The Islamic sect, Boko Haram has lost the strategic Banki town and its bridge in Borno State to Nigerian troops at what sources described as a great cost to its members. No fewer than 50 insurgents were killed in a 72 hour battle with soldiers deployed to seize the border town between Nigeria and Cameroun. Two soldiers were killed and four others wounded in the operation. Sources said Boko Haram had been using the link bridge to invade Borno State from Cameroun at will.
Abia State governor, Theodore Orji, has described General Azubike Ihejirika, as a great soldier who represented Abia State to his best, stressing that his removal as the Chief of Army Staff was a normal thing in the military formation and that it is part of the re-engineering in the military by President Goodluck Jonathan. “General Ihejirika was appointed by Mr President and the same man that appointed him has the right to also remove him, therefore it is a normal process that will help to strengthen the military,” Orji said. The governor added, “He was not removed for incompetence as he was a fine officer and a gentle man who performed his duties
The Peoples Club of Nigeria yesterday said it has concluded plans to hire a Professor of Medicine to be at its headquarters in Onitsha to attend to people at no cost within six months. The medical doctor will be rendering free health services to the indigent persons in the society from 8 am to 4 pm everyday. It also said it has concluded plans to build a world-class Dialysis Centre in the commercial city of Onitsha for the purposes of taking care of the health needs of the people, especially the less-privileged.
The former senator who represented Kaduna Central senatorial district at the National Assembly and chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),in Kaduna state, Senator Mohammed Mukhtar Aruwa has declared that he would have staged a coup ahead of 2015 elections tension if still in the military. Speaking with journalists in his farm along Abuja- Express Way, Senator Aruwa while maintaining that civilian leaders have failed Nigeria accused the All Progressive Congress (APC) of inviting chaos in the country through its decampment drive. Senator Aruwa, a onetime governorship candidate under All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in 2007, Kaduna state boasted that gang up against PDP will fail just like what happened in 2011 elections. His words: “Now if we are talking about governors defecting, members of the house or House of Representatives. They are not doing this for neither Tukur nor PDP, but they are inviting chaos in the nation and it will affect every one of us, because only a country where there is no rule or law that you
The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, has appointed Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State as its national leader and Chairman, Board of Trustees.
The Supreme Court on Friday in Abuja dismissed an appeal filed by Mohammed Abacha, son of late former Head of State, General Sani Abacha, against his prosecution for corruption.The apex court in a unanimous judgment led by Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, therefore, ordered Abacha to return to an Abuja High Court and face criminal charges bordering…
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has insisted that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had no right retaining $10.8 billion oil revenue, saying it contributed to the drop in savings “that left the nation exposed to possible price shocks.”Sanusi who spoke in an interview with Bloomberg in Abuja, Friday, said: “Given where the oil price is, we should have more in terms of reserves and savings, and because we don’t have that we are susceptible to shocks in the event of a decline in the oil price.”The central bank governor had written a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan alleging the NNPC withheld $49.8 billion in revenue, sparking a public outcry.Thereafter, a reconciliatory meeting that involved the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, the CBN Governor amongst others, had shown that unaccounted oil receipts stood at $10.8 billion.Sanusi, however, maintained: “No one has the right to retain money that should have gone to the federation account; so the fact that you’ve admitted retaining or withholding $10 billion is itself bad enough. This money was supposed to come in and if it came in, it would be part of our reserves and part of our excess crude savings.”A report by Thisday which says the external reserves derived mainly from the proceeds of crude oil production and sales, had depreciated by $1.778 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, lays credence to Sanusi’s claims. The development was largely blamed on the dwindling federal government revenue. Also, the Excess Crude Account (ECA) had dropped to only $3.18 billion. Nigeria’s forex reserves stood at $43.257 billion as at January 16th.NNPC’s Group Executive Director of Finance and Accounts, Bernard Otti had explained that the $10.8 billion was spent on pipeline repairs, fuel subsidies and strategic reserve.“This whole process for me is one in which we need to force greater transparency over oil revenues. The NNPC has now given explanations and they’re going to be called to show evidence,” Sanusi declared.The lack of accounting in oil revenues has increased pressure on President Goodluck Jonathan.Recent reports have said Jonathan told Sanusi to resign because he allegedly leaked his letter about the NNPC unremitted revenue to Obasanjo.But Sanusi had said his letter to the president was never meant to be made public.“What was in fact an invitation to investigate somehow became read as the end of an investigation, the conclusion from an investigation and that wasn’t it. This was an initial report given. That, for me, raises sufficient concern to ask the president to have an investigation so we can know exactly where the money is,” he explained.Furthermore, he noted: “Lower savings are not explained by a huge increase in government spending, because there wasn’t between 2013 and 2012. So, if spending didn’t increase much and if the oil price didn’t crash much and exports didn’t crash much, there’s a leakage. A decline in oil production doesn’t explain the draw down in savings either because the crude price has exceeded the government’s budgeted price.
Abuja — After Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan fired his top military chiefs this week, some analysts said it signified a failure of the old guard to beat Islamist militants in the north. Some say a fresh approach to the security crisis is one of several changes the president appears to be making ahead of elections next year.Three states in northern Nigeria have been virtually occupied by military forces for eight months now, but insurgent attacks continue.When President Goodluck Jonathan announced new leaders for the defense department, the army, the navy and the air force on Thursday, he did not give a reason. But political consultant Fabian Ihekweme said it appears the president is trying a different approach to the security crisis.”You may recall a few days ago that a new anti-terrorist outfit has been created out of the Nigerian military. So it is the same new strategy being developed by the president to tackle the Boko Haram menace,” said Hekweme.Human Rights Watch said 40 people were killed and 50 were injured Tuesday when a car bomb exploded outside a post office in Maiduguri, the original home of the Islamist militant group known as Boko Haram.Last month, in an overnight attack in Maiduguri, militants damaged an army base, a police station, a gas station and dozens of vehicles. An air force base was also attacked.Boko Haram has killed thousands in more than four years of insurgency and the continued violence has harmed the president’s popularity, an issue that is increasingly pressing as elections approach in 2015.Many high-level officials, including five state governors, have recently defected from the ruling People’s Democratic Party. Party chairman Bamanga Tukur resigned Thursday, a move ruling party members said they hope will prompt defectors to return.But Clement Nwankwo, the director of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre in Abuja, said Tukur’s exit will not bring them back. “The issue is not even Tukur. Tukur is not important. It’s just an excuse for a lot of people to keep the fight with Jonathan going,” he stated.Ruling party defections are not entirely about security issues, Nwankwo added. He said some leaders feel if Jonathan seeks another term as president he will be violating a gentlemen’s agreement to rotate the presidency between the mostly Muslim north and the mostly Christian south.
Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has described the recent removal of Chief Victor Umeh, as the All Progressive Grand Alliance(APGA) National Chairman, by a Court of Appeal in Abuja as a blessing to the party.He stated that Umeh’s removal was a justification of the divine mandate given to him by the people of the…
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) yesterday vowed to sue the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika and six others to the International Criminal Court of Justice (ICC) in the Hague over their alleged role in last year’s violence in Bama, and Giwa Barracks all in Borno State while battling members of the Islamic Terrorists sect, Boko Haram. The NEF however, did not name the other six persons. Meanwhile, a one day meeting of Northern Emirs ended in Kaduna last Thursday with the Emirs saying that there was a plot to further divide the north on religious and ethnic basis for the selfish end of some interest groups.A statement signed by the Chairman of the NEF, Professor Ango Abdullahi made available to Saturday Vanguard in Kaduna