Buhari To Attend Proclamation Of Republic Ceremony In Niger

President Muhammadu Buhari will on Monday attend the 59th Proclamation of Republic of Niger ceremony in Tahoua, Niger.

The President, alongside the Presidents of Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Niger, will participate in the historic event, held every year on December 18th to commemorate the founding of the Republic of Niger and creation of the Presidency.

After the ceremony, the Nigerian leader will hold bilateral meetings with some of his counterparts before returning to Abuja same day.

President Buhari will be accompanied on the trip by Governors Aminu Masari, Ibrahim Gaidam and Kashim Shettima of Katsina, Yobe and Borno States respectively.

Ooni Congratulates Buhari At 75

The Arole Oduduwa and Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II has congratulated President Mamadu Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on his 75th birthday anniversary, describing him as an incorruptible leader driven by uncommon discipline.

Ooni Ogunwusi who is a Co-chairman of the National Traditional Rulers Council Of Nigeria in a statement released by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Comrade Moses Olafare on Sunday morning eulogised President Buhari as a living extraordinary Nigerian leader globally known for relentlessly dedicated selfless service towards making Nigeria a better place to live in.

“The Arole Oduduwa, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II extends the warmest wishes of House of Oduduwa to His Excellency, President Mamadu Buhari as he today gloriously clocks 75th years of age. Mr President is in no doubt an internationally respected Nigerian leader with a heart of gold who has worked tirelessly to ensure a better society with his unwavering message of justice, compassion, peace and human dignity which has made him an inspiration to people around the world.”

“His very clean record speaks for him for he has from 1961 till date meritoriously served this country in various capacities as a young soldier who later became a General, as a Governor of Northeastern state, as a Minister of Petroleum, Head of State, as the Chairman of Petroleum Trust Fund, as an elderstatesman and currently as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

“Hate him or like him, he remains worthy of celebrations and emulations as an extraordinary leader driven by uncommon discipline whose relentless, dedication and incorruptible selflessness in the service of our country can never be ignored”. Ooni said.

The Spiritual leader of Yoruba race worldwide also in the congratulatory statement which reads in parts prayed for the President and urged him to remain undistracted in his fight against corruption to make Nigeria a country of high global integrity.

“Kabiyesi Ooni’risa assures President Buhari of the unflinching support of the good people and the traditional rulers of Yorubaland. He also wishes him sound health, long life and plethora of fulfillments as he remains undistracted in his war against corruption with a view to ensuring a Nigeria of international integrity”. Ooni prayed.

Rivers Govt Holds 2017 Thanksgiving Service

op government functionaries and staff of the Government House Port Harcourt on Sunday gave thanks to God for his blessing in the course of 2017.

The Harvest/Thanksgiving Service which took place at the Government House Chapel of Everlasting Grace had as its theme: "Harvest of Great Expectations ".

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike read the only lesson for the service from Psalms 105: 1-15.

The governor also led members of his family to offer thanksgiving to God for a successful 2017 for the Government and people of Rivers State.

Thereafter, the National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, members of the Rivers State Executive Council, members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Caretaker Committee Chairmen and Special Advisers offered their separate thanksgiving unto God.

In a sermon, Anglican Bishop of Evo Diocese, Rt Rev Innocent Ordu said it is always good to publicly thank God for his blessing.

He said that quality thanksgiving will motivate God to rise up in the defence and protection of the people.

Choir ministration, praise and worship unto God enlivened the Harvest/Thanksgiving Service.

Ondo Govt Understudies Osun Welfare Programmes

The successes recorded by the government of the State of Osun on the operations of Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) have drawn the attention of the Ondo State government, which was impressed enough to send a team to Osun in order to understudy the programme.

YESSO which is an offshoot of the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) is a tripartite agreement among the World Bank, the Federal Government of Nigeria and participating states.

The programme was launched in September 2013 with the overall objective to increase access of the poor to youth employment opportunities, social services and strengthen the safety net system.

Addressing the Ondo delegates in Osogbo on Wednesday, the State Coordinator, Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO), Mr. Femi Ifaturoti said that Governor Rauf Aregbesola conceived the OYES idea as a social intervention programme to reduce the unemployment rate among the youths in the state.

The Coordinator declared that OYES, borne out of passion and vision has become a reality, commending the Ondo State Team for choosing Osun to learn from and promised them all necessary supports during the period of their assignment in the state.

He noted that there are similarities between the leaders of Osun and Ondo states in terms of development.

According to him “it is the vision and passion of Ogbeni Aregbesola to put this OYES scheme in place in Osun and we set up this scheme to tackle the problems of unemployment”.

“For the first time in the history of Nigeria, Osun government employed 20,000 youths at a go to reduce unemployment. There are other schemes which have addressed the need of those that are not educated and the vulnerable people in the state”.

In her response, the head of the Ondo State delegation, Mrs. Bunmi Ademosu, who is the Special Adviser to the Ondo State Governor on Inter-governmental Affairs, said the purpose of the tour to Osun was to study the developmental programmes that encourage the youths.

According to her, “We are here to share from the State of Osun experience and to know what the state of the virtuous has been doing to tackle unemployment among youths”.

She said that Osun and Ondo states share the same vision in dealing with youth unemployment, as everybody, according to her, should have the passion and confidence to move the country forward for better.

“With this Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) programme in place, the idle hands will get busy with something worthy”, she added.

In his presentation, the leader of the Osun Project Implementation Unit, Mr. Olugbenga Odulaja emphasised the need to develop youths and engage them for better goals.

In his goodwill message, the OYES Commandante, Col. Eniibukun Oyewole (rtd) noted that OYES is a premier project in Osun which 42,000 youths has passed through to better the lots of the people across the state.

He said, “Osun has a low-crime rate, because the scheme has taken many youths off the streets who now work on building a sustainable society”.

He appreciated the effort of the present administration in the state for the supports given to the programme.

$1b To Fight Boko Haram: Wike Demands Special Fund For Niger Delta

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that the APC Federal Government must as a matter of urgency release funds for tackling issues of environmental degradation and security in the Niger Delta.

Governor Wike said while he will not condemn the release of a whopping $1billion to tackle Boko Haram, the environmental and security challenges in the Niger Delta far outweigh the Boko Haram conflict.

The governor spoke during the Annual General Meeting of Okpo Club of Nigeria (Association of Ikwerre Lawyers) on Saturday in Port Harcourt.

He requested the APC Federal Government to release the derivation component of the Excess Crude to the oil producing states of the Niger Delta.

He said: "Niger Delta environmental problems are as serious as the Boko Haram Insurgency. I am not saying that you should not fight Boko Haram.

"If you can get funds from the National Pool to tackle Boko Haram, then you should go to the pool to get funds to fight environmental problems in Ogoni and other Niger Delta communities ".

Commenting on politics in Rivers State, Governor Wike urged all ethnic nationalities to work together to fast track development in the state.

He said no ethnic nationality in the state can succeed with others, hence the need for greater cooperation at all levels.

The governor also called on the people of the state to always work for relevance in the political terrain of the country as that is the state can attract development.

Former NBA President , Chief Onueze Okocha (SAN), commended Governor Wike for his commitment to the development of the state.

He assured him of the support of Ikwerre Lawyers as he works for the people of Rivers State.

Chairman of Okpo Club of Nigeria, Mr Chukwuma Chinwo said the club will continue to mobilise Ikwerre Lawyers for the development of the area.

Former Rivers State Governor, Sir Celestine Omehia said the Association of Ikwerre Lawyers has grown over the years to become a catalyst for development.

Highpoint of the occasion was the celebration of the Birthday of the Rivers State Governor by members of the Association of Ikwerre Lawyers.

NY Times: How Not To Denigrate Our Troops’ Achievements

By Terna Doki -
The recent decision of President Trump to declare Jerusalem as capital of Israel against the position of world leaders to sustain peace in the Middle-east has confirmed my hatred for the pomposity of America.  This is a country that both its government and components flaunts its aura of doubtful superiority and invincibility, but feels no other nation of the earth deserve such endowments. For the sake of a presumed might, America feigns alertness on the whole world; but beneath these shadows is concreted a poisonous heart, with very sinister permutations against the rest of humanity and the world.
From an  innate understanding,  God never envisaged a world immune from tribulations. So,  America, like other beleaguered nations of  the world has its own handful of  internal problems.  It is under the scourge of unemployment, the   insanity of teenage gangsterism and gunrunning, natural disasters and the likes. But worse of all, it is a country still vulnerable to creepy terrorism.
I was flabbergasted, but expected the negative publicity stunts by “The New York Times”(TNYT) on the Nigerian Military  engaged in the counter-insurgency operations in Nigeria’s Northeast.  The lead story from the series had the caption,     “They Fled Boko Haram, Only to Be Raped by Nigeria’s Security Forces.” The journalist from TNYT, Dionne Searcey  who authored the story, wrote about vague, indecent, immoral  and resentful rapes and sexual exploitation of teenage girls who  are  victims of Boko Haram terrorists housed in IDPs camps.
The goriness of the experiences of the victims as reflected by the TNYT was betrayed by circumstantial evidence as contained in the published story itself.
When I picked the loopholes, imperfections and the reasonableness it freely projected and peddled in the story, it dawned on me that TNYT undoubtedly delivered a mercantile job. It got me thinking on the compelling reasons to rundown a whole nation and an institution like the Nigerian Military which has gone through abnormal traumas and sacrifices to suppress the lethal upsurge of terrorism in Nigeria. Instead of applause, the Western Press is more concerned with fabricating lies to maliciously rejig the narrative in the aftermath of defeat of Boko Haram terrorists by the Nigerian troops.
Indeed, it struck me hard and possessively that TNYT’s attempted denigration of the Nigerian Military must have been greased by a mindset infinitely opposed to tales of the defeat of the terror sect in Nigeria. It explains the satanic quest to disparage   in the aftermath of the defeat of terrorists.
The fable in TNYT is ridiculed by its own ethical and professional shortcomings. Firstly, the reporter claimed it has met and spoken to dozens of victims of  Boko Haram terrorism in Maiduguri, who volunteered information about their  sexual rapes in camps  and other breaches ’ by “security forces.”
Nicely, all  the victims did not speak under the condition of anonymity to warrant veiling of their identities.  But in all instances’ of cited names, TNYT used only a single name of the victims. I have sensed that this could possibly be a trick to frustrate any attempt either by the Nigerian Government or any other independent organization from attempting to reach out to any of the supposed victims of the sexual abuses in IDPs camps to establish the veracity of the claims in the publication.
But the first alleged victim of the rape scenarios really pissed me off. The victim, identified by TNYT as   Falmata is  aged 14.  According to the story, she escaped from her first terrorists captors and “made it to a camp for victims of the war.” She is painted as a teenager repeatedly “raped” by Boko Haram fighters and “security forces.” But most amazingly, at the  IDP camp, Falmata  was allegedly raped twice in one night by different  “officers at two interspaced instances.”  Its   really incredible to imagine a 14-year old traumatized victim, would have the strength and courage to endure the horror of such magnitude of sexual violence by “officers” without screaming for help.  It disproves natural truth.
At another segment of the story by TNYT, tagged “Interactive Feature,” with the caption,  “Fleeing Boko Haram, Thousands Cling to a Road to Nowhere,” the experiences recounted by the same victim  Falmata posted  inconsistencies with the initial narrative.
The story says unbelievably, “One night, Falmata woke up and realized the whole camp was asleep… She ran until she reached a village... Soldiers spotted her and took her to Dalori Camp, a sprawling site outside Maiduguri.” It sounds more like some fiery tales. Not a lot of us would believe that everybody in a  Boko Haram camp would have slept  to allow Falmata escape unnoticed.
But the TNYT shot itself in the foot with the confession that it could not establish whether the claimed masterminds of the sexual violence on victims   were actually soldiers. It wrote about Falmata;
“During her two months at the camp, she said, security officers, not always the same men, came for her repeatedly. Falmata described the men as “soldiers,” (sic),  but it was unclear if they were members of the military, the police or another security force. She said they carried weapons.”
For me, this is an unconscious vindication of  the military  from this inhuman act. All the TNYT witnesses are not sure of  who “raped” them, hence the coinage,   “security  forces” or “they carry guns.”  Or do I imagine that any IDP would be so daft as not to distinguish a policemen, soldier, civilian JTF or air worker? This is very irritating.
This perspective is self-indictment to the scandalmongers of the information as doing a shoddy job. It means, the reporter was not sure of the characters in so-called confessions, yet proceeded to cast a headline, outright indicting denotation on “security forces, ”  about a serious report they claimed was sourced from the field. But they made no attempt at verification or even to approach military sources for its own version of the “scoop.”
The second most prominent among the disreputable report, came from the  IDP camp  called Teachers Village, which also imputed pornography, claiming girls were cajoled to bath, while  security officers  watched their nakedness from a hideout, as  some sort of comic relief.  A victim,   Hadiza, aged 18 was at the center of the controversy.
 After being raped by a security officer, she was injured, but restrained from seeking medicare in the camp, as if the Medics too are part of the conspiracy for her sexual abuses. Yet, she continued to endure further rounds of sexual abuses by different “security officers?”
Just like it sounds hoarse, also is the claim by victims fleeing Boko  Haram raids into Maiduguri, the seat of government, that they  were asked to pay “entrance fee” by soldiers and  the Civilian JTF  before being  allowed access to safety in the city. But how much is extorted per victim remains silent. And  if the victims dreaded the military, could they possibly dread CJTF sponsored and controlled by  the Borno State Government and so, could not lodge reports of such infractions?
TNYT proceeded on a wild chase to embalm these shamefully concocted reports with underserved credibility by citing vague reports of human rights abuses by security forces by human rights organizations’.   I know it is not entirely false that human rights organizations’ like Amnesty International (AI) have also previously claimed such misconceptions on Nigerian military.
 But these organizations’ and their presumed victims have dreaded and hedged justification for such claims when invited by  lawful probe panels. I do not find it strange that TNYT is replicating similar claims, we know is the favorite of the conspirators bent on pulling down the walls of Nigeria.
So, this report has too many pitfalls. And for anyone to think, it emanated from an organization like  TNYT makes it all the more sad. But it informs Nigeria about the extent its adversaries are spreading the dragnet and tentacles of hatred against the country.  As Nigerians, we do not need the preachments from third parties to appreciate or disparage the Nigerian military for the wonderful job of defeating Boko Haram terrorists.  It has given us peace, succor and joy from years of torment by insurgents.
 The world has acknowledged this feat and accords Nigeria due honour in the comity of nations. So, the latter-day recruits into the smear campaign against the Nigerian military like TNYT have no option than to toe this path, as against vile and fake propaganda.
That its reporters visited the war zone in the Northeast and spent days interviewing victims of terrorism without the embarrassment of terrorists attacks is confirmation of the defeat of terrorism by Nigerian troops without the assistance of the Western world. To attempt to rubbish the gains by ridiculing the Nigerian military is impossible.
 It is uncharitable to expend energy and resources to conflagrate other nations of the world, while your own problems stare you in the face unresolved.  The Western Press in the   likes of The New York Times should channel their press to avoid the imminent collapse of the West; but free Africa from their destructive and fake press grip.
Doki is freelance journalist based in Markurdi, Benue State.

$1billion: Gov. Shettima Backs FG On Plan

The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima has defended the Federal Government’s plan to spend $1billion on the fight against insurgency.

Speaking to Channels Television’s correspondent during the centenary celebration of Kaduna state on Saturday, Governor Shettima explained that the fund will be judiciously used to tackle the insurgency that has ravaged the region over the years.

He described the approval of the fund as timely, noting that it will go a long way in restoring total peace to the troubled region.

He said this in response to comments by the PDP which condemned the approval of the sum, describing it as alarming.

The PDP in a statement on Friday said the plan has rubbished the integrity of the current administration and demanded that it apologies to Nigerians “for lying to them about the actual state of the fight against insurgency in Nigeria”.

Shettima, however, described the comments as misleading and a total blackmail aimed at dampening the commitment of the Federal Government in tackling the security challenges in the northeast and the country at large.

The Borno state governor also claimed that similar funds were released under the former President, Good Luck Jonathan’s administration for the same purpose, but was not accounted for.

APC Congratulates Buhari On 75th Birthday

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has felicitated with President Muhammadu Buhari on his 75th birthday.

The National Chairman of the party, Mr John Oyegun in a statement on Saturday commended the president for his efforts in bringing succor to the insurgency-ravaged North-East, fighting corruption and diversifying the economic among other things.

The party, therefore, wished him many more years of sound health and rewarding service.

“We attest that under his leadership, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is building a new Nigeria for our progress, peace, unity and prosperity; restoring our country to its deserved standing among the comity of progressive nations; fighting corruption and repairing our value system; diversifying our economic revenue base, creating jobs and economic opportunities for Nigerians; bringing succour to the insurgency-ravaged North-East; reforming the oil, defence, pensions, and other critical sectors and creating a world-class transport system, among others”.

“Our great Party wishes the President many more happy, healthy and rewarding years of service to the nation and Party,” the statement read.

President Muhammadu Buhari is a retired major general in the Nigerian Army and previously served as the nation’s Head of State from December 31, 1983, to August 27, 1985, after taking power in a military coup d’état.

He unsuccessfully ran for the office of president in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 general elections.

In December 2014, he emerged as the presidential candidate of the APC for the March 2015 general elections.

Buhari won the election, defeating the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.

He has been in office since 2015.

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