After a long lull, Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, was in turmoil yesterday. A car bomb killed 19 people and injured 40, according to witnesses. But, it was not immediately clear who was responsible for the explosion, which destroyed cars and caused panic in the city. The bomb, planted in a three-wheel rickshaw taxi, exploded outside the state television offices at around 1.30 pm (1230 GMT), witnesses told Reuters. “My men counted 17 dead as at 2:00 pm and they are still counting. I have instructed my men to go to the University of Maiduguri
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday urged religious organisations, particularly the Christian faithful to fervently pray and fast for Nigeria as the country inches closer to the 2015 general elections. Chief Obasanjo spoke when the National President of the Pentecostal Federation of Nigeria (PFN), Revd Felix Omobude, visited him at his Hilltop mansion in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. The former President, who described Nigeria as God’s project which existence is by His making, said it is only God that appoints leaders for a country notwithstanding the political scheming and campaign promises. Making a veil reference to the dark days of the despotic military regime of the late Gen. Sanni Abacha, Obasanjo said nobody had ever thought that the likes of late Abacha could become a leader in Nigeria.
The Federal Government has approved a massive shake-up in the topmost hierarchy of the Nigeria Customs Service NCS, which saw
THE Senator Femi Okurounmu led Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue/Conference has drafted an agenda to restructure the country along a presidential or parliamentary system of government with a bicameral or unicameral legislature.The Okurounmu committee which recommended the commencement of the national conference next month before full blown campaigning for the 2015 general elections also proposed the election of one delegate per federal constituency as a way of drawing participation of the grassroots.“The advantage of electing Delegates on the basis of Federal Constituencies is that it allows for wider participation of the grassroots,” the committee reported.national-conferenceBesides the 360 delegates to be directly elected by universal suffrage, 185 delegates representing special interest groups are to be nominated including one woman per state, one youth per state, traditional rulers per state. In each of the special interest groups, the Federal Capital Territory would be represented while the Federal Government would make four nominations for each of the groups.Physically challenged, professional bodies including the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress and the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA are also to be represented. Others are the Organised Private Sector, 3, Faith based organizations, Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, 2; Christian Association of Nigeria, 2; and Traditionalists 2. State Governments and FCT, 37; Federal Government (2 Executive, 2 Legislature, 2 Judiciary) Armed Forces and Police 4; and Diaspora Representatives 2.The Okuruonmu committee nevertheless also suggested the election of direct delegates by senatorial constituencies as an alternative for electing delegates so long as the great majority of delegates are directly elected. The conference is to be managed by a Conference Management Secretariat to be headed by an Executive Secretary who shall be the administrative head of the conference.Excerpts from the committee report read thus: After a careful appraisal of the issues involved as well as their apparent complexities for national harmony, the Committee recommends as follows:That the structure of the National Conference as recommended in Chapter Six shall make provisions for representatives of interest groups through nomination, so their total number compliments the number of the Delegates to be directly elected through universal adult suffrage.The President should nominate the representatives from the identified key interest groups in active consultation with them such that, the interest groups themselves do the actual presentation of the names of those the groups want the President to nominate as Delegates to the national conference.Interest groups In addition to the interest groups listed earlier namely, Women, Youth, Traditional Rulers, Physically-Challenged, Professional Bodies, Organized Private sector, Faith-Based Organizations, the Diaspora, Executive, Legislative and Judicial arms of Government, Armed Forces and the Police, the credibility of the Conference will be enriched by nominating representatives of the main regional socio-political organizations such as the Afenifere, Arewa Consultative Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Middle-Belt Forum, South-South Peoples Assembly, etc. Every State Government shall nominate one Delegate and the President through the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory shall nominate one Delegate for the Federal Capital Territory Abuja. In the event that any State fails to nominate a Delegate, the President shall nominate a delegate for the said state.The Committee recommends that the total number of Delegates from the socio-political groups should not exceed 36 at 6 per Geo-Political Zone. The socio-political groups invited to nominate the Delegates should decide for themselves who their respective representatives should be.Recommendations: To advise Government on a time-frame for the national conferenceIn view of the above, this committee now recommends as follows: 1: The National Conference should hold for duration of not less the three months and not not more than six months.
Information according 247UREPORTS has it that, a source from at Wadata Plaza in Wuse 5, Abuja reveal that the embattled Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP], Malam Bamanga Tukur has submitted his resignation letter to the PDP and to the Presidency. The resignation is to take effect Wednesday January 15, 2014.The source according to…
The lecturer(left) and other suspects being paraded by the State Security Service in Abuja…. on WednesdayAn Abuja Federal High Court on Monday gave the Federal Government a seven-day ultimatum to file charges against six suspected members of the Boko Haram sect, arrested by the State Security Service last October.Justice Gabriel Kolawole said he would set free the suspects, who have been in the custody of the SSS since October 2013, if the Federal Government failed to file charges against them before the January 23 next date of hearing.Among the six is an Assistant Lecturer in Arabic and Islamic Studies at Kogi State University, Dr. Nazeef Yunus.Yunus was alleged to be the spiritual leader and coordinator of the Boko Haram cell in Kogi State.The others are Umar Musa (aka Abubakar), Mustapha Yusuf (aka Habib), Ismaila Abdulazeez, Ibrahim Isa Hayafu and Salami Abdullahi.The SSS had on November 25, 2013, obtained an order of the court, which permitted it to detain Yunus and the others for 45 days to enable it conclude investigations into the suspects’ terrorist activities in Kogi State.Following the expiration of the 45-day detention order, the SSS approached the court on Monday, asking for an extension.The security agency informed the court that investigations had been concluded and that the case file had been sent to the Attorney-General of the Federation.But the suspects also filed an application, asking the court to order the SSS to immediately arraign them, or grant them bail pending arraignment.Justice Kolawole noted that there was no basis to continue holding the suspects without charging them to court.He therefore ordered the Federal Government to file charges against the suspects within seven days, or risk their discharge.The judge adjourned the matter to January 23.The SSS had accused the suspects of planning to carry out attacks in parts of Kogi State before they were arrested at a mosque in Zuba, a town near Abuja, while on their way to Zambisa in Maiduguri for training.The security agency said the suspects planned to install Sharia in Kogi State.Yunus denied the allegations.
THE SUN – The National leader of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, has declared in Onitsha, Anambra State, that the organisation would not participate in the proposed National Conference if it is politicized.Chief Uwazuruike said MASSOB would not hesitate to pull out in the event…
Former Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Richard Akinjide has described the speculation that the amalgamation of Nigeria would expire in 2014 as a ruse.Recounting Nigeria’s pre-independence history on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’, Akinjide pointed out that the existence of Nigeria started way before the 1914 amalgamation, specifically the Berlin Conference and thus cannot expire.He noted that the British made it clear that they joined the country and not the people, indicating that the people still had a strong influence on the future of the country.He admitted that although, the underlining motive of the British Government was for their own economic interests. “Substantially, what they did was good, as there were no sovereign countries in Africa before they came, except Liberia and Abyssinia (now known as Ethiopia).“We’ve been brought together as a nation and I think we will remain as a country, I don’t see the collapse that people are talking about,” he said.Akinjide also noted that Nigeria’s recent economic growth was a proof to the strength of the country, and with President Jonathan “having started well, we will get better.”He encouraged Nigerians that while 1914 was a critical year in the history of the country, it was important to look beyond it and see a better future.National ConferenceIn view of the history of Nigeria’s amalgamation as recounted by Akinjide, the call for a National Conference came to the fore. He admitted that he could not give any intelligent report on it as he was not privy to information on the report compiled by the Presidential Committee.He, however, said that although a constitutional amendment was not a bad idea, and Nigeria might indeed need it, but what Nigeria needed to change was character. He asked, “what are we doing with our resources?”