Mr. James Entwistle

US: Nigeria Won’t Break up in 2015

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.

Jonathan the Salah Man

Jonathan can’t overrule APC’s directive, budget blockade — Lawyers.

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.


How we wiped out family of eight – Suspect

…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.

Nasir El-Rufai Asari Dokubu

Stop comparing me with Asari Dokubu, he is only a thug – Nasir El-Rufai

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…

Sheikh Albani

Muslim cleric Sheikh Albani, wife others killed by Boko Haram.

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.


Guns, guns everywhere

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.


Dr Alex Ekwueme group rejects confab modalities

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