Biafra And Corruption: When A Judas Becomes A Muhammad

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Biafra And Corruption: When A Judas Becomes A Muhammad, By SKC Ogbonnia

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The Nigerian corrupt cabal is exploiting the current Biafran agitation with increasing stridency. The venerable Merriam-Webster, mark you, defines corruption as a “dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people (such as government officials or police officers)” or “something that has been changed from its original form from what is pure or correct.” The confluence of these definitions perfectly rhymes with the pattern where successive Nigerian governments not only breed corruption by way of the looting of the public treasury but also through gross injustice, as well as the distortion of national history.

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

Very glaring, for instance, is the fact that since the new wave of Biafran agitation heightened, instead of exploring lasting ways of resolving the crisis, the Nigerian government has been aiming its underhand tactics at the Igbo people. The most vexing, however, is the extent the government travels to accomplish its objectives. Today, even the Biblical Judas Iscariot would be ennobled as a Saint insofar the Igbo is humbled.

The pawn here is the seemingly unsuspecting Hausa-Fulani ethnic block of the North-West and North-East political zones. This group, which wields the current ruling authority, is well-known to appear tactlessly testy when it comes to the slightest suggestion of Nigerian disintegration. By consequence, the corrupt hawks from other zones have wasted no time in cashing-in. Today, any nuanced opposition to the Biafran secession bid or even mere anti-Igbo antics by corrupt politicians prompts an automatic eyes-left from the nation’s anti-corruption agency.

Consider, for a moment, the case of the corrosive twin engines of the Nigerian Senate in its president, Olubukola Saraki, and his dateless deputy, Ikechukwu Ekweremadu. This duo, remember, had hitherto employed the Ohaneze Ndigbo youth, along with the threat of Biafran secession, as a shield to elongate their illegitimate stay at the helm of the upper chamber. Today, they are singing a different tune, grandstanding as the prime apostles of Nigerian unity. It is not a coincidence, therefore, that most of the corrupt charges preferred against them have been mysteriously quashed.

The most brazen is the spectacle of James Ibori and Ifeanyichukwu Okowa. Celebrated not long ago as the first Igbo governor of Delta State, Okowa was installed by Ibori, the fugitive ex-governor, who recently completed a 13-year jail sentence in England but remains officially wanted by Nigerian authorities for all shades of corruption. However, in a grand scheme to vacate Ibori’s case and pretermit the corrupt cabal that has loomed in Delta State throughout the Fourth Republic, Okowa has been doing his portion to appease the powers that be by deepening undue divisions within the Igbo in the name of an opposition to Biafra. The following verbatim quote from the governor is a partial testament:

“Biafra agitation, we criticise it. Anioma land as it is said, was part of Bendel State; we were part of the Midwest State, we have not been part of the South East. So obviously, we cannot be said to be part of them (Biafra). We may speak a similar language, but we are not part of the South-East. We were part of the Mid-West, now we are Deltans.”

In a widely published essay, “The South-East Igbo Did Not Kill Ahmadu Bello”, I reminded Mr. Okowa and his co-travelers, among other things, that Chukwuma Nzeogwu, the very Igbo man most closely linked with the death of Ahmadu Bello, an incident commonly blamed for the Biafran war, was actually from the present-day Delta State in the South-South zone—not the South-East. Before my ink could dry, I was greeted with another groundless argument in line with Nigeria’s post-war agenda to marginalise the Igbo nation squarely to its core base of the South-East. To Okowa and his pseudo archeologists, the Delta North Senatorial Zone (Anioma) of the South-South—of all places—must no longer be part of the Igbo nation. Yet, they cannot dare question why and how the Hausa-Fulani ethnic group extends to parts of the entire North or the basis for the rightful claim of the Yoruba of indigenous settlements in the North-Central zone, particularly Kogi and Kwara States.

But it does not take a rocket science to fathom where Okowa’s gonzo theatrics are headed. Ibori, period! Lo and behold, on Sunday, July 16, 2017 came the disguised toast of a certain Senator Peter Nwaoboshi at Ibusa (Igbo-Uzor). On hand were Dr. Okowa, Dr. Uduaghan, Dr. Saraki, Chief Ekweremadu and the entire Senate camarilla to welcome, with pomp and pageantry, Chief James Onanefe Ibori—all using the occasion to disclaim Biafra, of course, while claiming the indivisibility of Nigeria. Mission accomplished! It must not come as a surprise when, very soon, all the charges against Ibori would be officially dropped.

What you have read above is nothing compared to what you are about to read below.

Ezenwo Nyesom Wike. The history of the misrule of Nigeria by Goodluck Ebele “Azikiwe” Jonathan will be incomplete without a special chapter for Wike’s shady role. And if there was any politician who used the defeat of Jonathan to spew the current Biafran crisis into existence, the Igbo governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Nwike, stands alone. Then in fervent fear of a day of reckoning with the anti-corruption agency in a post-Jonathan regime, Wike was roaming the political space inciting the public with all manners of innuendo. Here are his exact words few days before the governorship election of 2015:

“I will lead a war against them (Nigeria) like Ojukwu. Am not joking, I know am on air, and I am warning them now. Any attempt to rob us the way they rob our brother (GEJ) the battle will start from Rivers State. We will remain opposition state like Lagos. In fact, we from the South-South and South-East we remain in PDP. We leave the South-West and North to run APC. That is how they tactically shared the country. And we will not allow them use our resources to develop their States… I want all South-South and South-East to remember this, that we’ve two Judas. Let me confess to you, we held a meeting before the elections on Saturday, and we said as people from this part of the country, we must stand by our brother.”

I beg your indulgence to carefully go through the above quotation one more time.

As the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, recently confessed, the defeat of Jonathan intensified the clamour for secession. In fact, the current Biafran agitation, initially anchored under the aegis of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Youth Wing, is a byproduct of the party’s gloomy narratives about President Muhammadu Buhari. This explains why leading opposition elements from the South-East and South-South, at the outset, tiptoed around the neo-Biafran movement until they saw a huge opening to cash in. Today, Ezenwo Nwike has become an arrow-head of the Biafran opposition on the spur of the moment. The governor has already swooped into Sokoto, the seat of the caliphate, to curry favour, using a fleeting prank for the unity of the same country he helped to set on fire.

One of Wike’s hosts in the “unity” campaign, however, was no other than the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III. Unlike the ilk of Wike, the Sultan did the just by pointing out that the secessionist movements did not come out of the blue. In Abubakar’s words, “A lot of things were done in the past by some people with impunity and nothing was done.” The Sultan appealed that statesmen across Nigeria “should help the country by championing the dialogue.” Though the unflappable Sultan apparently did not buy Wike’s gambit, the mere overture is sufficient to appease the gullible anti-corruption agency towards clemency.

Be that as it may, the solution to the Biafran crisis does not have to be complicated. It is all about being able to face the truth. As Sultan Abubakar hinted, it lies in broad dialogue to correct past atrocities. Apart from the obvious imbalance in the current government, a starting point is to quickly uproot the poisonous seeds that were sown by the state during and after the Biafran war that have grown and are today swirling wildly engulfing the entire nation. It ought to table why and how there is lack of general development in the densely populated South-East and South-South zones; for example, the lack of reliable seaports and international airports, despite the region’s overflowing resources. There is also the need to revisit whatever policy—the lingering war scar—that denatured the Igbo heartland into what is now being ridiculed as the “landlocked” South-East. More essentially, such dialogue must not fail to look within: Now is the time to bring to book the local politicians who connived with contractors to loot development projects in the region, particularly during the regime of Goodluck Jonathan, where the Igbo and their South-South kit and kin held sway.

This bare exposé should in no shape or form be misconstrued as a veiled sentiment for Nigerian dismemberment. None of that! A just and equitable Nigeria remains the most attractive proposition. My point here remains the truth: Nigeria cannot continue to hope to solve a problem by creating bigger problems. Thus, the prevailing pattern where the state attempts to deflate the Biafran agitation by nurturing seeds of discord within the Igbo or Balkanising the South-East and South-South into hostile units is not only profoundly corrupt but also does more harm than good. Needless, therefore, to mention that containing the Biafran agitation by embracing corrupt politicians is tantamount to a pyrrhic victory. It is a hallowed equivalence of embracing a Judas as a Muhammad. True.

SKC Ogbonnia+ writes from Houston, Texas, and can be reached through SKCOgbonnia1@aol.com

This piece was written by SKC Ogbonnia. 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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Sigurdsson Joins Everton For £45 Million

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The signing of Swansea City midfielder, Gylfi Sigurdsson has been completed by Everton, for a club record fee of £45 million.

The Iceland international has been involved in a drawn out transfer negotiation with Swansea, already having two bids rejected.

Sigurdsson has now completed his move to the Merseyside club, signing a five-year deal with Koeman.

“Hopefully I will continue to create goals and score goals for the team and contribute to the kind of success we’re seeking at the club,” Sigurdsson told EvertonTV.

“This is an ambitious club and it is clear we are moving in a really good direction. The most important thing is that this team keeps winning games and climbing the table — and does that throughout the season.

“For myself, I would like to score as many goals as possible and create as many goals for my team-mates as I can. These are my targets.

“But it is always the same thing: as long as the team is winning I will be more than happy.”

And manager Ronald Koeman was thrilled to land his man.

“I’m really happy because the board and especially our chairman, Bill Kenwright, did everything to get him. It took some time but finally we have signed the player,” Koeman said.

“In my opinion, in his position he is one of the best in the Premier League. We have the player here and that’s really good for the team.”

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First Ever International Drinks Festival Comes To Lagos This December

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This December promises to be more fun than ever before as Lagos is set to play host to the first ever International Drinks Festival, as brand owners, retailers, and holiday fun seekers will besiege Lagos in the single largest gathering of stakeholders in the drinks’ business ever witnessed in Nigeria.

During an exclusive press conference and elaborate unveiling ceremony held last Thursday in Lagos, Balmoral, organizers of the event and one of Africa’s biggest event management companies revealed that the event, which will take place from the 1st – 3rd December, 2017 at the Balmoral Convention Centre, Federal Palace Hotel, V.I, is going to be an Exhibition of various drinks brands, Masterclasses with various drink professionals, various summits which will give the attendees opportunities to ask questions and interact with the drink experts.

The festival will also have a lot of interactive fun events to lighten up the atmosphere and introduce various brands to the general public.

The unveiling ceremony, if anything to go by, was an indication of the glamour and finesse that would encapsulate the major event coming in December.

The unveiling brought together members of the press from virtually all the major media outlets, as well as the crème de la crème of the music, movie, and beverage industry and even, the political class.

Guests were treated to a cocktail session on an exquisite artistic floor plan featuring a spirit bar, palmwine joint, and a local beer parlor complete with ladies on stilts, and some standing inside waist-high glass chandeliers. It was a sight to behold!

Coming on the heels of an Euromonitor International (a world renowned business intelligence company) report that Nigeria consumed 36.68 million litres of soft drinks in 2016, its spirits market worth $6 billion, and beer accounting for 55% of the total market share, Balmoral’s First-Ever International Drinks Festival will no doubt take Christmas to a whole new level in Lagos, come December 2017.

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360Gospel: Benita – Owase (prod. Johnny Drille)

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‘Benita‘ has done it again with this classic!

Inspirational/Gospel singer – Benita teams up with MAVIN Records’ Johnny Drille to create a magical gospel number dubbed “Owase”, reminding us of the evergreen Osemudiamen.

After previously dropping “Jesu N’abba”, “Kabiyebi” and “Ayo” to critical acclaim, she ups the ante with “Owase” and showed why she’s still very much revered by music lovers on the local and international scene.

“Owase” is a product of the ever amazing songwriting skills that Benita possesses and the precocious production talent of Johnny Drille.

Listen, download and share.


 
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Boateng Leaves Las Palmas

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Kevin Prince Boateng has left Las Palmas by mutual agreement, the La Liga club has announced.

The former Milan and Tottenham star still has three years left on his contract after signing a contract extension in May.

However, Boateng has had to leave the Canary Islands club due to personal reasons.

Las Palmas face Valencia on Friday in their La Liga opener and a statement released by the club read: “UD Las Palmas wishes [Boateng] the best success, at a sport level as much as a personal one, and will always be grateful for the excellent performance in his season with the Yellows and for the sympathies he awoke among the supporters.”

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Can: Liverpool Not Affected By Coutinho Transfer Saga

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Emre Can says Philippe Coutinho is one of the best footballers in the world, but his transfer saga is not distracting the team.

Coutinho handed in a transfer request at Liverpool, but the Fenway Sports Group says he would not be sold at any price.

The Brazilian was left out of the Liverpool squad that beat Hoffenheim 2-1 in the UCL playoff due to a back injury.

“I think it’s no problem for us because nobody speaks in the team about that,” Can told reporters when asked about the Coutinho situation.

“Of course, if Philippe stays with us everybody is happy – in my eyes, he’s one of the best players in the world.

“But if he goes, if he wants to go then everyone will wish him the best and we have to go again.”

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Gundogan Taking Premier League Comeback Slowly

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Ilkay Gundogan says he intends to take his return to the Premier League slowly, hoping to be back by September.

The attacking midfielder scored five goals in 16 appearances last season , before sustaining an injury in December.

Gundogan came on in the final 19 minutes of the friendly match against Girona, which City lost 1-0.

“I’m in a good way. I still know that it’s a long way to go but I was out for eight months,” Gundogan told City TV

“There is no reason to rush now. When I feel good, when I feel ready, when I feel safe I’m ready to play and I’m ready to try.

“That’s the target for the next weeks. There’s an international break in the next two weeks so there’s plenty of time to use that for training, maybe another one or two games if it’s possible.

“Then, hopefully, after that break I will be ready to join the team fully. When the manager and my team-mates need me, I want to be there.”

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We Would Welcome New Signings At Barcelona – Sergio Busquets

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Sergio Busquets said any new signings would be “welcome” as Barcelona continue to be linked with Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele.

“We try to improve the team regardless of the result of the Super Cup match (against Real Madrid),” he said. “Those who come will be welcome.

“After Neymar’s departure, we know that we need mostly offensive players, but we need to improve in all positions and aspects.

“With Neymar’s departure evidently the team lost an attacking level, because you realise the footballer that is Neymar, there everyone will agree.

“About that we have Messi-dependence, in the end when you have the best player in the world in your team you know that the more he participates the better for the team.”

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Wenger: Sanchez Is Leaving In 2018

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Arsene Wenger has stated it is a possibility for Alexis Sanchez to leave Arsenal for free next year.

Arsenal have not been able to reach an agreement on a renewal with Sanchez, with his contract set to expire in June.

The Chile international has constantly been linked with a move to PSG, with Manchester City also interested in him.

“We’ve not made any progress on that front,” he admitted when asked about a new contract for Alexis. “Him leaving for free is a consequence of what I say – unfortunately.

“We have to make a choice between efficiency on the field and financial interest. Most of time if you can find a good compromise it is better, but in this case I think I will prioritise the sporting side.”

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Carlos Bacca Joins Villarreal On Season-long Loan From AC Milan

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Villarreal have confirmed the signing of Carlos Bacca on a season-long loan from AC Milan.

Carlos Bacca completed his move back to LaLiga, where he previously starred with Sevilla, on Wednesday.

Forward Bacca will then be presented to fans and the media by Villarreal on Thursday.

Villarreal have given Bacca the number nine shirt at Estadio de la Ceramica.

“I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity to arrive to a great club like Villarreal,” Bacca said in a video on Villarreal’s official Twitter to confirm the deal. “I want to send a special salute to all the club fans.”

Villarreal were looking to strengthen their attack following the sale of Roberto Soldado to Fenerbahce last week.

“Any club that has been in the market for a player to score goals, of course they have monitored Bacca,” Barila added. “He has been lucky to receive many offers this summer but he made it very clear to which club and which league he wanted to play in.

“He wants to go to a club that will count strongly on him. He wants to have a good season and arrive at the World Cup in Russia in the best possible way. Now we just hope that his future can be resolved as soon as possible.”

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Sone Aluko Wants Fulham To Offer Him New Deal

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Sone Aluko is growing increasingly unsettled at Fulham as the club refuses to offer him a new long-term deal or sell him to Reading.

Sone Aluko penned a two-year deal with the west Londoners last summer and has produced a string of fine performances at Craven Cottage.

Such displays have led to interest from Sky Bet Championship play-off finalists Reading, with Fulham last month confirming “multiple bids” for Aluko had been rejected.

Manager Slavisa Jokanovic sees the forward as key to his plans and said it would be a “big mistake” to sell a player he handed the captain’s armband to again at Leeds on Tuesday.

However, speculation over his future continues and Press Association Sport reports Aluko wants to either be offered a new deal or accept one of the offers being made for his services.

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Airman Who Killed Lover Sentenced To Death By Hanging

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The General Court Martial (GCM) sitting at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base in Makurdi has sentenced Aircraftman (ACM), Bernard Kalu, to death by hanging for killing his female colleague and lover, late Aircraftwoman (ACW) Solape Oladipupo, aka Shomzy Shomzy, on March 12, 2017.

The sitting, which started in the early hours of Tuesday, continued till 4pm when it was stood down before the panelists reconvened at 7.30pm.

Reading out the 70-page court findings, which lasted for about two hours, the Judge Advocate, Flight Lieutenant M.A. Umoh, listed the eight-count charges against the 21-year-old Kalu to include murder, house breaking, impersonation, failure to perform military duty, loss of Service property and disobedience to standing orders among others.

However, the Defence Counsel, Abimiku Ewuga, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, saying the accused was his family breadwinner.

In his judgment, the President of the Court, Group Captain Elisha Bindul, found ACM Kalu guilty of the charges, leading to his death sentence – a verdict that is subject to the confirmation of the conveying authority.

A statement by Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, Director, NAF Public Relations and Information said, “The verdict is, however, subject to confirmation by the Convening Authority”.

Ewuga, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the verdict, adding that if the Convening Authority did not review the verdict, he would appeal to a higher court.

“The judgment Tuesday brought to an end, months of the GCM trial of the unfortunate shooting incident involving the two NAF personnel” Adesanya said.

The accused had on March 12, 2017, killed Oladipupo at her Corporal and Below Quarters, Compound 9, Air Force Base, Makurdi, on the suspicion that she was in a love relationship with another man.

He had broken into Oladipupo’s home before shooting her in the neck at close range.

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120 Feared Dead, 6 Million Others Affected In Nepal Flood, Landslide

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The death toll from the widespread flooding and landslides that hit Nepal on Wednesday climbed to 120 with nearly 35 people still unaccounted for and over six million affected by incessant rainfall across the Himalayan country.

The government also said 39 persons were injured from the floods and landslides that were triggered by monsoon rains across Nepal – the worst of such calamity in nearly a decade – as emergency workers scrambled to supply relief to areas devastated by the floods.

312 Feared Dead As Mudslides, Flooding Sweep Through Sierra Leone City

Most of the displaced, living in temporary shelters for the past three days, were yet to receive relief supplies in the flood-hit interior areas, the Kathmandu Post reported as more than 2,800 houses have been completely destroyed.

Torrential rains battered the low-lying region bordering India for three days earlier this month.

The Rapti river, which flows through a large part of Nepal towards the southern plains, has flooded human settlements and hotels popular with tourists in the central Chitwan Valley.

Many people, including foreigners, had been stranded in Sauraha, a part of the Chitwan National Park.

On Wednesday, the government sent helicopters to a dozen districts where people were desperate for food and clean drinking water, Ram Subedi, a home ministry spokesman, said.

“We have sent food packets to people because they have been without food for several days. We have also sent tarps, clothes and cooking utensils,” Mr. Subedi said.

“We have been distributing free medicines to flood-affected people for a week. We have also sent water purifiers to prevent water-borne diseases,” he said.

“We have been out on the road without food and clean drinking water for the past four days.

“Many elderly, pregnant and postpartum mothers and children have fallen ill,’’ a man from a flood-stricken area in western Nepal, was quoted as saying.

The Home Ministry said 26,000 emergency workers, including police officers and soldiers, were deployed in flood-hit areas across the country.

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120 Feared Dead, 6 Million Others Affected In Nepal Flood, Landslide

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The death toll from the widespread flooding and landslides that hit Nepal on Wednesday climbed to 120 with nearly 35 people still unaccounted for and over six million affected by incessant rainfall across the Himalayan country.

The government also said 39 persons were injured from the floods and landslides that were triggered by monsoon rains across Nepal – the worst of such calamity in nearly a decade – as emergency workers scrambled to supply relief to areas devastated by the floods.

312 Feared Dead As Mudslides, Flooding Sweep Through Sierra Leone City

Most of the displaced, living in temporary shelters for the past three days, were yet to receive relief supplies in the flood-hit interior areas, the Kathmandu Post reported as more than 2,800 houses have been completely destroyed.

Torrential rains battered the low-lying region bordering India for three days earlier this month.

The Rapti river, which flows through a large part of Nepal towards the southern plains, has flooded human settlements and hotels popular with tourists in the central Chitwan Valley.

Many people, including foreigners, had been stranded in Sauraha, a part of the Chitwan National Park.

On Wednesday, the government sent helicopters to a dozen districts where people were desperate for food and clean drinking water, Ram Subedi, a home ministry spokesman, said.

“We have sent food packets to people because they have been without food for several days. We have also sent tarps, clothes and cooking utensils,” Mr. Subedi said.

“We have been distributing free medicines to flood-affected people for a week. We have also sent water purifiers to prevent water-borne diseases,” he said.

“We have been out on the road without food and clean drinking water for the past four days.

“Many elderly, pregnant and postpartum mothers and children have fallen ill,’’ a man from a flood-stricken area in western Nepal, was quoted as saying.

The Home Ministry said 26,000 emergency workers, including police officers and soldiers, were deployed in flood-hit areas across the country.

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(BREAKING): Finally, Osinbajo Assigns Portfolios To New Ministers

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The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has assigned portfolios to the two new ministers he inaugurated about 3 weeks ago.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, announced the development on his Twitter handle.

The two new ministers – Stephen Ocheni (Kogi) and Suleiman Hassan (Gombe) – were assigned their portfolios in the early hours of today, August 16, 2017.

ALSO READ: Acting President Osinbajo Swears-In Two Ministers

The ministers were sworn in in May, several weeks after they were confirmed by the Senate, due to President Muhammadu Buhari’s absence.

Ocheni is expected to fill the vacuum created by the death of James Ocholi who hailed from the same state, Kogi State as he resumes as Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Productivity.

While Hassan who was appointed to fill the Gombe State slot will resume as Minister of State, Power, Works and Housing.

The acting president also swore in 15 permanent secretaries to fill the vacancies created in various government agencies.

Details later..

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(BREAKING): Finally, Osinbajo Assigns Portfolios To New Ministers

Featured Image

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has assigned portfolios to the two new ministers he inaugurated about 3 weeks ago.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, announced the development on his Twitter handle.

The two new ministers – Stephen Ocheni (Kogi) and Suleiman Hassan (Gombe) – were assigned their portfolios in the early hours of today, August 16, 2017.

ALSO READ: Acting President Osinbajo Swears-In Two Ministers

The ministers were sworn in in May, several weeks after they were confirmed by the Senate, due to President Muhammadu Buhari’s absence.

Ocheni is expected to fill the vacuum created by the death of James Ocholi who hailed from the same state, Kogi State as he resumes as Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Productivity.

While Hassan who was appointed to fill the Gombe State slot will resume as Minister of State, Power, Works and Housing.

The acting president also swore in 15 permanent secretaries to fill the vacancies created in various government agencies.

Details later..

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Football Headlines: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Rumors This Morning

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  • Chelsea are set to make a £50m bid for Tottenham left-back Danny Rose after they play each other at Wembley.
  • Spurs’ Kevin Wimmer is a target for Crystal Palace and West Brom in the final weeks of the transfer window.
  • West Ham’s club-record £40m move for William Carvalho has stalled.
  • Juventus are set to make a shock £22.5m for Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
  • Tottenham are hoping to tie up a deal for Ajax defender Davinson Sanchez by the end of the week.
  • Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has made Pape Cheikh Diop his No 1 midfield target.
  • Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce has made an ambitious move to sign Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere.
  • Owner Roman Abramovich is trying to give Chelsea a lift with a £120m spree.
  • Antonio Conte has targeted £15m Southampton star Cedric in his bid to solve Chelsea’s problems at right-back.
  • West Brom have stuck a £25m price tag on Swansea target Nacer Chadli.
  • Paul Pogba says last season was all about the price tag but now it is about the football.
  • Everton midfielder Ross Barkley is facing six weeks out with a hamstring problem.
  • Atletico Madrid may keep well out of Diego Costa’s rift with Chelsea.
  • Paul Pogba says he is pleased Neymar has removed his burden of being football’s highest-priced player.
  • Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is expecting to make four more signings after landing Joselu.
  • Crystal Palace attacker Wilfried Zaha is out for four weeks with a knee injury.
  • Swansea have been boosted by Fernando Llorente’s return to training.

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30 Killed, 80 Others Injured In Northern Nigeria Triple Suicide Attack

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No less than 30 persons have been killed and more than 80 others injured in a triple suicide attack on Tuesday in the town of Mandarari, in Nigeria’s Borno State, CNN quoted civilian vigilantes fighting Boko Haram Islamists in the area as saying.

It was gathered that the three female suicide bombers detonated their explosive belts in a local market and outside a nearby camp for people displaced by Boko Haram violence in Konduga Local Government Area of the state.

“The first bomber struck outside the IDP (internally displaced persons) camp overlooking the market around 6 p.m. local time (1 p.m. ET) hitting some people and causing confusion as people tried to flee,” civilian vigilante Bukar Kyari said.

Another civilian vigilante, Usman Grema, said while traders were trying to close their shops and evacuate their wares, two female bombers hit the market “almost simultaneously.”.

The suicide attacks occurred on a weekly market day when people from the town and nearby villages flooded the market to buy and sell food, clothing and livestock.

Twenty-eight people were initially killed at the explosion site, and two others died after being taken to a hospital in the town of Maiduguri, where they died at admission, according to a medic at the state-run hospital. The death toll is expected to rise.

Meanwhile, The Borno State Police Command has said that only 16 persons were killed and 82 others wounded in the suicide bomb attack.

The commissioner, Mr Damian Chukwu, confirmed this in a Short Message Service sent to journalists on Wednesday in Maiduguri.

Chukwu added that the command has deployed EOD to sanitize the area.

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Bellew Interested In Fighting UFC Star Bisping

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Tony Bellew says facing UFC champion Michael Bisping inside a boxing ring or an MMA ring is appealing to him.

The Merseyside boxer will be in Las Vegas to see Mayweather take on another UFC star, Conor McGregor in a crossover fight.

Bellew seems interested to try a mixed martial arts professional and for someone that has dabbled in other combat codes, he finds it appealing.

“I can wrestle, I can grapple, I punch hard, I can kick and I’ve got some kickboxing experience,” Bellew told Sky Sports.

“You can forget about me getting in the cage with Jon Jones [UFC light-heavyweight champion] – not a chance.

“But if you’re asking if I would get in the cage with a puncher in the UFC? Mike Bisping is a guy who is predominantly known as a puncher and he’s a very strong wrestler as well.

“I think I could get down to 185[lbs]. If the money is right, then Tony Bellew would happily enter a cage or a ring. Maybe let’s do one of them each.

“I’m a Michael Bisping fan, but if the money was right then the fan stuff goes out the window.”

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Stoke City Complete Loan Signing Of PSG Striker Jese Rodriguez

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Stoke City have completed the loan signing of winger Jese Rodriguez from Paris Saint-Germain. 

Jese Rodriguez’s arrival at the bet365 Stadium means Stoke have more Champions League winners in their squad than any other English club.

The 24-year-old, who won two European Cups while at Real Madrid, failed to make an impact at PSG since his move last summer and spent the second half of last season on loan at Las Palmas.

Jese has been a significant failure in the transfer window for manager Unai Emery. He started just one Ligue 1 match last season before returning to Spain via a Las Palmas loan deal in January.

In total, he made 14 competitive appearances for the Parisian outfit and scored just twice, but Mark Hughes now looks set to give him a chance to reach the enormous potential he once showed at the Bernabeu.

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Newcastle United Complete £5m Signing Of Stoke City Striker Joselu

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Newcastle United have signed Joselu for £5m from Stoke City.

Joselu becomes Newcastle’s sixth capture since the end of last season after passing a medical and agreeing terms on a £50,000-a-week move to the North-East.

But Benitez wants to take his number of new recruits into double figures before the transfer deadline later this month.

Former Spain Under-21 international  is keen to kickstart his Premier League career after being farmed out on loan last season to Deportivo La Coruna.

That came after a disappointing first season in the Potteries when he scored four goals in 22 league appearances following a £5.75m move from Hannover in 2015.

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Ondo Assembly Confirms Akeredolu’s 18 Nominees For Commissioners

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The Ondo State House of Assembly yesterday, August 15, confirmed the 18 commissioner nominees forwarded to the legislature by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

It was gathered that the commissioners were last week screened behind closed doors in batches by a committee of the house headed by the Deputy Speaker, Odundeji Iroju.

They were cleared 15 days after their names were read by the Assembly clerk, Bode Akinyelu, during a plenary session on August 1, 2017, after being received from the governor.

The deputy speaker, who presented the committee’s report, said the nominees have the requisite and educational qualifications to be appointed as commissioners.

“So, honorable colleagues and members of this 8th Assembly, the committee has done the needful,” he said, while recommending that the house approve the report of the committee and confirm all of them.

The confirmation was however secured through a voice vote after the speaker had put out the question.

The nominees are:

(1) Femi Agagu, (Okitipupa)

(2) Gboyega Adefarati, (Akoko South West)

(3) Taofeek Abdusalam (Akoko North East)

(4) Yemi Olowolabi, (Idanre)

(5) Wale Akinterinwa, ( Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo)

(6) Wahab Adegbenro (Ifedore)

(7) Solagbade Amodeni, (Akoko South East)

(8) Rasheed Badmus, (Akoko North West)

(9) Omowumi Olatunji (Akure South)

(10) Emmanuel Igbasan, (Irele)

(11) Funso Esan, (Ilaje)

(12) Olurimisi Ismaila, (Odigbo)

(13) Saka Yusuf Ogunleye, (Akure North)

(14) Ojogo Donald (Ese-Odo)

(15) Bayonle Ademodi, (Ondo East)

(16) Lola Fagbemi, (Ondo West)

(17) Timilehin Adelegbe, (Ose)

(18) Kole Olawoye, (Owo)

It is understood that the 18 nominees are expected to be sworn-in and assigned their portfolios on Wednesday, August 16, 2017.

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Dimitar Berbatov And Wes Brown To Join Indian Side Kerala Blasters

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Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov is closing on a move to Indian Super League club Kerala Blasters.

Two-time Premier League winner has not played competitive football in over a year, having last turned out for Greek side PAOK in the 2015/16 season.

A transfer to Kerala would see Dimitar Berbatov reunite with two former United colleagues, manager Rene Meulensteen and defender Wes Brown, who joined the club on Tuesday.

Meulensteen spent six years as first team coach at Manchester United from 2007 to 2013, helping to guide Sir Alex Ferguson’s team to three Premier League titles in that time.

Berbatov would also come up against former Spurs team-mate Robbie Keane in the fourth edition of the Indian Super League.

While Brown’s move to India has been confirmed, Bulgarian legend Berbatov’s has not, though it is expected he will be reunited with his ex-Manchester team and coach.

The 36-year-old striker spent last season with the Greek side PAOK but left in 2016 eyeing a return to England’s top-tier.

Despite 94 total Premier League goals during spells with United, Tottenham and Fulham, the veteran forward’s hope to return was quashed after talks with Sunderland fell through.

If Berbatov is to follow his ex-United colleagues to India, the trio look set to make their debut season together in the league’s fourth year of existence.

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No More Depatures From Real Madrid- Zinedine Zidane

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Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane says none of his players will leave the club before the close of the transfer window.

Zidane has seen six first-team players, including Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez, leave the Bernabeu this summer, while he has only brought in youngsters Theo Hernandez and Dani Ceballos.

However, the Frenchman is pleased with his squad and says there will be no further sales, although he did admit that anything can happen before August 31.

We’re going day to day,” Zidane told the club’s official website. “I’m very happy with my squad and all the players.

“Everybody is going to stay but before the 31st [of August] anything can happen, that’s out of my control.”

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FG Makes U-Turn, Allows Electricity Consumers Pay For Meters

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As against its initial wish, the Federal Government has said that it will not oppose the desire of electricity consumers that are willing to pay for meters from their distribution companies based on agreement between both parties as endorsed by the power sector regulator.

In April 2016, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, had directed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to immediately discontinue its alternative metering scheme, the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Initiative, which allowed customers to pay for electricity meters from their respective Discos.

However, while speaking at the 18th monthly power sector meeting, on Tuesday in Abuja, the minister disclosed that he has been receiving several requests from the Discos that their customers still wanted to pay for meters.

He said, “Please recall that government had in the past attempted to intervene in meter supply through CAPMI, which ultimately I decided we should wind down because of the distrust and disaffection it was creating between consumers and Discos with government caught in the middle with numerous petitions by customers who paid for meters that were not delivered within the approved time.

“Some Discos have come back to say that their customers still want to pay for meters and they can reach agreements with them on how to pay for it. Government will not stand in the way of such an agreement. It is consistent with the intent of privatisation envisioned by the Electric Power Sector Reform Act or at least it does not violate the Act.”

“What I will reiterate is that the Discos have the obligation to meter customers because they are the ones who charge for electricity which must be measured. If the customers and the Discos reach an agreement between themselves, where the customer assumes the responsibility of the Disco of his own free will and NERC sanctions this agreement, then so be it.

“The difference between this kind of agreement and CAPMI is that it is not a government initiative. However, through NERC, government will monitor and regulate to ensure that Discos do not use this as an excuse to abdicate their responsibility to provide meters.”

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