Worries about Nigeria breaking up may not be unfounded after all. The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle, during an interactive session with some journalists in Lagos, said his country, contrary to misconception, was not preparing for Nigeria’s breakup.He said: “I don’t see any sign of a breakup. There is no sign that Nigeria will breakup. If this country is going to breakup in 2015, to me, I don’t see any sign of it. You have challenges in this country, but you are moving forward towards a bright future. There is no issue that the country might break up.“Yes, your country had a devastating civil war just like my own country. It almost tore us into two. I think both of our countries have learnt how difficult it is to hold a country together and that has certainly been a big factor in my country. The idea that Nigeria is going to fall apart in the coming months is news to me; I am not sure where that idea is coming from.”Entwistle, who assumed duty in Nigeria last November, said Nigeria parades array of talents and extraordinary creativity that will continue to make the country an important place in Africa.“In three months that I have been here, my overwhelming impression is how smart and intelligent that Nigerians are. After three months, I am very impressed by the creative spirit of Nigerians as they face challenges. It is clear there are huge challenges ahead, but we are committed to help Nigeria.“Every conversation I have on any subject, (I am just coming from a roundtable discussion on the power sector here), I have really been impressed by the energy and the drive and I get this sense that Nigerian people are saying: ‘yes, we have challenges; things we have to deal with but we can do this. This is our country. We will get this done.’ They appreciate help from outsiders and they just have this very strong sense of pride that this is our country. We are going to get this right,” he added.He urged the federal government to strengthen its coordination efforts with international organisations and neighbouring countries to stop Boko Haram insurgency.“Whether it is fighting terror or the war on drugs or any of these international problems that cut across borders, no one nation can do it by itself. To really get at Boko Haram, your government needs to continue working with Cameroun and Chad because these guys cross the borders. These are guys for whom international borders are largely meaningless. The only way to deal with these guys is to collaborate with your neigbours and relevant international organisations.“I think in my conversation with your government and military, I think there is a growing concern over finding an enemy who mixes with the civilian population. So, that needs to be a focus,” he said.
Some legal experts have said President Goodluck Jonathan cannot commence the implementation of the 2014 budget if the All Progressives Congress lawmakers insist on blocking it.Speaking with SUNDAY PUNCH on Friday, legal experts explained that only the National Assembly had the veto power, where bills and laws were concerned, even if the President refuses to assent to them.Legal practitioner and human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, said, in accordance with the constitution, it would be futile for the President to challenge the directive of the APC.He said, “The President need not go to court, because it has been judicially decided that no court can interfere in the internal affairs of the House. In other words, the court cannot jettison the instructions of political parties.”Also, Mr. Babajide Idowu, a legal practitioner, told our correspondent that it would be technically impossible for the budget to be passed without the approval of either of the houses of legislature.“It is technically impossible for the budget to be passed without the input of the National Assembly. Going to court is not an option. The only way forward is a political solution. It is in the interest of the country to resolve it politically,” he said.Pertaining to the approval of ministers and service chiefs, however, Mr. Idowu explained that the Senate has the deciding vote.He said, “As regards the issue of ministerial appointments, it is the Senate that confirms. The ministerial appointees might appear before a joint sitting of the committees of both houses, but confirmation rests on the Senate. And as it is, the PDP still has a majority in the Senate.”Professor Oyelowo Oyewo of the Department of Public Law, University of Lagos, also said all approvals are vested in the Senate, rather than the House of Representatives.“However, the House is also involved in the procedure for the embankment of budgetary bills into acts that become the law,” he added.He described the development in the National Assembly as curious, especially since the PDP had enjoyed majority status.“This is the first time we’re having a problem of a House that is controlled by different parties, arising from the defection of some representatives to APC. Before now, the PDP did whatever they wanted because the minority parties didn’t have sufficient seats to be so much involved in political workings at national level,” he said.He stated that the powers wielded by the House of Representatives to pass budgets were as a result of counterbalancing of constitution.“Constitutional counterbalancing is necessary to ensure checks and balances.
As the rain sets in again for the year,.the traditional ruler of of Nnanka in Orumba South Council Area of Anambra state , Igwe G N Ofomata has sent out a save-our-soul message to the federal government to intervene in the erosion menace ravaging the community. Ofomata who is the longest reigning traditional ruler in…
…As victims are laid to restFROM ABDULGAFAR ALABELEWE, KADUNASuspects who killed eight family members in Kaduna have confessed to the heinous crime. One of the suspects, Sunday Sun gathered, has opened up, giving an account of how he, with nine others, carried out the attack that led to the killing of a family of eight.The suspect who is now in the custody of security operatives was arrested by the youths in the local government and handed over to the law enforcement agents. It was reported in yesterday’s edition of Saturday Sun that gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen had stormed Manchok community in Kaura Local Government Area, launched an attack on a family of eight and killed the entire household.The suspect who got the beating of his life by the angry youths before he was handed over to the police told the people how they carried out the attack on the community after two months of surveillance.He said: “I am a Fulani man from one of the northern states. The leader of our group is the son of a Fulani Ardo in Zonkwa, the headquarters of Zango Kataf Local Government Area in Kaduna State who left Zonkwa shortly after the 2011 post-election violence.”He confessed that the gang had maintained its presence in the Manchok Friday market in the last two months with a view to spying on the community. “We stormed the village at about 10pm through Zangang from Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State. We rested in the desert until midnight on Friday. We first of all went to the house of Mr. Nathanial Abins, slaughtered his wife and the five children silently. We also followed the man who was behind the house and killed him,” the suspects narrated.The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Kaduna State Command, DSP Aminu Lawan, told Sunday Sun that investigation was still going on to unravel the circumstances of the killing. “We are still investigating. We were there with the governor yesterday and we are still investigating”, he said.Meanwhile, the victims of the attack have been given mass burial in their family compound amidst tears of sorrow.During the burial, the Catechist of St. Francis Catholic Church, Manchok Gaiya wondered how such an attack went unchallenged despite the high presence of security operatives in the area since 2011.
The Interim Deputy National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Nasir El-Rufai, on Saturday referred to ex-Niger Delta militant leader, Mujahid Asari-Dokubo as a thug, saying there was no basis for comparing both of them.El-Rufai said this during an interview with Sahara TV, while responding to a question on his 15-hour interrogation by the State…
Kano (Nigeria) (AFP) – Nigeria’s Boko Haram was suspected Sunday of killing a Muslim cleric who had criticised the Islamic extremist group, and of shooting dead a Christian preacher, in the latest violence to hit northern Nigeria.The deaths came after seven people were killed by a roadside bomb in a border area of the remote northeast, which has seen mounting militant activity in recent months, and heavy casualties last weekend.The first attack happened when unidentified gunmen shot at Muslim cleric Adam Albani’s car at about 10:30 pm (2130 GMT) on Saturday in Zaria, as he drove home from teaching a theology class.Local resident Mohammed Usman said Albani’s wife and son were hit, while the gunmen appeared to have dragged the cleric from the car and shot him at close range.”We kept hearing gunshots very close to our homes and later we heard the sound of a car retreating and when we later came to the scene we found Sheikh Albani lying outside the car with lots of bullet holes on him,” he added.”He was still alive but his wife and a child she was holding in the front seat were already dead while the rest of the children sitting in the back seat were unharmed.”Albani’s brother Kaburu Adam said the cleric, who had criticised the group and given his support to the Nigerian military campaign against them, died shortly after he was admitted to hospital.Separately, gunmen killed a pastor in an attack on a church in Sabon Garin Yambdula, in the Madagali area of Adamawa state late on Friday.Ten people tried to repel the attack with hunting rifles, said Madagali local government chairman Maina Ularamu.The attackers made off with four cows and also killed two goats, said Ularamu, who declined to say whether Boko Haram fighters were responsible.But the attack came after 26 people, most of them worshippers, were killed in a Roman Catholic church in Waga Chakawa, also in Madagali, last Sunday.
Boko Haram terrorists kills pastor & 10 others in fresh attack •UN 37,000 Nigerian refugees face starvation in Niger Republic
GUNMEN suspected to be members of Boko Haram struck late Friday night killing a pastor and 10 other persons in Sabon Garin Yamdula village, Madagali area of Adamawa State.ADVERTISEMENT According to reports, the gunmen attacked the village, barely a week after suspected members of the Islamic sect attacked a Catholic church at Chakawa village of Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State and killed over 45 persons. Confirming Friday’s night attack, the chairman Madagali Local Government Area, Mr Maina Ularamu, was said to have explained that the attackers had attempted to burn down the village, but were resisted by some youths and other local vigilantes who kept firing local guns to dispel them.
The Anambra State Police Command had a breakthrough when it arrested 181 suspected robbers and recovered over 8,496 arms after raiding several hideouts in various parts of the state. Elated Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr Usman Gwary who disclosed the cheery news to Sunday Sun added that the command also recovered over 90,835 cartridges and 164 loaded magazines for the AK47 rifle. He said the police had serious encounters with armed robbers and kidnappers in December 2013, during which his officers and men were able to recover stolen goods and rescue kidnap victims.
AS complaints continue to pour in from the South-East geopolitical zone over the proposed national conference, another group from the zone, under the leadership of former vice-president, Dr Alex Ekwueme, has kicked against the selection and decision-making formula proposed for the confab. The group, South-East Peoples Assembly (SEPA), an organisation of elders, leaders, professionals, businessmen, intellectuals and other stakeholders from all the South-East states noted that with number of states available in different geopolitical zones, the conference representation would be skewed against the South-East.ADVERTISEMENT
The Interim Deputy National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Nasir El-Rufai, on Saturday referred to ex-Niger Delta