Political blogger, Abubakar Sidiq Usman of Abusidiqu.com was this morning arrested by anti-graft agency EFCC. This was allegedly in connection with an article titled “EFCC Boss, Magu Commences Total War With Core EFCC Staff” on his website. EFCC has now released a statement, confirming the arrest and explaining why. the statement read;
Senator Akpabio denies link with Niger Delta Avengers
A recent online publication had alleged that a splinter group, the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers had claimed Senator Akpabio and other eminent Nigerians were the sponsors of the group.
But a release signed by the Special Assistant on Media to the Senate Minority Leader, Mr Anietie Ekong described the publication as “baseless, reckless and senseless. It is a fabrication from the pit of hell from those who are profiteering from the crisis in the Niger Delta and would wish no end to it.”
According to the press statement, “for the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state categorically that Senator Akpabio has no link with the Niger Delta Avengers or any other militant group for that matter.
“Contrarily, the position of Senator Akpabio as a foremost advocate of dialogue in resolving the Niger Delta crisis is well known. He is of the strong belief that blowing up pipelines and causing further environmental pollution of the Niger Delta is not in the interest of the region as it would take over 100 years to remediate the effects of such environmental degradation.
“Neither does he believe that economic sabotage at a time of economic recession that the nation is presently passing through can be an answer to the Niger Delta problem.
“His abhorrence of violence in conflict resolution is legendary. Therefore it beats our imagination why anybody in a right frame of mind would contemplate associating his name with militancy and degradation of a region he had laboured so much to build while serving as Governor of Akwa Ibom State between 2007 and 2015.
“Coming from Sahara Reporters, we take it as one in a series of falsehood they have fabricated against Senator Akpabio. We recall the national uproar which followed a similar concoction on December 10, 2015 when Sahara Reporters “authoritatively confirmed” that Senator Akpabio had been sacked from the Senate by an Appeal Court which had not even delivered its judgment at the time of the publication. It turned out to be a hoax when the election of Senator Akpabio was later upheld by the Appeal Court,” the statement said.
It cautioned that politicizing the Niger Delta crisis through propaganda will amount to an ill wind that will blow nobody any good.
“Rather what the nation needs is concerted efforts by stakeholders to holistically through dialogue address the grievances of the region which luckily President Muhammadu Buhari has already started,” it concluded.
“I, Abubakar Ash-Shakawy (Shekau), the leader of Jama’atu Ahlissunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, made it a duty for myself to fight Nigeria and the whole world. We have no desire to fight our Muslim brethren. I’m alive by the permission of Allah” he said
I have no relationship with Niger Delta Avengers – Kuku speaks from hospital bed
A former Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Kingsley Kuku, has denied sponsoring the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).
Kuku, in a statement issued in Alabama, United States of America, where he is currently undergoing treatment after a knee surgery, said he was not a sponsor of the militant group as claimed by a faceless Reformed Niger Delta Avengers.
According to him, “This is yet another attempt to discredit my hard-earned reputation and defame my person after the earlier plot to rope me with terrorism by another fictitious Kano-based group, National Security Watchdog. If that attempt failed, this too has surely fallen flat.
“Since the 90s, I have dedicated a greater part of my life to the service of our dear country. I have been privileged to serve Nigeria and my people in different capacities and have discharged my duties and responsibilities with utmost patriotism and the fear of God.
“The jury is still out on my last national assignment as Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme. But what cannot be disputed is the fact of an indelible mark my team and I achieved in ensuring and stabilizing the peace and security of the Niger Delta for four solid years despite the very grave challenges we faced.
“Even now I am willing to join any sincere effort to restore and strengthen the peace of the region irrespective of party affiliation in the interest of my people and the nation.
“It is therefore the height of perfidy to point accusing fingers at a man like me that has committed so much to guarantee peace and security in the region to now sponsor acts that are antithetical to my cherished principles. Without mincing words, I am pained by the seeming reversal of the gains recorded while discharging our mandate. But no matter the systemic attempts to blur our achievements, there shall be light at the end of the dark tunnel.
“In Nigeria of today where you are guilty until proven innocent, which is the title of my upcoming book, some of the fruits of our effort have started manifesting with the graduation of three of our delegates with First Class degrees and some others with Second Class Upper degrees in the United Kingdom alone just as thousand others have equally performed excellently well in other parts of the world and in Nigeria
Gunmen kidnap lawyer, relatives in MakurdiThe Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), in Benue has appealed to security agencies to redouble their efforts to secure the release of its kidnapped member, Mr Terfa Jirgba.
Chairman of the association, Mr Emmanuel Agbakor, told journalists in Makurdi on Monday that Jirgba was kidnapped in the early hours of Monday by armed youths in his house on Badagry Street in Makurdi.
Agbakor said the youths, numbering over 20, stormed his residence in six Toyota Hilux pick up vehicles to kidnap the lawyer with two of his relatives.
The NBA chief said neither the association nor family members of the kidnapped lawyer had been contacted by the kidnappers.
He said the matter had been reported to the police.
However, Police Public Relations Officer in the state, ASP Moses Yanmu, said he was yet to be briefed on the matter. (NAN)
Corruption now official in Nigeria – Pastor Tunde Bakare
Founder of the Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare has affirmed that government officials in Nigeria have succeeded in making corrupt practices official in the country.
Bakare, who made this statement at the launch of Onyekachi Ubani Foundation in Lagos, weekend, noted that: “At the twilight of the military era in Nigeria’s political trajectory, the name “Nigeria” became synonymous with a certain word, a word that elicits the image of a cesspool running over corruption.
“At that time, precisely in 1999, Transparency International rated Nigeria the second most corrupt country in the world in terms of perception, second only to her eastern neighbour, Cameroon.
“For instance, given the unbridled looting of the treasury at the time, reportedly to the tune of over 1billion dollars as was subsequently uncovered following the exit of the military, it was obvious that the abnormal had become the norm, the illegal had become legal, the outrageous had become banal and the aberrant had become the gold standard.
“Despite the emergence of a new government on the heels of a strong anti-corruption campaign, despite the credence lent to this anti-corruption promise by the antecedents of President Muhammadu Buhari, and despite global acknowledgment that Nigeria has taken shovel loads off the peak of this mountain of filth,” he added.
The Eke Town Union in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State has decried the increasing rate of divorce occasioned by alleged rape from suspected herdsmen.
The town union’s President-General, Mr. Anthony Enu, spoke about the issue when he testified in the commission of inquiry into the killing of people in Nimbo community on Monday.
Enu said that the situation had become scandalous because no man would take in a woman who had been messed up by suspected herdsmen.
“The herdsmen are consistently raping our women and daughters infecting them with serious diseases thereby causing indirect divorce in our communities,” he said.
“If my wife is messed up by the herdsmen, why should I take her in again? This will mean that what is holding her will hold me.”
According to him, communities in the area have had their fair share of attack by the cattle breeders, adding that no fewer than 10 people had died as a result.
Akwa Ibom, 10 others will experience severe flooding
As flood alerts from concerned government institutions are being released, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency on Monday specifically declared that from August to October this year, 11 states will experience severe floods as their various soil moisture had reached or were close to saturation.
According to NiMet in its report on Rainfall Situation and Prospects of Flooding in August to October 2016, findings revealed that the saturation of soil moisture in the affected states was due to cumulative high intensity rainfall in June and July.
NiMet, in its latest flood alert, said, “After thorough analyses of rainfall data from our observatories nationwide for June and July, we wish to provide the following information and advisories to the public, especially those in the affected areas. Soil moisture has either reached saturation, or near saturation levels due to cumulative high intensity rainfall in some parts of the country in June and July.
“The affected states include Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Kaduna, Kwara, Nasarawa, Yobe and Zamfara. This means that floods should be expected in these areas because the soil is no longer able to absorb more rainwater in the coming weeks which coincide with the peak rainy season.”