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Goodluck Jonathan APC PDP
Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria's president, pauses during a session on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. | Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday, September 18, 2014 endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan as its candidate for the 2015 presidential polls.

The decision was made at a meeting of the Board which was had started on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at the Banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja on. In addition, the board approved the timetable and guidelines for the upcoming national convention and party primaries.

A member of the Bot and former minister of information, Professor Jerry Gana made the disclosure to state house correspondents at the end of the meeting which ended in the early hours of Thursday, September 18, 2014.

Gana’s disclosure was also backed up by by deputy senate president  Ike Ekweremadu and Walid Jibril, the secretary of the BoT.

Gana said the decision to endorse President Jonathan was a unanimous one after governor of Akwa Ibom state and chairman of the PDP governors forum, Godswill Akpabio had intimated them of the forum’s earlier resolve to endorse the incumbent President, saying none of the sitting governors would contest against President Jonathan.

He said, “BoT was so informed today about this and that decision by the governors was fully endorsed in a motion by the BoT on its own. Having received that news, the BoT also unanimously resolved that because of the excellent work which Mr President has done, he should be the party’s sole candidate. The decision was also informed by the mature, humble and dedicated way the president has been leading Nigeria. When you add to that, the way he has been handling very sensitive national issues, the Board of Trustees is delighted, convinced and overwhelmed by the fact that we have a very impressive candidate. Therefore, the BoT also unanimously resolved that President Goodluck Jonathan be the sole candidate of the party in the forth coming election. That was unanimously resolved with a standing ovation and the BoT is very excited.”

He continued by heaping praise on the governors. He said, “I want to emphasise that we asked the governors and they said all the PDP governors signed the endorsement document which is going to be presented to the president in another session.”

On the issue of the absence of Jigawa state governor, Sule Lamido, from the PDP governors forum meeting, Gana stated that governor Akpabia had availed to the BoT that he (Akpabio) had spoken to governor Lamido who directed his deputy who had represented him to sign the document on his behalf.

Gana enthused: “In other words, Lamido authorised his deputy to sign on his behalf, and therefore the answer to your question is that he too endorsed that decision. We asked the same question and that is the answer we got.”

Fielding questions from journalists on whether the decision was not compromising the party’s internal democracy, Ekweremadu said: “The name of our party is the Peoples Democratic Party. So, democracy is part of us and we are very conscious of the need to have internal democracy in our party. But you must remember that consensus building is also part of democracy. For us in the PDP, we believe that the BoT is the conscience of the party. So, if the BoT has agreed to endorse Mr President as the candidate of the party, what we are simply saying is that we are persuading every member of the party to accept that position. We are not going to force any person, but we are making a strong statement; we are persuading our people strongly to accept this position for the reasons earlier mentioned. It is also important for us to know that we need to reward hard work; we need to reward commitment; we need to reward achievement. We need to reward performance.”

He continued: “We are borrowing from other democracy, including the United States of America where a sitting president who has done so well is expected to be rewarded by his party with a ticket. So, we are building a tradition which we hope that those who will come after us will be able to imbibe. This is also within the tenet of democracy, not only in Nigeria but in other parts of the world.”

Gana also told news men that that the new guidelines and timetable for the upcoming party primaries will be presented to the National Executive Council (NEC) at its meeting billed for Thursday, September 18, 2014 for endorsement.

Kano Governor Kwankwaso at the signing of an MOU with Dangote Group on Primary Health Care (Photo Credit: NPHCDA)

The dreaded Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram attacked the Federal College of Education in Kano with multiple bomb blasts on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 killing 13.

Residents of Kabuga, the host community of the institution, say they heard a loud explosion after which sporadic gunshots followed at about 3:20pm.

An eyewitness, Hauwa Abdu, said some gunmen arrived at the area and started shooting near the bus stop and suddenly, a man in black attire told people to remain where they were or risk being killed.

She said, “When the terrified people took to their heels, the gunmen started shooting and suddenly there was explosion at the entrance of the college.”

A victim, Hanne Muhammad, said, “When we rushed out of the theatre, some of us were hit by shrapnels. My friend was hit on the face and hands. She lost consciousness.”

Corpses and those injured were taken to the Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital in Kano.

According to a source in the hospital said 21 corpses were brought.

A hospital source said: “Some people came to identify and take the corpses of their loved ones for burial.   We cannot ascertain if they are more dead people   but we counted 21 corpses, including babies. About 40 are receiving treatment.”

The police have a different figure as the state Police Commissioner, Adenrele Shinaba, told journalists that 15 people were killed while 36 were injured.

The Police headquarters, in a statement which gave a different account of how the blast happened and its exact place, said two of the armed men were shot dead.

The Force public relations officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, in a statement put the death toll at 15 but gave the number of those wounded as 34.

His statement reads in part:

“At about 1530hrs, two armed men detonated an IED at the lecture Hall of Federal College of Education, Zaria Road, Kano.

“Thereafter, they began sporadic shooting outside the premises. Police team from a nearby Tactical Operations Point responded and shot dead the two insurgents. Their AK 47 rifles were recovered.

“On examination of the scene of the explosion, 15 dead bodies were recovered, while 34 injured were taken to hospital for treatment. The police have sealed the scene of crime and commenced investigation.”

by -
Boko Haram Borno Sambisa Forest
File Photo: Nigerian Troops on alert

The Nigerian Army has denied the widely report that its troops were attacked by Boko Haram terrorists along Okene-Kabba Road in Kogi State. It nevertheless said that it was a robbery incident.

In a statement, the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Olajide Olaleye, said “the  alleged and widely reported Boko Haram attack on Nigerian Army troops along Okene – Kabba Road was clearly not a Boko Haram related incident.

“In reality, the incident was a case of armed robbery attack on troops of 322 Artillery Regiment who were travelling in seven Marcopolo buses to Kontagora for an engagement. Apparently, the robbers mistook the soldiers for normal civilian travellers who ply the route. Three soldiers who sustained injuries during the robbery attack are receiving appropriate medical care and will soon join their colleagues.”

The statement further advised members of the public and the media to always verify information from relevant authorities rather than relying on rumours and speculations that could heighten public fear and endanger public safety.

The army spokesperson also gave an update on the success of military operation in the North-Eastern Nigeria due to renewed morale, fighting spirit and combat efficiency of Nigerian troops.

He therefore implored the public to continue to support the military and other security agencies engaged in the ongoing operation to rid Nigeria of bloodletting insurgents and terrorists

The Trent

Nigeria has become second behind India in countries that witnessed global under-five deaths in 2013.

In its latest report, UNICEF revealed that half of the global deaths among children below the age of five years occur in only five countries.

India (21 per cent), Nigeria (13 per cent), Pakistan (six per cent), Democratic Republic of Congo (five per cent), and China (four per cent).

In the report titled ‘Committing to child survival: A promise renewed,’ high-income countries only accounted for nearly two per cent of global under-five deaths in 2013.

However, the report showed that these countries accounted for only about 11 per cent of all births as well as 11 per cent of all children under age five in the world in 2013.

UNICEF, the 2014 progress report noted that Sub-Saharan Africa faces the challenge of extra efforts to reduce the child death rates needed to undo the projected, increase in live births and population of children below the age of five.

“If current demographic trends continues, an estimated five billion children will be born worldwide between 2015 and 2050, 1.6 billion of them in Sub-Saharan Africa.

By 2050, 37 per cent of the global under-five population will be living in sub-Saharan Africa, compared to just nine per cent in 1950,” UNICEF warned.

The report also states that the child death is mainly among the world’s poorest regions and countries.

All 12 countries with an under-five mortality rate of 100 or more deaths per 1,000 live births are in sub-Saharan Africa which is a poor region.

While Ten of these countries are in West and Central Africa.

Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia produced the greatest numbers of child deaths.

In 2013, about half of global under-five deaths occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa with Nigeria leading while 32 per cent was in South Asia.

The report, however, noted that there were some improvements in health statistics globally.

It indicated that while major efforts have been made towards improving child survival, the under-five death rates have reduced by almost half since 1990.

It said that the child death rate dropped from 90 to 46 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013.

It further indicated that the total number of under-five deaths was cut by half during the same period from 12.7million to 6.3million, thus saving 17,000 lives every day.

Also, under-five death is falling faster than any other time during the past two decades.

However, despite the progress, the toll of under-five deaths in the past two decades (1990 to 2013) appears large; 223 million children worldwide have died before their fifth birthday.

By all indication, the progress made, the report states, is ‘insufficient’ to meet the Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG) – to reduce child mortality by two-third by 2015.

It also noted that if current trends continue in all countries, the target will only be reached globally by 2026; 11 years behind schedule.

teacher arrested woman
Photo Credit: Every Stock
Steven Dargular, a South African football coach arrested for drug trafficking in Lagos
Steven Dargular, a South African football coach arrested for drug trafficking in Lagos

A South African football Coach, Steven Darlugar, has been arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos for drug trafficking.

38-year-old Darlugar, who coaches a football club in South Africa, was caught with 1.54 kilogrammes of drugs during the screening of Arik Air passengers on board to South Africa.

Reports reaching The Trent says the suspect neatly packaged the drugs, which tested positive for methamphetamine, in a compartment in his luggage.

Darlugar confessed to the crime saying he took to smuggling to augment his income, adding that he would have made a proceed of $6,000 if he had succeeded in carrying out the crime.

He said: “I am married with a child and have lived in South Africa for about a decade. I coach a team in South Africa. I have worked very hard to attain financial freedom, but have nothing in return. This is my first time of smuggling drugs. I was under financial pressure to cope with peers. A friend introduced me to drug trafficking as a way of making quick money. They promised to pay me $6,000 to take the bag containing the drugs to South Africa.”

NDLEA’s commander at the MMIA, Mr. Hamza Umar, confirmed the crime saying suspect concealed the drugs in a false compartment in his luggage.

“Dalugar was apprehended on his way to South Africa. He was found in possession of 1.54kg of substances that tested positive for methamphetamine. T he drug was concealed in a false compartment of the suspect’s luggage,” Umar said.

Mr. Ahmadu Giade, the chairman of NDLEA, called on members of the public to support the agency in its efforts to phase out drug trafficking in the country. He added that the suspect would be charged to court at the end of the investigation.

Giade said, “We have made remarkable improvement in our counter-narcotic efforts. The agency is prepared to detect hidden drugs and prosecute the drug barons. Members of the public should avoid drug trafficking and report suspected cases to the agency. This way, a good measure of drug control will be achieved in the country. The suspect will be charged to court soon.”

Vandalised BRT buses in Ikorodu (Photo credit: The Scoop)

Mr. Razak Mustapha, a witness at the ongoing investigation into the July 4 Ikorodo Road chaos told the three-man panel on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 that a female solider sprayed the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicles with petrol.

Some BRT vehicles were set ablaze at Palmgrove Bus Stop, Lagos on July 4, 2014 during a mayhem that disturbed the public place for more than three hours.

The event that led to the cause of this incident was caused by the death of a soldier.

Mustapha, who is an employee of Mutual Model Transport Ltd., a sub-operator of the LAGBUS, gave the testimony before the retired Justice Ebenezer Adebajo-chaired tribunal.

Mustapha told the panel that on July 4, he was asked by his company to tow a BRT vehicle that had broken down at Palmgrove.

According to Mustapha, their job was to return the vehicle which broke down to the BRT depot.

Mustapha said that while he attempting to start the bus, he noticed a corpse inside the vehicle and immediately informed his colleague.

He told the tribunal that he and his colleague rushed out of the vehicle and made a phone call to his boss, giving an account of what he saw.

Mustapha said as he was waiting for further instruction when a man approached the bus and climbed in to see the corpse.

According to Mustapha the man later informed some soldiers who were passing by that the corpse of a soldier was lying in the bus.

Mustapha said, “They (the soldiers) entered the bus, saw the body and checked his identity card.

“They assigned two soldiers to guard the bus and left.

“When they came back, they started destroying the bus. A female soldier came and poured fuel inside the bus.

“After that I saw three buses, one in blue colour and two in red colour on fire.”

A mechanic, Umeaku, who was with Mustapha at the time of the incident, gave his version of the story.

He told the tribunal that Mustapha told him there was a dead man inside the bus.

He said, “I did not see the body. It was Mustapha who told me.”

The further hearing in the matter was adjourned till today September 18, 2014

Men of the Nigerian Army and the relatives of the deceased soldier will be expected to give their testimonies in the matter today.

TB Joshua
Prophet T.B. Joshua (Photo Credit: Synagogue Church of All Nations)

On Friday, September 12, 2014 a building of Prophet TB Joshua’s Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) headquarters in Ikotun, Lagos collapsed killing more than 70 and leaving scores others injured.

The 5-storey building, which was a church guest house, was exclusive for foreign visitors to the church.

SCOAN has released it’s first official statement since the tragedy on their Facebook page.

The statement reads:

‘Emmanuel – God is with us.

The pain of one is the pain of all. It is indeed a sad and painful moment for the families and friends who have lost loved ones. It is equally so for us in The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (The SCOAN), under the leadership of Prophet T.B. Joshua.

On Friday, September 12, 2014, at about 12:44pm, one of the buildings on The SCOAN property unexpectedly collapsed, tragically resulting in death and injury.

Nigerians and citizens of other nations were affected. This incident was preceded by the appearance of a strange aircraft which flew very low over the building four times and then disappeared.

Since the day of this incident, The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations, its members and partners, have worked in collaboration with the Nigerian, South African and other nations’ authorities to ensure that survivors are rescued, attended to with the best medical treatment, cared for in the most humane and hospitable manner and reunited with their families, while those who passed on – martyrs of the Kingdom of God – are retrieved, identified and treated respectfully.

Amongst those we are working hand-in-hand with, are: The Federal Government of Nigeria, the Government of the Republic of South Africa, Lagos State Government, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), the Lagos State Ministry of Health – doctors and nurses, the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), the Red Cross, the Nigeria Police Force and various Non-governmental and humanitarian organisations and construction and engineering corporations.

It is very sad that inaccurate reports are coming from some quarters that we are not cooperating with the rescue teams and other agencies in collating information and providing assistance on the incident. Contrary to this, we want to categorically state that the church has provided assistance when and where required and continues to do so – good Christians are good citizens.

We emphasise our commitment to cooperate with all relevant authorities in establishing the cause of the collapse of the building.

The church views this tragedy as part of an attack on The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations and in particular, Prophet T.B. Joshua. In due course, God will reveal the perpetrators of this unfortunate tragedy.

“We wish to express our gratitude to all who continue to work tirelessly, show their solidarity and share their condolences in this grievous time, particularly all Government and non-Governmental bodies mentioned above, Diplomatic Missions, National and International media houses, society groups, traditional rulers, all concerned citizens and the residents of our local community, Ikotun-Egbe.

We equally appreciate all members and partners of The SCOAN and Emmanuel TV, along with Christians and clergy worldwide for their prayers and support.

To all those who lost family members and loved ones, please accept our heart-felt commiserations. No one knows by the present sign or situation what the future holds. We must therefore live each day as if it were our last and leave tomorrow’s trouble for the One who bore our troubles on the cross. We thank God for the martyrs and we pray for the family members and loved ones left behind.

For further information, please contact: +234-(0)-807-528-2495

Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z perform at the 56th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California January 26, 2014. (Photo Credit: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

There are rumors that Jay Z and Beyoncé are currently working on a joint album after the great success of their joint On the Run tour.

Beyoncé , 33, and Jay Z, 44, just wrapped up their joint tour in Paris over the weekend.

She was in tears as they ended their “On the Run” stadium tour Saturday night in Paris, where they said they got engaged years ago.

They also told the audience at Stade de France that Paris was also where their 2-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, was conceived.

“We love Paris. It’s special to us because we got engaged here and this is where baby Blue was conceived,” the rap star said.

Meanwhile, insiders claim the album will be released in late 2014 or early 2015.

Popular radio host DJ Skee publicised the news on is Dash Radio show yesterday claiming ‘I have confirmed and talked to a couple sources’.

Fuel Tanker Soldier
File Photo

A tanker loaded with fuel exploded in Calabar, Cross River state on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 killing two people.

The explosion occurred close to the Eburutu Army Barracks end of the Murtala Mohammed Highway at about 1:30pm causing a great inferno in the heart of the ancient city of Calabar.

Pedestrians, commuters and transporters were left stranded for hours as the intensity of the inferno, which also spread to nearby buildings, slowed down movements in and out of the state capital.

The two victims were the driver of the fuel tanker and his conductor. The driver was burnt to ashes on his seat, while the conductor was flung out of the vehicle.

Fire fighters arrived the scene 40 minutes after the explosion occurred and had spread to burn two buildings and two vehicles – Audi 80 and Peugeot 505.

No fewer than 12 fire service trucks were sent to put out the inferno.

The Cross River State Government, Calabar Free Trade Zone and Nigeria Ports Authority joined the Fire Service to put out the inferno which lasted for over two hours.

fire fighters putting off inferno caused by fuel tanker explosion in Calabar on September, 17, 2014 (Photo credit: Mudiaige Affe)
fire fighters putting off inferno caused by fuel tanker explosion in Calabar on September, 17, 2014 (Photo credit: Mudiaige Affe)

Pastor Godwin Nsa, an eyewitness who spoke with the press said the tanker driver tried to overtake another tanker that was loaded with diesel at a tight end of the road when the accident happened.

“A tanker loaded with petrol tried to overtake another with diesel, unfortunately the former hit the latter from behind and both skidded off the road and their tankers fell. Immediately, the petrol tanker exploded. The driver and his conductor died on the spot,” he said.

Another man at the scene, Mr. Evans Bishop, said the two trailers were trying to avoid some parked trucks owned by a transport company that obstructed the free flow of traffic. in the process, both trailers loaded with petroleum product collided, which resulted in the explosion.

He said, “I came out the moment it happened. A transport company has a terminal close to the scene of the incident and the firm’s trucks were parked by the side of the road. This caused the accident.

“Government ought to have done something about the parking arrangement of these vehicles. It is not right to park on the highway. Other road users should be free to use the road.”

The corpse of the deceased has been deposited in the mortuary.

File Photo

NAN – The Rivers Commissioner for Health, Sampson Parker, on Wednesday said there were 340 Ebola Virus disease (EVD) cases under surveillance in the state.

Parker made the remark in Port Harcourt during a sensitization workshop at Ogu, in Ogu/Bolo local government area.

He said the state government was not in a hurry to reopen primary and secondary schools because of the situation.

Parker stressed that government would announce a date for re-opening of public schools after assessing the situation in the next few weeks.

The commissioner advised people of the area to imbibe a healthy life style to avert contracting the disease.

Parker urged them to always wash their hands with soap and water.

“We want schools to reopen as soon as possible, but we are still assessing the situation before we can do anything,’’ he added.

He called on the people to always report cases of deaths and stop the habit of burying dead bodies in a hurry.

The commissioner urged people of the area to alert local government disease surveillance officers as soon as there were cases of deaths.

“As a matter of fact, every death must be reported to local government health officials before anybody can touch it,’’ Parker said.

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