North will survive if Nigeria breaks up, says Aliyu

Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu said yesterday that the North will survive in case of a breakup of the country. The region, he declared, is not afraid of being on its own as he warned against statements that suggest that the country is heading for a breakup. “If Nigeria splits, the north can still survive on its own contrary to the belief of some people in other regions that the north cannot survive if the nation disintegrates,” the Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF), stated yesterday. He spoke during a meeting in Minna with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) in his office. Aliyu cited some countries in Africa that had disintegrated in recent past, noting that such countries have not gone into extinction rather they have survived and are waxing stronger.


Cash crunch hits Senate

Amid claims and counter-claims that the country is cash-strapped, the Senate, yesterday had its dose of the problem following the delay in the payment of its fourth quarter allocation. Daily Sun learnt that the delay has left some of the Senators stranded in Abuja. Meanwhile, legislative activities in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly were at the lowest ebb on Wednesday, following the participation of some lawmakers in the ongoing Hajj.Senate spokesman, Eyinnaya Abaribe, had on Tuesday announced the postponement of plenary till October 22. The belief was that the postponement would allow standing committees devote more time to pending assignments. The reverse was the case, Wednesday, as some committees also suspended the submission of their reports or sittings as many of their members had gone on the hajj.


Bomb Factory Discovered, Boko Haram Leader Killed

“At about 2:00 a.m. on 8 October 2013, a combined team of the JTF troops and Department of State Security Services (DSS) personnel pounced on two Boko Haram Terrorists’ hideouts at Gunduwawa village in Gezawa LGA of Kano state. The raid which was conducted following a lead on intelligence reports made no arrests as the terrorists fled the village on approach of the JTF troops and DSS personnel. The combined team was also able to recover weapons, working tools and materials used for making improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The weapons include assault rifle, two AK 58 rifle magazines with 193 rounds of 5.5mm ammunition, one AK 47 rifle magazine with 107 rounds of 7.62mm (Special) ammunition, bows, and arrows. The materials used for making IEDs found in the buildings raided include 3 primed cylinders of IEDs, one primed explosive suicide back pack, 18 empty IED cylinders, 24 detonators, small bags of fertilizer, IED timers, cortex wires and three remote control devices.


Shell to sell 4 more oil blocks, pipelines

Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, has announced plans to sell off its 97-kilometer, 150,000 barrels of oil per day Nembe Creek Trunk Line in the Niger Delta region. The company, along with its joint venture partner, is also planning to sell off four more oil blocks — Oil licenses 18, 24, 25 and 29. This was even as the company, yesterday, shut the Trans Niger Pipeline, TNP, following reports of new leaks, barely 10 days after the line was repaired from crude oil theft incidents, deferring about 150,000 barrels of oil per day. The company said the latest leaks were reported at B-Dere, Nonwa–Tai, and Bodo West all in Ogoni land, adding that it shut the line as a precautionary measure after receiving reports of the incidents and has also mobilised a spill response team.

Deportees from Lagos to Onitsha

Lawyer, NCP sue Lagos over ‘deported’ Anambra 69

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos is expected to commence hearing in a fundamental human rights suit filed against the Lagos State government by an Onitshabased lawyer, Anthony Orunkoya, and the National Conscience Party (NCP) over the deportation of 69 Anambra State indigenes. The plaintiffs, Orunkoya and the Anambra State branch of NCP are praying for a declaration that the arrest, confinement and/or detention and subsequent deportation and/or dumping at Onitsha, of the 69 persons of Anambra State origin or any Nigerian whatsoever by the Government of Lagos State on the grounds that such persons are destitute in need of rehabilitation and re-union with members of their families or any reason whatsoever not provided for in the constitution is an infringement, a breach and gross violation of their constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights. They are also seeking an order of court restraining the Government of Lagos State either by itself or through any of its agencies, servants or privies, from


2,500 containers abandoned at ports since 2006

Nearly two years after the removal of over 500 abandoned consignments at Lagos Ports Complex in Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports Complex on the orders of the Presidency, no fewer than 2, 500 containers are still trapped at Tin Can Ports. President Goodluck Jonathan had, following the congestion of the nation’s ports in 2011, constituted a special reform committee headed by his Senior Special Adviser on Monitoring and Compliance, Prof. Sylvester Monye, with the mandate to decongest the ports. Managing Director of Tin Can Island Container Terminal, the concessionaire in charge of the biggest container terminal at Tin Port, Mr. Yehuda Kotic, disclosed that the congestion was partly caused by the abandonment of 2, 192 Twenty Equivalent Units (TEUs) since the inception of its 20-year concession agreement in 2006.


Shekau is dead, security agencies insist • We have no mandate to dialogue with Shekau —Minister

INVESTIGATORS of the Joint Task Force (JTF) who have been probing the video of the leader of the dreaded Islamic militant sect, Boko Haram, Mallam Abubakar Shekau have rubbished a supposed video of the militant leader, which indicated he was still alive. A report put together by the team of investigators on behalf of the security agencies said that the investigators have been able to fault the video in “a number of ways.” Though the real location of the militant leader is yet to be ascertained by the security forces, there was a strong belief in the forces that Shekau was not alive. Analysis of the last video said to have been made available to authorities indicated that Shekau was cloned.


Arms smuggling Court discharges 15 Russians

A Federal High Court, Lagos on Tuesday discharged 15 Russians and their ship, MV Myre Seadiver, of arms smuggling charges. The action followed the withdrawal of the charges by the Federal Government, which said it would continue the prosecution of a Nigerian firm, Blueseas Maritime Services Nig. Ltd, and its employee, Stanley Chinenye. The discharged Russians are Zhelyazkov Andrey; Savchenko Sergrey; Chichikanov Vasily; Varlygin Igor, Komilov Alexandr; Lopatin Alexey; Baranovskly Nikolay; Mishin Pavel, LLia Shubov; Dmitry Bannyrn, Alexander Tsarikov; Kononov Sergel; Korotchenko Andrey; Vorobev Mikhail and Stepan Oleksuik. The Nigerian Navy had on October 18, 2012 arrested MV Myre Seadiver and its Russian crew for allegedly carrying smuggled weapons. The seized cargo was said to be carrying 14 AK-47 rifles and 3,643 rounds of ammunition and 22 Benelli MR1 rifles with 4,955 rounds.


Be careful with that conference!

President Goodluck Jonathan’s acceptance of the National Conference/Dialogue on the 53rd Independence Day last week, may be a Greek Gift. He was adamantly against it just a few months ago; and so was Senator David Mark, just a few weeks ago. For them both to make such a sudden and complete U-Turn makes the whole thing suspicious. If they plan to use it to cause some confusion toward the 2015 elections, then they better make another U-Turn in the best interest of stability, as well as the existence of this country. If that is not the case, and I want to believe it is not, then they should only receive and widely publish the report of the conference committee just formed, but suspend all other actions on the conference until well after the 2015 elections. In fact, I would want such a suggestion to come from the committee members themselves. No such a conference or anything about it, besides the ad hoc committee’s work, should take place before the elections.