Fire destroys University of Jos Library
The Director of Fire Service in Plateau, Mr Samuel Musa, said that it took six hours to put out the fire.
Following the simmering crisis in the All Progressives Congress, the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has started reaching out to his former political foes in the South-West in order to consolidate his influence in the region.
The multi-layered crisis in the ruling party is threatening the erstwhile chummy relationship between Tinubu and President Muhammadu Buhari.
The crisis in the ruling party started before the 2015 general elections but became full-blown after Buhari was sworn in as president. There has been discontent within the Tinubu camp. Sources said that members of the group and their principal were not happy with what they saw as attempts by the party leadership and the presidency to diminish Tinubu’s premium contributions to Buhari’s emergence as president and undermine the former Lagos State governor’s leadership in his South-West power base.
SUNDAY PUNCH learnt over the weekend that some of Buhari’s closest associates have been pushing back by telling those who are close to Tinubu that Nigeria cannot have a ‘co-presidency.’
Although the two leaders had tried futilely to keep the frosty relationship away from public knowledge, things came to a head a few days ago when Tinubu wrote an open letter lambasting the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, who is believed to enjoy the support of the president.
Tinubu, who faulted the way the party’s governorship primary was held in Ondo State, accused Odigie-Oyegun of conducting a fraudulent primary and he asked the former Edo State governor to resign as the national chairman of the party.
After the letter was published, Oyegun refrained from responding to Tinubu. But he later visited President Buhari in Aso Rock and photographs of the duo laughing and sharing banters was made public. Shortly thereafter, Oyegun replied Tinubu and described the latter’s open letter as ‘reckless.’
Tinubu’s harsh denunciation of the party chairman has been widely interpreted as a direct protest against Buhari. In private, Tinubu’s loyalists are complaining that his political capital is being eroded by the hostile actions of the president’s men and the inactions of the president.
US grants Nigeria waiver on the use of child soldiers
The president of the United States of America, President Obama has granted waivers that allows the US to continue providing military assistance to countries where child soldiers have been used.
The waivers circumvent parts of the Child Soldier Prevention Act meant to block certain kinds of military assistance.
Waivers have been granted to counties like Nigeria, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Rwanda, Iraq and Myanmar.
A US spokesperson says the US can use the possibility of a waiver to provide an incentive for reform.
Zambia 1-2 Nigeria: Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho the heroes, as Super Eagles begin World Cup qualifiers in style
Goals from Arsenal starlet Alex Iwobi and Man City striker, Kelechi Iheanacho were enough for a Super Eagles side lacking so many key players like Odion Ighalo, Victor Moses etc, as they fought out a 2-1 win over Zambia in Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier on Sunday.
Nigeria led by Franco-German coach Gernot Rohr started with a line up of Ikeme Carl Onora, Elderson Echiejire, Kenneth Josiah Omeruo, William Troost Ekong, Brown Ideye, John Obi Mikel,
Moses Daddy Simon, Kelechi Iheanacho, Ogenyi Eddy Onazi, Alexander Chuka Iwobi and Onyinye Wilfred Ndidi while the Zambians led by Wedson Nyirenda comprised of Kennedy Mweene, Kabaso Chongo, Fackson Kapumbu, Adrian Chama, Stopilla Sunzu, Nathan Sinkala, Rainford Kalaba, Fwayo Tembo, Chisamba Lungu, Collins Mbesuma and Winston Kalengo.
Wife of APC chieftain in Ekiti kidnapped
I’ve forgiven those behind my forgery trial – Ekweremadu
The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, says he has forgiven those behind his arraignment for a crime he never “contemplated”.
Ekweremadu, who said the interest of the country was above his personal interest and feelings, urged those in positions of authority to adhere to their oaths of office to be just to all.
Ekweremadu said this in a statement he personally signed, which was sent to The PUNCH by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Uche Anichukwu, on Sunday.
The statement followed the withdrawal of charges of criminal conspiracy and forgery preferred against him; the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki; and two other former senior bureaucrats of the National Assembly.
The Deputy Senate President, who was later received in Enugu by a mammoth crowd of supporters and well-wishers, according to the statement, urged leaders to always put democracy and national interest above every other interest.
Ekweremadu said, “I clearly recall stating on that day (he was arraigned), my great comfort in the immortal words of late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe that history will vindicate the just.
“Time has indeed vindicated the just and it is victory for democracy. My trust in God, the court, and the overwhelming solidarity of the good people of Nigeria is justified.
“As a Christian, I have forgiven all those behind this for, ultimately, God is the driver of the destinies of men. I believe that Nigeria has to move on, but on the right path of justice and rule of law. Going forward, we must learn to be just to all in accordance with our oath of office.”
The Deputy Senate President called on those in government to “put politics behind and let us join hands in governance, especially now that our country is challenged on different fronts.”
“As leaders at this critical juncture of our history, we must work together in the best interest of our people,” Ekweremadu stressed.
4 die as robbers’ car falls off Lagos bridge
Nemesis caught up with five robbery suspects, Sunday, in Lagos, when their get-away car skidded off Eko Bridge by Iddo, while in flight, killing three of the suspects and one innocent bystander, a man who the car fell on. It was gathered that two of the suspects sustained injuries and were taken to the hospital, while the dead bodies were deposited at a mortuary. The incident was said to have occurred during the downpour at 2.15 pm. General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu, who confirmed the incident, said preliminary investigation revealed that the occupants in the car could be robbers as several dangerous weapons were recovered from the car.
Cross River State Governor, Ayade’s supporters welcome him with a coffin bearing his opponent’s name
Some of his supporters carried a coffin with the name of former gubernatorial aspirant, Barrister Joe Agi, who is currently at the Supreme court with Governor Ayade for allegedly falsifying his age in the nomination forms purchased for the gubernatorial primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the run up to the 2015 general elections which Ayade won.
Bearing the coffin crested with “R.I.P Joe, the men chanted the governor’s name in a local song.
Governor Ayade had won the case filed by Agi at the trial court and up to the appeal court with the governor’s supporters confident of a smooth victory until counsel to the PDP, N. Ibegbulam apologized on behalf of the party to the Supreme Court for fielding Ayade despite being aware of the discrepancies in his date of birth.
This upset caused a stir in the polity which suddenly became heated. The Supreme Court has reserved December 9, 2016 for judgement.
United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-moon sends a strong message to Nigerian Government
“Things have to start getting better and for things to get better, our voices must be heard. Today’s event is not about pointing accusing fingers; we are here for prospects and solutions only. How does the government create an enabling environment for the country to thrive? If the country is headed in the wrong direction, there are capable Nigerians that can lead the country back to the right track, the government owes it to the nation to get competent hands to run the economy.” This was the opening statement made by Mr. Okenfe Liberty, the U.S Coordinator of the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF). The NYPF, a Non-Governmental Organization composed of over 3 million young Nigerian professionals globally with chapters in fifteen different nations, held a summit that gathered from all over the world, a critical mass of these young Nigerians to New York on September 24th concurrently with the United Nations General Assembly UNGA, with the theme “X-raying the current Nigerian Economic Challenges, Foreign Policy, Prospects and Solutions”. It is obvious that this group of young people meant business when they decided to orchestrate the gathering of their leaders for what they labelled as Real Dialogue.
This gathering was not in isolation; the United Nations got involved. Described as a moment of challenge and opportunity for the human family, the UN Secretary-General Ban ki-moon in his speech presented at the summit on his behalf by his special Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, the Secretary-General stated his confidence in Nigeria, that the nation as Africa’s largest economy and most populous country can show its continent and the world that it is possible to achieve sustainable development and leave no one behind.
He has urged the Nigerian government to take the primary responsibility in delivering the sustainable development agenda to its citizens and to get young people involved, engaged and equipped with the ambience to lead the charge in other for a sustainable society to be built, this he says is part of the global call for sustainability and partnership. This is the first time in history that the United Nations is getting involved at such capacity; certainly, the very first in the history of Nigeria that a UN Secretary-General is sending a strong message through a forum organized by young Nigerians.
Nigerian Leaders present at the summit to engage in the Nation’s solution discuss included Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State, Prof Pat Utomi an Economist and Founder/CEO at Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, Former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, amongst other leader attendees.
Nigeria has an estimated 37million micro and medium size enterprises (SMEs) which contributes to the GDP and employment. This SME sector is the engine that drives the economy, a key ingredient that could carry the country through these who went on to suggest his ideas for the economic solutions, such as the tough times.
With the recession hitting hard, SMEs are aware consumers don’t have as much money to spend while investors and partners reduce investment.
“It is pivotal that the government show critical support for this sector if Nigeria is to relate effectively to the world”, said Mr ChimaAnyaso, the NYPF South East Regional Chair recovery of Nigeria’s over $100B abroad, lowering of interest rate to promote SMEs, whom he says are employers of 80% of the nation’s labor force, and promoting goods made in Nigeria.
“A lot of us Nigerian Young Professionals are boosting the other countries with our exceptionalism,” Mr. Moses Siasia the young 36-year old founder of the summit organization NYPF said in his remarks. “I met a 27 year old Young Nigerian living in the UK , an aeronautic engineer, I have also met a 26 year old young man in the U.S, a robotic/robotic engineer. Nigerians are exceptional abroad boosting the economy of different countries, but our own country lacks. Moving back to Nigeria is important and we cannot keep playing the blaming game. The NYPF is one of the platforms to bring the solutions required, but imagine if every young Nigerian professional came together to contribute their own quota towards nation building, I believe that we will be a great Nation again. You must contribute your own quota,” Mr. Siasia said, “and that is what we are advising young NIgerians around the world to do towards the development of the Nation.
These solutions discussed from this summit will be presented to the Nigerian President Buhari as a report,” Mr. Siasia concluded.Prof Pat Utomi, the international Economist, gave an almost thirty-minute lecture under the title Between The Demographic Dividend and Despair of an Oil Economy”. He highlighted that the youth bulge the nation is facing can be a threat or an opportunity depending on the sort of environment the nation presents this bulging population with; he says that the challenge the nation faces is that of how to harness the demographic dividend versus the oil mindset in the current crisis.
“Young people can make a huge difference in the fortune of any country,” he said.His speech highlighted a crisis of confidence in Nigeria. Addressing the privatization of national asset, he says that national assets becoming private assets has led the country nowhere. His proposed solution to the economic crisis suggested that
“Nigeria must look at moving into areas where it has strong factor endowment in which we can become competitive along the global value chain. Every part of Nigeria is endowed enough to become globally competitive,” stating that the production of Rubber as part of the agricultural sector is an example that should be considered. “Nigeria used to have the best yield per hectare of Rubber in the world,” he said. Oil made us lazy, he emphasized. As part of his ideas, he also suggested for the Nation to create wealth that is diversified and takes from the challenge of oil debate, and to also manage solid minerals effectively so that the nation does not fall into the same problems they have encountered with oil.The former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Kingsley Moghaluanalyzed some key points on how the nation can arguably get out of recession. His prognosis is that in the second half of 2017, if the 2017 budget is effectively and efficiently developed and executed, an impact will be seen due to the money that will be pumped into the economy more in the first half of 2017.
“Very likely, even then the nation will not get more than 2% economic growth,” he said, also predicting that it is in 2018 and 2019 that the nation will see the results if the right things are done now. “The right things,” he stated, ”includes implementing a muscular fiscal and structural policy, changes in FOREX policy management and gaining economic confidence which comes by an effective monetary policy, which will follow only after the fiscal and structural policy is fixed.” With inflation being at 17%, this former CBN governor says that even if the CBN reduces the interest rate, the economic situation remains until there are structures in place citizens can begin to rely on. Central banks came out of recession through low interest rate, but only with good policies in place.
The CBN deputy governor emphasized that the number one responsibility of an economy is to create wealth and prosperity for its citizens.
“Poverty is the reason for discrimination,” he says. “America really wants you to visit, with your money, but when you are poor, some candidates will use you for campaign”, he joked.
“Having a world view will do Nigeria good,” he highlighted, stating that countries’ economies are driven by a world view; a sense of the future, of the value system that must undergird our society and everything we want to do.
“We want to be a major power in Africa and our demographic advantage can take us there, but we would need to have a strategy that is deliberate and a plan for the future. This plan cannot include short term plans like selling of national assets to get out of the recession. The sale of national asset cannot be done as a shortcut measure to get out of recession; it will be done badly, he emphasized.The former deputy shared a ton of idea solutions that he assured is the way out of the current troubled state, from quality spending by every naira spent contributing to an increase in the GDP per capita to expanding internal revenue base for an inclusive growth and Laissez-faire economy; the deputy held nothing back.
One of the youngest Governors in Nigeria, Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger, was given a NYPF award for his outstanding economic agenda for Niger State, presented by the UN Envoy on Youth, Mr. Alhendawi.
The Envoy who had just returned from a visit to Nigeria said that the Nigerian young minds are thirsty to be heard and that investing in the right policies will lead to transformation. He also announced the UN global campaign Not Too Young To Run, stating that more young people need to be in leadership positions,. This campaign, he says, encourages government to think of their youth and not only to work for them, but with them as the only way forward.
“If young people are in entertainment and Arts, then why can’t they run for office in politics so they can be at the table and heard? The largest interaction the UN has in the world, according to their database, are with Nigerians,” he says, adding that working with young people is the big public secret to transformation and we all know it.Many young attendees, when interviewed about what they thought of this gathering and about the future of the Nation, said the NYPF platform is great to come up with solutions and stated that the timeliness of this event couldn’t be more appropriate. Several stated that they felt empowered and on board to work with the Nigerian government and the private sector (Public Private Partnerships) to seek out innovative solutions in their own diverse skills.
Director of Communication – NYPF
Highlights from the second US Presidential debate
The second United States Presidential debate between Republican and Democratic Party candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton which was moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz, has just been concluded and it was certainly much more insightful than the first.
Insightful not only into some of the workings of the United States as
a real country (divorced from the Hollywood portrayal), but also into
just how far politicians will go in a bid to get their day in office.
With Donald Trump going as far as to line up the women who have accused
his adversary’s spouse of abuse and Hillary Clinton making the most
inciting comments about Donald’s relationships with known and unknown
figures. We can go all day trying pick out bits and pieces of the debate
in a bid to decide the better candidate based on the just concluded
debate; something that makes us feel sad for those undecided American
voters. We won’t. Instead, below we explain five important things we can
definitively hold on to from the events that have just unfolded from
the Washington University in St. Louis.
1. Taking the threats seriously
This one is something we are not too proud of right now, but the
American public can learn a lot from the Nigerian situation. Just days
ago, the State Security Service, controlled by the Nigerian President,
took upon itself the unconstitutional and clearly illegal task of
clamping down on members of the bench who allegedly have been complicit
in corrupt activities. There’s been an uproar but if we had been paying
close attention, we might have detected this and maybe even been able to
The President had on more than one occasion in the past, made
allusion to how the judiciary had been acting as a clog in the wheel of
his anti-corruption campaign. In hindsight, they were really strong
messages that we could have taken hints from but we didn’t and now these
unlawful operations have happened.
From this debate, the world can glean what harm might come Hillary
Clinton’s way if Donald Trump wins. He categorically made promises about
how he’d ensure that his Attorney-General will go after and jail Mrs.
Clinton based on the email scandal she’s been embroiled in for months
now. In fact he promised that if he were already President, she’d “be in
Threats of this nature are real and should be taken very seriously if
a country’s democracy means anything to it. We know this now in
Nigeria; the Americans should too.
2. Entertainment plays a great role
Anyone who watched the debate tonight after having watched any of the
satirical skits, videos, memes and pictures that have been in
circulation for a while now cannot deny how much of that entertainment
has actually seeped into their minds to inform how the candidates are
It’s all fun until you cannot separate Hillary Clinton’s face from
Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin is who you see when you watch Trump
speak. Thanks SNL!
3. These debates might not actually matter
For one, people watching are already biased in favour of a candidate
anyway and if all they are going to do is pick on each other’s pasts and
tell flat out lies, what are these debates worth then?
4. Hillary is flat out funny!
Besides all the random and on the spot clapbacks she gave Trump
throughout the debate and her constant harping about everyone checking
out her hillaryclinton.com, this candid says a lot about what she really
thinks of Trump. Too hilarious!
5. Mutual admiration is a very important factor
When the last audience member at the town hall style debate asked the
candidates to name one positive quality in their opponent, Mrs. Clinton
answered quickly saying his children. “I respect his children,” she
said. “His children are incredibly able and devoted and I think that
says a lot about Donald. I don’t agree with nearly anything else he says
or does, but I do respect that.” Trump returned the compliment admiring
her ‘never-quitting’ stance on life. “She doesn’t quit. She doesn’t
give up. I respect that.”
This is extremely important because it was the most impromptu test of
how each of the candidates will work alongside people with very
different (and sometimes, vehemently so) outlooks than them. It is
essentially the most difficult presidential task. We see it unfolding
here in Nigeria where our leaders, even when their own plans obviously
don’t seem to be working, cannot put aside the rhetoric and hateful
divide and simply take what’s tested and true from the other camp and
put to good use in their own administration.