Nigeria Today: Top 5 Headlines

15 October, 2018 | Chik


These are the headlines...


Oyedepo Denies Endorsing Atiku

President of the Living Faith Church, aka Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, yesterday, denied endorsing the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for the 2019 presidential election. Bishop Oyedepo Speaking at a Sunday church service in Canaan Land Ota, Ogun State, Oyedepo said he was invited to former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s residence for a peace parley.

He said, “I am aware Winners are in every political party in Nigeria but I don’t belong to any party. I was only invited to make peace. I don’t force myself on people because I am too busy.”

“The recent killings in Plateau State are a moral assault on our nation. Nobody is qualified to be morally right if he does not have feelings for the loss of lives. I know how many times I cried over the killings in Nigeria. Some people claimed responsibility and nothing happened to them. “The effect of the 30 months civil war is still with us. We won’t see war again in Nigeria. Those who want to see it will be cut down.”


We Won’t Release Names of People on Travel Ban, FG Says

The Federal Government said yesterday, October 14th it had no plans to release the names of those on the travel ban placed on some 50 high profile Nigerians. This came as outrage against the travel ban continued yesterday from presidential candidate of  Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; Elder statesman and Yoruba leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; President of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Ayuba Wabba; Human Rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN; Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere; Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP; Middle Belt Movement for Justice and Peace, MBMJP, among others.

Second Republic lawmaker, Dr Junaid Mohammed; and National Chairman of the United Progressive Party, UPP, Chief Chekwas Okorie, however, gave thumbed up the ban, saying the measure would boost the ongoing war against graft.

Presidency Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, who disclosed this in a statement last night, said:  ‘’On the so-called list you asked for confirmation, I want to confirm to you that we have not issued any list and we are not doing so.’’ He also said the present government of President Muhammadu Buhari, inherited the list from previous administrations. Continuing, Shehu said:  ‘’In the history of independent Nigeria, this is the first time any government is taking such a key decision to fight corruption. ‘’EO 6 is not only revolutionary to the efforts to rid Nigeria of corruption but a manifestation of systemic changes that are required to make necessary adjustments as we carry on with the war against corruption. ‘’The very essence of the order is to make for speedy trials and conclusion of graft cases. The order is not political and there is political gain behind its activation.

“These high profile cases we are talking about have been ongoing for between seven and 10 years with no end in sight. These cases were mostly originated by administrations other than this one. What is clear is that the access to these resources by the suspects has enabled them to be in a composition to sometime compromise investigation, prosecution and trial.  In most of the cases, the courts are held in a helpless position by legal acrobatics paid for from corrupt enrichment by the suspects. The new measures put in place should compel everyone involved to make for a speedy conclusion of these cases. If it is your money, you have it back. If it belongs to the public, it goes back to the treasury.”

“The question of the constitutionality of the restriction order is answered by the fact that a court of the land has given the government a clean sheet. The Executive Order is legal and constitutional and, therefore, implementable. One of the cardinal objectives of the government under our constitution is to fight corruption. Fighting corruption is a responsibility and obligation upon the government. These cases that are well known and to say this or that name is on it will open the door to further accusations, including trial by media. The Immìgration Service and other security agencies have the mandate of the President to carry out enforcement and they will do so giving due respects to individual rights, in line with the constitution.  


Jimi Agbaje Appoints Osikoya Adeleke as Director of Organisation

The campaign structure of Mr Jimi Agbaje, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship Candidate for Lagos State, has appointed Osikoya Adeleke to oversee operations as its Director of Organisation. Adeleke was part of the think-tank of the Late Engineer Funso Williams, former PDP governorship aspirant assassinated in Lagos in 2006.

Announcing the appointment in a press statement at the weekend, Agbaje’s Director of Media and Publicity, Mr Felix Oboagwina, credited the new Director with contributing immensely to the successful mileage Lagos PDP recorded in the 2015 elections.

He first joined Williams’ team when the former Works’ Commissioner ran for the Lagos State governorship under the defunct United National Congress Party (UNCP) and thereafter the Alliance for Democracy (AD). Adeleke, with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Sociology from the Lagos State University (LASU), hailed from Agbowa Ikosi in Epe Local Government of the state, according to the statement. An avid political player whose active participation began on campus, he won election as a Parliamentarian in the students’ union government to represent the Department of Sociology and the Faculty of Social Sciences through his four years in LASU. He also served as the Secretary to the Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Council for the 2011 presidential election won by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Adeleke equally worked as Personal Assistant to the Minister for Works and Housing, Chief Femi Anibaba, between 2004 and 2007. From 2013 to 2015, he was Technical Assistant to Deputy Chairman of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), Chief Tanwa Olusi. In addition, the PDP national leadership had variously appointed Adeleke to serve on several committees, some of which he chaired. His interest in politics reportedly dated back to his sojourn with his Aunt, the Late Alhaja Adetutu Odunsi, former Iyaloja General and market leader in Lagos State.



Abia Pipeline Explosion: Death Toll Pegged at 150

The death toll from last Friday’s Osisioma pipeline explosion in Abia is said to have risen to over 24, even as Eze Ikechukwu Chiavoghilefu, Chairman, Osisioma Local Government Traditional Rulers Council, put the figure at 150.

This is just as another monarch accused security operatives of causing the disaster, as they were collecting money from the villagers that came to scoop fuel, instead of preventing them from entering the site.

According to Eze Chiavoghilefu, the number of casualties has been rising steadily, as, according to him, dozens of people that were badly burnt eventually died. He specifically cited a particular health clinic, where about 70 victims were taken to after the incident happened on Friday, saying that in less than 24 hours over 30 of them died.

The monarch, who spoke when the Senator representing the area in the National Assembly, Chief Theodore Orji, visited the affected communities to sympathize with the victims, insisted that the death toll has risen to over 150.

According to the monarch, “about 70 persons were packed to the health clinic near my palace on the first day it happened. All of them are now dead. Up to 150 have so far died.” He said their communities have been thrown into mourning as victims keep dying every day on account of the severe burns they sustained. Another monarch, Eze Godswill Mgbarime of Umueze, one of the affected communities, also said so many of his subjects had died as a result of injuries they sustained from the explosion.

Eze Mgbarime blamed the disaster on security operatives who he said were collecting money from villagers that were coming to scoop fuel from a leaking pipeline, rather than stopping them from gaining access to the scene. According to Eze Mgbarime, “when the leakage occurred, some security men arrived the place and, instead of doing their job, they were collecting N1,000 from each person that came to scoop fuel there. We learned that three of them also died when the fire started.”


Several Boko Haram Hideouts has been Cleared Out, Claims NAF

The Nigerian Air Force, NAF, has claimed huge success against Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State. The Air Force, in a statement Monday, by its spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said the Air Task Force, ATF, of Operation Lafiya Dole, “decimated a Boko Haram Terrorist hideout and neutralized several terrorists at Bogum in Northern Borno State.”

The attack was carried out yesterday, 14 October 2018, after intelligence reports indicated significant BHT activities within the settlement.”

 The ATF scrambled two Mi-35 Helicopter Gunships to engage and destroy the identified BHT positions in the village. Overhead the target, the concentration areas of the BHTs were attacked in successive waves by the helicopters with direct hits recorded on the targets, leading to the neutralization of several BHTs. The few surviving BHTs were tracked and mopped up in subsequent follow-on attacks. “The NAF, working in concert with surface forces, will sustain the tempo of operations with a view to destroying all remnants of the terrorists on the fringes of Lake Chad and other areas in Northern Borno,” the statement said.