Kwara governor charges military to stay clear of politics – Premium Times

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara

The Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has charged the military to insulate itself from political manipulation and resist temptation to descend into the political arena as this could truncate the country’s nascent democracy.

The governor stated this when participants of course 23 of the National Defence College, Abuja, on Geo-Strategic Study tour of Kwara State, paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Ilorin.

“Let me commend the Nigerian military for its appreciable role in nation building, especially by protecting Nigeria from external aggression and internal unrest,” Mr. Ahmed said.

“ While it is true that the country is going through very difficult times, especially in parts of the country caught in the grip of insurgency, the military must continue to live up to its reputation as one of Africa’s best.”

The governor said it was incumbent on all Nigerians to support the officers and men of the armed forces for keeping the country and its people safe.

Speaking on the theme of the Geo-Strategic Tour, Socio-Economic Development through Urban Renewal in Kwara State, Mr. Ahmed said, “Our urban renewal programmes are geared towards ensuring that our roads are motorable, making portable water available within 500 metres radius for all residents, guaranteeing health care and beautifying the environment.

The leader of the team, Aliyu Lawal, a Commodore, said its pre-visit study showed that Kwara State had comparative advantages in many sectors over other states under study.

Mr. Lawal, who said the tour was a significant part of the 11-month course, commended the state government for winning the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee awards in Paris, France, for its Community Health Insurance Scheme.

We’ll stop PDP this time, Buhari vows – Premium Times

Buhari

A former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, formally declared his intention to contest the 2015 presidential election and warned against any form of rigging by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, during the 2015 elections.

He also lamented the state of the nation under the administration of the ruling party, saying at no time was it divided as it was now.

With the declaration, Mr. Buhari becomes the second presidential aspirant on the platform of the APC to formally do so.

A former vice president, Atiku Abubakar declared his plan to run for president on the party’s ticket on September 24.

Two other aspirants, Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso of Kano, and the Publisher of Leadership Newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah, will make bid known on October 23 and 28 respectively.

Mr. Buhari, a retired general, who had contested the presidential election on three occasions, told a mammoth crowd of cheering supporters at the Eagles Square, Abuja, that he would seek the APC’s presidential ticket.

“I humbly wish to present myself before you, before all of Nigeria and before God seeking to be elected as APC’s Presidential candidate,” he said.

He explained that having appreciated that the only way to relieve Nigerians of the PDP, the main opposition parties decided to pool their strengths into one party.

He said the party had worked very hard in the last 18 months to put up structures from the polling units to wards, local governments, states and the centre.

The presidential hopeful said that there was no point in holding elections if they were not free.

“Interference in the form of rigging which PDP Government has practised since 2003 is the worst form of injustice – denying people their right to express their opinions. Whether they like it or not, injustice cannot endure,” Mr. Buhari said.

“Since 1999 PDP has presided over our country’s decline. Nigeria in my experience has never been so divided, so polarized by an unthinking government hell-bent on ruling and stealing forever whatever befalls the country. Mr Chairman, we in APC are resolved to stop them in their tracks and rescue Nigeria from the stranglehold of PDP.”

Mr. Buhari, who ruled Nigeria between 1983 and 1985, said the last 16 years of PDP government had witnessed decline in all critical sectors of life in the country.

According to him, apart from the general insecurity in the land, power outages had taken a frightening dimension while the economy continued to deteriorate.

He said, “Quite apart from Boko Haram, there is prevalence of armed robbery, kidnappings and killings, cattle rustling, market and farmland arson.

“These outrages have taken a new and a frightening dimension, disrupting economic and social life across whole communities.

“The economy continues to deteriorate while the Government continues to announce fantastic growth figures but manufacturing is down, agriculture is down, commerce is down.”

He argued that simply because “you sell oil and steal part of the money does not entitle you to cook figures and announce phantom economic growth when all the major indices namely employment, manufacturing, farming and trading are demonstrably on the decline.”

Mr. Buhari recounted that when the PDP came to power in 1999, Nigeria was generating about 4,000 M/W of electricity, but that after 15 years and $20 billion spent it was generating only between 3,000 – 4,000 megawatts, stressing “no failure is more glaring than this.”

The former head of state said the APC had resolved to bring about change, if elected.

According to him, his administration would protect lives and property, pursue economic policies for shared prosperity and immediate attention on youth employment, quality education for development, modernity and social mobility, agricultural productivity for taking millions out of poverty and ensuring food security.

He also said he would revive industry to generate employment; develop solid minerals exploitation which will substantially attract employment and revenue for government; restore honour and integrity to public service by keeping the best and attracting the best; and tackle corruption which has become blatant and widespread.

“The rest of the world looks at Nigeria as the home of corruption. Nigeria is a country where stealing is not corruption,” Mr. Buhari said.

He also assured that the APC administration would respect the constitutional separation of powers between the executive, legislatures and judiciary as well as the rights of citizens

‘Love jihad': War on romance in India – Aljazeera

Right-wing groups recently protested against what they said was a Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls [EPA]
Sarawa, India - A young Indian woman who had claimed in August that she was abducted, gang-raped, and forcefully converted to Islam for marriage has retracted her statement, saying she was under pressure from her family, according to the police.

On Monday, the 20-year-old girl appeared before senior police officials in the northern Indian city of Meerut and said she was forcefully confined by her parents who objected to her relationship with a Muslim youth named Kaleem Sheikh.

The girl identified as “S” – she cannot be named as per Indian law – said she feared for her life and sought police custody, in a blow to a “love jihad” campaign run by Hindu right-wing groups.

The police, on Tuesday, lodged a case of assault and the threat to murder against the girl’s parents.

A total of eight people, including Kaleem, were arrested after the girl’s family filed a police case in August, as right-wing groups protested against what they said was a case of “love jihad” – a Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls.

Leaders from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its affiliate groups such as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad or World Hindu Council) ran a campaign against what they said was a ploy used by Muslims to seduce Hindu girls, make them believe that they were in love, get married and convert them to Islam. Hindu right-wing groups have also claimed that Muslim boys are financially rewarded for the conversions.

Shanthakaka, the head of Rashtra Sevika Samiti, the women’s wing of the RSS, in an earlier interview said, “Muslim boys are encouraged to elope with our girls. The money they are paid to elope and marry a Hindu girl depends on the caste of the girl. The remuneration for Rajput girls is Rs 1 lakh ($1,635) and for Brahmin girls is Rs 2 lakhs ($3,270).”

The incident produced headlines calling it a “love jihad” campaign, further widening the Hindu-Muslim divide in the northern region of Uttar Pradesh state that witnessed deadly riots last year. More than 60 people were killed and thousands were displaced in the wake of violence in Muzaffarnagar district.

Al Jazeera met S on August 30 at her home where she confirmed her relationship with Kaleem, explained how he was wrongly framed and how she was facing immense harassment from her family.

We did not publish this conversation earlier fearing for the girl’s safety, which has been taken care of by the court now.

Teacher at Madrassa

S, a petite and confident girl, has a degree in humanities and she has supported her family financially since the age of 15 by tutoring students.

Last year, in the final year of her studies, she decided to take up a job as a teacher in Sultania madrassa, one of four Muslims religious schools in Sarawa, a village of 7,000 people almost equally divided between Hindus and Muslims. It is common in North Indian madrassas to have Hindu teachers or students. S earned a salary of Rs 1,200 ($20) for eight months before quitting in April to take her final exams.

S’ father worked as a roadside bag seller in New Delhi’s busy Lajpat Nagar market as there was little economic opportunity in the sugarcane belt nearly 80km from India’s capital.

Kaleem, 23, belonged to Uldhan village located 10km from Sarawa. S said she met Kaleem through a mutual friend.

“When I first met him, he told me that he liked me and wanted to be friends with me. It did bother me that he was a Muslim but he was so caring and appreciative of me that I started meeting him more,” S told Al Jazeera.

In a few months, Kaleem and S fell in love. “He asked me: ‘Don’t you think we should move ahead in life. Maybe get married?’ I agreed.”

But inter-religious marriages are still a taboo in the region.

“By now, it did not matter to me. He had even told me that I can continue to practise Hinduism and visit temples even after we get married,” S told Al Jazeera.

Abortion

In July, she noticed she had unusual bleeding during her menstrual cycle. But when she consulted a doctor, she was told that she was pregnant.

“The doctor told me that I had an ectopic pregnancy and it had to be removed immediately. We could only afford a government hospital. Kaleem and I registered as husband and wife and the surgery was conducted.”

Kaleem, according to S, spent his own money on the surgery.

S’ pregnancy and subsequent abortion were not a unusual incident. The statistics collected by IIPS, a public health organisation, show that 21 percent of males and four percent of females in rural areas admitted to having had pre-marital sex.

She came home after the surgery on July 27, but her mother soon found sutures on her body and all hell broke loose.

When S could not bear the taunts at home, the only immediate solution was marriage to Kaleem. Before it could materialise, however, the family found out about her plans. It was not tough to garner support in the already charged Sarawa community.

Her father, with help from right-wing outfits such as Hindu Jagran Manch and Bajrang Dal went to the police. Among those falsely charged was the newly elected pradhan, Nawab, who has been in jail since then.

Earlier this year, Nawab changed the small gate of a local mosque to a bigger one which led to communal tensions in the village.

Since the case became public, several Hindu religious outfits have set up “fronts” like the RSS’ Hindu Behen Beti Bachao Sangarsh Samiti and the RSS’ student wing ABVP’s Meerut Bachao Manch to stop inter-religious, by-choice marriages which they have termed “love jihad”.

Inter-religious marriages

Lalit Maheshwari, the head of the VHP’s Muzaffarnagar unit, earlier told Al Jazeera: “Once BJP comes to power, they will push towards a law to stop inter-caste and inter-religious marriages.”

Kaleem, who has been in jail for the past two months, has not received enough support from his own community.

When Al Jazeera tried to meet Kaleem, his lawyer, at the behest of his family, refused to facilitate it. A member of his family said: “We have nothing to do with him,” not because of the fictitious allegations of “love jihad”, but because of the Muslims’ prohibition on pre-marital sex and by-choice marriages.

In fact, a month after this case, Muzaffarnagar was rocked by a case of what some Muslim religious leaders have called “reverse love jihad” or the Hindu Dharma yuddha, when they alleged that a Hindu man had forced a Muslim girl to convert and elope with him.

S told Al Jazeera that she wanted “justice”.

“See, my life is over. Wherever I live, I will always be taunted about this whole incident. They say that my body and womb is impure now I want to have a face-to-face conversation with Kaleem to know what he wants. See, when you are in love with someone, you are equally responsible. If we are wrong, we both should be punished. Why should I let him suffer all his life for nothing?”

Fearful of “honour killing”, she said: “Had I not gone to the police, they would have killed me.”

She was insistent on her decision to marry Kaleem.

“Yes, I will. Religion does not matter. He had no problem with me continuing with Hinduism and visiting temples after marriage. Whose religion is bad? No one’s. It is us who have divided people as Hindus and Muslims but actually we all are one.”

Wiz Khalifa and Future diss their exes, Amber Rose and Ciara? -LIB

Future and Ciara broke up a few months ago, while Wiz and Amber broke up just a few weeks ago and it looks like the newly single men are already dissing their exes.

A new diss track was released last night by super music producer Mike Will Made It titled ‘P**sy Overrated’ featuring Wiz and Future and the rapper and singer took aim at their exes.

On the track Wiz spits, “Rich ni**a get you/ he’ll never put nothing above you / every time I see you I don’t never want nothing from you,’ while Ciara’s baby daddy Future raps, “You supposed to f*ck me like a star/ girl you know you faking / yo pu**y overrated!” Ouch! Listen to the song after the cut

Photo and name of second US Ebola patient revealed

Texas Presbyterian Hospital healthcare worker, Amber Vinson, has been revealed as the 2nd Ebola patient who flew from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday. She was one of those who attended to Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan at the US hospital. Her photo was just released but they have since said anyone who was in the plane or came into contact with her should not be worried because she had no fever, and wasn’t vomiting. Pic credit: WEWS NEWS CHANNEL5

Boko Haram-like gunmen kill 27 in Plateau – Premium Times

baga 3

At least 27 residents died in an attack by gunmen on Bachi District of Riyom Local Government in Plateau, Josephine Piyo, Chairman of the local government has said.

The attack occurred Thursday last week and was carried out like Boko Haram attacks on villages in North West Nigeria, local government officials claim.

Mrs. Piyo told a joint team of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) on a visit to the area on Tuesday that the attackers torched 70 houses.

Represented by the Council Secretary, Alex Kundang, the chairman said the attack also led to the displacement of at least 3,520 residents.

She said those displaced were currently staying at different camps for Internally Displaced Persons in the area.

Mr. Piyo described the situation as pathetic and that urgent national attention was needed to address the situation as the attacks on Riyom people had become recurrent.

“The methods of the attacks are similar to that of Boko Haram in terms of approach and the weapon used,” she said.

The chairman appealed to the Federal Government to design a strategy to check the attacks in the manner it had tackled the Boko Haram insurgency.

Eugene Melong, a senior official who led the NEMA North Central team on the assessment visit, expressed sadness over the incident.

“We are here with my team to carry out on-the-spot assessment, generate report and then send it to our headquarters to enable the government to render some assistance,” Mrs. Melong said.

The Executive Secretary of SEMA, who was represented by its Director of Administration, Biser Longnan said that the Plateau Government planned to assist the displaced persons.

The leader of displaced persons in Camp 1, located at Farinlaba Local Education Authority Primary School, Riyom, Dalyop Kanbut, called for a lasting solution to the attacks.

He said the attacks had brought untold hardship to the people.

At Camp 2 located at Riyom Community Hall, Mr Sunday Baren said the people needed assistance, especially food and drugs

We’ll wipe out Boko Haram – Cameroon

By Adekunle Aliyu, Ben Agande, Favour Nnabugwu
Yaoundé — Cameroon’s President Mr Paul Biya vowed, yesterday, that his government would go after the Islamist group Boko Haram “until it is totally wiped out”.

His Nigerian counterpart, President Goodluck Jonathan, on his part, was confident that the activities of insurgents and other cross-border criminals will soon be drastically curtailed with the intensification of joint patrols, military operations and intelligence sharing by Nigeria and neighbouring countries as agreed by their leaders in Niamey last week.

A file photo  taken on January 30, 2013 shows Cameroon president Paul Biya speaking to journalists following a meeting with his French counterpart at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Cameroon's President Paul Biya on October 13, 2014 vowed his government would go after the Islamist group Boko Haram "until it's totally wiped out". He made the promise as he received 10 Chinese and 17 Cameroonians freed last week after spending months as hostages of armed men thought to belong to Boko Haram, an anti-Western rebel group in Nigeria which has been increasingly making incursions into Cameroon.     AFP PHOTO

 

 

 

Mr. Paul Biya, who spoke after the release of the abducted 27 hostages comprising 17 Cameroonians and 10 Chinese said: “The Cameroonian government assures you that it will ceaselessly continue to fight Boko Haram until it’s totally wiped out”.

The 27 Cameroonians and Chinese were delivered to authorities on Friday night. The government has not said how they were freed, but a security source told AFP that “a ransom” was paid and around 20 imprisoned Islamists were freed in exchange.

The Chinese were seized in May from a construction camp in Waza, near the border with Nigeria in an attack that left one Cameroonian soldier dead. The Cameroonians — including the wife of one of Cameroon’s deputy prime ministers — were abducted in July during two simultaneous assaults, also blamed on Boko Haram, in which at least 15 people died.

One of the released Cameroonians, Seiny Boukar Lamine, told state radio, “we were in these sort of huts in a pretty dense forest, it was in a savannah with big trees and a lot of brush. We slept on the ground”. He said he was held with his wife and six children.

Another former hostage Abdouraman Seini, who survived a gunshot to his hand, told VOA he and the other captives were forced to eat whatever was provided and at times went for days without water to drink.

He said they lived in miserable conditions and that they were tortured by men armed with knives and guns. “Freedom is a good thing, I pray such a thing never happens to anyone”, he said.

Abdouraman Seini added that he did not see any of the more than 200 girls from Chibok, Nigeria that Boko Haram claimed responsibility for kidnapping in April.

According to him “women are separated from men in the various detention camps run by the militants in the bush”.

Seini also told VOA he believes it is very likely Boko Haram fighters will continue their attacks because they are running out of food for the hundreds of fighters and the hundreds of captives they have.

We’ll curtail their activities— Jonathan

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President Jonathan on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati quoted the president as telling the ministers of defence and foreign affairs of Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin Republic that such international collaboration was essential for success in the war against terrorism.

The Ministers were in Abuja to work with their Nigerian counterparts on a legal framework for the cross-border military operations which President Jonathan and neighbouring heads of state approved in Niamey. President Jonathan reiterated his belief that such collaboration was essential for success in the war against terrorism.

According to the statement, the president was pleased “with the decisions taken in Niamey to enhance and boost joint actions against Boko Haram and other cross-border criminals because we have to work together to defeat Boko Haram and other extremist groups in our sub-region.

“I believe that if we cooperate more and monitor our borders closely, the movement of criminals and terrorists as well as small arms and ammunition across our shared borders will also be drastically reduced,”

The visiting ministers were accompanied to the Presidential Villa by Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali and the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.

The President said that with their collective experience and professionalism, he expected the visiting ministers and their Nigerian counterparts to come up with an effective action plan for the successful implementation of the decisions reached by the leaders of Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin Republic at their meeting in Niamey on October 7, 2014.

It would be recalled that at the meeting in Niamey, Niger, the leaders announced plans to step up the fight against Boko Haram. A communiqué issued after the meeting said that a command centre for a multinational force headed by a chief of staff will be in place by November 20.

The leaders also agreed to finalise the deployment of troops promised by member states to form the multinational force within their national borders by November 1.

The visiting ministers at the audience with President Jonathan were Niger’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mohammed Bazoun; Cameroon’s Minister of External Relations, Mr. Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo; Chad’s Minister of Defence, Mr. Benaindo Tatola; Chad’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Muossa Faki Mahamat; Niger’s Minister of Defence, Mr. K. Mahamadou; Benin’s Minister of Defence, Mr. Robert Yarou; Benin’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Nassirou Bako Arifari and Cameroon’s Minister of Defence, Mr. Edgar Alain Debe Ngo’o.

Multi National Joint Task Force readies for Boko Haram

In a related development, the Multi National Joint Task Force, MNJTF, comprising soldiers from countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission have decided to establish the MNJTF headquarters in Borno State next month.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb Aminu Bashir Wali disclosed this, pointing out that troops of the task force will be deployed into action next month to checkmate the tendencies of Boko Haram terrorists crossing into border communities to wreak havoc.

According to Wali, after the meeting of LCBC member states in Benin Republic, it was agreed that the MNJTF headquarters be established in Baga town in Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State, on  November 20, 2014.

He said the choice of Baga was in tandem with the decisions reached by Heads of State and Government of member states of Lake Chad Basin Commission, LCBC for which the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence met in Abuja yesterday.

He said the resolution would be forwarded to United Nations Security Council, and African Union to put the legal frame work in place against insurgency.

The Minister noted further that the activities of Boko Haram terrorists in Baga, which served as the epicentre of their strategic activities in terms of arms procurement, planning for attacks and reception centre for foreign insurgents or mercenaries due to its proximity to porous borders, justified the expansion of the Task Force’s mandate in April, 2012 to include the fight against terrorism.

His words: “Our meeting today underscores our common commitment to good neighbourliness and fine-tuning our collective resolve and strategies for confront terrorism.

“It is an established fact, which we have often stated that terrorism is an international phenomenon that has to be addressed through collaborative efforts at sub-regional and global levels.

“As a sub regional body, we are at a crossroad. We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, which we must win or else, it will define us”.

At regional level, we have succeeded in enhancing cooperation in border patrol with neighbouring countries. We have also succeeded in deploying troops along our common borders.

“A new Regional Intelligence Fusion Unit, RIFU, has since become operational. Various forms of assistance have been received at bilateral and multilateral levels from our development partners and friends in terms of training.

“Most of these initiatives were sound but regrettably, resulting in certain inconveniences which have raised questions about the balance that we must strike between our commitment to democratic values, our interests in security and other national priorities”.

In an Interview with Vanguard, the Executive Secretary, Lake Chad Basin Commission, Engr. Sanusi Imran Abdullahi said members states were more than determined to fight terrorism as a collective menace in the region.

“We had the meeting of ministers of defence and chiefs of defence staff and chiefs of security of the member countries and Benin in Niamey July and we discussed the current security situation and the deployment of troops by member countries as agreed by the heads of state.

“Each country is to give an equipped troop, battalion to the Multinational Joint Task Force.

“As at that time, Niger and Chad had already deployed their battalions at locations within their countries. Of course, Nigerian troops are already there in Baga more than even a Battalion.

“But Cameroon was preparing to deploy their contingent. So we are hopeful by the end of this meeting today and before the end of the month as agreed at the extra ordinary summit, Cameroon should have deployed their own contingent of a battalion within their border in the Lake Chad Basin until the legal arrangements are finalised for the operation of the force together to work across borders”.

Abdullahi disclosed that the president of Benin Republic, Dr Boni Yayi, had promised to deploy a battalion which he described as a plus to us to member states.

“The Multinational Joint Task Force is to give us a tool for the fight against all forms of terrorism in the Lake Chad Basin and in the member countries or at least in the member countries that have signed this declaration at the extra ordinary summit”.

Dasuki unveils new approach to couter terrorism

Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki, yesterday in New York unveilled Nigeria’s new approach to countering and dismantling violent extremism in Nigeria. The Countering Violent Extremism programme, according to Dasuki is aimed at identifying the underlying causes of terrorism and to develop strategies to solve the problems.

Photos: Omotola turns heads at the launch of Tiffany Amber ’15 Nigerian Women of Vision – LIB

Omotola who was unveiled as one of the 15 Nigerian Women of Vision turned heads as she stormed the venue of the event in a custom designed Tiffany Amber for Omosexy dress! Omotola is a goddess! See more photos after the cut…

The Diamond Women of Vision celebrates outstanding Nigerian career women.

Omotola styled by  Ezinne Chinkata, Makeup by Chichi
Photo credit: Daniel Sync PR

Photos: #BringBackOurgirls group take protest to Aso Rock

Members of the #BringBackOurgirls group took their protest to Aso Rock villa today October 14th to demand for more action from the federal government towards the release of the 200+ Chibok girls who were abducted on April 14th this year.

Meanwhile Nobel Laureate winner Malala Yousafiz released a statement today on her website urging the Nigerian government to re-double efforts towards freeing the abducted girls. Find her statement and photos from the Aso Rock protest after the cut…

Malala’s statement..

Six months after the Boko Haram kidnapping of 273 Nigerian school girls, we must raise our voices again and louder than ever to demand that the more than 200 girls still in captivity be freed, reunited with their families, and receive a quality and safe education. I urge the Nigerian government and the international community to re-double their efforts to bring a quick and peaceful conclusion to this crisis. #BringBackOurGirls

Photo source: @BringBackOurGirls twitter handle