President Jonathan, Tukur ready war team in G7 states Gbemi Saraki, Mohammed Abacha, Ghali Na’Abba may emerge

FOLLOWING indications of a total collapse of the ongoing peace talks between the presidency and aggrieved governors of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) under the aegis of New PDP, the mainstream PDP was said to have prepared its war team in the affected G7 states. Investigations by the Nigerian Tribune confirmed that the mainstream PDP, led by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, alongside the presidency, had prepared what looks like a war team, which would soon emerge in the states of the G7 governors. Although it was believed that not all the G7 states, as currently constituted, would eventually remain recalcitrant, sources said some reports had identified states that appeared irredeemable.


Ibori stole $500m in 8 years, Ribadu tells London court

Pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, returned yesterday to the Southwark Crown Court, London where he was crossexamined by lawyers for former governor James Ibori of Delta State. Ribadu also expressed the belief that Ibori was receiving police undue protection in the era of former Inspector- General, Mike Okiro, as he cited the removal of his (Ribadu’s) car and bodyguards by the police as signs of bias against him. At his first appearance at the weekend to testify in a confiscation hearing over assets accumulated by Ibori with his loot, Ribadu told the court that the former governor, who is currently serving a 13-year jail sentence in the United Kingdom, had stolen as much as $500 million during his eight years in office.


Borno attack Troops ran out of ammunition Army General

The death toll from last week’s attack in Borno State that saw insurgents dressed as soldiers, set up checkpoints and gun down travellers on a highway, has risen to, at least, 142. Abdulaziz Kolomi, an official with the Environmental Protection Agency in the state said, yesterday, that “we recovered 55 bodies on Wednesday and 87 on Thursday”. The previous toll from the attack late Tuesday in the Benisheik area was 87. The insurgents, suspected to be from Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram, also burnt scores of homes and buildings in the assault and left corpses littering the roadside.


5% of Nigerians pocket 80% of the country’s funds situation unacceptable, says Intersociety

Less than 5% of Nigeria’s estimated population of 170 million consume close to 80% of the country’s annual public finances, according to a study by the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety). The group made the disclosure in Part Two of its public statement entitled “ASUU Strike & Socioeconomic Consequences of Industrial Disputes in Nigeria” released this morning from its Onitsha base in Nigeria’s South-East. This less than 5%, according to Intersociety, is “made up of 17,500 top public office holders in Nigeria and public industrial unions and their members such as ASUU, NMA, NUT, TUC, NLC, etc.” The three-part report is expected to be concluded with recommendations on the way out of recurrent ASUU strikes and the rot in Nigeria’s higher education sector.

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Ohanaeze, MASSOB disagree over conference

The apex socio-cultural group of the East, Ohanaeze Ndi’gbo, and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, have disagreed on the proposed sovereign national conference’s ability to ensure the unity of the country. While Ohanaeze said Igbo people backed the conference as the only way forward for the country, MASSOB argued that it would only yield positive results if the division of the country would be discussed. The National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze, Mr. Tony Oganah, in an interview with our correspondent on Friday, said the shape the country would take would be known during the conference. He said, “The East, Yoruba (South-West) and the North-Central of Nigeria are on the same page. I was a member of Pro-National Conference under late Chief Anthony Enahoro and ever since then, we have all agreed that SNC must be held. It is the only way to move forward.


North National conference won’t solve Nigeria’s problems

The umbrella body of northern Nigeria, Arewa Consultative Forum, has said the proposed sovereign national conference may not achieve the goals for which it will be convoked. It said the problem with the country was not the constitution, federal structure or form of government but the lack of political will by stakeholders.” The Publicity Secretary of the forum, Mr. Anthony Sani, in an interview with our correspondent on Friday, noted that contrary to some not opinions, the North would not oppose a national conference, as long as Nigerians wanted it.


PDP crisis Fear grips ministers, Jonathan’s aides over sack

The atmosphere at the Presidential Villa since last week has been tense as President Goodluck Jonathan may still dispense with a few other top aides who have not shown enough loyalty to the President. Only last week, President Jonathan sacked six ministers, including three ministers of state and two special advisers. The affected ministers are those of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru; National Planning, Dr. Shamshudeen Usman, and Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufa’i. Others are, Hajia Hadiza Mailafia, Environment; Ms. Ama Peppel, Housing; Minister of State for Power, Zainab Kuchi; Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusula Obada; Minister of State for Agriculture, Buka Tijani; and Science and Technology, Professor Ita Ewa.


PDP crisis Senators & Reps may lose diplomatic passports

There is no let up in the war of attrition wracking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as it has emerged the Federal Government is set to withdraw diplomatic passports issued to all members of the National Assembly – 109 senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives. The Presidency has directed the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to “review” the diplomatic passports of the legislators. The move, sources say, is one of the strategies to “whip Senators and Representatives” into line and secure their loyalty. Following the eruption of the crisis in the ruling party, government has been uncomfortable with the romance between the ‘New PDP’ faction led by one-time Acting National Chairman, Abubakar Kawu Baraje and the opposition in the National Assembly.


Outrage over Abuja killings

Barely 24 hours after the killing of nine artisans in Gudu District, there was still tension in Abuja yesterday. There were indications that the Senate and the House of Representatives might probe the killing of the Gudu 9 in an uncompleted building, which the State Security Service (SSS) marked as Boko Haram hideout. But 13 critically wounded menial workers were still on admission at Asokoro General Hospital in Abuja. According to findings, the killing of the Gudu 9 had provoked protest from all classes of the society with many still claiming that the victims were menial and migrant workers.