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Abia teachers dying of hunger, Staff go months on end without salary

“Many teachers in primary and secondary schools in Abia State are present­ly down with high blood pressure and stroke. Some have even died. The cause of the health challenges and deaths is the condition of things in the education sector in the state. We are not being paid; we are suffering. In fact, we are

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EU rejects death sentences Court Martial of 12 Nigerian soldiers

The European Union (EU) has rejected the death sentence handed to 12 Nigerian soldiers by the General Court Martial in Nigeria for alleged mutiny.
The EU in a statement issued yesterday on the occasion of the World Day against Death Penalty condemned all death sentences especially after mass trials as was the case with the Nigerian soldiers.

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Cameroon expresses surprise at news of purported release of hostages by Boko Haram terrorist

Cameroon’s Communication Minister, Issa Bakary, says that he is surprised by the news that some hostages kidnapped by the Boko Haram sect in northern Cameroon have been released.

Earlier reports had said that the sect members have released the wife of Cameroon’s Deputy Prime Minister, Amadou Ali, 10 Chinese workers and district heads who were kidnapped in different attacks.

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2015: Pro-Jonathan officials fail to convince Igbo leaders

The quest of those campaigning for Jonathan’s victory at the 2015 presidential poll to achieve Ndigbo’s endorsement of the re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan in the next year’s election suffered a setback following a stalemate that ended its meeting with Igbo leaders.
However, both parties agreed to constitute a committee to be headed by the immediate past governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, with members to be drawn from all Igbo groups in Lagos. Their mandate is to resolve whether Ndigbo in Lagos State will support the president’s ambition or not.
It was gathered that the meeting, which was held at Dover Hotel, Lekki on Tuesday night, was conveyed at the instance of President Jonathan, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim. Though expected to begin by 6pm, the meeting was two hours behind schedule owing to the late arrival of the Anyim-led delegation. This necessitated the parley lasting till the wee hours of Wednesday.
The SSG and his group had come to Lagos from Onitsha, en route Enugu after receiving Obi, who dumped the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Those who accompanied Anyim to the meeting included Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha; Senator Hope Uzodinma; Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu; National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, businessman and Labour Party governorship candidate in the 2013 Anambra governorship election, Ifeanyi Ubah and Peter Obi.
The Igbo leaders with whom they had the meeting were the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Gary Enwo- Igariwey; president of Ndigbo Lagos, Prof. Anya O. Anya; president of Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazurike; former chairman of Diamond Bank, Paschal Dozie; former military administrator of Lagos, Admiral Ndubisi Kanu (rtd); former president, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Dr. Raymond Obieri; Eze Ndigbo of Ikeja, Eze Uche Dimgba and president of Ohanaeze Lagos, Fabian Onwughalu.
According to New Telegraph report, trouble started at the meeting when Anyim advised Ndigbo to forget what happened after 2011 elections and face the future by supporting Jonathan’s second term bid. This plea reportedly angered most of the Igbo leaders at the parley, who questioned why the South-East should support the president again, when he is yet to fulfill most of his 2011 campaign promises to the zone.
New Telegraph quoted a source who attended the meeting thus: “majority of the Igbo leaders argued that it was unreasonable for Ndigbo to work for the president again going by what is on ground,” adding that “There was heated argument on the call for support for Jonathan in 2015.
“The issue of Second Niger Bridge was raised, but there was doubt over the authenticity of the project because it is under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, and would be tolled on completion for about 25 years, while a similar project in Benue State is being funded by the Federal Government and would not be tolled.
“Even the sixth state approved for Ndigbo at the just-concluded National Conference is not likely to be realised because it was disclosed at the meeting that a boundary adjustment committee set up by the government on the issue failed to reach an agreement with the South-East governors on where the new state should be carved out from.
“The so-called international airport (Enugu International Airport), which the Jonathan campaigners are mouthing as part of his achievements was approved by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and not Jonathan. Some of the Igbo leaders were furious, querying why Ifeanyi Uba and his group, Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN), are going around, directing Ndigbo to vote for Jonathan in 2015, when we have not taken a stand on the issue. Based on these, there is the fear that some of us may look elsewhere,” the source noted.
Continuing, the Igbo bigwig squealed that while support for the President is still open pending the report of the Obi-led committee, Ndigbo are not taking anything for granted.
According to him, plans are underway for a meeting with Lagos State former governor and a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and former Head of State and APC presidential aspirant, Major General Muhammadu Buhari.
Hear him, “Ndigbo in Lagos are considering changing camp and we will soon meet with Tinubu and Buhari on the way forward because we have lost it in the PDP. What transpired on Tuesday night showed that Ndigbo have nobody in the present government. Our representatives are there for their own interest and not for the collective interest of our people.”.”

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British Man Dies From Suspected Ebola Virus In Macedonia Hotel

A British man has died of causes very similar to the Ebola virus. The man who died yesterday in Macedonia in an hotel was suspected to have died of the virus.
Macedonia authorities have sealed off the hotel and placed people who may have been in contact with him under quarantine.

According to Reuters, the man had arrived from Britain on Oct. 2 and had been rushed to hospital at 3 p.m. on Thursday, where he died several hours later. Dr. Jovanka Kostovska of the ministry’s commission for infectious diseases said the man had been suffering from fever, vomiting and internal bleeding, and that his condition had deteriorated rapidly.
Amid fears that the disease might spread in Europe, Kostovska told a news conference:

“These are all symptoms of Ebola, which raises suspicions with this patient.”

It was unclear, however, whether the man had recently been to West Africa, where Ebola has killed nearly 4,000 people since March in the largest outbreak on record.

“Initially we had information that he had been to Nigeria, but then his friend told us they hadn’t been anywhere,” said Kostovska.

A government spokesman said later:

“Medical authorities have informed us that up till now they cannot confirm whether the patient who died had Ebola. But as a precaution, based on the protocol of the World Health Organisation, medical authorities are taking all measures as if the patient had been suffering from a highly infectious disease.”

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Okotie Calls For Oritsejafor’s Resignation As CAN President Over $9.3Million Botched Arms Deal Scandal

Rev. Chris Okotie of the Household of God Church has called for the immediate and swift resignation of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor as President of Christian Association of Nigeria [CAN] over the $9.3million botched arms deal scandal in which Oritsejafor’s private jet was involved in.
Okotie took to his facebook to share a piece about the scandal, read below;
The recent seizure by the South African authorities of $9.3m found in a private jet owned by Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has aggravated the image problem of this country at a time when the narrative of this government is brimming with negatives under the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The South African government took the action on the alleged charge that the undeclared $9.3m found in the plane might have been laundered. This revelation came when the dust generated by the seemingly dubious donation of the jet to Pastor Ayo is yet to settle. His friendship with the President has been at the centre of the controversies that mark his explosive tenure as the leader of the eponymous religious organization in Nigeria.
Not that it is a sin to be the President’s Pal, but when such relationship becomes provocatively patronizing, or self-serving, it is unacceptable. The Pastor does not show restraint in the way he goes about, publicly hobnobbing with the President as if he is the Chaplain of Aso Rock. This certainly has compromised the integrity of his office as CAN President and this latest incident is just the climax of embarrassing incidents we can’t tolerate any longer.
Considering the collateral damage Pastor Ayo’s close relationship with the President has done to the Christian community, it is fit and proper for the Pastor to resign immediately as CAN President to salvage what remains of the battered image of the association.
This is without prejudice to the on-going investigation on the matter. Denials of his culpability by the Federal Government, CAN officials and his own recent defense, does nothing to reduce the moral burden this whole saga places on his shoulders. As the titular leader of Christians in Nigeria, there’s now a serious crisis of confidence on his leadership and he ought to respond to it by resigning from his exalted position.
That is what the ecclesiastic responsibility of his calling as a gospel minister dictates, once he finds himself in a situation where his continued occupation of public office suffers a moral deficit, on account of any error of commission or omission. If one may ask: why should Pastor Ayo’s jet be the one that was chartered for this ill-fated transaction when there are numerous competitors in that business in which he is obviously a new player?
It is very difficult to sustain the argument that a civilian aircraft is ideal to ferry weapons of war. A sitting President of CAN should never be involved in any way in the procurement of arms to fight insurgents like Boko Haram which claims Islamic principles in its war against the state. To do so is to expose Christians to more deadly attacks.
To whom much is given, much is expected. The Pastor has the distinction of being the first and only person to occupy the posts of CAN President, and President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, until recently when Rev. Felix Omobude succeeded him as PFN President.
Pastor Ayo’s friendship with President Jonathan is perfectly legitimate and nobody should attempt to query such relationship. However, the Pastor opens himself to criticism of this otherwise normal social interaction because of his indiscretion in identifying too closely to the President, in a way that suggests a veiled endorsement of Dr. Jonathan’s policies and actions by the entire Christian community. He ought to have identified privately with the President knowing full well that he carries the mandate of the Christian community at these trying times.
In a nation of contending faiths, Pastor Ayo literally ignores our divergent religious sensibilities as he sometimes gets himself involved in public quarrels with the President’s critics, from the muslim faith as well as in the opposition. Not all Christians are comfortable with this posture by their leader, especially at a time of intense politicking and the sectarian tensions generated by the Boko Haram insurgents and communal violence involving ethnic minorities with entrenched religious identities.
The cumulative effect of Pastor Ayo’s abrasive leadership style has also polarized the Christian community as evidenced by the current unprecedented division in CAN. Before now, leaders of this organization deliberately stayed out of politics in keeping with the traditional stance of neutrality of the body vis-a-vis the policy postures of incumbent governments. In fact, former PFN leaders like the late Archbishop Benson Idohosa and ex-CAN President, Olubunmi Cardinal Okogie kept governments on their toes during their time.
In more mature democracies, it is not unusual for public officers to resign from office when their actions appear to degrade their positions. And they would not have to wait to be found guilty in circumstances surrounding their actions before they throw in the towel. In other words, they could even be victims of circumstances; or in rare cases, subjects of blackmail. It didn’t matter. Once you are pelted in any way, you quit to protect the integrity of your office.
That was the case of Dominic Strauss-Khan who resigned his position as the President of IMF because he was accused of molesting a maid in a hotel in the United States. He was eventually acquitted after a celebrated trial. The Prime Minister of South Korea, Jong Hong-won resigned because his compatriots were drowned recently in a chartered cruise ship which carried some students on a picnic. Just last month, the First Minister of Scotland, Mr. Alex Salmond resigned because he led his country’s failed bid to gain independence from the United Kingdom. Nobody asked him to resign; he did so of his own accord because he felt it was wrong to continue to run a country he launched on a part of an unsuccessful “secession”.
If purely secular leaders could do this to affirm their integrity, Pastor Ayo should take the honourable path by leaving office, not necessarily because he is guilty as charged, but to restore honour to an exalted office he has unwittingly degraded because of his unabashed flirtation with the head of a government that is perceived as one of the most corrupt in the world. The Bible commands us to “flee from all appearance of evil”.
Nobody says Pastor Ayo cannot do business; he could have been in order, if he does so as the Pastor of his Word of Life Bible Church, WOLBC. But since his private jet was involved in a transaction gone awry in a foreign land, while he is still the sitting President of CAN, it is difficult for him to continue to command the respect of Nigerian Christians of diverse denominations who constitute the CAN group, regardless of the defense his sympathizers and the Federal Government tried to put up on his behalf.
If this incident had happened in Pastor Ayo’s capacity as the head/founder of the Word of Life Bible Church, no one could justifiably call for his head because the Bible teaches that the “call of God is without repentance”. In other words, regardless of the conduct of a servant of God, He does not remove them from office or withdraw their anointing. This is one of the mysteries of the gospel. The Almighty has a way of chastising his errant servants.
But here, we are dealing with Pastor Ayo as the leader of CAN; the largest umbrella of Nigerian Christians. He is condemned to be judged by secular standards, which, in this case, demands that, having found himself in a quagmire which calls to question, the sanctity of his office, he must step down to redeem his image.
The Pastor should quit the CAN post and return to his church where he could then re-calibrate himself, away from this season of anomie.

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PDP, Govs fight, as NWC cancels endorsements

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA— The National leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has cancelled all endorsements of candidates by the state executive officers.

Rising from its National Working Committee, NWC, meeting yesterday, the national leadership of the PDP also warned all the zonal and state executives to jettison the idea of having any anointed candidate ahead of the November 29 Governorship Primary election when governorship candidates would emerge.

It will be recalled that there have been reports of full or indirect endorsement of candidates by the PDP governors. In Enugu State, member representing Udenu/ Igboeze-North in the Federal House of Representatives and Chairman, House Committee on Marine Transport, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi was endorsed by Governor Sullivan Chime as his possible successor.

Also in Akwa Ibom State, Governor Godswill Akpabio was said to have settled for the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, while Martins Elechi of Ebonyi State endorsed the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu. In Delta State, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan was said to be backing Anthony Chucks Obuh while the Minister of State, Education, Nyesom Wike has the backing of the Rivers State chapter of PDP.

A statement signed, yesterday, by PDP National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo read: “The National Working Committee (NWC) at its meeting today, Thursday, October 9, 2014 noted that some elected officers of our great Party at the state level have continued to engage in processes aimed at endorsing candidates for the 2015 general elections despite warnings from the national leadership that they, as unbiased umpires, should not be involved in such.

“The NWC strongly frowns at this development and issues this as a final warning to all elected party officials and chapters at all levels, and shall not hesitate to sanction such erring officers or chapters.

“The sanctity of our nomination processes must be protected at all times. We, therefore, wish to assure all party members that there shall be a level playing field for all aspirants intending to participate in the nomination processes.

“Consequently, the NWC will not hesitate to protect any of our members who in any way stands to be shortchanged, cheated or victimized by such endorsements.

“The NWC charges all our members and supporters to disregard all such endorsements as the PDP will conduct primaries to duly elect our flag bearers in line with   provisions of the Electoral Act and the constitution of our great party.”


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