A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday convicted five members of the dreaded Islamic Boko Haram sect for bombing the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, office and the All Christian Fellowship Church in Suleja and Abuja. Four of the convicts got life imprisonment. The bombings, masterminded by the terrorists, resulted in killings of scores of innocent Nigerians in Abuja, Niger and Nasarawa states where they launched their coordinated attacks. The trial judge, Justice Bilikisu Aliyu, in an 87- page judgement, which lasted about two hours said the Federal Government proved the case of terrorism against the convicts beyond reasonable doubt.
CHRISTIANS in the 17 Southern states under the aegis of Southern CAN, yesterday, described the recent ceasefire deal reportedly reached between the Federal Government and members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram as a ruse, stressing that such a deal will only be meaningful if the sect had opted to surrender and lay down their arms. The Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, which is the umbrella association of northern Muslims, however, disagreed with CAN’s position describing the ceasefire as a welcome development.
FORMER President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, reviewed criticisms that greeted his leadership style when he was president, saying all mistakes his critics claimed he made were “successful mistakes.” Many Nigerians, especially people from the South West, had severally scored his eight-year rule low, particularly for turning his back on the zone. Chief Obasanjo, who was in Ibadan at the lecture marking the 50th anniversary of Aare Afe Babalola’s qualification as a legal practitioner listed his achievements, travails in prison and handing over power to a civilian government, and concluded that if his critics saw those achievements as mistakes, so be it.
Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Tuesday, accused members of Association of Igbo Youths Organisation,
Former Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Akinjide Osuntokun, on Monday urged the Federal Government not wait for the Yoruba to revolt before addressing the marginalisation affecting the South-West. The Professor of History spoke during the 74th birthday lecture of the Chairman of Splash FM, Chief Adebayo Akande, at the University of Ibadan. Speaking on ‘The place of the Yoruba in the ethno-political configuration of Nigeria’, Osuntokun urged the Federal Government to be fair to all the zones in the country irrespective of their political leaning.
The Nigerian Ambassador to China, Aminu Wali, on Monday said Nigerians were responsible for about 80 per cent of the offences committed by Africans in China. Over 400 Nigerians, he added, were serving various jail terms in China for drug-related offences. Wali stated this in Beijing ahead of President Goodluck Jonathan’s state visit to China. He said, “We certainly have big issue with drug-related crimes committed by Nigerians in China and when you look at the whole of Africa, you find out that about 80 per cent of all the offences and crimes committed by Africans in China is committed by Nigerians.
European Union Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS Mr. David Macrae has said there is foreign interest in the security challenges facing the country. Macrae spoke in Abuja yesterday. He said: “We were all very surprised, especially by the suicide bombings because as we all know that Nigeria has a lot of life. The idea that Nigerians will want to sacrifice their lives for such a ridiculous calls is beyond the comprehension of Nigerians. We can only think that this kind of thing is foreign inspired.”
The Federal Government on Monday announced it had “reached an understanding” with the militant Islamic sect, Boko Haram, which would lead to the signing of a ceasefire deal with the group. Chairman, Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki, said this while speaking on the Hausa Service of Radio France International on Monday. Turaki, who is also the Minister of Special Duties, however, said the panel had not signed an agreement with the violent sect.
Last week, the National Teachers’ Institute announced that about 80 per cent of teachers in Northern Nigeria were not qualified to teach. Just before that, the Federal Ministry of Education had announced the cut-off marks for admission into the Federal Government Colleges
Gunmen yesterday, in Benin, Edo State, killed a Soldier on guard duty at SETRACO Construction Company yard and kidnapped an Israeli working with the company. Vanguard gathered that another soldier was reportedly shot and wounded, while a third soldier, also on guard duty was said to have escaped the attack launched by the gunmen suspected to be kidnappers. It was also learnt that the kidnap victim, whose name could not be established at press time, is said to be a staff of SETRACO working on the Upper Mission Road in Benin.