We politicians have failed the masses says David Mark In a surprisingly candid assessment of the state of Nigeria, the country’s Senate on Thursday gave their assessment of the nation 53 years after independence, asking political leaders to search their souls just as the Upper Legislative Chamber urged them to shun greed and selfishness.
A report by a committee of the United States House of Representatives has linked the fundamentalist Islamist sect, Boko Haram, to al Shabaab, the terror group that carried out the September 21 Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya. Al-Shabaab is a Somali-based group whose members are said to be highly proficient in suicide bombing. The report dated September 13, 2013 and entitled, ‘Boko Haram: Growing Threat to the US Homeland’, also acknowledged the growing relationship between the Nigerian sect and another terror group, the Al Qaeda in the land of the Islamic Maghreb. The 39-page report noted that “while there is no evidence that al Qaeda’s core in Afghanistan and Pakistan commands Boko Haram’s operations, it is clear from the words of multiple US officials and media reports that Boko Haram is supportive of, and supported by Al Qaeda networks such as AQIM.”
The controversy over the state of the nation’s economy continued on Thursday with the faction of the Peoples Democratic Party known as the New PDP accusing the Goodluck Jonathan administration of running the economy aground. It said in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, on Thursday, that officially-induced oil theft, dwindling returns from oil and massive looting of the treasury, were pointers that Nigeria was on the brink of economic collapse. But the Presidency and the Bamanga Tukur-led PDP advised Nigerians to ignore the claim because the economy was doing well. But the New PDP argued that despite the claims by the Jonathan administration that the economy was on a good footing, there were overwhelming facts that it (economy) was “now comatose.”
THE two-day public hearing on the review of the Revenue Allocation Formula for the South East zone commenced in Enugu, yesterday with states in the region disagreeing on the formula to be adopted in sharing revenue accruing to the federal government. Although the five states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo unanimously agreed on the need to urgently review the current revenue allocation to make more funds available to them and the local government councils, they, however, differed on the percentage of monthly revenue that should go to the three tiers of government. The public hearing which is holding at the Nike Lake Resort Hotel, Enugu, was attended by representatives of the five state governments in the zone, local government officials and non-governmental organizations, among other interest groups.
Following the raid on an uncompleted building believed to be a hideout of Boko Haram members near the legislative quarters at Apo, Abuja, last Friday by the Department of State Service, DSS, which claimed 10 lives, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) announced, yesterday, that 100,435 illegal, uncompleted buildings have been marked for demolition. FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed disclosed this when the House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Safety and National Security visited his office on oversight duties. According to him, 100,000 illegal buildings and 435 uncompleted houses have so far been identified in the FCT to be pulled down. He explained that his administration would no longer condone the delays by developers in completing their buildings, after being allocated plots of land.
Former President Charles Taylor of Liberia will spend 50 years in jail after the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) today rendered a historic final judgment in his case, dismissing the appeal he lodged following his conviction by the Trial Chamber. Taylor, 65, came under the hammer for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during Sierra Leone’s decade-long civil war. The African Press Organization (APO) quotes Special Court Prosecutor Brenda J. Hollis as welcoming to the judgment, saying: “This final decision affirms Mr. Taylor’s criminal responsibility for grave crimes which caused untold suffering to many thousands, if not tens of thousands, of victims in Sierra Leone. Today’s judgment brings some measure of justice to those victims who suffered so horribly because of Charles Taylor.
After two months of deep reflection, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola this afternoon rendered an unreserved apology to Ndigbo over the July 24 dumping of 72 alleged destitute in Onitsha, Anambra State, by his administration. Speaking at the silver jubilee symposium of Igbo think tank Aka Ikenga at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos, in South-West Nigeria, Fashola declared that he has no problem with Igbos, saying that his action had been misunderstood. He said it was easier for him to ask Ben Akubueze, the Igbo financial expert serving as Lagos Commissioner for Budget, to represent him at the event but decided to come in person. Fashola disclosed that the highest number of cattle he got during the burial of his father early last month came from Ndigbo. He made it clear that his relationship
Suspected Boko Haram Islamists on Thursday opened fire in a church in Nigeria’s restive northeast, killing the pastor and his two children
Some ex-Biafran soldiers have threatened to embark on a street protest in Abuja if the Federal Government failed to release their entitlements. The former soldiers said they had decided to take their destiny in their hands and would halt government and commercial activities in Abuja in order to alert the international community on their plight. Rising from an emergency meeting in Enugu, on Wednesday, they said barring any last minute intervention, the planned showdown would kick off “in a couple of weeks.”
The Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos has been thrown into darkness since Tuesday owing to power outage. Airlines operating in the terminal have resorted to manual check-in of passengers as all the systems packed up because of the outage. It was gathered that the power cable, which supplies electricity to the airport got burnt owing to overload. As at yesterday, all facilities at the airport, including the chillers, were still not working. It was also learnt that profilers resorted to the use of torchlight to profile departing passengers while workers on the fifth floor also