Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Despite tough talks, Nigeria Custom officers still aides smuggling, takes bribes at border

Peoples Daily (www.peoplesdailyng.com) Correspondent, Ayodele Samuel, who visited Idiroko border recently, reports that smuggling activities still flourish with new tactics employed.

Officials of the Nigerian Customs Service do not seem to be marching action with the words of the service's new Comptroller General, Col Hammed Ali, (rtd).

Ali, who was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in August this year, continues to talk tough against corrupt activities within the service, threatening fire and brimstone, but his men on Ota-Idiroko Highway do not seem to be on the same page with him.

Ali, while addressing his officers in Sokoto, warned that any Customs Officer caught involved in corrupt practice, would serve the maximum 10 years jail term prescribed by law.

"The minimum jail term for corrupt officers is five years, but I will make sure that any officer found to be corrupt gets the maximum jail term of 10 years.

"This is to serve as a deterrent to any officer who finds himself in the Customs to make money and not to earn money.

"I am not saying that there are no good, incorruptible officers in the service, but there are few bad eggs who are giving the service a bad name," Ali said.

Our interactions with some smugglers, however, showed that smuggling activities are not really trimming down despite those stern warnings from the new customs boss.

Officers manning several road blocks along Ota- Idiroko Highway leading to Nigeria's border with Benin Republic, were observed to engage in bribe taking, extortion and harassment of commuters.

From Atan to Idiroko, Custom Public Relations Department at Idiroko Border confirms that there are over 26 checkpoints manned by 'heavily' armed officers to curb smuggling activities.

"20 of the checkpoints are manned by officers from the Idiroko Command, Four are manned by operatives from the Federal Operating Unit in Ikeja, while the other two are manned by Special Anti-smuggling Task Force commonly called Abuja by Smugglers," Rashidat Jimoh of the Custom Idiroko Command

Public Relations Office said.

Our Correspondent gathered that at each checkpoint Custom officers hire touts, mainly highway traders to collect bribes on their behalf from smugglers.

At a Custom checkpoint close to Atan junction, our correspondent witnessed touts collecting money from commercial vehicle drivers conveying smugglers and their goods to allow passage.

"It depends on what you carry but we pay nothing less than N200 at each point," a middle-aged self-acclaimed female smuggler said. Customs officials wine and dine with smugglers, we know them and they can identify us," the middle aged woman told our correspondent.

"Yes, it is now very difficult but we still 'settle' to have our goods into the country," she said.

"I am a smuggler, it's my business for over eight years and I know my way on the route," she boasted to our correspondent in Yoruba.

Custom officers takes 'sex bribe'

Some Customs officers also allegedly take sex in lieu of cash as bribe. "It's either you settle with cash or they ask for sex, most female smugglers use their gender power in difficult times, if you put goods worth millions on the road you will stop at nothing to secure them," she added.

Funmilayo Ademide said many female smugglers give in to sexual advances of some Customs Officers to protect their goods and businesses.

Ademide described herself as an international clothier dealing in used clothes, saying, "I don't pay duty for my bales of used clothes but I'm a smuggler."

Idiroko Highway is busier at night, smugglers hide under the cover of darkness to move contraband goods in large quantities, carrying arms to resist arrests and seizures.

Customs officers also in turn, set up more road blocks but 80 percent of the smuggled goods still find their way into the Nigerian markets.

"At night we have more checkpoints because that's when the business thrives, more smugglers are on the road, this highway is always busy then because heavy goods will be on the road and the Customs will make more

money," an anonymous resident told our reporter.

According to him, some top Customs officials also control batches of smuggling rings who bring into the country all manners of contraband and cars without paying duties.

But Controller Federal Operations Unit, zone 'A' Ikeja, Comptroller Madugu Sani Jubrin, said he is deeply committed to eradicating smuggling along the nooks and crannies of areas under his watch.

The Unit recorded seizures of assorted prohibited goods valued at over fifty million naira (N50,000,000.00) recently.

Vowing not to rest on his oars, Madugu said, "the unit recorded four thousand, seven hundred and thirty three (4,733) different remarkable seizures, valued at forty five million, five hundred and eighty six thousand, nine hundred naira

(N45,586,900.00) between November 6th – 14th November, 2015."

Although Customs authorities reel out seizures of goods, for every goods confiscated, thousands have been allowed passage after bribe collection, our correspondent gathered.

‎"Goods seized by customs officials are because the owners could not meet their conditions of 'settlement'. When my goods were seized last month, I was asked to bring N100,000 which I could not raise before my goods were confiscated," Ademide said, adding that most of the goods end up in the custom officers' private warehouses or their wives' stores.

"When they want to invite you journalists they are always tough on us that week, or if a new officer just arrives or promoted they clampdown on us,"

she noted.

According to her, inside sources warn ahead of such clampdowns, "we have groups and known each other, those who are closer to them will be informed about their operation, so they signal that the road is not clear for business and we keep off," Ademide, a graduate of Public Administration from a University in Ogun State explained.

Risky but too attractive

The major trade in Idiroko Area of Ipokia Local Government of Ogun State is smuggling, but more than 50 youths have been lost to the illicit trade in the last two years.

Community dwellers within the border points see smuggling as an enterprising business and are finding it difficult to refrain from the illegal trade despite constituting serious economic sabotage to the country.

A youth leader in Idiroko community, Segun Biola, said hundreds of smugglers also lost their lives to various road accidents along Idiroko Highway but it's not wading off new entrant into the illicit business.

Aside from deaths, smugglers also lost huge amounts of money and goods to confiscation, "that is the business risk," says Toyo Benta, who claim to have lost over 30bags of rice to Customs officials.

"In May 2015, over 30 bags were seized from me, I lost a lot of money because I tried bribing to get it out but I failed; I learnt it was taken to Ikeja," Benta said.

She added that smugglers also use black powers (Juju) in smuggling their goods, "I have a friend whose goods had never been seized, I am sure it's juju that is working for her."

An agent at the border, Ayeni Taofek, said hundreds of youths are daring the risks associated with smuggling due to increasing unemployment in the country.

He said sometimes, there are clashes between smugglers and Custom officers that claim lives.

"Those that smuggle through the bush are the dangerous ones because they carry guns and when they clash with customs they record casualties but for us here at the border we 'clear our way' with money," he hinted.

Taofek said he's making fortunes, noting that, "this is where I take my national cake, those in government are not ready to help us that is why we are here."

Semiu Olumide who also specializes in smuggling of cars blames his involvement on bad governance in the country.

Olumide said he dropped out of school after his parents could not afford his examination fees. For him, aside making brisk profit from smuggling activities, it's the only means of being engaged.

He said the increment in car tariff has also encourage smuggling activities. "Now that we pay high tariff on importing Tokunbo cars, dealers prefer to smuggle them in through the bush to make profit, although it's a 50-50 chance because you lose the vehicles once you are caught and some might just be killed in the process," he said.

Ayodele Samuel is a Lagos based Investigative journalist with special interest in human right activities, he can be contact via gtms06@yahoo.com and @ayodelesamuel9

Friday, November 27, 2015

Meet Bashir Suleiman, Abuja cleanest Barrow Pusher

Chiemezie Claire Asunugwo-Anyanwu shares her experience with Bashir Suleiman, the cleanest Mai Barrow in Abuja

You can find dignity in your job.

His name is Bashir Suleiman, he's a Mai-barrow and a proud one at that. I was privileged to have him gather my groceries and produce for me as I shopped in the market today.

First of all he was very well dressed with his clothes well ironed as if he was going to a proper office work and I was told by the fruit seller who saw my initial surprise when Bashir approached me that it was his custom to dress well daily to his Mai-barrow job. It got even more interesting when I caught a whiff of his "perfume" and noticed his socked feet in a pair of well polished sandals😀. Other barrow pushers approached me but with my curiosity already piqued and biased towards Bashir, I felt it an honor to have him gather my stuff for today.

Next, he had very good communication skills, his grammar may not have been ivy-league standard, but we communicated very easily while he helped bridge the gap between my Hausa language spattering and my needful communication in same language with my customers who spoke little or no English.

Bashir was very much involved in every bit of my shopping making sure I wasn't cheated and my change was properly counted out and given to me.

Bashir also showed me the best places I didn't even know existed in the market to buy the freshest produce at competitive prices.

Bashir was attentive, involved, sharp, smart, fast and market savvy too.

Whilst we were shopping, Bashir got as many as 3 different phone calls from customers like me who were en route the market and wanted him on standby for them. One told him where to wait for her while the other told him she was prepared to wait till he was free to serve her since he was currently engaged.

Bashir did his job with a great attitude and a smile, he was polite and courteous yet humble and ready to serve.

At the end, I had to give Bashir much more than I have ever given a Mai-barrow( and believe me I always tip them generously) because Bashir beat all stereotypes and made my life much easier today.

Of course I left with Bashir's phone number decisively saved in my phone book. People like Bashir have further strengthened my belief that the future generation of our country can and will excel and be better than the past generations. Tomorrow we may just see a registered company--Bashir Uber-Mai-barrow Ltd, with clean, well dressed and courteous service boys...making shoppers' lives easier, earning good money, even paying taxes to the government and contributing their quota to the system versus the modern day entrenchment of criminality by the teeming unemployable youth that are not ready to work yet maraud the society today.

Now this is what I call, progress, long sightedness, wisdom and imminent vital prosperity. Let's all join hands and make the skies of these young men a stepping stone by encouraging them in whatever ways possible.
Credit: Chiemezie Claire Asunugwo-Anyanwu 2015
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Saturday, October 31, 2015



By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab

If the mammoth crowd that attended the governatorial campaign flag-off of Prince Abubakar Audu in Lokoja is a yardstick to determine who wins an election, the former Governor and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is on course towards capturing the Conflence State on November 21.

The 25,000 capacity Lokoja Confluence Stadium was filled to capacity as early as 7.30am. Thousands of APC supporters who arrived the venue late squatted outside the stadium complex and the major road leading to the Kogi State House of Assembly.This development led to a serious traffic gridlock as motorists battled for hours before they could wriggle out of the hold up.

The campaign committee and the leadership of the party in the state appeared to have done their homework very well preparatory to the rally as the party was able to mobilise youths, men and women across the state to attend the rally.

Prior to the October 31date of the rally, the state APC took adverts in almost all the electronic media in the state announcing the date for the rally and the need for the people of the state to attend the rally. The jingle ran for almost one week. The print media also had a fair share of the deal as adverts were placed in select national dailies and some local tabloid to announce the rally and also welcome the August visitors and supporters of the APC.

It was an electrifying moment as shouts of "Audu oyoyo! Audu oyoyo!, APC... Change" rend the air. The atmosphere was fully charged as the APC National Chairman, Cheif John Oyegun and other dignitaries that attended the rally took turns to make their speeches.

Oyegun and all the speakers at the event spoke on the need to effect a change in Kogi State.

Audu, who was the first to fire the salvo, said he would transform the state's ailing economy when elected and would provide jobs for the masses of Kogi.

He said, the fundamental issues facing this state is infrastructural decay and the problem of economy which was being made worse by the present administration. "I assure you that we are going to finally assemble a competent team of Kogites to efficiently manage the state. I am appealing to you; the damage done to this state is great. The level of unemployment, level of non payment of workers salaries is intolerable. The journey has begun. It will take time, it will take patience, it will take support from you to make sure that we succeed."

Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, who thrilled the audience with his rave song "Wada comot for road, Audu na buldozer" said change was necessary in Kogi State. He said change in Kogi would come through the APC governatorial candidate and called on APC supporters to vote for Audu.

Also speaking, Isah Jibrin Echocho, explained why he defected to the APC.

He said progress for Kogi State would come faster with the APC than with the ruling PDP, stressing that the Wada-led administration was not serious about government business.

Echocho said, "I am impressed by what I am seeing here today. This is a clear testimony that indeed the good people of Kogi State will come out en masse and overwhelmingly vote Prince Abubakar Audu.

The highly elated APC national chairman, Chief John Oyegun applauded the choice of Audu as the APC governoship candidate, saying that Audu was deliberately chosen to move the state forward.

He said, "The train of change is setting out from Kogi State. Great people of Kogi State, are you happy? Who is your governor? Audu, "the crowd answered." Let me present to you the Governor-in-waiting of Kogi State. Do you want good roads, do you want better schools, do you want to wipe out corruption? Then, take a good look at Prince Audu. He is as straight in character as his figure is in figurative terms.

Dignitaries at the flag-off include governors of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha, Nasarawa state, Tanko Almakura, Benue state, Samuel Ortom, Senator George Akume, Jide Kosoko, other national leaders, party faithfuls and supporters.
Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab lives in Kogi
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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Are you looking for a child? This testimony will convince you that you can still have a baby despite all negative reports

Ogunbotu Comfort Abosede shared her testimony on how God blessed her with a baby despite negative medical reports, plus steps she took... Enjoy

I got married in 2012 and had been trusting God for the fruit of the womb. Then my menstrual periods became irregular. Sometimes, it will show up once in 6 months. I was advised to run fertility tests by my gynecologist and to my amazement, the results were terrible. I was diagnosed of blocked fallopian tube, PCOS(ovarian cysts) and annovulation( meaning I was not ovulating). I was so depressed and I wondered how on earth I would conceive without menstruating not to talk of ovulating. So we commenced treatment and I had to use many drugs, we spent so much yet there were no changes, infact the monthly periods stopped totally. We moved from hospital to hospital and from pillar to post.One fateful day in church(Daystar Christian Centre), I came across an invite to baby showers by Joyful mothers and fathers forum.My attendance at the program marked a turning point in my life. I discovered that the forum was for couples that were trusting God for the fruit of the womb and couples that were already pregnant who were trusting God for safe carriage and delivery. That day was awesome. I heard so many testimonies and I realized I wasn't alone. I learnt meetings were held every saturday so I made up my mind to start attending.
The very 1st saturday I attended, I was presented a book titled God's waiting room written by Yewande Zaccheus. Then a spirit filled teacher revealed so many scriptures to us concerning what God had said about conception and I was extremely blessed that day. That book took my breath away, I devoured it in a day as soon as I read the first page. The teachings at the meetings every week and that book multiplied my faith. I went to the bookshop and realized the book even had other parts so I bought more copies and sowed them into the lives of other waiting couples.
My husband and I kept on attending JMJF forum in church and usually got inspired through the uncountable testimonies that were shared and the teachings and our faith was strengthened by them all. At the end of that year,we still had not conceived and my younger sister had her baby. Pressure started mounting from all sides but I won't stop thanking God for the encouragements he brought our way and for not letting us fall into depression. Our thinking had changed and our faith had been renewed. So many scriptures kept me going when I felt low especially Gen 1:28 and Ps 128:3. I and my hubby used to feel bad before whenever we heard someone had conceived or had a baby and we would avoid the naming ceremonies so that I would not start crying as usual. I can't begin to say all the trauma, insults and embarrassments I experienced from various people just because I wasn't yet pregnant. In 2014,We kept on attending JMJF, observed the fasts, and in faith, we obeyed the instructions to buy our baby things, we put our baby's bed permanently on our bed and I remember friends used to giggle at the sight of our empty baby's bed when they had the chance to enter our room. They wondered what had come over us.We prepared a list of our baby's name and put it on the bed,someone once gave us money for our kids so we put the money in the bed too.
We had a prayer meeting at the forum and an instruction was given to us all that we should not doubt God by trying to help God and that we should put our total trust in him. So we keyed in and started declaring that we want all the glory to be to God when our prayers get answered. We didn't want any doctor or drug to share God's glory. Why would we have to pay for what God gives free of charge?
2014 was our year of enlargement and we had many testimonies of people conceiving and having their children at the forum. We intensified our faith and joined service units in church because we knew that if we worked for God, he would reward us. We read our pregnancy confessions every morning before leaving the house and we wore customized shirts with our baby's names. In my service unit, we use code names rather than real names and I chose fruity as my name so that I will be called by what God called me. God had called me fruitful and not barren. So people called me fruity though they didn't know why and I used to say amen on the inside.
On bbm, I changed my name to a long list of my baby names and people wondered why.Our mindset had changed. We attended many baby namings and rejoiced with all we heard had babies and gave them gifts. As it is written in God's word that we should give thanks in all things, we started thanking God over our situation and stopped complaining and we rejoiced with those rejoicing. We refused to focus on what we didn't have but on all what God had given us. We started attending service at the church annex where couples with babies sat even though we did not have any physical baby. I used to take communion twice there, one for me and for my baby in faith.
Over time, people said all sorts, some advised us to go to prayer warrior churches because they felt our church prayers were not spiritual enough. Some gave us addresses of some so-called excellent hospitals, some people even suggested spiritualists and traditional midwives. Others advised different types of herbs but we stood on God's word that promised us conception and the fact that we would not help God.
When it was Dec 31st, I was a bit discouraged that my prayer did not look like it had been answered because I had made a pledge to God which I promised to redeem if I could conceive in 2014. But then, I still glorified God and danced like never before at the watchnight service because I still had my life. Meanwhile, the last time I went for a pregnancy test was in April 2014 and it came out negative. When we got home that day, I took my biro, cancelled the negative result and wrote positive. I remember my husband smiled and said Amen o and he prayed that the next test I would do would be positive so he stapled that result to the wall in our room. I made up my mind not to go to the hospital again till it will be time for antenatal in faith so I substituted hospital visitations with JMJF meetings and substituted drugs with holy communion. Pastor Kenny declared in church one day that the money we were supposed to spend in the hospital will be used to buy clothes and to enjoy ourselves and I keyed in. I drained my account and went to shop for more baby things, then I went to family first bookshop in church and bought many pregnancy books based on healing by faith.I kept on sowing, I gave out more copies of God's waiting room book and September baby shower JMJF DVDs.
In 2015, our year of promotion, on the 24th of January, on our way to JMJF meeting, I had to attend to some issues so my husband got there before me. On my way back, I called him to find out which class he was in and he said he was in expectant class( for those yet to get pregnant) and I replied him that we were pregnant already in faith and pleaded with him to move to pregnancy class. The meeting had ended by the time I got there so I just knelt in the pregnancy class and prayed to God to put me there in this year 2015.
On the 26th of January which was a Monday, I felt so sick and my hubby suggested anti malaria drugs but I just insisted on paracetamol . When there were no changes he dragged me to the hospital and everything happened in a flash, I was confirmed pregnant in the same hospital that had told me it would not be possible if I did not undergo treatment. Me that I had no menses,i did a scan and did another test to confirm and all came back positive. Joy overflowed in our hearts and tears of joy filled my eyes. At last! God had answered our prayers. My husband then took that result and placed it beside the one that had been on the wall in 2014 and we realized that it was exactly the same 26th, 9 months ago that I cancelled that negative result with my pen.
Truly, God is awesome because the scan revealed that I conceived in 2014 so God answered my prayers afterall in our year of enlargement and I went to redeem my pledge. My pregnancy journey was wonderful and God blessed me with extra ordinary strength. I didn't experience most of the negative predictions by experienced mothers, infact I was glowing. God was faithful till the end and he blessed us with a bouncing baby boy in September 2015. God truly makes everything beautiful in his time because in this same 2015, he bIessed us all round and opened greater doors to us miraculously.
I thank God for giving me a very wonderful and supportive husband who never made life miserable for me because I couldn't conceive on time. I thank Pastor Sam and Nike Adeyemi of Daystar Christian Centre for helping me to know that I could communicate with God directly without having to consult any medium. I thank the teachers in Joyful Mothers and Fathers forum at Daystar for opening my eyes to the power of faith.I also thank those who prayed with us and called us fruitful in our service unit(Starguard) in church. God bless my home fellowship members for their endless prayers. I thank Pastor Moses Oyerinde of EFCC church, Ago-Iwoye for his encouragement, support and prayers from school days till now. He even honored me by presiding over the naming of our son. I thank my beautiful mother and my sisters for their unending support. God bless my friends, my colleagues at Grand Oak Ltd and all those I can't mention who stood by me. God bless Mrs Yewande Zaccheus for writing that book.
My brothers and sisters, with God, nothing shall be impossible! Don't compare yourself with others, we all have our individual races to run. At the end, only God will do what only he can do. He is the one that can do all things. He makes a way where there seems to be no way and he honors our faith.
Part of the pledge I made to God if he answered my prayer was to proclaim his goodness far and wide and to testify to his faithfulness which is what I am doing. Please don't hesitate to help me spread this message to encourage a soul. There is a beautiful future for all those who put their total trust in God. Don't let that negative report depress you. It is what God says that is final not what that negative situation says. God still answers prayers so don't give up. Just believe!
I and my husband did a lot of fasting and praying and God did not let all be in vain. We even prayed for our son all the time when we had not yet conceived. What would we have done if nothing happened after everything? Many people have been trusting God for one thing or the other for decades and they are still waiting. God will have compassion on who he will have compassion on. It has not been by our power or might. Please praise the Lord on our behalf for his faithfulness. I pray that whatever it is you are trusting God for will be given unto you. God will honor your faith and you will not wait in vain. You will have a reason to testify in Jesus name.
Please join me in praising the Lord of Hosts! The God that changed my name, the Father that took away my reproach, the one that disgraced my negative medical report by giving me a wonderful son without any man's intervention, Awimayehun, Alagbada ina, Asoromatase, the King of kings, Lion of Judah, Rose of Sharon, Balm in Gilead. Oba awon Oba, Oyigiyigi Glory! Halleluyah. God that turn impossibility to possibility, may ur name be praise!
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Thursday, October 22, 2015


Awolowo was (37), Akintola (36), Ahmadu Bello (36) Balewa (34)
and Okotie-Eboh (27), Enahoro (27) led the struggle for
independence after the death of Macaulay. Only Zik was 42 at the
In 1966, the first coup was led by: Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu
(29) and countered by Murtala Mohammed (28), Theophilus
Danjuma (28), Babangida (25), Nanven Garba (23), Sani Abacha
(23), Shehu Musa Yaradua (23), and brought into power Gowon
(32), Ojukwu (33), Obasanjo (29), Buhari (24).
Most of the military administrators who governed the states under
the successive military regimes, most of whom are governors now,
were under 30 years.
The brief democratic dispensation which interjected the military
interregnums also saw the House of Representativesin particular
populated by majority of members under 30 years as well as some
Under 30s were also not in short supply with appointments, we
have examples of MT Mbu who became foreign affairs minister at
23 and Pat Utomi who became a presidential adviser at 27 and so
on and so forth.
Why is it that this age bracket is today still sleeping in 3 seater
chairs in their parents' homes?
Why is it that this age bracket is today still collecting pocket money
from their parents?
Why is it that this age bracket is today still writing JAMB?
Why is it that this age bracket is today still sagging their trousers?
Why is it that this age bracket is today still searching for jobs, not
yet married?
Why is it that this age bracket is today no longer qualified to even
be leaders of youth wings of political parties?
Why is it that this age bracket is today so docile?
Why is it that this age bracket is today still incapable of feeding
Why is it that this age bracket is today barred by law from even
aspiring to certain political offices?
Why is it that this age bracket is today incapacitated, unwilling,
unable and incapable of asking questions?
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What did Azikiwe do for the East?

The first thing Azikiwe did on becoming premier in Enugu was to design the Eastern Nigerian Economic Reconstruction plan (1954-1964) as the blueprint for Eastern Nigerian development.

It is now on record that published accounts placed the Eastern Nigerian economy as the fastest growing economy in the world by 1964. It was based on the Zik plan that the Industrial Estates at Enugu, Trans-Amadi (PH) and Aba were built.

The Agricultural and industrial policies later implemented by Okpara was at the core of that program. There was not a single city in the East that did not become an industrial hub - from the Modern Breweries, Ceramics, and so on in Umuahia, to the first integrated Gas plant, the Niger Gas, or even the Niger Steel plant, which was billed to be integrated with the proposed Onitsha integrated Steel corporation that was later moved to Ajaokuta, as the first of such in the continent, and which was, with the Tri-city industrial Gas pipeline already laid between Port-Harcourt and Aba, with the Owerri end at foot, to be the hub of Eastern Nigerian Industrial and Technological development. All these were destroyed by the Civil war.

The Eastern Nigerian Pharmaceutical Laboratories and Corporation, which later partnered and became Pfizer (WA) was established in Aba by Zik. It became Pfizer's West African Operational Headquarters until it was moved to Lagos in 1970 at the end of the war.

As at 1967, Aba stood on same footing with Lagos as an industrializing city: whatever industry was established in Lagos was also established in Aba - the Nigerian Breweries, Nestle's first production HQ, Lever Brothers, Proctor & gamble etc; all had Aba operations to serve Central West Africa, all because of the great Zik.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

3,000 displaced persons faced starvation in Kuka Reta

3,000 displaced persons faced starvation in Kuka Reta

About 3,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) whose camp is in Kuka Reta town are currently in serious danger. Kuka Reta Town is about fifteen (15) kilometers from Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State. Reliable sources confirm that the camp has run out of food supply, drinkable water and drugs.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is constrained to raise the alarm on the frightening situation in Kuka Reta IDP camp in view of the dangers inherent in the exposure of IDPs to such inhuman conditions. Apart from hunger, starvation, malnutrition and the likelihood of deaths, diseases such as cholera and diarrhea are likely to spread within the camp.

MURIC is confounded by the enormity of the danger and hardship to which IDPs in Kuka Reta camp are exposed. We condemn this culpable negligence on the part of the authorities. We therefore call on the Yobe State Government, the state's arm of the National Emergency Agency (NEMA) and all aids groups in the state to address the issue with military dispatch.

In addition, we appeal to international donors and the world community at large to come to the aid of the traumatized people of North East Nigeria as it now appears the Nigerian government alone cannot bring succour to the more than 1.5 million people displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency.

In conclusion, we reiterate the need for the Federal Government of Nigeria to establish the North East Development Commission (NEDEC) to cushion the effects of economic degradation of the region after four years of brutal attacks, deliberate destruction of infrastructure and the attendant cessation of socio-economic life.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
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Former Rivers state Governor, Rotimi Amaechi can become a Minister without undergoing Senate Screening.

According to the Nigerian Constitution, if the Senate
does not confirm or reject Amaechi within twenty-one
working days of the receipt of nomination he
automatically becomes a Minister of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria.
See excerpt from Nigerian constitution below:
147. (1) There shall be such offices of Ministers of
the Government of the Federation as may be
established by the President.
(2) Any appointment to the office of Minister of the
Government of the Federation shall, if the nomination
of any person to such office is confirmed by the
Senate, be made by the President.
(3) Any appointment under subsection (2) of this
section by the President shall be in conformity with
the provisions of section 14(3) of this Constitution:-
provided that in giving effect to the provisions
aforesaid the President shall appoint at least one
Minister from each State, who shall be an indigene
of such State.
(4) Where a member of the National Assembly or of
a House of Assembly is appointed as Minister of the
Government of the Federation, he shall be deemed to
have resigned his membership of the National
Assembly or of the House of Assembly on his taking
the oath of office as Minister.
(5) No person shall be appointed as a Minister of the
Government of the Federation unless he is qualified
for election as a member of the House of
(6) An appointment to any of the offices aforesaid
shall be deemed to have been made where no return
has been received from the Senate within twenty-one
working days of the receipt of nomination by the

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Monday, October 5, 2015

ReF-Predictor to Boost Cash-less Economy, Promotes Mobile Money

Ayodele Samuel,Lagos
Towards achieving a cash-less society and Promoting Mobile money usage, ReF-Predictor, a football gaming site has promised Nigerians that its platform will drive a cash-less society and encourage mobile money usage.

ReF-Predictor, an online innovative football contest that allows to anticipate outcomes of football matches. It adopts a novel league ranking format that rewards top 500 players every week with guaranteed prizes and special awards.

It is a unique and highly social football community that brings the latest in the football world alongside the most exciting and competitive football predictive league contest.

Speaking at it official launch in Lagos recently, The Chief Executive officer, Meidjai Nigeria Limited, Mr. Dare Lawanson assures Nigerians of imbibing cash-lite with the platform.

He said, "ReF-Predictor is the easiest way to enjoy your football with cash-lite lifestyle even without a bank account.

"We help you leverage on the ever growing relationship between mobile network operators and banks in Nigeria; an estimated 170 million people, over 140 million phone lines and 75 million bank accounts.

"ReF-Predictor format is an indigenous research and development project that promotes Zero/ low risk, high reward gaming philosophy, numerous and guaranteed winnings, social and responsible gaming, leisure options, job and self employment opportunities, wealth creation and re-distribution, and mobile money adaptation.

"The platform primary objective is to address the religious, moral, social and cultural challenges associated with predictive gaming, that influence over 27 million everyday people in our society. ReF-Predictor will promote social and responsible gaming, a will become a culture phenomenon". Dare assures.
The main objective of this ReFPredictor community is to promote Zero/ low risk gaming philosophy, guaranteed rewards to numerous winners, social and responsible gaming, leisure options, self employment opportunities, wealth creation & re-distribution, and mobile money adaptation (CBN's cashless society).

ReFPredictor addresses the religious, moral, social and cultural challenges associated with predictive gaming, that influences over 27 million every day people in our society.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

26 years after, Nigerians embracing Gas to power vehicles

Ayodele Samuel in Lagos writes on how motorists are begin to embrace uses of natural gas to power their vehicles, after it was launched in Nigeria in 1989

Although its awareness is very low in the country, thousands of Nigerian motorists have begin to embrace uses of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as fuel in their vehicles.

With the recent severe fuel sacristy in many part of the country, attention is now shifting to CNG as alternative to Premium Motors Spirit (PMS) otherwise called fuel.

CNG for vehicular use was introduced into Nigeria by NGC (Nigeria Gas Company) in 1989, with two small compressors and dispensers
installed in Warri and Lagos and 25 vehicles converted to run on natural gas.
The project was noted to be a
"success" with the only downside, being the unavailability of CNG refueling stations in the county.

Today, the Nigerian Independent Petroleum Company (NIPCO) Plc, an indigenous downstream petroleum and gas operator, noted that over 5,000 vehicles currently uses Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as fuel in Nigeria.

A commercial motor driver, plying Lagos/Ibadan expressway Ibrahim Kareem told newsmen that the conversion of his vehicle to CNG early 2015 had saved him money, describing CNG powered vehicles as economical, safer, flexible and eco-friendly.

"I converted my bus to gas early this year and I am happy to tell you that I saved up to N7,500 daily on my fuel consumption.

"Before now I spent N6,000 to travel to Ibadan from Lagos but now with just N3,750, I will travel to Ibadan and come back with ease," he said.

According to Sunday Adeyemi, "most of the commercial vehicles operating between Lagos and Ibadan had converted to CNG because of its availability and the economy of scale.

"Most of us here have converted our motors to CNG because of the installment payment created by the company.

"They are aware that we cannot run away once you got converted.

"What we would have used on petroleum is being used to balance our debt; by next month, I would have completed my debt," he said.

Adeyemi said that he used the availability of CNG in his vehicles during the petrol scarcity to make more money.

"When others did not get petroleum for transportation during the fuel scarcity, I was busy making money because gas was available and cheap," he said.

For Daniel Folorunsho, a civil servant who got introduced to CNG by his friend, said that CNG was Eco-friendly and management friendly.

"Before my friend introduced me to CNG, I serviced my car every three months but now, I service it once in six months because of its Eco-friendly nature.

"It is clean and there will be no smoke coming from your motor.

"The government should enlighten road users on the advantages of CNG because it is better than petrol and it is economical and safer.

"Even the subsidy government is paying on petroleum products will reduce if more emphasis is placed on CNG usage," he said.

Getting a vehicle converted from PMS to CNG at the Ibafor CNG refilling station cost an initial deposits of about N20,000 with the balance deducted through daily purchase of gas.

An official at the station said ``When you want to convert your motor to gas, you will pay as low as N20,000, then we will put you on installment payment anytime you come to fill your cylinder.

"This method makes it convenient for our customers to pay within some months depending on your usage.

``A cubic feet of gas cost N55, if you are on our debt list, you will be paying N80 per cubic feet which means that remaining N25 will be servicing your debt.

"This will continue until you complete the payment.

"Because of this payment method, we have over 5,000 vehicles running on CNG in the country," the official said.

NIPCO's Head of Public Affairs,Taofeek Lawal said that more than 4,000 vehicles had already converted to use CNG in Benin, Edo.

Lawal said that over 500 vehicles were also operating in Lagos on the environment friendly CNG.

According to him, the aim of the CNG refilling stations in Nigeria, especially in Lagos, was to provide alternative to Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol at a reduced cost and to boost national socio-economic growth.

He also said that aside the economic gains, CNG targeted reduction of unfriendly automobile emissions and exposure of Nigerians to the innovation of powering vehicles on gas.

NIPCO's spokesperson said that the company had about 10 CNG operating stations nationwide, while others were under construction.

``CNG sustainability in Nigeria and Lagos is sustainable considering Nigeria is one of the largest producers of Natural Gas.

``Ibafo CNG station, near Lagos, is a world class facility with about 12 dispensing pump for light and heavy duty trucks refilling facilities.

"It is also sustainable in that private sector is taking the lead, as government provides enabling environment for it to thrive,'' he said.

Lawal said that the conversion of vehicles to become CNG compatible cost between N200,000 and N300,000.

He said that the cost profile of CNG vehicular conversion came with a flexible repayment package and depended on the choice of kit.

He also identified poor awareness about the innovative CNG powered vehicles to the absence of policy on natural gas vehicles and lack of natural gas supply across Nigeria.

Lawal said that stagnation of CNG revolution in Nigeria was also due to the inability of NIPCO and the Nigerian Gas Company to float a Joint Venture (JV).

He said that the lack of gas infrastructure, pricing and government support was militating against CNG expansion in Lagos.

``Nigerians are well informed towards the CNG projects but it could improve.

``The best time for CNG popularisation is when government increase the price of PMS to further compel motorist to think of the cost benefits of powering vehicles with natural gas.

``N55 per standard cubic feet of gas is equivalent to one litre of petrol which currently sells at N87 with government subsidy.

``All the necessary approval from DPR has being obtained before commencement of operation,'' he said.

Lawal said that NIPCO had concluded arraignment to build CNG refilling stations in Lagos and environs.

First published in Peoples Daily, http://www.peoplesdailyng.com/26-years-after-nigerians-embracing-gas-to-power-vehicles/

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Evil neighbour sets 62 year-old man only son ablaze in Ajeromi

Nigerians, help get justice for the only son of Asuquo sprayed with petrol and lighted to his death by an enraged neighbour!
I really shed tears today as I listened to Matthew Asuquo passionately asking justice for his dead UNIUYO undergrad son.
Emmanuel was allegedly doused with fuel on Tuesday 11th August, 2015 by a neighbour - Jane Osasa - who had a brawl with his mum months earlier. The March 2015 fight left Mrs Asuquo the gorge (photo)
Same neighbour stabbed Mr Asuquo's niece last week on the 8th of August, 2015. The poor girl came visiting - simply to collect N4,000 for some exams from her uncle!
When Mr Asuquo couldn't take it anymore and reported the second stab case to the Area B police station, he was referred to the station close to his house - Ajeromi. The family stays at Ajegunle area, Lagos. Little did he know he was calling for more trouble!
That same night, Emmanuel was roasted alive...
The efforts of the police leaves nothing to be desired. I hold my comments for now.
This is imploring Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and Lagos state Commissioner of Police to intervene.
The suspect, Jane Osasa still walk free and in fact told Mr Asuquo yesterday - few hours after Emmanuel gave up the ghost that "more trouble is to come"
I hear she has the backing of her uncle - one Chinedu aka Danger.
I could only look into Asuquo's eyes today and mutter amidst tears "Justice will be served you!"

I have Mr Asuquo's contacts should you be in any position to help this 62 year-old man get justice for his ONLY son!
You can't imagine the state of the mother.
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Friday, August 14, 2015

That nonsense about 'Abo-baku'

Ayodele Samuel in Lagos state

Have spoken with the Daily Times Reporter who wrote the story and its clear it was misinterpreted. The reporter only reported a trending info around palace quoting unconfirmed sources.

To me the alleged disappearance of the Abobaku of Oba Okunade Sijuwade is meant to be a comic relief.

Am disappointed that this Abobaku stuff, an ancient fiction, has painted our Yoruba tradition in black light.

For real, the Abobaku title has been abolished centuries ago in Yoruba land and the title has been converted to Obaluaye or Saarun- the traditional principal secretary to the King.

Its a shame and disgrace that many of Yoruba origin are fast spreading this myth of no existence. Am not from Ife but have read about the Yoruba race- the Ife never had in its history the title of 'Abobaku', Obaluaye (a simple google search will confirm this), in Ife it Saarun is the Traditional Chief Principal Secretary to the Ooni.

When Oba Aderemi Adesoji joined his ancestors in 1980, did his Abobaku also travel with him?
According to history, Oba Aderemi Adesoji used two Saarun and the last died 11 years after Oba Adesoji joined his ancestors. Therefore he was not buried along with him.
The Saarun are made to take certain oath that will ensure that they don't leak the dead Ooni's secret.
In present day Yoruba kingdom, can anyone point to those who owns the Abobaku title in his village?
I think this is a challenge to the custodians of Yoruba culture, the OPC's and Traditional groups- our people are fast forgetting its history in this digital age, a solution must be proffer-
Ours generation is fast becoming a lax and lazy generation. No commitment to history and research again. A lot of us don't know the distinction between sarcasm and real stuff; cannot differentiate fiction from reality and speculation from material evidence.

Ayodele Samuel is a Lagos based Journalist and Agro specialist
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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Owanbe training: Raising Fashion specialists from the street

Ayodele Samuel,Lagos

Few days ago, I visited Owanbe Training Center owned and managed by my very good friend with high taste for quality and standard, Ola Abraham Emmanuel.
Owanbe Nigeria Limited top list of Fashion and Photography firm in town.
He started about 30months ago, after graduating from Prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism NIJ, and has since merge his journalistic and creative knowledge to the fashion industry.

Little wonder he sewn for immediate former President Goodluck Jonathan, some governors, corporate bodies and respected individuals.
His 30 months in the sector, has armed him with over than 30 years of knowledge and experience. 
'Africa' has we call him, had his good and bad times in growing his business empire. Today he has the best of modern fashion equipments at his factory and training center, in 2013 his company single-handedly organized africa's largest fashion. 
Africa has benefitted from the knowledge that comes from risk, adventure and creativity. He once went bankrupt but bounce back making good profits, his name was not on any bank debtors list.

This young man said he decided to give back to the society that made by organizing a 3 months intensive fashion training that will cover male and female designs, colour theory, illustrations, starting and setting up, marketing and financing. 

When he ran me through the course packaged in the three months training, I confessed it was too cheap for a N10,000. He told me it actually cost 75,000 and its a CSR promo to empower people.

'Africa' added that he will be bringing Business expert for training, according to him Lagos State coordinator of SMEDAN has agreed to take a session at this forthcoming training.

 He said the SMEDAN official will be  talking about starting a small scale and medium fashion enterprise in Nigeria and how you can access business funds from federal Government.

His target his to raise fashion expert and stylist from our army of unengaged and unemployed youths in the country.
 This total package can help you boast your income or start a new business in the nearest future. No doubt the World is looking towards our fashion industry and would soon became a major export for Nigeria.
The good thing is that there are morning, evening and weekend classes. Registration for this training ends on Friday (Aug.7) and induction for participants is on Monday (Aug.10), sponsor yourself or someone you want a brighter future for... Its a lifetime opportunity

Owanbe CEO  Emmanuel Ola-Abraham can be reached  on 08165314466 and  2BECC94C.‎

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Oil Spillage: the battle continues daily in Niger Delta

Nigeria Oil Rich, Niger Delta region communities  helplessly  battles oil spillage daily, Ayodele Samuel writes

Freeborn Roland lives in Ikarama community with his family, two of whom
are twins less than four months old.
Ikarama, an Ijaw-speaking community along the Taylor Creek in Okordia
Clan ,Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, of Nigeria oil rich Niger
Delta region
In 2011, Roland house was gut fire after an oil spill site near his
plank building was set ablaze, he lost some of his belongings, money and his
children suffered serious health complications, his fears remains as the spill
is coming back in 2013.
His new home is now surrounded by crude oil; with his family living helplessly
in danger of  its hazard.
 'see what these people (oil companies) have
done to my kids''he said while expressing concern of the impact of
the spillage on his family, especially his new born twins.
Ikarama community blessed with oil facilities which  include wellheads, manifold and pipelines belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company [NAOC] and Shell Petroleum Development Company [SPDC] , fishing, farming, hunting and weaving are some of the traditional means of livelihood of the people but spillage of crude oil remains a nightmare in the community.
 Oil spillage is a regular occurrence in oil producing communities in the Niger Delta region, sometimes very close to living homes like the Roland's residents.
This time its fresh crude oil spilling from Shell's Okordia/Rumuekpe
Trunk line of Ikarama community.
Although Roland's family is closest to the affected swamp, other
families also live in close proximity.
 Apart from the swamp, the gutter
around the environment is flooded with crude oil and flowing across to another
swampy communities with the help of heavy rains.
Apart from the crude oil spreading to cover farmlands, ponds, lakes and
even the Taylor Creek, Environmental Activists says oil companies often pay
youths to set fire to the area where the spill has occurred.
This can reduce the spread of the oil but has other detrimental effects
on the environment and residents.
Its spillage !
 "The first sign of the spill was when we
perceived the smell of fresh crude oil in the air, early Tuesday, 4th June,
2013. And, because of past experiences and strong current of the smell, we
[with her husband] tried to trace and we later discovered that the spill had
just occurred along the pipeline near us. Crude was just oozing out from the
ground and flowing into the swamp around,"Freeborn Roland wife,  Patience said.
"As you can see now, the
crude oil has spread all over the swamp. We that are living so close will
suffer the consequence again; you are aware how my children fell sick last
time. Even now they have not fully recovered. My twins are just about three
months of age and, you can imagine the risk of living within this immediate
environment highly impacted by crude oil again. We pray that this time around
they don't set fire on the impacted site and that Shell will mop up the crude
oil as soon as possible."
Angry Community blames Shell
Residents of Ikarama condemned officials of Shell Petroleum for their
poor and nonchalant response to oil spills in the Niger Delta.
Washington Odoyibo the Public Relations Officer of Ikarama Community
Development Committee is also angry at the spill but blamed  Shell and third party activities.
"I was annoyed after I
got to the spill site and saw that some persons must have tampered with the oil
pipeline. It was very obvious; some newly dug mud was around the spot that was
spewing crude oil. My anger stems from the fact that our community will not
benefit any positive outcome from such spills occasioned by third party
activity. "Again, our environment has suffered severely from the negative
impacts of countless spills we have experienced. I was in Yenagoa when I heard
of the spill on 4th June, 2013 and, I visited the site within hours of that
information. It is very unfortunate. The swamp that the crude oil flowed into
is in my family land and, this is about the 3rd or 4th time that swamp is being
impacted; wasted.
"We used to fish in that
swamp from time to time. But these oil spills would not allow us to use it
anymore. I just hope Shell will mobilize to site and contain the situation. But
again, Shell should be held accountable for negligence because SPDC was
informed on the 4th about this incident but the company delayed action until
Friday, 7th June, 2013. They came to clamp it on Friday but they couldn't
conclude and they only succeeded in doing so on Saturday, 8th June, 2013. Now,
due to the fact that Shell failed to act promptly, the crude oil has spread all
over the swamp. May be that is what Shell wants; those who sponsored the spill.
Coming to spread boom in the swamp after the crude has covered everywhere is
hypocritical of Shell."
 Asked the cause of spill, the
Odoyibo indicated sabotage. "Like I said
before, I do not have quarrels with the cause because it was obvious; my concern is Shell's response to the spill."
Right Groups demand actions
Amnesty International (AI) recently slam Shell over
claims that sabotage was responsible for oil spills in Nigeria, insisting that
the oil giant is to be blamed for the spills in Nigeria's oil rich Niger Delta
Also Nigeria leading  Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the
Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) called on Shell to immediately mop up,
clean up and remediate the impacted community.
The group urged  relevant
agencies of  Nigeria government to step
in to ensure that the impacted environment is properly mopped up and cleaned.
While calling on Shell to look inwards to identify staff and contractors
that sponsor sabotage and bring an end to the series of spills in Ikarama and
environs, ERA/FoEN advised Community dwellers to resist
temptation to engage in acts of sabotage and save themselves and their
environment pollution.
No spill is acceptable- Shell
 "We work hard to reduce the number and volume of operational spills" Shell says on its official website.
A report on the spill obtained from Shell's website estimated the
volume of crude that spilled into the creeks 447 barrels. The company estimated
that 379 barrels of the spilled crude oil remained in the environment while 67
barrels had evaporated.
"Over the past five years,
from 2008 to 2012, just under a quarter of the oil that escaped from SPDC
facilities was due to operational causes such as human error or equipment
failure. In the case of operational spills the company negotiates compensation
with the landowner. It may also help by providing clean water and food, No
spill is acceptable and SPDC is working to improve its performance in this
area,"Shell said.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Wukari Crises Victims ‘We won’t return to Taraba’

...Victims abandoned in Jalingo, Benue hospitals
Ayodele Samuel who was in Wukari recently  writes on the unending crisis rocking southern part of Taraba State. Hundreds of lives have been lost in communal strife in southern Taraba councils of Wukari and Ibi in the past three months between the Tiv/Fulani on one hand and the Jukun/Hausa community on the other.

Residents of the community however are still in pains of the two- ethno-religious conflict that pitted the Jukun -Christians and Hausa Muslims communities in Wukari and Ibi local government areas of the state which led to destruction  of  properties worth millions of naira.
Southern Taraba journey to unrest begins April when unknown gunmen laid siege on the town, killing over 50 residents, although the Taraba state police command put the figure at seven.
National President of the Jukun Development Association (JDA), Mr. Benjamin  Danborno  however said not less than 1000 people have been killed in the past three months in the region. 
"At the last count, 51 villages belonging to the Jukun and Tiv people have been completely destroyed and burnt down while farm produce worth several millions of naira destroyed," Danborno said.
During the last crisis, it was gathered that 32 persons were killed, more than 200 were injured, 1,398 houses burnt, while four filling stations and one church were completely burnt to ashes in Wukari.
The crisis, several eyewitnesses said started in Wukari at about 6.30am when youths suspected to be Christians belonging to the Jukun tribe razed down two shops near a church at Angwan Hausa, a community predominantly occupied by Hausa Muslims. The shop owners, said to be owned by two Hausa youth, mobilized others to set the church and other properties ablaze.
In Ibi, a neighboring local government of Wukari, also early hours of same day experienced a crisis in which 11 persons were killed, 21 injured, 167 houses burnt and four churches razed. Also affected were four shops, eight vehicles and three mosques, which were all razed.
Presently more than 2,130 persons have been rendered homeless, as resident flee the crisis ridden region.
"There was an argument between some boys over charging of phones; one thing lead to another and two shops were set ablaze. The next thing we heard was gunshots and several houses were set ablaze," an eyewitness said.
An eyewitness Mallam Bako Useni, said the quarrel was between a Christian and a Muslim and also led to the shooting of some soldiers, who were deployed to quell the fighting.
One of the victims, Kisani Alade, who was shot in the leg, said they were in the church around 6.30 a.m, when the Hausa Muslims stormed their church, the Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria (CRCN) and started shooting sporadically at the worshippers.
He said many people must have died in the process, but that he was lucky to have escaped with a bullet wound, after which some persons managed to take him away Along the Katsina-Ala Jalingo highway are residents in there large dove mostly women and children heading to Zaki Biam and other villages in Benue state.
Residents who spoke with our correspondent on their way out of Wukari accused soldiers in the area of carrying out 'hidden agenda'
A middle age woman said the crisis was escalated by people in military uniform region who descended on the people said all her life earnings have been destroyed in the crisis.
The woman who claim to own a super market in the heart of Wukari said the burning of her shop last week makes it the third attack on her business, "they (the rioters) have destroy my life, I stock my shop last weekend, with goods more than a million, have saved all years to improve my business but they burn everything down.
"its every time they use to fight and am always affected, if I should return their am sure they will kill me, I will not go back to Wukari I will stay with the people of Benue there are more peaceful than my people.
"In April my shop in the village was burnt down, have not recover again my main shop has been burnt again."
Some residents who spoke to our correspondent have accused security operatives of taking sides during last Sunday's crisis. A resident said locals live in fear of reprisal attack, saying, "We don't know what might happen because the tension is very high in the villages and the army cannot assure us of safety because of their role in the last Sunday attack."
Some victims of the crisis are still lying at the Specialist Hospital, Jalingo with are with  bullets in their bodies, bleeding from gunshots and yet to receive adequate medical attention despite promise by the state government to foot their medical bills. 
Sani Ibrahim had five bullets in his body, while Sanusi Mohammed Sankera had a bullet concealed in his buttocks.
Halima Sidi Umaru said they were forced by people, whom she described as illegal security operatives, to quit their homes unprepared.
Umaru, who has just fled Wukari to Jalingo, told our reporter that she had to leave Wukari because, according to her, they were not safe.
"We are living in fear; we are not safe in Wukari. We can't differentiate between original and fake army, so we don't know the real enemy. I can't count the dead bodies I saw but its more than 12″, said another witness.
She appealed to the state government to deploy more security to Wukari to ensure normalcy returns.
Halima explained that youths were mounting road blocks at Gidan Adamu Village near Gyepi to harass passengers.
The Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Rimande Ubandoma Joel explained that it was not in every part of the body that bullets should be removed, because in the process of removing the bullet, more damage could be done to the patient.
Joel said patients who still have bullets in their bodies were given professional treatment and necessary drugs based on what was allowed by laws governing the medical profession and urged their relations not to panic.
He said the acting Governor of Taraba state, Alhaji Garba Umar has mandated the hospital to do everything possible to save lives of the patients as medication were being provided, test, X-rays and surgeries conducted, adding that the patients were not to pay for any service rendered to them, as the government was footing their bills.
But victims relations who besiege the hospital lamented the poor handling of the victims, they said most of the patients where only given pain reliefs.
A senior nurse, who preferred anonymity told Peoples Daily Weekend that there was no directive from the state government to treat victims free but that they were just offering First Aid.
"we only heard of the free treatment from the news, no official communication has been made because we need more drugs and materials to carry out the instruction, our facilities is presently over stretched," she said  
Also 32 persons injured during the ethno-religious crisis  taken to the Federal Medical Centre, FMC Makurdi, for treatment bill is yet to be paid.
Acting Medical Director of the FMC, Dr Peteru Ihiundu, confirmed that many people were on referral  to the hospital from Wukari but said the Taraba state government has not reached out to them on the payments of its bill .
"We had 32 people, who were brought in at a go with various degrees of injuries. The hospital was alerted that we were expecting 32 injured patients and we effectively mobilised the hospital community, who were battle-ready for their arrival. They came in at 4.00 PM and we operated throughout the night."
Ihiundu, who was full of joy that all the patients, except one, who had neck injury, were in stable condition.
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Taraba acting governor, Garba Umar, Aaron Artimas, who spoke to one of our correspondents, said the government wants peace in all part of the state, to fast track developmental projects of the present administration.
"There won't be development if there is no peace; we want peace. The acting governor is doing everything to ensure peace returns to Southern Taraba. He recently facilitated a peace pact that was signed by all parties at the Aku-Uka's (Wukari paramount ruler's) Palace, and he has empowered the security agencies, and is meeting with all stakeholders to ensure lasting peace in the region", the governor's spokesman said.
Crisis in Southern Taraba   which comprises of other towns like Takum, Donga, Ussa and Yentu Development Areas has many colourations which have continue to undermine all efforts to restore peace.
In the political arrangement of the state, Southern Taraba   is expected to produce the next governor after Danbaba Suntai who had been bedridden in the one year.  Political stakeholders in the region however said the reoccurrence of the crisis was to make the region unsettle and stable ahead of 2015.
A group, Southern Taraba Forum For A Just Society,  coordinator, Manu Benjamin Caleb, in a letter  postulated that the crisis currently engulfing the zone is a scheme to destabilize the zone. "We are miffed and stupefied by the latest onslaught on the peoples of our zone in Wukari, Takum, Donga and Ibi local government areas. Clearly, the ongoing mayhem is a well worked out blueprint to destabilize the zone and institute a reign of terror, especially now that it is clear that the zone is ready to produce the next governor in the 2015 general elections.
"The march for power shift to the zone is on, and some clowns want to scuttle it with these crises to distract the region. It took a recent outrage by Senator Joel Ikenya over his failure to visit those areas before the acting governor quickly breezed into Wukari and Ibi."
Also Senator representing the zone , Emmanuel Bwacha who recently call for a state of emergency said "The crises of the past were ethnic skirmishes largely between Tiv and Jukun, who have since embraced peace and are even working together today to repel the insurgents. The violence today is being perpetrated by armed insurgents and we have evidence that Ag. governor brought mercenaries to destroy southern Taraba so as to weaken its political base, with a desperate motive to thwart power shift to the zone in next year's election."
JDA National President, Danborno  on his part demanded the immediate evacuation of all Fulani herdsmen from southern Taraba, claiming that the presence of "these violent herdsmen, driven from Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue States, was responsible for the rising cases of violence in their homeland and that the herdsmen must leave for peace to reign in the area."
He threatened that if the herdsmen refused to leave their homeland, they would take up arms against them.
He  said the call to take up arms became necessary due to federal government alleged failure "to check the violence and protect the Jukun people from the clutches of the blood-thirsty Fulani herdsmen, who have been killing, maiming and burning our houses."
Danborno said the spontaneous eruption of violence at Wukari, Ibi and Rafinkada, all in southern Taraba, during worship service last Sunday have further confirmed the group's fear of a grand plan to exterminate the Jukun people.
"Everywhere you go around southern Taraba villages, Fulani herdsmen have taken over our people's farmland commandeering Jukun and Tiv's homes and their live stocks," the JDA president said.
He noted that the Jukuns were aggrieved and disappointed that both the federal and the state governments have not been able to resolve the matter leading to the avoidable bloodshed. Danborno said it is perplexing that in a country where firearms licences are not freely issued to individuals, "these herdsmen openly carry firearms with which they harm and kill innocent people, giving the impression that some people are above the law."
He said documented evidence showed that the violence which began on November 18, 2012; and another on February 23, 2013, April 5, 2013 and April 15, 2014 before the present one on June 15, 2014, are indications that all the peace agreements between the Jukun people and the Fulani herdsmen and the Muslim community of southern Taraba have been thrown to the dustbin as powerful forces are hell bent on throwing the area into political turmoil.
He therefore warned all politicians to steer clear of fueling crisis in southern Taraba especially now that it is the turn of the zone to produce the next governor of the state come 2015.
"We see in all these a grand design by some disgruntled politicians to deliberately heat up the polity of the area and render the zone incapable of being able to produce a formidable candidate for the forthcoming governorship election. Let us assure them that such gimmicks will fail like others before it. "Let us also sound a note of caution that we are all peace loving in southern Taraba and we want justice. Let politicians who are looking towards fomenting trouble for us look elsewhere as we are better engaged in thinking of solutions to the problems besetting our state," Danborno further stated.
It will be recalled that there had been serious crises in Wukari, which led to the signing of the recent peace agreement among Fulani, Tiv, Jukun and Muslims in the area on one hand, and the Taraba State Government on the other.
Also, the acting Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, has given a marching order to the local authorities in the affected areas to maintain peace or face the music
Umar has directed local government chairmen to be security conscious and ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order in their respective areas.
the acting governor further directed the council chairmen to ensure that traditional rulers in their respective areas were carried along in the fight against insecurity in the state.
He ordered the local authorities to hold monthly security meeting in order to address grey areas for timely intervention.
Umar stressed the importance of traditional rulers in tackling security challenge, saying they could not be ignored. He therefore directed that the royal fathers must be part of distribution of relief materials to displaced persons.
Umar states that preliminary findings indicate that the outburst of the violence was as a result of the negative activities of some youth groups in Wukari and Ibi local government areas.
He also ordered the proscription of all youth groups in Wukari and Ibi local government areas, while security agencies have been directed to ensure the enforcement of the ban.

....Taraba crisis is localised, says CPS to acting gov umar

Kefas Sule is the Chief Press Secretary to Taraba State Acting Governor Alhaji Garba Umar. In this interview with Ayodele Samuel he explains that the government is doing everything possible to ensure peace returns to the Southern part of the state.
What is your principal doing to address insecurity in Taraba State, particularly in the Southern part of the state?
I think we are doing a lot, if you have been following trends in the media, you would have seen the reports emanating from Taraba regarding the efforts that the state government have been making to contain the crises right from the onset as you are very well aware, this crises is not from Taraba state, it came from somewhere in Nassarawa splits into Benue state and then enters Taraba and even long before the crises came into Taraba state, His excellency, the Acting governor of Taraba state has set up several committees and summoned several high power meetings to ensure that crises is not coming to Taraba state but unfortunately for us, it happened and since then, some of the major style have been adopted in the state which includes regular meetings with the stakeholders and by stakeholders I mean the local government chairman, the traditional rulers and other community leaders from the affected areas. In the second measure that was taken, was to make request for additional re-enforcement of security agencies in those area. You realize that the cost of the price especially in the north east is, the number of security on ground has been far over stretched, so far you will discovered that crises will break out in somewhere and you deployed them there and as they are trying to contained it, another one has broken down somewhere else in the latest case that has been experienced. So you now have to now say take some numbers of men from the one you have on ground and take them to the new place so you will discovered that these personnels have been over stretched. Now to remedy this situation, the excellency make the request to the police headquarters and the Nigerian Army headquarters to send in reinforcement which we have done severally, the police I think about two units of mobile policemen were deployed from Gombe and Adamawa state and additional military men were brought in from Adamawa state from benue state to reinforce the number that is on ground. You will recall also if you have been following reports from the media so far the state government has spent 32 numbered trailers loads of relief materials to the affected areas for distribution to victims, you know we are not saying that this should be able to adequately addressed the needs but to alleviate their plight and that has been done to all the affected areas particularly the southern part of the state. Now the other things we did was the launching of operation Wuta-Wuta which I'm sure you also know and at least you are here to witnessed the distributions of motorcycle components of the distribution campaign, the first time, police receive 35 numbered Hilux van, the Nigerian Army on the second batch received 30 numbered Hilux van and other security agencies from the state got 10 bringing the total number to 75. Now, before then, other vehicles have been given, you know 6 numbered, 3 numbered, to the army, the civil defense and the  SSS like that. Last week 180 motorcycles were given to the vigilante groups with the sole aim for them to compliments the role of security agencies in ensuring that the violent conflicts and crimes are brought to the minimum level in our state. So if we aggregate all this efforts, you will discovered that the state government have invested enough resources and so much materials to ensure these crises does not go beyond the level that it will cause a continuous lost of lives and properties.
With the reoccurrence of crisis in some part of the state, don't you think the call for a state of emergency by Senator Bwacha should be reviewed
I don't know why people will call for state of emergency, if the current efforts have helped to stabilized the situation in most of the crises zone, I don't think there is a need for state of emergency in this state. And let us remembered that most of these conflicts are localized, we are not talking of a widespread situation across the state, we are talking of localized isolated cities of crises in Wukari for instance, if they wants to that is why the crises has been resolved but as I speak to you now, His excellency, the acting governor and the various stakeholders are still working on how to find a lasting and final solution to the conflicts and as per our expectations and hope, that the outcome of this last discussion they are going to have will cement the outcomes of all the efforts that have been previously done and we will not hear of conflicts in Taraba state again.

Patricide: Why would children kill their parents?

Mr Ezike murdered by his son, Ejiofor in EnuguRecent reports have shown how violent children have become in Nigeria, to the extent of killing their parents. Ayodele Samuel in this report writes on the increasing case of Patricide in the society.

Charles Ajayi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, and top pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God RCCG, would never have thought his son, Tolani would send him to an early grave.
Tolani, a 21year-old 300-level undergraduate of History and International Relations of the Redeemers University on July 3, however butchered his father before dumping his remains into the bush inside the camp ground of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), along the Lagos-Ibadan Express road.
According to the police, Tolani confessed that his slain father provoked him by slapping him when he refused to respond to the prayers he raised during devotion. He later got angry and dashed for the kitchen where he took a knife and stabbed his father.
"The incident happened around 1:00 a.m. when the Church community was probably sleeping. It was in anger that I did it. My father just bit me repeatedly with his teeth. There was an argument between us and I stood up to him. He beat me with a stick and bit me with his teeth. Just the two of us were at home, my mother was in Abuja.
"We live in Abuja but I school at the camp (Redemption Camp). He came for a programme then, my school was on break. So, I went to meet him, we were to go back to Abuja together, then the incident happened and here I am now," Tolani said.
While narrating how the incident occurred, he disclosed that his father first hit him repeatedly with a wooden stick, which he took from the kitchen.
"My father went to the kitchen and took a stick (wooden spoon), he used it to beat me repeatedly and I tried to defend myself, then he bit me on my shoulder and I got angry. I used a small kitchen knife, later, I used cutlass to attack him. I regret the action."
Tolani is not the only perpetrator of patricide in recent times, Ikenna Onu in Ugwuoba community, in Oji River Local Government Area of Enugu State, also reportedly, brutally murdered his father Mr. Christopher Onu, over an argument on drug use. Ikenna allegedly hacked his father to death with an axe.
Christopher, a farmer by profession, allegedly called his son, Ikenna into his room on July 4, 2014, after returning from the farm and advised him to stop taking hard drugs suspected to be Indian hemp.
According to Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, the State Police Public Relations Officer, the fatherly advice did not go well with Ikenna, who was believed to be under the influence of the hard drug at the time his father was giving him the piece of advice.
Amaraizu disclosed that Ikenna angrily took an axe and cut his father's head wide open, adding that the deceased immediately slumped and bled to death before help could come.
Although Ikenna is currently in custody at the Criminal Investigations Department of the State Police Command in Enugu, the Onu family is still mourning death of their breadwinner.
Also earlier in 2013, 65-year-old Felix Atta, a native of Umuonu Umuida community, Enugu Ezike in Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State, was also killed by his son, Ejiofor.
Ejiofor, according to the police used a machete to slaughter his father after murdering his mother about six years ago. The boy was said to have gone into hiding after committing the crime and security men and family members had commenced manhunt for him till date.
For  25-year-old Kamilu Yusuf of Mortgage Area, Gusau, Zamfara State, his mother, Hajiya Hafsat Yusuf, and his two younger sisters, Amina and Maryam were his victims.
Yusuf, a student of Computers studies at Abdul Gusau Polytechnic, Talata-Mafara, was said to have slaughtered to death the trio on the fateful night.
A family source said, Yusuf accompanied his late mother to a Commercial Bank where she withdrew N800, 000 on the fateful day.
The source said that Yusuf, who was his late mother's favourite child, demanded for unspecified amount out of the money for private use but she turned down the request.
He said that Yusuf, who was unhappy with his late mother for her refusal to give him the money, mobilised three other friends to commit the heinous crime.
Just like Yusuf, Tolani is also said to be his parents favourite, his friends, however disclosed that both the school authority and his parent knew of his weird character, which they have been trying to manage and see if he will graduate from his degree programme.
Tolani's parents, both Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), his friends disclosed, were responsible for his misdemeanor due to the outrageous upbringing they gave him, something they affirmed contributed to his wild behaviour, which, according to them, his parent had been having running battle to contain.
They said Tolani was allegedly caught twice by the authorities of the university, and a panel was set up to interrogate him on the allegations of cultism and drug related matters before he committed the murder.
A female friend, who simply identified herself as Ola, disclosed that Late Tolani's father, Pastor Charles had on several occasions used his influence as a pastor in the Church to prevail on the school authority to allow his son remain in the school after been asked to leave having falled foul of the school rules and regulations many times.
Ola said "Tolani is someone we all know around and it is common knowledge that he has problem with drugs and been expelled from school on several occasions, but his father will use his connection with the high and mighty in the Church hierarchy to return him back to school. He smokes India hemp with some of his friends on the campus.
Also a close male friend, Femi said he had a chat on one of the social media platform on the day his friend chopped off his father's head, and even read out the chat he had with him where Tolani told him his father was at home.
Femi said when he asked why Tolani did not attend Church services on Sundays, he told his friends not to disturb him saying he does not believe in God.
Redeemer's University, Student Affairs Officer, Ademola Ipenko however ruled out the existence of cultist group in his institution in the patricide case.
"You can only talk about cultism when there is a rivalry fight, involving Tolani and some other persons. I think people can see or read a lot of different meaning to this incident, but that is unfortunate.
"As far as I am concerned, it could have happened anywhere. Besides it did not happen in the school nor when the school was in session; instead it happened in his father's house. It is not the fault of anybody."
Ipenko cautioned that acts like this could be the result of a morally sick society, which he said necessitates the need for a morally responsible society, stressing the need for families to uphold high moral standards.
"I believe in good morals, I believe that is exactly what we need in the society. As fathers and mothers, we need to go back to the values which our fore-fathers generations handed to us. We were taught in our days to respect our elders, to leave our seats for our elders to sit, either in the bus or anywhere. But what do we have these days? You see elders being pushed away by the younger ones", he noted.
"We should not see moral decadence as a problem of the Church or school but we should see it as that of the family. The family is responsible for inculcating good morals in the children", he argued.
Pastor Emmanuel Ajayi of the Christ Most High Ministry on his part said "we must know that there are external factors that act as influence on children beyond what we give them. It is not only true strict discipline".
According to him, beating or abusing cannot bring children to imbibe good morals or virtues.
"It must be a combination of a number of factors, dialogue through creation of conducive atmosphere through which parents can show their children possible negative consequences when they exhibit bad traits".
President of the Young People Africa, Ola-Abraham Emmanuel however blamed the decay in moral upbringing of children in the new generation
He also blamed 'too elastic parents' for the erring acts of their wards or children.
"indecency has eaten too deep in the moral fiber of our society, this generation has morally lost it and the blame goes to the parents, most of them believe it's all about wealth and money to be a responsible citizen in the society.
"Children are trained from childhood, even our Holy Books said we should train our children, but most parents are not having time to fulfill this duty, they are busy hustling for wealth and neglecting the homefront.
"Once a person is in the university, he or she is regarded as an adult regardless of the person's age. Some of the bad traits they exhibit in the university have been part of them from secondary school days, they misbehave right under the roof of their parents.
"Though I am not denying the truth that some, who are not strong willed in maintaining high moral uprightness can be easily influenced by peers or friends to succumbing to engaging in evil acts, I still believe the home has failed," Abraham said.
A school owner Akintunde Aliyu urged parents to always take time to consider possible reasons for their children's actions with a view to discussing with them as mature persons.
"As parents, we must know that those things that worked for us when we were growing up in those days may not be still applicable now, so we must always bear that in mind".
Also, teachers should also take more interest in their pupils, check on the influences around them and get to know them better. As parents, teachers, religious leaders and guardians, we should get to know our protégés better and take keen interest in them."
Ogun State Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Ikemefuna Okoye, appealled to parents to always show their children the right path to follow and train them to know our cultural values and morals. He said that it's incredible to hear and even see such a situation where a son would kill his father because of a prayer session or advice from parents.