President Jonathan sets up national conference committee

President Goodluck Jonathan has announced the setting up of an Advisory Committee to establish modalities for a national conference aimed at resolving issues that currently cause friction in the polity. In an Independence Day broadcast today, President Goodluck Jonathan said that the committee which will have Dr. Femi Okurounmu as its Chairperson and Dr. Akilu Indabawa as its Secretary, is expected to complete its assignment within one month. “Fellow Nigerians, our Administration has taken cognizance of suggestions over the years by well-meaning Nigerians on the need for a national dialogue on the future of our beloved country.


Bakassi France would have levelled Nigeria Duke

Former Cross River Governor, Donald Duke, yesterday disclosed that France threatened to level Nigeria if the country had gone to war with Cameroun over the Bakassi Peninsula. Speaking at the 60th birthday lecture in honour of Justice Charles Archibong (rtd) held in Lagos, Duke said any attempt to ignore the International Court of Justice, ICJ, judgement would have been disastrous for Nigeria. He said: “France would have wiped us out. Cameroun is still a protectorate of France and has a defence pact with France. And France is duty bound to honour that pact, even though it has a lot of investments in Nigeria. “The French President made it clear to us that it has put on alert its military and showed us the entire position of our military and exactly where we were and our daily movements.


It’s time to pause and decide Nigeria’s future Iwuanyanwu

Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, politician, industrialist and publisher of Champion Newspapers, is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) What is your thought on Nigeria as a nation? Frankly speaking, I don’t believe that when Lord Luggard amalgamated the North and South he had the intention of establishing a nation based on unity, love and prosperity. I think Luggard only did that for the convenience of the British Trading Company that employed him. He was just a staff of the company and of course he made every effort to maximize profit and the bigger the profit he made, the more he pleased his masters. In the history of mankind, God at times takes a very simple action which he turns into a very serious situation. That action, which was very simply taken by Luggard has been able to transform into one of the strongest countries of the world. I think Nigeria, as it is today, is one of the strongest countries in the world. Nigeria is endowed enormously with potentials. Our diversity means that Nigeria has got everything that God can give to a people in this world. And if Nigerians have a government, if Nigerians decide to harness these resources, we will be able to build a country, which no nation in the world can overtake in any situation.


Our amalgamation is a mistake – Ankio-Briggs

MS Ankio Briggs, rights activist and one of the leaders of the National Summit Group, says there is nothing to celebrate at 53 and the amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates to create Nigeria was a mistake. Excerpts: How do you view Nigeria at 53? I’m yet to see what we are celebrating. If we are celebrating the fact that we have had independence for 53 years and lived together for a 100 years then, 100 is just a figure. When you are celebrating, you have to show what you have achieved. And the question I’m asking is what have we achieved? Unity? We are not united in this country. Developmentally, what have we achieved? I mean in things like roads and what have you? These are the things that should matter as we are progressing. We shouldn’t now be building roads at 100. We should be improving on what we have built may be at 30, 40, 50, 60, not starting the development of Nigeria after a 100 years of being together.


Nigeria’ll not break up despite challenges Lar

Pioneer chairman of the Peoples Democratic Paty, Chief Solomon Lar, has expressed optimism that despite Nigeria’s current travails, it would still remain a united and indivisible entity. Lar in his message on Nigeria’s 53rd Independence Anniversary said he was privileged to be part of the celebration of yet another independence anniversary. Lar spoke in a statement by the Executive Secretary, Mr. Major Adeyi, the ex-PDP chairman said, “It is a great privilege for me to be part of the 53rd Independent anniversary of our great nation Nigeria. For me and those of us who witnessed the lowering of the Union Jack, and the hoisting of Nigeria’s national flag, we have every reason to rejoice.


MEND leader John Togo for burial 2 years after death

The Defence Headquarters has given the go-ahead for the burial of a notorious sea piracy kingpin and leader of the Niger Delta Liberation Force (NDLF), John Togo, over two years after he was killed in a clash with troops of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State. The Nation reliably gathered that the JTF has received the approval to release the body of the crime lord to relevant authority for burial. Sources said the delay in burying the scar-face militant, who was a factional leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), was due to the Federal Government’s directives that a DNA test be carried out on his decomposing remains.


Seven beheaded on Maiduguri/Damaturu road

Seven people were killed in Makintamari village in Kaga Local Government in Borno state along the Damaturu/Maiduguri road. Eyewitnesses said the travellers were beheaded with their heads placed on their lifeless bodies on the main road. At the Makintafamari village, in a separate incident, gunmen also cut the throats of four persons on Saturday. They were returning to Maiduguri in the evening. Borno Police chief Lawal Tanko confirmed the attacks .