Schweinsteiger Unsure If He Will Be In The MLS Next Season

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Bastian Schweinsteiger is happy in the MLS with Chicago Fire, but he is not certain if he’ll still be around next season.

The veteran midfielder endured a difficult two-year spell at Manchester United and joined Chicago Fire on free transfer.

Schweinsteiger has been key to the form of the MLS outfit, as they sit second in the Eastern Conference.

“I’m really happy here and everything fits. The club is making progress and has helped my family and me a lot,” the former Bayern Munich star told Die Welt.

“The team wants to improve and the training staff are super. The Chicago people are also really nice and I’m having a lot of fun here. I don’t know how long I’ll play in the MLS, but at least this season!”

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Just Like PDP, Nigerians Can Sack APC In 2019 – Party Chairman Oyegun Warns

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John Odigie-Oyegun, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has cautioned that Nigerians can vote against the ruling party in 2019.

His words: “We created a machine that has started a significant move in entrenching democracy in this country. What is democracy? It is the ability to hire and fire. It was the first time that Nigerians had the ability of firing and it has become internalised in our political psyche. We know that we should not make the mistakes of the PDP. We too now know that we can be fired and that is democracy.”

Oyegun made this comment on Tuesday at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, where he was presented with the book ‘APC: The Making of a Change Agent’, written by Okoi Obono-Obla, special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution.

He cautioned his party not to act like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when it was in power.

The APC National Chairman also hailed the contributions and sacrifices of chairmen of the legacy parties that merged to form the APC; former vice president, Atiku Abubakar; former governor of Lagos state, Bola Tinubu; new PDP entrants amongst other stakeholders in the formation of the APC.

He added; “It is important because in a few years, peripheral people like happens today in the case of June 12, sort of claim ownership of an event they know very little about… Infact, we encourage all those who participated intimately to document their record of what they think happened. Historians will then later take these slightly different versions considering the perspectives were you were standing to watch the show. And we will eventually have a comprehensive rendition of what happened.

“It was the first time a merger of that type had succeeded. It is the first time people had the intense nationalism to make the degree of sacrifice that was called for in agreeing to a merger. We had three party chairmen, and a lot of other individuals- former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and a few others who participated actively. And we must not forget the role that was played by the new PDP.”

Also Speaking, Obono-Obla said, “The book tells the story of the APC; How the APC was founded; the intense negotiations; support of the governor; and how the APC dethroned an incumbent government, unprecedented in the history of Nigeria.

“It was necessary for a member of the merger committee to tell the story so that there is no distortion and misrepresentation of facts. This generation and generations to come will read this story and also see how the PDP failed so that the APC will not make the same mistake.

“Because if we make that mistake, the Nigerian people will punish us as they punished the PDP. We should run a democratic party. I am happy that the APC National Chairman is doing his best and despite all the turbulence, the Party is still one.”

Present at the book presentation were the APC National Auditor, George Moghalu; National Organising Secretary, Osita Izunaso and National Vice Chairman (South East), Emma Eneukwu.

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Cruyff: Bosz Is A Fighter Like Guardiola

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Jordi Cruyff believes Peter Bosz shares similarities with Manchester City manager, Guardiola and will be successful at Dortmund.

Bosz was named Dortmund manager after the sacking of Tuchel. He led Ajax to the Europa League final.

The former Ajax manager often talks of Guardiola and the attacking football of Johann Cruyff. And Jordi believes he joined the right club in Dortmund.

“I’m proud of him,” Cruyff told Sport1. “It makes me happy to see a coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv make it to the top.

“Peter has earned it and I am tremendously pleased that we have been part of his journey to Dortmund. Twelve months ago he was our coach.

“I think he and Dortmund fit together. Their current players definitely fit into his philosophy. I’m convinced he will succeed in Dortmund because he is a passionate fighter.

“He doesn’t like long balls, but the quick short game. He likes his team to put others pressure and then retrieve the ball immediately after losing it. He loves dominant football and wants to win.

“Bosz is a bit like Guardiola. He has a strong winning mentality and always sticks to his principles. He often told me: ‘We play to win, we play attacking football, we play pressing.’ He has the tools and the philosophy that my father had, too.

“With certainty Peter a coach who always gives a little time and space for developments and needs itself, so the team can adjust to what he wants. If the players have made their own, it is nice to see.”

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Dear Nigerians, Here Are 12 Things You Should Know About The 2017 Budget

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Dear Nigerians, Here Are 12 Things You Should Know About The 2017 Budget

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, made history on Monday after he signed the 2017 Appropriation Bill into law.

Nigeria’s Acting President Osinbajo Finally Signs 2017 Budget

Osinbajo signed the budget – N7.44 trillion – at about 4:40 p.m. yesterday inside his conference room in the presence of the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari; Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Ministers and other top government officials.

Full Breakdown Of Nigeria’s ‘2017 Budget Of Recovery And Growth

Osinbajo, while describing the budget signing as a milestone in the implementation of the economic and growth plan programme put in place by Mr. Buhari in April, also noted that it had fewer errors than that of last year.

In the meantime, here are 12 things you should know about the 2017 budget below:

  • For the first time ever, the 2017 Budget was collated using  a web-based application that allowed Ministries, Departments and Agencies to upload their budget proposals to the new budget preparation portal, making the preparation process more efficient and transparent process.
  • President Buhari presented the draft 2017 Budget proposal to a Joint Session of the National Assembly on December 14, 2016.
  • The National Assembly passed the 2017 Appropriation Act five months later on May 11, 2017.
  • Signing of the Budget was delayed because of disagreements over deductions by the National Assembly in the draft document from allocations to some critical infrastructure projects, including the standard gauge railway, Mambilla Power Project, the Second Niger Bridge, and Lagos–Ibadan Expressway, and reallocated to new projects introduced by the lawmakers.
  • Following extensive dialogue, the lawmakers are to restore the funding on the projects during the budget year.
  • The Federal Government has returned the country to a January–December budget calendar, starting from the 2018 budget.
  • The Executive is to submit the draft 2018 budget to the National Assembly by October 2017, while the Assembly pass the budget into law before the end of 2017.
  • Total expenditure in the Appropriation Act N7.44 trillion.
  • Total expected revenue is N5.08 trillion.
  • Projected deficit is N2.36 trillion, to be financed largely through borrowing.
  • N2 trillion is approved for capital expenditure (principally infrastructure), with more than N500 billion directed into investments in roads, power and housing projects;
  • N46 billion for Special Economic Zone Projects to be set up in each geopolitical zone.

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FIRS Generates N778.19 Billion Revenue In First Quarter Of 2017

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Tuesday said it generated N778.19 billion revenue in the first quarter of 2017.

This is according to a progress report by the FIRS sent to the Federal Ministry of Finance and obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.

The report, which showed the revenue performance for the first quarter of 2017, gave a breakdown of money collected.

FIRS Introduces 6 Key Online Solutions For Payment Of Taxes (See List)

According to the report, the FIRS collected N338.3 billion as Petroleum Profit Tax between January and March, as against the N176.7 billion collected in the period under review in 2016.

Similarly, Value Added Tax, VAT, revenue increased from N198.7 billion in first quarter of 2016, to N221.37 billion in first quarter of 2017.

The report showed that the biggest improvement was from education tax collection, which the FIRS surpassed in 2016 by 311.7 per cent.

It said in first quarter of 2017, N33.9 billion was generated as education tax revenue as against the N8.24 billion generated in the same period of 2016.

Also, the service said it achieved 284.3 per cent improvement in Stamp Duty collections, as it generated N3 billion in first quarter of 2017, as against the N785 million generated in 2016.

The report also showed that consolidated tax revenue for the first quarter of the year grew by 123 per cent, from N11.5 billion in 2016 to N25.7 billion in the same period of 2017.

The service also recorded success in boosting its collection of National Information Technology Development Fund (NITDEF) levy, which went up from N129 million in 2016 to N179.2 million in 2017.

The report, however, showed that the FIRS did not record any improvement in Company Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax collections.

The service collected N155.6 billion as Company Income Tax in first quarter of 2017, while it collected N166.85 billion in the same period of 2016.

It said N110.9 million was generated from Capital Gains in 2017 as against the N859.1 billion generated in the same period of 2016.

“The analysis shows that we have recorded an increase of N214 billion, representing an overall increase of 38 per cent in 2017, when compared with the collection performance of the corresponding period in 2016.

“We attained this collection performance in spite of several challenges, as we have continued to vigorously pursue our strategies internally, while improving collaboration with relevant stakeholders to boost our collections.

“The strategies put in place are still on course and progressively yielding,’’ the FIRS said.

It will be recalled that the FIRS Chairman, Babatunde Fowler, pledged to improve tax collection by capturing more people and companies under the tax net.

In April, he said that four million individuals have been included in the tax net, bringing the total to about 20 million individuals.

This still leaves a gap of about 40 million taxable individuals and corporate organisations both in the formal and informal sectors.

(NAN)

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Griezmann Inks New Contract

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Antoine Griezmann has ended any speculation linking him to United, after he signed a new contract that’ll keep him at Atletico till 2022.

His new contract will make him the highest paid footballer in Atletico Madrid, with his buyout clause still at €100 million.

Griezmann has been consistently linked with United, with his comments not helping matters, something he has apologised for.

“The first thing I want to do is apologize to people who have misunderstood my statements,” Griezmann told the Atletico official website.

“I might have expressed myself wrong or some would like to make headlines where there were none, but since I have arrived I given everything for my club and my colleagues and my coaching staff and I am very happy to have more seasons with all of you.

“I will thank everyone by giving everything in the field, as always.”

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Griezmann Inks New Contract

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Antoine Griezmann has ended any speculation linking him to United, after he signed a new contract that’ll keep him at Atletico till 2022.

His new contract will make him the highest paid footballer in Atletico Madrid, with his buyout clause still at €100 million.

Griezmann has been consistently linked with United, with his comments not helping matters, something he has apologised for.

“The first thing I want to do is apologize to people who have misunderstood my statements,” Griezmann told the Atletico official website.

“I might have expressed myself wrong or some would like to make headlines where there were none, but since I have arrived I given everything for my club and my colleagues and my coaching staff and I am very happy to have more seasons with all of you.

“I will thank everyone by giving everything in the field, as always.”

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Roma Signs Moreno From PSV

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Serie A giants, AS Roma has announced the signing of Mexico defender Hector Moreno from PSV.

The 29-year-old defender switches the eredivisie for the serie a, for a fee believed to be worth €5 milliom. And Moreno signed a deal that will keep him at the club till 2021.

“I am very happy to sign for Roma,” Moreno told Roma’s official website. “This represents an important step up in my career.

“I hope I can show my individual qualities and contribute to the overall success of the team.”

“Moreno has been a target of mine for a long time, and fortunately now the circumstances are right for him to join us at Roma,” Roma’s sporting director Monchi said.

“This is a central defender with a lot of international experience, and he perfectly fit the profile we were looking for.”

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Nigeria’s AGF Malami Rejects Senate’s Moves To Create 2 Agencies

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The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, on Monday, kicked against moves by the Senate to create two new agencies with functions already being performed by existing government establishments.

Literally, it means the AGF rejected the bills making provisions for them.

The bills are for the Revised Laws of the Federation Bill, 2017 (SB. 391) sponsored by Senator David Umaru who is the chairman of the committee and the one on National Commission for Peace, Reconciliation (Establishment etc) Bill, 2017, sponsored by Senator Shehu Sani (APC Kaduna central).

Speaking at the at the public hearing held by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on four different bills, Malami said that the intendment of the Bill on Revised Laws of the Federation, if allowed to sail through, would infract negatively on functions of the Nigeria Law Reform Commission.

He, however, supported the two other bills, the one seeking for Emergency Powers Act, sponsored by Senator John Owan Enoh (PDP Cross River central) and Arbitration and Conciliation  (Amendment Bill, 2017) sponsored  by Senator Monsurat Sunmonu (APC Oyo central).

The Attorney-General, who spoke through an assistant director from Legal Drafting Department in the Ministry, Mr Patrick Eta Eyoh, said Section 5 of the Nigeria Law Reform Commission Act saddles the commission with responsibilities of law revision exercise which the new bill primarily seeks to achieve.

He added: “This to us in the justice ministry is not necessary so as to avoid creating an agency for functions already being carried out by an existing one legally.”

Speaking further, AGF hinged his rejection of the Bill on National Commission for Peace, Reconciliation (Establishment) 2017 on the fact that the National Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution was in place to carry out functions relating to peace and conflict resolutions within Nigeria and Africa.

He said:  “Our take on these two bills is that they should be jettisoned since their intendments have already been taken care of by existing agencies legally put in place.

‘’If they are seen not to be carrying out their functions efficiently and effectively, we are not against the National Assembly by way of legislation, strengthening their capacities to function better.”

The Senate President, Dr  Bukola Saraki, in his welcome address, tasked the stakeholders at the public hearing to help the Senate committee in coming up with robust legislative work on all the bills through  quality contributions.

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Buffon Is 99.9% Retiring After Next Season

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Veteran Juventus goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon has stated he is 99.9% certain he will retire next season.

The Italian shotstopper, once again helped Juventus to a third consecutive domestic double, while they lost in thr UCL final.

Buffon already stated earlier his intention to retire after the 2018 World Cup. And it appears it might be his last competition.

“I’m 99.9 percent certain of retirement,” he told Sky Sport 24.

“I’m going to have one final, intense season, rich in big moments, and then it will be time to say enough is enough.”

“We’ve just left one small possibility open with the president [Juventus chief Andrea Agnelli],” Buffon added.

“That is if we manage to win the Champions League I will carry on playing one more year to try to win the Club World Cup and other trophies.”

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PHOTOS: See All The Glam From The Red Carpet Of The Isoken Movie Premiere

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It was a star-studded occassion at the premiere of the highly anticipated romantic comedy “Isoken” which held at the Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island on Sunday, June 11, 2017.

The premiere was attended by the likes of Rita Dominic, Stephanie Coker, Ini Dima-Okojie, Funke Akindele, Dakore Akande, Bolanle Olukanni, Damilola Attoh, Tope Tedela among others.

Isoken features stars like Patrick Doyle, Joseph Benjamin, Funke Akindele, Lydia Forson, Ayoola, Bolanle Olukanni, Marc Rhys, Abimbola Craig, Damilola Attoh, Tina Mba and will open in cinemas on June 16, 2017.

See pictures from the premiere below.

Isoken

Denola Grey

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Abimbola Craig
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Ini Dima-Okojie
Isoken

Uti Nwachukwu
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Adebayo Oke-Lawal

Isoken

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Tope Tedela
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Mimi Onalaja
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Titilope Sonuga
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Etim Effiong
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Etim Effiong and Yvonne Ekwere
Isoken

Timini Egbuson

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Bolanle Olukanni and Mo’Cheddah

Isoken

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Mo’Cheddah

Isoken

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Laylah Oniwo

Isoken

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Dakore Akande and Funke Akindele
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Dakore Akande

Isoken

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Tallulah Doherty

Isoken

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Tosin Odunfa

Isoken

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AY Makun
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Rita Dominic

Isoken

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Beverly Naya
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Stephanie Coker

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Isoken

Deyemi Okanlawon

 

All pictures were taken by Anazia Richy E.

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$1.1bn Malabu Oil Scam: FG Vows To Extradite Ex-Attorney General, Adoke

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The Federal Government has disclosed that it is making all necessary arrangements to extradite to Nigeria, former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, to face charges of fraud.

This disclosure was made on Tuesday in Abuja by the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Johnson Ojogbane.

The anti-graft agency charged Adoke and two multinational oil companies to court on charges of alleged 1.1 billion dollars Malabu Oil scam.

Malabu Oil Deal: ‘Why Jonathan Must Appear Before Reps Committee’

During the last adjourned date, the judge, Justice John Tsoho, fixed June 13, for arraignment of Adoke and the other co-defendants.

Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Ojogbane said that the matter could not proceed because the EFCC had been unable to get Adoke and other defendants.

“The matter was adjourned until today for arraignment of the defendants, but up till now, we have not been able to secure the attendance of most of the defendants, because they are outside jurisdiction, that is they are outside the country.

“The Federal Government is doing everything within its powers to bring them back to Nigeria so that they can face their trial.

“The government will take steps, in collaboration with the international police to locate them and bring them back to Nigeria through extradition, which is a very cumbersome process, but it will be done,” Ojogbane said.

He said the court adjourned the matter until Oct. 26 after the court’s vacation to enable the process of bringing Adoke and others back to Nigeria to be intensified.

The EFCC had in December 2016, charged nine suspects, including Adoke, over the purchase of OPL 245.

Adoke was accused of illegally transferring more than $800 million purportedly meant for the purchase of the OPL 245 to Dan Etete, Malabu Oil.

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Fashola Wants Government To Extend The ‘Whistle-Blowing’ Policy To Power Sector

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The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has called on the Federal Government to extend its whistle-blowing policy to the power sector to curb energy theft.

The minister said this in Enugu at the 16th Power sector monthly meeting, sponsored by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company. According to him, available statistics revealed huge energy theft by Nigerians, adding that the problem had become a big challenge for not just the power distribution companies, but consumers as well. He added that if nothing is done, those who pay for energy consumption will continue to bear the overall cost.

The minister claimed statistics revealed that only six million households consumed energy in the country, adding “if this is correct, it means that some people steal energy in the country, while only a few pay. The statistics cannot be correct and it is therefore necessary to extend whistleblowing to the power sector in order to expose those stealing our energy,”.

Fashola called on Nigerians to be vigilant and report people who stole energy in their neighborhood to law enforcement agencies. The minister said that efforts were ongoing to improve the supply of power across the country adding that more megawatts of electricity would be added to the national grid before the end of the year.

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Uwazuruike: MASSOB Leader Disowns Nnamdi Kanu, Sues For Peace

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Leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Ralph Uwazuruike, has said that he handed over Radio Biafra to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), but was disappointed that Kanu let him down.

Uwazuruike made this known on Monday in Kaduna during a meeting with Hamza Al-Mustapha, former chief security officer to the late Sani Abacha, former head of state.

The meeting was held at the instance of Al-Mustapha to intervene in the threats  and counter-threats by the northern coalition of youth groups and the pro-Biafra agitators.

Uwazuruike, who said he founded MASSOB in 1999 as a peaceful platform through which “issues of perceived marginalisation of the Igbo in Nigeria could be discussed and tackled”, added that he was disappointed that the radio station “has become something else” other than what it was created for.

He said: “I handed over Radio Biafra which I created to Nnamdi Kanu in London as the managing director and was hoping it would serve the purpose for which it was created, but I was disappointed that politicians hijacked it and it became something else.”

“The radio that was meant to educate our people and advise our people was turned into the source of hate messages, blackmail, intimidation and others.

“The resultant effect was that the northern youths came up to challenge us, to say that they are not happy with the hate messages and the insults they receive from the same radio.

“ I am here today to say that the main purpose of floating the organisation called MASSOB was not to cause crisis in Nigeria.

“I assured the late Odumegu Ojukwu when he was alive that there would be no other civil war in Nigeria.

“Because he, Ojukwu was so concerned and wanted some measure of assurance from me that MASSOB would not cause problems in Nigeria and I gave him that assurance.

“And I am today disappointed, that the assurances I gave, may not see the light of the day, if certain measures were not taken, and that is why I am here in Arewa House today.”

He assured of the safety of the northerners resident in the South East and urged them to continue with their businesses in the area.

“I am here to assure you northerners that all your people in the South East are safe and nobody will harass them.

“And, I am happy to hear my friend, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, who assured of the safety of lives and property of Nd’Igbo in Northern region.”

Also speaking, Al-Mustapha‎ urged the Igbos to wear their thinking caps and shun acts that are detrimental to the unity of the country.

He said it would not be surprising if some countries that that were envious of Nigeria’s progress may be the sponsors of the tension in the country.

Mr. Al-Mustapha also cautioned the youth against making statements that would further cause tension in the country, in spite of the unpleasant comments from IPOB leader.

He appealed to the Kaduna State Government and the Inspector General of Police to withdraw the arrest threat on the youth leaders who issued the Kaduna Declaration.

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Aramide Releases New Photos, Announces “Aramide Suitcase Live” (ASL) in USA

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Months after the release of the Suitcase album, Aramide is set for her first American Performance Showcase.

The Afro Soul Queen has since the release of her album proved her strength as a true artiste releasing top-notch materials from the album, mingling with fans as well as touring cities in Nigeria and Ghana.

New York, Washington D.C, and Philadelphia have been confirmed as Tour stops, with more cities to be announced shortly.

See photos below

Current Tour Schedule

City Date
New York August 4, 2017
Washington DC August 5, 2017
Philadelphia August 6, 2017

 

Photography- Aham Ibeleme

Makeup –  T.ALAMODE BEAUTY

Stylist- Iola Styling

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Governor Ortom Swears In 23 Council Chairmen In Benue State

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Governor Samuel Ortom on Monday swore in 23 council areas chairmen in Benue State.

During the swearing in ceremony in Makurdi, the state capital, the governor advised the 23 newly elected council areas chairmen in the state to be prudent with local governments’ finances to enable them execute projects that would have positive impact on the people.

Ortom further warned them against running the councils as sole administrators.

He said: “You should carry along your deputies and councilors, as well as other stakeholders who would help in the delivery of health care, education, agriculture services and other areas of need at the grassroots.

“The era of sharing government money with cronies or elders is over. Government money is only for development purposes to positively touch the lives of the people. Let me restate my pledge that the state government under my watch will not tamper with any money that accrues to the councils under any guise.”

The governor also stated that the recent law on anti-grazing was timely in spite of the argument and criticism it generated and charged the chairmen to ensure its successful implementation across the state.

“You are aware of the heat the bill generated. Therefore, as the chief security officers of your respective councils, you have to be alert to ensure that no individual or group take the laws into their own hands.

“There cannot be progress or development without peace. So, peace building should be your cardinal objective at all times,” he said.

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EFCC Invades Premises Of The Sun Newspaper | Media Outfit Drags Agency To Court

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Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday morning invaded the Lagos office of the Sun Newspapers in Apapa, “to ascertain the state of the assets of the publishing company which is subject of subsisting interim forfeiture order,” thereby, disrupting its operations.

The operatives also accused the newspaper of publishing ethnically biased stories to undermine the leadership of the commission.

However, a statement issued by the organisation on the incident read: “Law-abiding staff of The Sun Publishing Limited resumed work this morning, June 12, 2017 to behold heavily armed EFCC operatives in our company. They claimed to have “orders from above” to seal up the premises of The Sun Publishing Limited.

“At gunpoint, they ordered our security personnel to take them round the company premises, after which they proceeded to prevent staff from either entering or leaving the premises, and disrupted our circulation process.

“For one gruelling hour, EFCC operatives subjected our staff to crude intimidation, psychological and emotional trauma, even as some of the men accused our organisation of publishing pro-Biafra, Boko Haram and Niger Delta militant stories, as they surveyed our premises.

“We recall that in 2007, (10 years ago) the EFCC had obtained an interim forfeiture order in respect of some assets of The Sun, attached to a suit against our Publisher, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, for which we have filed an appeal, which is still pending in court.

“We also recall that the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu had written a letter personally signed by him dated 23rd of May and received on the 7th of June, asking The Sun management to report to the Commission on 5th of June, detailing our operations in the last 10 years, on account of an interim order of forfeiture under appeal.

“As law abiding corporate citizen, our lawyer, Chief Chris Uche SAN, wrote the Commission to intimate the Agency that the issue was pending before the court of Appeal. The receipt of our correspondence was duly acknowledged.

“We were, therefore, shocked that our premises would be invaded by the Commission under whatever guise. This is condemnable and reprehensible. No one, Agency or authority should be above the laws of our country. An abuse of the law is a recipe for chaos.

“Magu had in an earlier letter threatened to sue The Sun over a report published by one of our titles, pertaining to a report on investigation of a property allegedly traced to his wife. But up till now, we are yet to receive any court process.

“In the light of the above, we strongly view this onslaught against The Sun as a personal vendetta by the leadership of the Commission, and by extension a declaration of war against the media.

“In this invasion of our premises, it is crystal clear that what Magu and his Commission are after is not only to intimidate and muzzle us, but a furious attempt to call a dog a bad name in order to hang it.

“On the issue of the interim order, which he purportedly based his invasion, Magu knows the matter has been on appeal since 2007 for which hearing comes up this week. But rather than wait for the court process, the Commission under the leadership of Magu, typically resorted to self help.

“We want the general public to take note of this authoritarianism and high handedness, which has been the hallmark of Magu’s leadership of the EFCC.

“The other charge of publishing Biafra, Boko Haram and Niger Delta militant stories is very ridiculous, baseless and anti-Press freedom.

“We like to state that we are neither an ethnic, political nor religious newspaper, but we are the Voice of the Nation, reflecting all sides, all views and all shades of opinion in line with the ethics of our profession.

“We challenge Magu and his Commission to show where The Sun’s stories have been different from other papers in the country.”

In an attempt to forestall further invasion of its office by the operatives of EFCC, The Sun Newspaper yesterday dragged the anti- graft agency before Abuja division of the Appeal Court.

In a motion of notice filed by their counsel, Chief Chris Uche SAN, the newspaper is demanding an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the EFCC or its agents from enforcing or attempting to enforce order of Justice Anwuli Chikere of a Federal High Court Abuja pending the hearing and determination of its pending appeal.

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Security Agents Comb Magu’s House As Plot To Remove EFCC Boss Thickens

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Some unknown security agents were said to have combed an uncompleted bungalow belonging to the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, as a fresh plot for his removal is being hatched.

The Nation gathered that some lobbyists, comprising “powerful” citizens, have allegedly visited London with the names of two likely candidates to succeed Magu.

It is understood that the preferred candidates are a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) and an Assistant Commissioner of Police, with the former highly-favoured.

According to the prominent newspaper, the security agents, who combed his uncompleted bungalow in Karshi, an Abuja suburb, in search of some evidence, were said to have dug up a soak-away pit at the site – apparently in search of buried cash or some documents.

It was gathered that the combing of the bungalow was however in futility as nothing incriminating was found.

It was also learnt that the invasion of his house by the security men shocked the acting EFCC Boss who was away in Malawi, even as it led to panic among investigators – in Magu’s household – and among his associates on the sudden search without warrant.

It would be recalled, Magu was rejected by the Senate as the substantive chairman of the EFCC following the reaffirmation of a report on him by the Department of State Services (DSS). The secret police argued that Magu cannot lead the country’s anti-corruption agency.

Magu’s rejection has caused some disquiet between the Presidency and the Senate, with the latter demanding that the Acting Chairman should vacate the office.

Speaking on the matter, a source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Some powerful forces have decided to prevail on the President to remove Magu, having been rejected twice by the Senate. They said Magu should not be treated as indispensable.

“Some of them are angry that the EFCC has been closing in on them and their associates. Others have outstanding reports against them.

“They are using likely conflict between the Presidency and the National Assembly as an excuse but they are out to protect class interest.

“Some of them have also been uncomfortable with the style of the EFCC chairman. They alleged that it might have political backlash for the President.

“If care is not taken, these powerful lobbyists may have their way. A principal officer of the National Assembly is said to be highly connected with one of the shortlisted candidates.

“The plot has been perfected in a manner that Magu’s removal might be a priority decision of the government before or when the President returns.”

The leakage of the search for Magu’s replacement has ruffled feathers in EFCC and among some government functionaries.

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Igbo Haters, The Arewa Ultimatum And Our Nation – Reuben Abati

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Igbo Haters, The Arewa Ultimatum And Our Nation – Reuben Abati

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Fifty years after the civil war ended, Igbos do not yet feel a sense of belonging, acceptance or safety in the Federation called Nigeria. The sad part is that this belief is shared not just by the generation that witnessed the war and its deadly consequences, but Igbos across all generations, including the millennials who have been socialized into believing that there is a gap between their people and other Nigerians.

Let us not deceive ourselves about certain plain truths. The civil war is perhaps the most remarkable incident in Igbo history in the last century. The pain, the loss, all about it, is deeply imprinted in the Igbo consciousness. Whereas the Igbo nation has shown great resourcefulness since the war, and its people have proven to be enterprising and determined to hold their own in every sphere of life, including outstanding contributions to the making of the Nigerian state, there are Nigerians who still regard and treat the Igbo suspiciously.

Anti-Igbo sentiment may not be so openly expressed, but it is usually something beneath the surface. There are landlords in many parts of Nigeria, for example, who will never rent out their property to an Igbo man. The Igbo tenant is easily stigmatized. I have heard people complain that Igbo tenants are too stubborn or that when you rent a room to an Igbo man, he will end up sub-letting that one room to all kinds of persons from his village, putting pressure on the property’s limited facilities.

Some landlords insist that an Igbo tenant could even start eyeing the property, to buy it off the landlord, or if it is a shop, the Igbo trader would end up renting the entire street, and could turn the street into an Igbo neigbourhood. This stigma has been a source of agony for many Igbos seeking accommodation, particularly in Lagos, but it is of course completely baseless stereotyping. There are good and bad persons from virtually every Nigerian ethnic group.

The stereotyping of the Igbo person can also be found in the political arena. It is assumed by some persons, and such statements have been made to my hearing, that the only reason an Igbo man cannot be President of Nigeria is because every Igbo man sees himself as a potential President, and should the Presidency be zoned to the South East, the struggle for the ticket could result in inter-community strife in Igboland. The name of the group is Igbo, but when other Nigerians want to be mischievous, or perhaps out of ignorance, they refer to Igbos as Ibo, and when you try to correct them, they may insist you don’t seem to understand. It is I-Before-Others (IBO).

Igbos have also been held responsible for all sorts of things, kidnapping, drug trafficking, child trafficking, armed robbery – even when there are criminals from virtually every community in Nigeria. Meanwhile, they are one of the most vertically educated ethnic groups in Nigeria, and the most enterprising in all fields. A friend once said that if you enter any community in Nigeria and you don’t have an Igbo man running a small shop there, or engaged in some other kind of business, then you have no business staying in that community. Igbos are also obviously the most integrated ethnic group in Nigeria, which is why it is ironic that they are also the most vilified.

I wrote what I considered a harmless piece recently in which I referred to the declaration of Biafra in 1967 and quoted excerpts from the Ahiara Declaration. I got a phone call from a friend who declared that I should stop encouraging these “Biafrans”. Nothing I said made sense to him.

“You don’t know those people”, he declared.

“I know people from all parts of Nigeria,” I said.

“You don’t know Igbos. Has there been any problem in this country that you know in which Igbos have not been involved? They have started again, heating up the polity with threats of secession.”

“It is a sign that all is not well with Nigeria,” I retorted.

“Don’t mind them. I don’t think anybody wants to secede. If Igbos really want to secede, you think it is Nnamdi Kanu that will be speaking for them?”

“It takes just one illuminated soul to start a revolution.”

“Don’t bring that line. Everything is not textbook, this man. Just tell those Igbos not to include my people in whatever they are looking for. We are their neighbours. They dragged us into the civil war. This time around, they’ve gone to draw a map, including my people. Biafra does not extend to the South-South. We are just looking at them.”

“Biafra is an idea.”

“I don’t want to hear all these textbook things, I have told you. Which idea? See, most Nigerians do not support Biafra. They think Igbos are just playing games. I’ll send you some other articles written by other Nigerians and you’d see what I am talking about. People are angry that anybody will be talking about secession in 2017! Nigerians are fed up with Igbos and their games. President Jonathan gave them everything but on election day, many of them stayed at home and refused to vote. Now, they are talking secession.”

“But Yorubas are also talking about Oduduwa Republic.”

“The Yoruba are not going anywhere. What they want is restructuring, fiscal federalism. Which Oduduwa Republic?”

“The people of the Middle Belt are also aggrieved.”

“Anybody can be aggrieved. You can’t please Nigerians. And some of these things are political. Obasanjo became President, Niger Delta carried arms; Jonathan got there, Boko Haram kidnapped children, Buhari is there now, and all the ghosts of Biafra are frightening everybody. But these Igbos, tell them they are not going anywhere.”

“I am surprised you are talking like this.”

“What is the matter with those people? They are all over Nigeria. They are even selling land in Lagos. But no outsider is allowed to buy half a plot of land in Igboland. You carry Igbo girl sef, na problem. Go and check your email. I will send you other perspectives on this matter.”

Before long, I received a mail indeed. The fellow had put together a collection of anti-Biafra, anti-Igbo articles which he urged me to read, with the rider that I should pay particular attention to the fact that some of those articles were written by Igbos. I ignored the rider. Some of those articles could have been ghost written. What is clear, however, is that all is not well with Nigeria. We are a country that needs to be rescued from the centripetal forces tearing us apart, and the leading forces today would include, as was the case before now, ethnicity, religion, the politics of hate, and citizen alienation.

If my review of the stereotyping of Igbos in Nigeria and the reported conversation with an Igbo-hater does not fully convey the seriousness of this situation, then the June 6 ultimatum issued to all Igbos living in Northern Nigeria by a coalition of Northern Arewa youth groups should.

A group called the Northern Emancipation Network, comprising 16 Arewa youth groups, has asked all Igbos living anywhere in Northern Nigeria to pack their bags and baggage and be out of the Northern region by October 1, 2017. When the 19 Northern Governors met and dismissed the threat as misguided, the young Arewa Igbo-haters issued a riposte and more or less asked the Governors to shut up. Their message is that since Igbos no longer want to be part of Nigeria, they should get out, because they, Arewa youths, do not want belong to the same political union with Igbos. They are angry that on May 30, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous Peoples Organization of Biafra (IPOB) succeeded in shutting down a part of Nigeria to mark the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Biafra.

The arrogance of the Northern youths is insufferable. It speaks to virtually everything that other Nigerians are uncomfortable with about the Fulani North: a born-to-rule, hegemonic tendency. It is an assault on the Nigerian Constitution, to the extent that the Constitution does not grant any individual or group, the right or the power to determine where any Nigerian may live or work or die or acquire property. All Nigerians are equal before the law. The Northern youths, who do not think so, held a meeting, a press conference, and issued statements. The Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir el-Rufai asked the Nigeria Police to arrest them for promoting ethnic hatred. The only response we have had from the Police Headquarters so far, is from one Jimoh Moshood, described as Police Spokesman telling Nigerians that the Arewa youths “are not sitting in the market waiting to be picked up.”

Moshood, if you actually said that, then you should be relieved of your position forthwith. If you are a spokesperson and you have nothing intelligent to say, the best option is to remain silent, otherwise whatever you say will be used against you in the court of public opinion. So, the Nigeria police only arrest people when they go to the market and wait to be arrested? Is that the new police that we now have? The Northern Emancipation Network called Igbos all kinds of names – “unruly, reckless, insatiable, uncultured, confrontational, ungrateful” – and since they issued their ultimatum, the polity has been heated up, ethnic hate has been promoted, the Igbos of Nigeria have been further alienated.

This was how the civil war of 1967-70 started. Nigeria cannot afford another civil war. No country survives two civil wars. Already, Igbos in the North are reportedly relocating back to the South East or elsewhere in Nigeria. Young Nigerians from the North, the East and the South started the civil war. The politics of ethnicity and the rhetoric of hate ignited the fire that consumed the nation for three years. The scars have not healed because 50 years later, the youths of the North and the East are again lighting up the fire of hate. On June 6, the Northern Emancipation Network also asked Northerners in the East, I hope this includes the peripatetic herdsmen, to return to the North!

The Nigerian Government must take this on-going febrile conversation between the North and the East more seriously than it appears to be doing. The security agencies do not have to go to the markets to look for what is not there.

When there is a threat to the state, it is their duty to identify the threat and act on it. All persons who are working hard and making provocative statements to cause a national crisis should be monitored and checkmated. With all the difficult challenges facing this country, at this moment, our security alert system should be pushed a notch higher.

If the security agencies fail to act, particularly on the matter of the coalition of Northern youths promoting Igbo hatred, the Federal Government would have committed a grievous sin, likely to be interpreted as aiding and abetting. And there would be persons who will legitimately ask: are we confronted with a hand of Jacob and voice of Esau situation? Who is sponsoring the Arewa youths? Who granted them the permission to use the platform of Arewa House to spew anti-Igbo hate speech? Who is blocking their arrest by the security agencies? What those boys have done is even worse than the threat of secession by Nnamdi Kanu and his supporters.

But the message is clear: Nigeria is not yet a nation. A country where any group or association can threaten to expel another group is not yet a nation. The common enemy is not the secessionists. The common enemies are the political leaders, the tribal demagogues, the political opportunists, the religious bigots, the paid shamanists, who continue to manipulate Nigeria’s destiny to suit their own purposes. There can be no country except the people love the nation and the state.

This article was written by Reuben Abati. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

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FRSC To Start Subjecting Traffic Offenders To Psychiatric Test From July 1

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has declared that it will begin to subject traffic law violators to psychiatric test with effect from July 1.

The Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, stated this in Abuja on Monday at the opening of a five-day training programme on traffic safety of non-motorised transportation (NMT), which includes walking, bicycling, skating, wheelchair travel and other forms of human-powered transportation.

It is understood that the training was organised for 22 FRSC officials.

The FRSC Corps Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, in a statement, quoted Oyeyemi as saying that the test would focus on four areas of violations including use of phone while driving, traffic light and route violations as well as dangerous driving.

He said: “We are worried about the continuous use of phone while driving, traffic light violations, route violations and dangerous driving.”

“I have invited the commanding officers for a strategic session on Friday.

“We will give them full directives to resume the referral of all these class of offenders to various government hospitals for check of their mental state.

“I think it is an act of irresponsibility for somebody to drive and use phone or for a traffic light to stop you and you jump the line.

“It means something is wrong with your mental faculty.

“So, there is need to examine this, to really check whether you are fit to drive, whether you have the mental capability.

“Fine is not the issue; the issue is we need a positive attitudinal change in Nigeria.

“We cannot continue to have fatal crashes due to traffic light violations, people jumping the traffic lights, I think it is crass irresponsibility.’’

Mr. Oyeyemi said offenders would bear the cost of the test in addition to paying the stipulated fines.

He stated that the FRSC is empowered by its enabling act to organise the proposed psychiatric examination.

“The Act (FRSC Establishment Act) is very clear on this. You can challenge it. People have been challenging the act, and that is the beauty of democracy,” the FRSC boss said.

“You can challenge it if you want to. For you to have a driver’s license, you must go for medical test.

“So, I can refer you back for medical check. What I am asking you to do is to go back for rechecking whether you are actually fit for driving, simple. It is very clear.

“The offender will bear the cost, when they confirm that he is fit then he will go for retraining programme and pay the fine.’’

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