Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Buhari admits 2017 was tough for Nigeria, hopes 2018 will be better

Buhari admits 2017 was tough for Nigeria, hopes 2018 will be better

Buhari admits 2017 was tough for Nigeria, hopes 2018 will be better
By Editor
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday acknowledged that 2017 was tough for Nigeria but said he was hopeful the coming year would be more prosperous for the country.
Buhari made stated this when the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammed Bello, visited him on Christmas Day at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
President Buhari was joined by some state governors and other top government officials when Bello and his delegation visited him.
He said, “It has been a tough year for Nigeria and I hope next year will be a much more prosperous one.

“But those listening to the press and the majority of us know that the rainy season was very good and some states have got very good information from home.
“I never knew that the people from Kano, who are more resourceful , used to go to my area and hire farms. This year , nobody hired farms, and nobody regretted it.
“The second one is that the governor of Sokoto State said all the people that really used to go to Mecca were farmers but he didn’ t tell me if they took additional wives,” he said.
The president said that he thought he was 74 only to be told that he is now 75 years old.
Buhari, said to have been born on December 17, 1942, recently celebrated his 75th birthday.
Interacting with his visitors Buhari said, “I am very grateful (to you ) for taking time out on a very important day to come out and spend it with us.
“It has been a tumultuous year. I am thinking I am 75. I thought I was 74 but I was told I’m 75.
“I have never been so sick , not even during the 30 – month civil war that I was stumbling under farm of yams or cassava.

READ ALSO: FANI-KAYODE: Buhari suffers memory loss, dementia
“But this sickness … I don ’t know, but I came out better. All those who saw me before said I looked much better when I came back .
“But I have explained it to the public that as a General, I used to give orders . But now, I take orders. The doctors told me to feed my stomach and sleep for longer hours. That is why I am looking much better.”
Earlier, the FCT minister spoke on how his administration put a stop, a crisis that would have left this year’s Christmas celebration a bleak one for FCT residents.
According to him, if not for the urgent intervention of security operatives in the FCT, a clash between some youths in the Bwari Area Council in the course of celebrating the Yuletide would have become something serious.

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Ojukwu’s spirit’ll lead us through elections – Umeh, Ojukwu’s son - See more at:

By Nwabueze Okonkwo

ONITSHA – National chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA yesterday kicked off his senatorial campaign at the grave yard of the late Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu’s country home’ Nnewi, Anambra state.

Umeh also used the rally to recognize Ojukwu’s son, Emeka Ojukwu jnr as APGA’s candidate for Nnewi NorthI Nnewi SouthIEkwusigo federal constituency in the House of Representatives.
Addressing party supporters at the rally, Umeh noted that with himself at the senate and Ojukwu Jnr in the house of representatives, nobody will tell our opponents that Ndigbo have arrived.
Umeh further noted that with then in the national assembly, Ojukwu’s spirit would continue to bubble in happiness and be resting in peace.

“We are going to have quality representation. We will ensure truth. Anybody who used Ojukwu,s name to win election and later derail will surely be pursued by the land of Ndigbo”, Umeh stated.
In his speech, Ojukwu Jnr declared; “my father lived life of servitude and I will follow his foot step. I will never let you down. Some people used our platform and dropped us”.

Driver in court for absconding with employer’s bus

The FCT Area Court at Lugbe in Abuja on Friday remanded in prison custody a 35-year-old driver, Ibeabuchi Chimezie, who was charged with betrayal of trust.
Chimezie, who lives at Uzuakoli Ngwu in Abia, is standing trial on a two-count charge of criminal breach of trust and cheating, after absconding with his employer’s bus.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused pleaded not guilty to the offence and also prayed the court to grant him bail.
However, the presiding officer, Senior Judge Gambo Garbo, refused to take Chimezie’s plea and ordered that he should be remanded in Kuje prison till Nov. 10.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Anigbo Paul, had told the court that the case was reported by one Ekeh Chukwuemeke at the Lugbe Police Station on Oct. 11.
“The accused ran away with the complainant’s Sienna bus meant for commercial purpose since Sept. 23 without remitting the N10,000 per trip which they agreed on,’’ Paul said.
He alleged that during police investigation, the accused had refused to give reasonable explanation as to the whereabouts of the bus.
“Right now the bus in question is missing.’’ the prosecutor told the court.
Paul, who said the case was still under investigation, noted that the offence contravened sections 312 and 322 of the Penal
- See more at:

Many feared killed as bomb rocks cash point in Bauchi - See more at:

A bomb concealed in a black plastic bag killed several people at a cash point in north Nigeria’s Bauchi state on Friday near the scene of a recent bus station attack blamed on Boko Haram, witnesses said.
Multiple residents of the targeted town of Azare told AFP that the bomber approached people who had queued up outside a First Bank branch at roughly 10:30 am (0930 GMT).
“A man came on foot to this ATM where a large crowd was taking turns to withdraw money,” said Lamara Ibrahim, who was at the scene.
The man tried to leave a black plastic bag on a parked motorcycle nearby but was stopped before he could leave by locals who said leaving parcels unaccompanied was prohibited following recent unrest in the area.
“It was while they were talking to him that the bomb exploded. I saw at least 10 people that looked dead,” said Ibrahim, noting that he was  not in a position to authoritatively confirm a death toll.
Musa Usman, who was also nearby, gave an identical account of the attack and estimated that several people were killed.
A bomb blast at a bus station in Azare killed at least five people on October 23, with many in the city pointing the finger at Boko Haram, which is waging a five-year uprising against the Nigerian state.
The bus station is just 100 metres (330 feet) from the cash machine.
An official at the depot, who asked to remain anonymous, said he rushed down the road after hearing a “huge blast” and helped evacuate the victims from the scene to a hospital.
He also estimated that 10 people were killed and several others were injured.
Police in Bauchi did not answer calls and messages seeking comment.
Ishola Micheal, the spokesman for Bauchi’s Governor Isha Yuguda, said he was aware of an incident in Azare but declined to confirm any details.
Bauchi borders Yobe state, one of three northeast states under emergency rule since May of last year because of Boko Haram violence.
The area has been attacked repeatedly through the uprising, which is estimated to have killed more than 10,000 people.
Some violence in the north blamed on Boko Haram has been the work of separate criminal groups.
While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, the targeted bombing in Azare resembled scores of other Boko Haram attacks.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Boko Haram raped, beat us – Abducted girls

Abducted Chibok girls
He soon began to threaten me with a knife to have sex with him and when I refused, he brought out his gun, warning that he would kill me if I shouted.
“Then he   began to rape me every night … I had never had sex before; it was very painful and I cried bitterly because I was bleeding afterwards.”
These were the words of a 15-year-old girl, who was abducted by Boko Haram and forcibly married to one of its commanders in a camp in the Sambisa Forest, Borno State.
The girl, according to a report by Human Rights Watch, was abducted in 2013 but she escaped after four weeks in captivity.
The teenager is one of the five girls that personally recounted their ordeals in the publication which was made public on Monday. She said that after her marriage to the commander who was in his early 30s, she was ordered to live with him in cave.
The experiences of three others who   suffered sexual violence were narrated by witnesses in the 63-page HRW report titled, Those Terrible Weeks in Their Camp: Boko Haram Violence against Women and Girls in North-East Nigeria.’
The publication provides details of how hundreds of girls and women aged between 15 and 22 were being made to suffer other forms of abuses and used for ambushes.
The HRW said in the report that it spoke to 47 witnesses and victims, including some of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped from their hostel in April this year.
The group also described how some of the Christian abductees were ordered to convert to Islam or be executed.
It claimed that four of the eight sexual assaults it recorded occurred after the girls and women were forced to marry   Boko Haram combatants.
According to the HRW, before “marriage,” the commanders appeared to make some efforts to protect the women and girls from sexual assault.
It said that in two cases, the insurgents   took advantage of the absence of a commander and sexually abused abductees who had yet to be “married.”
An 18-year-old victim also described how an insurgent sexually abused her when she went to use the bathroom.
She said, “I did not know he followed me when I walked a short distance away from the tree under which we slept. He grabbed me from behind, roughly fondling me while trying to take off his pants. I screamed in fright and he hurriedly left me as I continued to shout for help.”
Another woman, who was raped in 2013 in one of the militants’ camps near Gwoza, described how a commander’s wife seemed to encourage the crime.
“I was lying down in the cave pretending to be ill because I did not want the marriage the commander planned to conduct for me with another insurgent on his return from the Sambisa camp. When the insurgent who had paid my dowry came in to force himself on me, the commander’s wife blocked the cave entrance and watched as the man raped me.”
Another woman aged 19,   who was married and had children, described how she and one other woman were raped after having been abducted   in April 2014.
She said, “When we arrived at the camp, they left us under a tree. I managed to sleep. I was exhausted and afraid. Late in the night, two insurgents woke me and another woman, saying their leader wanted to see us.
“We had no choice but to follow them; but as soon as we moved deep into the bush, one of them dragged me away, while his partner took the other woman to another direction.
“I guessed what they had in mind and I began to cry. I begged him, telling him I was a married woman. He ignored my pleas, flung me on the ground, and raped me. I could not tell anyone what happened, not even my husband.
“I still feel so ashamed and cheated. The other woman told me she was also raped but vowed never to speak of it   as she was single and believes that news of her rape would foreclose her chances of marriage.”
The HRW had previously documented the widespread abuses carried out by the Nigerian security forces in responding to the attacks by Boko Haram.
However, the rights organisation asserted that few members of the security forces implicated in “serious violations of humanitarian and human rights law, including violations against girls and women, have been prosecuted.”
It advised that “to ensure accountability, Nigerian authorities should investigate and prosecute, based on international fair trial standards, those who committed serious crimes in violation of national and international laws during the conflict, including members of Boko Haram, security forces, and pro-government vigilante groups.”
The group said that “in addition, the government should provide adequate measures to protect schools and the right to education, and ensure access to medical and mental health services to victims of abduction and other violence.
“The government should also ensure that hospitals and clinics treating civilian victims are equipped with medical supplies to treat survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.”


Policeman turns blind after assault by naval rating

Mbilla after the assault
Having served in the Nigeria Police Force for about 30 years, the plan of ASP Emmanuel Mbilla was to retire in 2018 after which he would set up his own private security firm.
However, Emmanuel’s dream was cut short on February 22, 2014 after a life-changing encounter with a naval rating, Warrant officer Unaji Enejor, in the Kirikiri area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the 50-year-old victim was attacked in the eye by the naval rating, causing him to lose his sight completely.
It was learnt that prior to the attack, Emmanuel’s left eye had already been damaged by Glaucoma.
The victim’s landlady, Mrs. Olasumbo Agunbiade, who witnessed the incident, told our correspondent that trouble started after Enejor drove recklessly and rammed into Emmanuel’s wife’s shop.
She said, “I am the landlady of the property at 25, Agunbiade Street, Kirikiri Town, Apapa. Emmanuel’s wife, Caroline, sells drinks right in front of the house. Around 3.30pm on February 22, Emmanuel and his wife were seated in front of the shop when a man in a red Honda car rammed into their shop.
“When Emmanuel accosted the driver, the man alighted from the vehicle and identified himself as a navy man and Emmanuel in turn, identified himself as a police officer. The man wanted to leave but Emmanuel told him that he could not leave without at least apologising and the navy man just used his car key to poke Emmanuel in the eye.
“Emmanuel fell to the floor and started screaming, ‘I have lost my sight’. When the navy man saw the severity of the injury he had inflicted on Emmanuel, he jumped into his car and sped off. However, as residents were chasing him, he drove into a gutter and we arrested him.”
Our correspondent learnt that as residents were attempting to take Enejor to the Kirikiri Police Station, two of his colleagues on a motorcycle, arrived the scene and started beating the residents in a bid to rescue their colleague.
It was learnt that a few minutes later, the crowd was able to overwhelm the navy men and the suspect was taken to the Kirikiri Police Division but was later released.
Mbilla before the assault
Mbilla before the assault
However, there was no respite for Emmanuel who was taken to about four hospitals where he was told that he may never see again.
A medical report issued by the Eye Foundation Hospital and signed by Dr. Olufemi Oderinlo, the Consultant Opthalmic surgeon/Vitereoretinal specialist on March 3, stated that the victim would need to be flown abroad for treatment for any hope of regaining his sight.
The report read in part, “At his (Emmanuel’s) first visit, visual acuity in the right eye was light perception with poor projection and no perception of light in the left eye. Examination of the ocular adnexae revealed severe lid oedema, moderate ptosis, severe sub-conjuctiva haemorrhage and chemosis with sustured multiple scleral lacerations.
“Anterior segment examination revealed a deep anterior chamber found with air, sutured cornea laceration and hyphema in the right eye.
“The prognosis for vision following retina attachment surgery was adjudged very poor and he was advised accordingly. He desires to seek a second opinion abroad.”
The victim’s older wife, Patience, told PUNCH Metro that life had been hard since her husband went blind.
Patience said her husband, who is attached to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, required 24-hour monitoring and this had affected the family.
She called on well-meaning Nigerians and the government to come to their aid.
She said, “I am asking Nigerians, the government, and especially that of Abia State to come to our aid. We are asking Senator Uche Chukwumerije, who represents Abia-North, to help us. We have been seriously affected and we have spent so much on my husband’s treatment. Also, we are demanding for justice for my husband.
“The Commissioner of Police is aware of the matter. Nobody is above the law. My husband did not fight the navy man but is now completely blind as a result of a savage and brutal yet unprovoked attack. Unfortunately, he was released while my husband was still in the hospital.”
PUNCH Metro learnt that the assailant, who works at the Obisesan Naval Medical Centre as a radiographer, was released following a request letter signed by Captain J.N. Manman for the Beecroft Naval Base, Apapa.
In a request letter dated February 26, the navy requested that the errant rating be released as the matter was an “internal affair”.
Meanwhile, our correspondent learnt that the police had concluded investigations into the matter and sent the case file to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.
The DPP, in its report, stated that Enejor, with number M4351, had a case to answer. However, the naval authorities have yet to hand him over to the police.
When contacted, the Information Officer, Western Naval Command, Lt. Commander, Abdulsalam Sani, said investigations into the matter had commenced.
He said, “A report was made by the Nigeria Police in February and a board of inquiry was set up to make its findings on the matter and the culpability of the person. If the person is culpable, he will be tried and an appropriate punishment will be given to him.”