Amaechi explains his role in Sanusi’s leaked letter to Jonathan

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has explained his involvement in a letter forwarded to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan by a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, challenging the non-remittance of $49.8 billion oil windfall to the federation account.

Amaechi explains his role in Sanusi’s leaked letter to Jonathan
Amaechi explains his role in Sanusi’s leaked letter to Jonathan

In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, Amaechi strongly condemned reports in the media, which indicated that he “surreptitiously and clandestinely” leaked the letter.

The statement issued by his media aide insisted that the reports were far from the truth.

It said, “A concerned and patriotic Nigerian, who felt sufficiently troubled with what was happening then, gave a copy of the Sanusi’s letter to Amaechi, in Amaechi’s capacity as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). Like Amaechi, we should appreciate that concerned Nigerian’s patriotism.

“When Amaechi got the letter, he spoke with Sanusi, who was still the CBN Governor, to confirm the authenticity of the letter. Sanusi confirmed to Amaechi that he wrote the letter. During their conversation, Amaechi made it abundantly clear to the then CBN Governor that the bleeding of the nation had to be stopped, all non-remitted funds remitted and that he was going to use the letter to do whatever is in the best interest of the nation and Nigerians, which was the stoppage of the non-remittance and the recovery of all the non-remitted funds from oil sale. The CBN Governor did not agree with Amaechi on the way forward.

“Considering that the letter was given to Amaechi as Chairman of the NGF, he shared the letter with his colleague governors first, and with Senator Bukola Saraki (now Senate President), who before and around that period was doing some work or/and investigation around the oil sector in the Senate.

“Around that period, a delegation from the United States government, from the offices of the Secretaries of State and Defence, visited Amaechi in Port Harcourt to discuss the problem of oil theft in Nigeria.

“From their records, they gave Amaechi figures of billions of dollars (about $7 billion dollars annually) that was being lost to oil theft in Nigeria. They were discussing the issue and figures of oil theft, and that was how the CBN Governor’s letter to President Jonathan came up.

“In the presence of journalists covering the visit, Amaechi brought out the Sanusi letter to the visiting American delegation to buttress the point that Nigeria was losing far more money to non-remittance of proceeds from oil sale into the federation account, which everyone seemed to concur, was in itself, another form and another dimension to the problem of oil theft.”

Reps order immediate re-seal of Kogi Assembly

The House of Representatives on Thursday urged the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, to immediately re-seal the Kogi State House of Assembly pending the resolution of its crisis.

Reps order immediate re-seal of Kogi Assembly
Reps order immediate re-seal of Kogi Assembly

The reseal order followed the recommendation of the ad hoc committee constituted by the house to reassess the assembly’s impasse.

The committee which had the Majority Leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila as Chairman, recommended for the reprimand of the IGP for undermining the authority of the legislature by unsealing the assembly recently.

The house resolved that all resolutions, laws and actions taken by the Kogi assembly from the date of the National Assembly’s resolution to seal it were null and void.

“The Governor of Kogi State is to send the state budget and other executive bills to the National Assembly for consideration as stipulated in section 11 of the Constitution,“ the representatives said.

The lawmakers described the actions of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Arase as an affront on the legislature and the country’s democracy by ordering the reopening of the assembly without recourse to the house.

Gbajabiamila dismissed the Attorney-General’s submissions that any matter in court could not be discussed on the floor of the house.

Ugwuanyi’s kinsmen vow not to tolerate further attacks from herdsmen

The people of Nsukka cultural zone of Enugu State, operating under the aegis of Nsukka General Assembly, Thursday paid a solidarity visit to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi over the recent attack on Nimbo community by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

Ugwuanyi’s kinsmen vow not to tolerate further attacks from herdsmen
Ugwuanyi’s kinsmen vow not to tolerate further attacks from herdsmen

They vowed not to take any repeat of such attack on their people lightly in the future.

Led by Emeritus professor, Lawrence Ocho, and former information minister, Chief Nnia Nwodo, the group commended the governor for the effective way he had handled the sad incident which has remained a rude shock to the people of the zone.

Nimbo is in Nsukka cultural zone of the state where the governor also hails from.

Governor Ugwuanyi, who addressed the visitors reassured the people of the state of his administration’s continued determination to work had to protect lives and property in the state.

He said that the Nimbo invasion by suspected Fulani herdsmen would make all stakeholders in the state take the issue of security more seriously

He stated that the solidarity visit at Government House, Enugu was a huge morale booster to his administration at this trying period, adding that the surfeit of condemnations that had trailed the mindless killing of his people had also become a source of succor for the bereaved people of Nimbo and his administration.

He told his guests that government would continue to discharge its duties fearlessly and with the fear of God in line with the rule of law until the culprits were brought to book.

Prof. Ocho, who spoke for the group had earlier said that they were in Government House Enugu to share the agony the governor had been subjected to in the past week since the attack happened and to assure him that the people of his zone stood solidly behind in this period.

They were full of commendations for the governor after getting full briefs from him on the preemptive actions he took to forestall the attack.

Condemning the act and thanking the governor for his gallant leadership style following the steps taken so far, the group urged government to reinvigorate its neighbourhood watch groups and liaise with the appropriate quarters, including the State House of Assembly for the purpose of promulgating and enacting laws capable of curtailing the activities of cattle rearers in the state.

Southern Kaduna Communities Told to Defend Themselves against Murderous Fulani Herdsmen

The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), an umbrella body for ethnic nationalities in the southern part of Kaduna state, has asked communities in the southern part of the state to take adequate measures to protect themselves against the murderous and destructive activities of Fulani herdsmen which has the area.

Southern Kaduna Communities Told to Defend Themselves against Murderous Fulani Herdsmen
Southern Kaduna Communities Told to Defend Themselves against Murderous Fulani Herdsmen

In a statement condemning the murder the district head of Fadan Karshi, Sanga local government of the state, Mr. Bala Madaki, who was killed along with his nephew last Sunday night in his residence allegedly by armed Fulani men, SOKAPU said the time had come for communities to explore other means of thwarting the persistent attacks which had ravaged some of the communities.

The statement which was signed by the President of SOKAPU, Mr. Solomon Musa, a lawyer, maintained that the people owe a duty to themselves to adopt measures for self-defence in order to put a stop to the massive killings and destruction by rampaging Fulani herdsmen.

This, according to him, is the only way to complement efforts by the state government to curtail the killings.

“We are also calling on the people of Sanga, and all other communities in Southern Kaduna that have borne the brunt of countless attacks from suspected herdsmen, to begin to explore other self-help means of thwarting these persistent attacks that have left some of the Southern Kaduna people in ruins.

“This self-help is to complement whatever measures the state government has/is taking to curtail these killings. We owe it to ourselves to reduce the numbers of mass graves used in burying our people; from becoming increased features of our communities.

“The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has again received the news of the unprovoked attack on Fadan Karshi in Sanga Local Government by suspected herdsmen. The attackers killed the district head, Mr. Bala Madaki, 66, and his nephew, Emmanuel Tanko, who was writing the 2016 West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination.

“Violence is no stranger to Sanga Local Government. Natives of the area have been massacred in indescribable manners for years. In the past two years, more than 200 people have been killed so far in Sanga Local Government alone.

Nigerian Army Says It Kills 13 Boko Haram Militants in Hideout

Nigerian security forces killed 13 suspected Boko Haram fighters in a raid on a militant hideout in the country’s northeast Sambisa forest on Thursday.

A day earlier, more than 400 hostages were rescued from the insurgents in three villages in Borno state, Lucky Irabor, the head of the region’s counter-insurgency operation, told reporters. More than a dozen rebels were killed in those operations, he said.

While Boko Haram is in the seventh year of a violent campaign to impose its version of Islamic law in Nigeria, its capacity and hold on territory in the northeast has been pushed back by the military over the past year.

I lost a friend, partner in democracy – Jonathan pays tribute to late Yar’adua

As the nation marks the sixth year anniversary of the death of former President, Umari Musa Yar’Adua, his successor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has paid glowing tribute to his former boss.

I lost a friend, partner in democracy – Jonathan pays tribute to late Yar’adua
I lost a friend, partner in democracy – Jonathan pays tribute to late Yar’adua

Jonathan took to his Facebook page to extol the virtues of the late Yar’Adua, who passed away on May 5, 2010.

The immediate past president, who was Yar’Adua’s deputy prior to his death, described him as a servant leader and a stickler for the rule of law.

He wrote, “Six years ago, I lost a dear friend and partner in democracy, peace and progress. President Umaru Musa Yar’adua was a servant leader and a stickler for the rule of law.

“He may be gone but he is never to be forgotten. I pray for his soul and for him to rest in al Jannah firdaus.”

Jonathan further stated: “I lost a dear friend and partner in democracy, peace and progress, six years ago.”

Governor Umahi orders Fulani herdsmen out of Ebonyi community

Ebonyi State governor, Chief David Umahi has ordered the State Commissioner of Police, CP Peace Ibekwe Abdallah to flush out all herdsmen who settled in the premises of the State University within seven days.

Governor Umahi orders Fulani herdsmen out of Ebonyi community
Governor Umahi orders Fulani herdsmen out of Ebonyi community

The governor, who gave the directive in Abakaliki during the Agric Summit organised by the state government to boost rice production in the state, said the university environment was no place for nomadic herdsmen.

The governor, however, opposed the calls for a reprisal attack on Fulani herdsmen in the South East zone over the brutal killing of over 30 persons in Ukpabi Nimbo, Uzo-Uwani local government area of Enugu State by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

Umahi insisted that waging a war against the Fulani herdsmen would have grave implications.

“Hausa-Fulani community in Ebonyi State has a long history of peaceful and harmonious settlement and have not been implicated in any criminal activity.

“But those who are nomadic should be allowed to pass through Ebonyi, provided they do so peacefully, without causing harm to people or destruction of crops in Ebonyi.

“Those who are settled in the premises of the university must quietly and peacefully be evicted by the Commissioner of Police because the university environment is no place for nomadic herdsmen,” Umahi said.

I’m not afraid of EFCC — Fani-Kayode

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has denied media reports that he is in hiding from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

I’m not afraid of EFCC — Fani-Kayode
I’m not afraid of EFCC — Fani-Kayode

Mr. Fani-Kayode described the reports as “absurd”, saying he never received any invitation from the commission either in form of a letter or by telephone.

Mr. Fani-Kayode said this in a statement on Thursday morning.

“I have just read some absurd media reports in which have quoted their sources in the EFCC as saying that I had gone underground and that I was hiding from them. This is false. I have not been invited by the EFCC by letter and neither have they phoned me or attempted to reach me in any other way. I have been in my Abuja home for the last few weeks and I am not hiding from anyone,” he said.

“I am not a coward and this attempt to further demonise and humiliate me by the EFCC will fail. If they have any questions for me why don’t they just write to me or call me, give me a date and I will be in their office. I have made my position clear on the issue of the presidential campaign funds, I have written an essay about it in my various columns about two weeks ago and I have been waiting for the EFCC to reach me ever since then. They have invited others but they have not invited me. I do not believe that I have done anything wrong and this latest attempt to criminalise me and make me look like a fugitive from justice will fail.”

“Others that were invited to the EFCC over this same campaign funds issue were sent letters of invitation and were reached. I appear to be the exception and now these hideous lies are being fed to the newspapers to make it look as if I am in hiding or that I am running from them just to sensationalise the whole issue.

“This is also to justify what the EFCC wish to do which is to arrest me in public, humiliate me or to storm my home and lock me up indefinitely. There is no need for all that drama and if it happens that way the Nigerian people will know why. I have no fear of the EFCC, I will respond to their invitation any day and anytime they send it to me and I will help them to clarify whatever issues they wish to raise in any way that I can.

“Others were invited in a civilised way and were treated in a humane and decent manner. I really do wonder why I should be treated differently, criminalised in the newspapers in this way and not even afforded the common courtesy of a formal invitation by them. I await their letter or their call and I leave those that wish to give the impression that I am running from them to God.”

3 Students Representing Kano in Quiz Competition Die in Accident

Governor of Kano State Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje -has condoled with the families of the students who were involved in accident yesterday along Lagos – Ibadan Express way while on a mission to represent Kano in the National Quiz Competition in Lagos.

3 Students Representing Kano in Quiz Competition Die in Accident
3 Students Representing Kano in Quiz Competition Die in Accident

According to reports, three students of Unity School Karaye and 3 from Kano Kapital as well as a driver and coordinator of competition lost their lives in the accident.

Arrangement is being made to airlift the corpses back to Kano for burial later in the day.

Meanwhile Families of the affected students have been duly informed on the unfortunate incidence and the arrangements being made.