity, said: “I think both men know what they are trying to do but they should have involved past leaders like General Yakubu Gowon, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, General Muhammadu Buhari, Ernest Shonekan and General Abdulsalam Abubakar.  If they had collectively issued that statement of last Sunday, it would have carried more weight.
“The two leaders are known members of the PDP.
“One had served for eight years as President while the other attempted to get the party’s ticket on two separate occasions.  Now, when the two men come out to issue a statement on the state of the nation and the need for peace, is it not their party that is at the centre of governance?  The roles of the two men while they were leaders, when looked into critically, can not be divorced in any way – just as roles played by all past leaders – from the present state of affairs in the country”.
Another very vocal Second Republic legislator told our source that “they should have broadened the scope of their move.  It would sound funny if you now begin to say Buhari or Shagari has joined forces with both men to seek peace.
BROADENING OF SCOPE
As if mindful of the sentiments voiced by those concerned about the stature of Obasanjo and Babangida, a source close to both men said: “Moves are already on and contact being made with past leaders.
“Both leaders know that the challenges confronting Nigeria today require all hands to be on deck and they suggested that in their statement of last Sunday.
“Yes, a tree can not make a forest and that is why they are also reaching out.  What is wrong in a peace initiative?  This is Nigeria and whatever people do, some are bound to find faults.  The country needs all hands to be on deck now”.
Last Sunday, both former presidents had issued a statement raising concerns about the state of the nation and all but said the present administration was clueless.  They advised that President Goodluck Jonathan should scale up his efforts.






Ibrahim Babangida, former Nigerian head of state

100m: Egwero, Metu, Emelizie crash

Obinna Metu of Nigeria, in green has crashed out
Nigeria’s trio of Obinna Metu, Ogho Oghene-Egwero and Peter Emelizie yesterday crashed out in the first round of the men’s 100m at the ongoing London Olympics. In what represents a sorry state of men’s athletics in Nigeria, the trio were unable to meet the qualifying standard in their respective heats.
First to fail was Oghene-Egwero, who finished sixth in heat four, won by world record holder and defending Olympic champion, Usain Bolt.
The Nigerian returned a time of 10.38secs, while Bolt clocked 10.09. Next to follow Oghene out of the 100m was Metu, whose 10.35secs in the heat 5 was only good enough to guarantee him a fifth place finish while another Jamaican, Asafa Powell easily won the race in 10.04secs.
Completing the Nigerian disaster was Emelizie, who finished fifth in heat 6 with a time of 10.22secs but was unable to break into the next round of the event. Despite his ouster, Emelizie would feel good about the time that he returned, which represents a personal best for the 24 year-old emerging track star.
Jamaica’s Yohan Blake won the heat with a time of 10.00secs. US sprinter, Justin Gatlin recorded the fastest time in the heats held yesterday with a time of 9.97secs.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Okagbare fails, Nigeria’s dream crashes

Okagbare`s best was not enough
Shelly- Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica last night defended her 100m Olympics title with an astonishing 10.75secs as Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria finished last with 11.01secs in a star-studded final at a packed Olympic Stadium in London.
With high hopes that she was going to get Nigeria’s first medal at the Games,, Okagbare, who ran a personal best of 10.92 in the semifinals held earlier on, failed when it mattered most against her impressive competitors.Cameliter Jeter of US finished second in a time of 10.78, representing a second best while another Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica clocked 10.81 to claim the bronze.
At the mixed zone, Okagbare, who cast doubts over her 100m race, did not talk to the media but said that her legs were paining her as she walked past. She started showing signs of this in her semifinal race  which started on a slow pace but recovered to win. But in the final race, her poor start was well exploited by her rivals who left her reeling in the last place
       

Okagbare runs second fastest time

Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria, middle of the picture, stands a chance of an olympic medal
If she qualifies, Okagbare, who clocked 10.93secs in last night’s race, her personal best so far, is just a race shy of featuring in the 100m finals holding an hour after the semifinals races are completed. She is joined by compatriot Gloria Asomnu, who returned a time of 11.13 in her heat to qualify for the penultimate stage of the women’s 100m. Camiliter Jeter of the USA clocked the fastest time of 10.83 secs to win her heat and stand a good chance of winning the gold ahead of Okagbare, if both runners reach the final.
Although she had a poor start, Okagbare recovered well as she took control of the race on the 50m mark all the way to the destination point, smiling as she crossed the finish line. Moments after her victory, she told reporters at the mixed zone that after working hard and preparing well that she was happy that efforts in vain.
“I have worked so hard to get this far and I am so happy that I am in the semis. I hope there is more to come tomorrow (today) but I am so happy with the way that I ran and I am just expecting a better race tomorrow (today).
The semis hold at 7.35 pm while the final takes place two hours later on the impressive track of the Olympic Stadium, which track and field followers believe is fast and can make the athletes to run faster time in their respective races.






Army discovers IED factory, arrest 1 in Kaduna

Nigerian Army Headquarters
Kaduna – The Nigerian Army in Kaduna on Saturday announced the arrest of a suspected member of a terror group after raiding an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) factory in the city.
The Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 1 Div. Kaduna, Col. Sani Usman, who made the announcement, said security agents discovered the factory along Abuja Road, Rigasa, Kaduna, on Friday after one of the devices exploded.
“I wish to confirm that on receipt of information and distress call from some good Samaritans at about 2.21 a.m. on Friday, Aug 3; our troops moved to Taro-taro by Abuja Road in Rigasa.
“We discovered an Improvised Explosive Device factory where suspected terrorists were in the process of coupling the IEDs and we detonated some.
“The factory was cordoned and searched and the following items were recovered: IEDs at various stages of development, cans of 33ccl, a sack containing 33ccl, empty cans and two IEDs packed in fire extinguisher tubes as well as timing devices,” he said.
Usman said the troops arrested one suspect, while others escaped, shot and wounded two residents in the area.
He said the factory had been demolished and advised property owners to be wary of their tenants.
The assistant director appealed to the public to volunteer information on suspicious movements of people to security agents.(NAN)





Friday, August 3, 2012

Nigeria’s lost of athletes blamed on poor training facilities

Pastor Enoch Adeboye:Party to Habib’s success story in England.
Abuja – Makanjuola Nureni, a FIFA Player’s Agent, on Thursday said that Nigeria was losing its athletes, especially footballers, to other countries due to poor training facilities.
Nureni made the observation in Abuja while speaking to newsmen at the unveiling of 13-year-old Makanjuola Habib, a National U-13 player with Chelsea FC of England Academy.
The FIFA Player’s agent said Habib, who is one of the two Nigerian wiz-kids in the academy, signed for the academy because of poor football development structures in the country.
He claimed that the country was losing its athletes because the government was paying more attention to politics rather than concentrating on harnessing the country’s abundant talents.
Nureni said that Pastor Enoch Adeboye was party to Habib’s success story in England.
“Habib performed at the Redeemed Christian Church of God Redemption Camp in 2010 and he won a scholarship to England from the General Overseer,’’ he said.
He noted that top European clubs like Barcelona, Lyon, Manchester City and Arsenal had made efforts to sign on Habib, but he (Habib) preferred Chelsea because of the facilities they have on ground.
Habib,who was grabbed by Chelsea in April, said the love he has for Michael Emenalo, Chelsea’s Technical Director, also influenced his decision to sign for the club’s academy.
He told NAN that the academy had created the platform for him “to excel and become a world class player in the near future’’.
“I am with the Cambry School in London and my club allows me the time to attend classes and my school gives me time to train with my club,’’ Habib explained.
Habib’s father, Makanjuola Adegboye was elated about his son’s success, saying that his son’s progression in life was a sign of good upbringing.
“I don’t have much to say. I will only be remembering him in my prayers and I thank our daddy who made his journey to London possible,’’ Adegboye said.
Habib nicknamed “football wizard’’, won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award at the 2009 U-13 International Football Tournament in the United Arab Emirate (UAE).
He is also the first Nigerian to participate in the World Final Juggling Tournament in South Africa in 2010. (NAN)