I Took to Drug Smuggling to Finance My Father’s Funeral- Suspect

I smuggled cocaine to fund my dad’s burial – Suspect

A suspected cocaine dealer, Kingsley Agu, who was recently arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos has told operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency that he took to crime because he needed money to fund his father’s burial.

PUNCH Metro learnt that 30-year-old Agu was arrested with two others – Joseph Ezenna and Israel Okoye – for smuggling cocaine valued at N131m from Brazil.

Agu, who seemed remorseful for his act, said he was a trader in Aba, Abia State but was forced to travel to Brazil because of economic hardship.

He said while in Brazil, he got news of his father’s death and could not even afford a flight ticket so he decided to go into drug smuggling to fund his trip and his father’s burial.

He said, “I was born in Enugu. I sell clothes at Aba market. I travelled to Brazil in April 2014 because my business was not doing well. The few months I spent in Brazil were even worse than here in Nigeria. While in Brazil, my father died and I had no money for my flight ticket. Bringing cocaine to Nigeria was my last hope of raising some money for my dad’s funeral. I was to be paid N800, 000 for the assignment.”

PUNCH Metro learnt that the drug, which weighed 14.65 kilogrammes, was neatly packed inside laptop bags and female foot wears belonging to the suspects.

Our correspondent also learnt that the suspects had expected a combined proceed of N4.1m from their undisclosed sponsors if their mission was accomplished.

One of the suspects, Ezenna, who hails from Anambra State, told investigators that hardship made him to travel abroad. The 28-year-old added that he intended to start a ‘legitimate’ business with a sum of N2.5m his sponsor promised to pay him.

“I am married and my wife is pregnant. I used to run a boutique until I lost everything. Out of frustration, I travelled to Brazil in search of employment. I smuggled the drugs for N2.5m. My intention was to settle down and invest the drug proceeds in any legitimate business,” he said.

In his confession, Anambra-born Okoye, who worked in a bakery in Brazil, said he accepted to traffic the drug to augment his paltry income.

He said, “I am from a poor family. I dropped out of school when I was in primary four due to lack of sponsorship. I worked in a bakery in Brazil. My salary was so meagre that I lived in penury. They promised me N800, 000 to smuggle the cocaine.”

The NDLEA Public Relations Officer, Mr. Michell Ofoyeju, confirmed the arrests to PUNCH Metro. Ofoyeju described the seized substance as a high grade.

He said, “Three suspected drug traffickers have been apprehended by the narcotic control agency for smuggling the drug from Brazil through Abu Dhabi. The estimated street value of the seized cocaine is about N131m. The high grade Brazilian cocaine was hidden inside female foot wears and laptop bags.

“Ezenna was found with 11.3kg of cocaine, Agu had in his possession 1.65kg while Okoye was found with 1.67kg. The total quantity of cocaine seized from them is 14.65kg. Agu and Okoye were apprehended during the inward screening of passengers on an Emirates flight from Dubai, Abu Dhabi while the third suspect, Ezenna, boarded a Qatar flight.”

The agency’s Chairman, Mr. Ahmadu Giade lauded the ongoing war against drug trafficking at the airport, adding that “the suspects will soon be charged to court.”

Source: The Punch

I am yet to decide on Super Eagles Job- Keshi

Stephen Keshi

Stephen Keshi

Keshi: I am Yet to Decide on Eagles Return

*Amodu appeals to NFF to reconsider his return
Olawale Ajimotokan
Coach Stephen Keshi has revealed that he was yet to make up his mind whether to return as the Super Eagles coach.
Keshi’s reinstatement was sanctioned by President Goodluck Jonathan as part of the measures by government to resolve the crisis which has disrupted the effective running of Nigerian football. The coach who led Nigeria to victory at the last Africa Cup of Nations in 2013 was on October 15 relieved of the Eagles job by the NFF board owing to the shaky performance of the national team in the qualifying race to Morocco 2015.

But after a meeting with Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo, in his office yesterday morning, Keshi told reporters he still need to take a long reflection on the presidential directive before deciding to take a plunge with the national team.

“It is a very, very difficult decision. I am not sure I would say ‘no’ for now or ‘yes’ to the order. I still have to think about it because we all want peace. I want a settled mind before making the decision.  I don’t have issues with anybody because life is too short. This is my country. I am always willing to offer my service. If I desperately wanted a contract, I would have opted for the offer made by Equatorial Guinea because the offer they made was bigger than what Nigeria offered.  But this is my country and I want to serve it,” said Keshi.

He has not succeeded in tying down an offer since he left the Eagles post. Instead, he has been speculated to be on the radar of Ethiopia and of late Ghana. Both countries have since denied making any overture to the reigning African coach of the year.

Also yesterday, interim Head Coach of the senior national team, Coach Shaibu Amodu, pleaded passionately with the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to allow Keshi return to his post to lead Eagles in the two remaining matches of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

In a letter dated 27th October, 2014 and addressed to NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, through the chairman of NFF Technical Committee, the 56 –year old tactician who was named as new head coach penultimate week, said he wanted Keshi reconsidered for the two matches as the time –frame was too short to tinker with the fabric of the squad or start to build a new one altogether.

“Following wide consultations that I have carefully made within the past two weeks since the appointment, and for the sake of professionalism, I want to specially appeal to you to reconsider the matter and allow Stephen Keshi to finish the project that he has started – the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying race.

“Sir, my opinion also is that the time –frame is too short to start tinkering with the fabric of the team or attempt to build a new team altogether.

“As Technical Director of the NFF, I am ready and willing to help build a better relationship among Keshi (with whom I have enjoyed good working relationship in the past and who is still very close to me), the players and the NFF Technical Committee.

“I am assuring you, Mr. President,  that I will offer whatever assistance required by Keshi and his crew for the remaining two matches, and also be there to offer advice, suggestions and efforts towards building a stronger Super Eagles’ team after the qualifying race,” observed the former Orlando Pirates of South Africa gaffer.

Nigeria plays Congo Brazzaville in Pointe Noire on November 15 before taking on South Africa in Uyo four days later, needing to not only win both matches but defeat Congo by a margin of two goals away, to stand any chance of qualifying for the 2015 finals.

Source: ThisDay

Crisis Hits Ekiti PDP as Arise Accuses Fayose of Imposition

  • Says governor is acting like he is possessed

Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti

As the preparations for the 2015 general election gathers momentum, a former Senator and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State, Senator Ayo Arise, has warned Governor Ayodele Fayose against destroying the party by his alleged resolve to impose candidates indiscriminately.
Arise, who is gunning for the senatorial position in Ekiti North senatorial district, accused Fayose of already compiling the list of delegates that would emerge in Satueday’s  PDP congress, who would thereafter elect candidates to fly the party’s flags for the national and state assemblies’ election at the primaries.
Speaking in Oye Ekiti, Arise posited that Fayose had allegedly shut the doors against some aspirants vying for House of Assembly by single-handedly picking all the 26 candidates among his cronies,without recourse to the party’s constitution.
Also complaining about the perceived shoddy manners the primaries are being handled,  a  former member of House of Representatives, Hon. Fatimat Raji-Rasaki, cautioned the leadership of  the  PDP  against subverting the will of the party members.
Arise said: “It seems as if Governor Fayose has been possessed by demons immediately he took over as the Governor of the state. As we speak, he has drawn the list of 26 House of Assembly members, thereby shutting out other aspirants.

Even four aspirants from Ikole /Oye federal constituency have been schemed out of contention for the House of Representatives.
“Aside from this, he instructed my challenger, Hon. Duro Faseyi, to draw the list of delegates for Ekiti North primaries, which shows that I have been rigged out already. I supported Fayose before the election,  but as a party man, I will not fold my arms and allow him ruin this party,” Arise declared.
Absolving Fayose of wrongdoing, the  Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr.  Idowu Adelusi, who spoke on his behalf, said the governor had not reneged on his earlier stand, which is free and fair primaries, notwithstanding whether some aspirants  are posing as  his favourites.
He said: “Everybody in the party will stand for primaries where the delegates will choose who will represent them. To be a candidate of the Governor does not exclude you from the primaries. He does not have an approved list of delegates. Nobody will be treated as a sacred cow,” Fayose assured.
Arise stressed further that the party might face serious  protest votes in the coming election, except necessary steps are taken by the leaders at the national level to stop this alleged executive rascality.
Arise added: “This is an opportunity for protest votes which we should not allow to happen. If this is not corrected, it will be difficult for the PDP to win elections. God has worked in Fayose’s life by bringing him back the second time, he should allow the same God to work in the lives of other party members.”
Adelusi, who said nobody will be deprived of the rights to contest, said: “Senator Ayo Arise is a respected  leader of the party. If he feels aggrieved or has noticed that something is wrong, he should meet with the Governor or resort to party mechanism rather than going to the press.”

Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Government yesterday denied any plan to sack civil servants as is being peddled on social media by the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), saying the trimming down of the state ministries was intended to inject efficiency into the civil service.

Source: ThisDay

Beware! Ebola is not an African problem

Letter from Africa: Ebola is not an African problem

From the section Africa 5comments

In BBC series of letters from African journalists, film-maker and columnist Farai Sevenzo considers the difficulty in finding funding to fight an international public health emergency.
Who remembers February 2014? By its very stunted growth, February can be a forgettable month.
But it was in February that a haemorrhagic fever announced its presence in Guinea, and now the number crunchers in officialdom are reeling off figures in the thousands for those affected and killed by Ebola.
In the nine months that have nearly passed, the world has been slow to act.
We are fond, in the reporting profession, of spinning a story for maximum impact but there is simply no spin to the Ebola invasion – it is a crisis of unimaginable proportions.
Disaster emergency funds have not been sufficient to combat a virus which has made a mockery of disaster preparedness.
I’ve made the calls to friends in Monrovia and Freetown, where the individuals feel their fate is in the hands of the Gods not just the brave medical professionals on the front line.
Most airports in the world have someone pointing a body temperature reader at you, especially if you have recently set foot in Africa.
And as everyone knows, Africa is one country to the very impressionable and the far less travelled.
But Ebola has not been reading passports, and health care workers from many nations will tell you that the disease does not discriminate.
It is puzzling then to watch the world reaction to Ebola’s relentless grip.
Back in September, Ban Ki-moon launched a UN fund and said nearly a $1bn (£620m) was needed to fight Ebola for the next six months to try and get a grip on it before February comes around again.
Resolutions were passed and the world made all the right noises.
In reality, more than $480m has found its way to various UN agencies or directly to non-governmental organisations fire-fighting the disease in the affected regions.
But the newly established UN fund to fight Ebola remained running on empty.
A second appeal did not fare much better – with only about 10% of the total pledged so far.

Amidst the complacency, we read that fear and ignorance of Ebola is causing panic and hysteria, with West Africa visa bans and African footballers on international duty being “monitored” – despite never having kicked a ball in an Ebola ward.
Those states from whom much is asked are either under the false illusion that such measures will be enough, that the virus is not their problem or they are simply choosing to shirk their responsibilities.
There is always room to raise the racism flag, but it would hardly be worthwhile for the realities are stark – if Ebola is not stopped at its current source in West Africa, no country will be safe.
‘Custom made to travel’
We are living in those times of great migration – where a two-year-old can cross a border into Mali, travel 700km (430 miles) on several buses and then die from the Ebola virus and possibly infect countless people.
Where a man on a flight can reach Nigeria in the confined space of an aeroplane, then die of his illness and fatally infect the doctor who had the foresight to keep him contained.
Then there are the people traffickers, the porous borders – Ebola is custom created to travel.

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are the three countries in West Africa worst-affected by Ebola
I am writing this in an African city far to the south of the epidemic, where while passing through two different countries, immigration officers asked me if I had been to West Africa in the last four weeks.
Of course there are many parts to West Africa but that seemed irrelevant.
I hadn’t been to any of West Africa’s 15 states and said no.
There is a wind of panic in the air and the reaction to Ebola remains uncoordinated.

Tanzania’s Citizen newspaper reported last week that despite a new bio-safety laboratory in Bagamoyo, the nation would be unable to test for Ebola because it lacked approval from the World Health Organization and that funding was needed to supply reagents – a substance used in chemical analysis.
While in Zimbabwe’s Sunday Mail, an official raised concern over a report that suggested the country has 57 informal border posts as opposed to 19 official ones, and what that would mean in the Ebola era.
And as the World Bank appeals for volunteers in the Ebola fight, Australia’s government has said it will not send doctors or nurses to help contain the virus until it is certain “all of the risks are being properly managed”.

Protective gear is essential for those treating Ebola patients
But many have volunteered. Cuba and Zimbabwe have sent doctors to Monrovia, the Americans are in Liberia, the British in Sierra Leone, the French in Guinea and there are individuals of astounding personal courage sweating in protective plastic suits in the heat of West Africa – yet that is not enough.
The rallying cry before the outbreak had been “Africa is Rising”, and now fragile health care systems have been crippled beyond measure.
Could a dollar from each of us build hospitals in Kenema, provide more beds in Monrovia and contribute to quicker detection methods?
Oh for a Nelson Mandela to kick some proverbial backsides and get Ban Ki-moon’s UN Ebola fund up to speed.
Once upon a time the world dismissed Aids as a disease for Africans, gay men and drug users. Over three decades on it is still with us in every corner of the globe.
Ebola is not an African problem; it may come for all of us wherever we are.

Source: BBC

News Headlines Oct 31. Headlines from Nigeria’s major newspapers

News Headlines Oct 31. Headlines from Nigeria’s major newspapers. Compiled by Demola Adefajo for demoadefa.wordpress.com

The Punch
I go to beer parlour every Friday – Fayose
APC aware of my persecution by Amosun –Deputy gov
PDP govs get automatic tickets as Jonathan picks form
Jonathan, PDP plan shocker for Tambuwal
Boy attacked by dogs in stable condition – LASUTH
Boko Haram recaptures defence chief’s hometown
CP deploys policemen in Ikotun over robbers’ threat
Court declares ban on BringBackOurGirls rallies illegal
Insurgency: Nigeria’ll come out stronger, says Mark
FG fails to arraign Biafran secessionists in Enugu
Kwankwaso picks APC nomination forms
Police arraign three over stolen mace
Tribunal defers ruling on Omisore’s petition
Enugu speaker defies gov, buys form to contest
Jonathan, Sanusi settle rift
Synagogue building has no approval, says commissioner
Liberian refugee leads robbery gang, snatches 15 vehicles
Kidnappers release Julius Berger employee in Ogun
Baby risks permanent blindness, says mother
I smuggled cocaine to fund my dad’s burial – Suspect
Chinese firm to construct new power grid – FG
Substandard product level drops to 40% – SON
N800m lost to Nigerian cyber criminals —FBI
FG to arraign NBC, Coca-Cola bosses Nov. 4
Grant linked with Nigeria
FIFA ban: Court strikes out case against NFF
Jonathan returns Keshi as Eagles coach
Eagles find lovely nest in Uyo stadium
Gradual killing of the system
Can incumbency factor save Jonathan’s job?
Why we should hold governors accountable too
Taking TV stations out for a dance
AFC provides funding to members to fight Ebola
Nigeria records N80bn electronic transactions daily
Getting your ecommerce business ready for Christmas
I’ll no longer tolerate those insulting Jonathan – Okupe
Rev up your libido this weekend
Handling electric shock emergencies in pets
Churn: Taking out the silent killer
Limiting physical inactivity at work
‘Nigerian film market is not predictable’
I’ve never been a taxi driver in US – Victor Eshiet
Concerns as pupils still jump primary six
Amosun warns school heads against illegal fees
Mimiko, PDP leaders begin implementation of agreements
I achieved 80% of my goals at Guinness – Adetu
Terra Kulture has organised over 200 exhibitions – Austen-Peters
Capital market can fund entertainment industry – Oteh

The Vanguard
Lagos 2015: The Ambode pathway
Amosun vs Adesegun: APC feigning ignorance of my plight – Ogun Dep Gov
Lagos 2015: Why Ambode cannot be imposed on Lagos – Ikuforiji, House Speaker
Shell loses N23bn over insecurity in Nigeria, others
Burkina army seizes power after uprising
I don’t know where my father, stepmother, seven siblings are – Victim
Mimiko: Ondo PDP faction insists on own congress
Keshi: Fans react
Lagos Central ‘ll fall to PDP – Gbajabiamila
President Jonathan recalls Keshi
Lagos 2015: Why Ambode cannot be imposed on Lagos – Ikuforiji, House Speaker
President Jonathan recalls Keshi
Enyimba take back seat for Aba traders
Toro applauds Keshi’s recall, peace at NFF
President Jonathan, Pinnick, Giwa meet
Nigeria escapes FIFA ban

Crisis Hits Ekiti PDP as Arise Accuses Fayose of Imposition
Nasarawa Crisis is Political, Says Deputy Governor
ECOWAS Pre-election Fact-finding Mission Visits IG, APC
Enugu Speaker Abandons Consensus, Joins Guber Race
Taraba: Group Raises the Alarm over Umar’s Plan to Scuttle Ward Congress
Jonathan’s Second Term Not Negotiable, Says Arthur Eze
Okorocha Has Many Deficiencies, Says APGA Aspirant
UK Group Urges Nigerians to Support APC
Fashola Opposes Return of Former Council Chairmen
Campaigning at IDPs’ Camps is Insensitive, Says NOA
2015 Elections will Be Better Than Previous Polls, Mark Assures EU
Umeh Cautions PDP against Fielding Multiple Candidates in Anambra
Parallel PDP Ward Congresses Likely in Ondo
Okonkwo, Ndukwe, Obaze Pick Senate Nomination Forms in Anambra
Jonathan Gaining New Grounds in the North
Uduaghan Set for Senate, Picks up Nomination Form
Rivers PDP Aspirants Gang up against Wike, Insist on Zoning
Kwankwaso, Shettima Pick APC Nomination Forms
Judge Expresses Frustration over Delay in Suit against Defected Governors
Lagos Commissioner: Collapsed Synagogue Building Had No Approval
Acting PDP Chairmen in Delta, Enugu, Anambra, Abia Sacked
Contributory Pension Funds Hit N4.5 Trillion
Sale of Nigerian Unit Lifts ConocoPhillips Q3 Profit
FCMB Records N16.8bn Profit in Nine Months
SEC Urges Entertainment Industry to Seek Funding from Capital Market
Seplat to Pay Interim Dividend In spite of Profit Decline
Banks’ Debt Tap Turned Off by Oil-Price Slump
More Petroleum Products Vessels Sail into Nigeria Waters
Nigerian Airlines Still Battling with Safety Challenges
Operators Flay Slow Pace of Activities in Aviation Sector
BPE Backs NSC on Port Regulator Status
2,000 Entrepreneurs Become Glo Xchange Agents
Arik Named Best Airline in W/Africa
Travel Agents Seek Alternative Sources of Revenue
SAHCOL Acquired more Handling Equipment to Improve Service Delivery
Work Commences on Multi-storey Car Park at MMIA
Bristow Helicopter Sponsor 20 Cabet Engineer to NCAT
Curbing Dearth of Indigenous Manpower in Aviation Sector
Why FG Must Address Infrastructure Deficit in Nigerian Airports
NIMASA Explains MoU with Air Force, Navy
35 Nigerians Embark on Ship Building in South Korea
Nigeria Escapes FIFA Hammer as Giwa Discontinues Court Case
Keshi: I am Yet to Decide on Eagles Return
TAN Splashes N10m on Super Falcons, NFF
Pinnick Visits Glo, Pledges to Reposition Nigerian Football
CAF Inspector Rates Akwa Ibom Stadium High
Clash of Two Glo Premier League Marksmen
LEE Squash: Ige Protests Exclusion of Veterans
Bankers Games: Diamond, Heritage Seek to Pick First Win
World Champions Lead Obudu Race Cast
England, Egypt Are Top Seeds at Lagos Squash Classics
Oyedokun Wins Access Bank Junior Golf Challenge
Basketball: Zamfara Shooters, Gilali Leading Div. Two Tournament
Giants Beat Royals in Baseball’s World Series
Murray Seals World Tour Finals Spot
Targeting The South West

The Tribune
Governance in Lagos not for jobless people -Ikuforiji
FG and Boko Haram ceasefire
Ban of BringBackOurGirls rally illegal —Court
Jonathan, Sanusi meet in Aso rock
My 10-page letter, tip of the iceberg —Ogun dep gov
Jonathan picks PDP nomination form •Says Nigeria already a great nation
Uproar over withdrawal of Tambuwal’s security details- •Tambuwal, APC, Arewa Consultative Forum kick    •Why I removed them —IGP
Airtel announces iPhone 6 offer to Nigerians
40 % of Nigerian products are still substandard —SON
Equities market shaves 0.36%

National Mirror
Sagay, Agbaje, others flay withdrawal of Tambuwal’s security
2015: Nigeria’ll emerge stronger, united — Mark
Synagogue: Collapsed building has no approval plan, says witness
Guber aspirants ‘gang up’ against Wike
OBJ, vital to Ogun PDP guber race –Isiaka, Onipide
FMC now ABUAD’s teaching hospital
Two parallel congresses likely in Ondo PDP
Ex-governor Lawal’s son joins race in Kwara
Rivers: Ex Uniport VC wants to run
Kogi budgets N5.4bn for primary education

Leadership
Osun Tribunal Rules On Omisore’s Petition Monday
2015: Gov Kwankwaso Collects Presidential Nomination Form
2015: 28 Borno Lawmakers Obtain APC Guber Form For Shettima
Stomach Infrastructure: I Visit Beer Parlours To Stay With Common Men – Fayose Politics Should Supercede Ethnic, Religious Differences – Maitama Sule
Presidents Lie. It’s Our Job To Find The Truth
President Cup: Danagogo Tasks Organisers On High Standard
NFF Crisis: Giwa’s Faction Withdraws Case From Court
Appeals Committee Vows To Void Pinnick’s Election If….
Keshi Back As Eagles Coach, Commends Jonathan

Train crushes retired railway worker to death in Agbado… Two days to daughter’s wedding

Train crushes retired railway staff to death in Agbado

Agbado (Ogun State) –  A passenger train on Thursday crushed to death a retired staff of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) at Agbado Station in Ogun State.
The deceased was simply identified as Peters.
An eyewitness  in Agbado Station in Ogun State that the deceased fell in the median of two coaches.
The deceased was employed by the corporation on casual basis as a ticket checker after his formal retirement from the NRC.
The witness said that the deceased fell while trying to move from one coach to the other to check passengers’ tickets.
It was also gathered that the victim was preparing for his daughter’s wedding coming up on Nov. 1.
NAN reports that the mutilated body of the deceased was covered with cellophane and put in a corner of the station as at the time of this report.
It was gathered that Peters was yet to collect his pension as at the time of the incident.
Officers at the station refused to make comments as they directed NAN to the corporation’s headquarters in Ebute-Metta.
At the headquarters, officials also refused to make comments as they said they needed to consult with the family of the deceased.
It would be recalled that four passengers, hanging on top of a train, fell off and died at Iju Station on Oct. 27.
NAN reports that these incidents are regular on the rail track in Lagos.

Jonathan Orders FA to Reinstate Keshi as Ahmodu also Pleads for ‘Big Boss”

Stephen Keshi. Picture courtesy Premium Times

Stephen Keshi. Picture courtesy Premium Times

Jonathan had ordered Keshi be reinstated’

Stephen Keshi could be set for a surprise return as coach of African champions Nigeria after the apparent intervention of the country’s President Goodluck Jonathan.
Keshi, who steered the Super Eagles to Africa Cup of Nations glory in 2013 and the knock-out stage of this year’s World Cup finals, was sacked on October 16 after a string of poor performances.
But several senior officials at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have revealed that Jonathan had ordered Keshi be reinstated and given a contract.
Should that happen, he would be on the bench for Nigeria’s next Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Congo and South Africa in November.
Keshi, who was in talks on Thursday with sports minister Tammy Danagogo, said he was unaware of any presidential intervention.
But he added: “If the president of my country asked me to return, who am I to refuse?”
The 52-year-old coach had earlier refused to comment on speculation that he could be reinstated, with a power struggle for leadership of the NFF rumbling on.
New NFF boss Amaju Pinnick sacked Keshi and his coaching staff soon after his appointment last month, adding that the hunt was on for a foreign coach.
Jonathan is said to have met Pinnick and Chris Giwa, who briefly led the NFF in August, at the presidential villa in the capital, Abuja, on Wednesday night.
“Keshi is back as Nigeria coach and he will be the one to lead the Super Eagles against Congo and South Africa next month,” said one senior official.
In a separate NFF statement released on Thursday, caretaker coach Shuaibu Amodu said Keshi should be allowed to take charge for the last two AFCON qualifiers.
He said the executive committee should reconsider as he did not have enough time to prepare for the games.
“The timeframe is too short to start tinkering with the fabric of the team or attempt to build a new team altogether,” he wrote in an open letter to NFF bosses.
Nigeria play Congo-Brazzaville in Pointe Noire on November 15 and South Africa in Uyo, southeast Nigeria, four days later.
They need to not only win both matches but beat Congo by a margin of two away goals to stand any chance of automatic qualification for the finals in Morocco next year.

Source: The Vanguard

I go to beer parlours every Friday- Governor Ayo Fayose

Governor Ayodele Fayose. Picture courtesy ThisDay

Governor Ayodele Fayose. Picture courtesy ThisDay

I go to beer parlours every Friday – Fayose

BY OLUSOLA FABIYI, ABUJA

Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has said he goes to beer parlour every Friday in order to enable him to get close to the common man in the state.

The governor spoke with journalists in Abuja on Thursday while defending the concept of what he described as “stomach infrastructure” introduced by his government.

He said it would be wrong to assume that stomach infrastructure means only sharing of food and money to the people.

Fayose defended his decision to go to beer parlours, saying that it would be wrong to equate governance with church or morality.

He said, “I also go to beer parlour on Friday to stay with the common men there. Governance is not church;  it is about diverse characters and you must relate with them as such.

“Christmas is coming. Why do people go out of their ways to be shopping or doing other things if it is not just to make  people merry?

“So, I’m grooming chicken, buying rice, yams, plantain, and the rest of them. I am sure if I give it to families during the festive period, they will be happy. So, stomach infrastructure is a way of life.”

Fayose said most people, who commit crime do so because they felt that life was no longer worthy of living for them and that there was no one to tell them that there was life for them.

He said it was because of this that he set up a department for stomach infrastructure and also appointed a special assistant and a personal assistant on it.

“So, my style without apology is that stomach infrastructure is a way of life for me, I will relate well with my people to alleviate poverty and hunger,” he added.

Source: The Punch

APC and the Tambuwal Option

APC and the Tambuwal Option

The Verdict By Olusegun Adeniyi

On Tuesday, virtually all major newspapers reported rather lavishly
that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri
Tambuwal, would be crossing over from the ruling Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP) to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ordinarily, such decision should not have generated the attention it
did but for the permutations toward the 2015 presidential election.

For the ruling PDP, it has always been an open secret that President
Goodluck Jonathan would seek re-election while his party’s ticket has
also for a long time been signed, sealed and delivered for him. On the
APC side, for quite sometimes now, there has been a school of thought
that defeating an incumbent requires strategic options that could
include looking beyond the familiar field to picking a candidate
acceptable to the generality of Nigerians. That is how the name of
Tambuwal was thrown into the mix.

Before we examine the feasibility of the Tambuwal option and what it
portends, it is important to first look at the current field. The
publisher of Leadership newspaper and my brother, Sam Nda-Isaiah, has
declared his intention to run for the APC presidential ticket. In
terms of educational qualifications and exposure, the University of
Ife-trained pharmacist comes highly recommended for the number one job
as a man of vision and ideas. However, to the extent that ethnicity
and religion are strong factors in today’s Nigeria, I do not believe
that APC is looking in the direction of Nda-Isaiah, however impressive
his credentials may be.

Also on Tuesday in Abuja, Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso
declared his intention for the APC presidential ticket. An erstwhile
Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, a former Minister and
two-term Governor of Kano State, Kwankwaso clearly has the requisite
experience and political acumen. But a major drawback for him is that
his name does not command national recognition. While such could be
built over time, I don’t think the opposition party would want to
gamble away what promises to be their best shot at the presidency on
the altar of sentiment. So even when we concede Kwankwaso has been a
good Governor for Kano State, where the APC leaders are concerned,
this may not be his time.

This then brings us to former Vice- President Atiku Abubakar. All
factors considered, the Turaki Adamawa seems to be the most prepared
of all the contenders in the field and given my interactions with him
over the years, he has clear ideas on what he would do as president.
He is also a national figure who needs no introduction anywhere in
Nigeria. Unfortunately, his long-drawn war of attrition with his
former boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo (in the course of which his
reputation has been viciously assailed) and his penchant for changing
political party at every election cycle has so damaged the Atiku brand
that all the big wigs in the APC that I know don’t even consider him a
serious contender for the ticket.

Now, we are left with Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), easily the
biggest masquerade in the APC. The former Head of State has contested
the presidential election three times in the last 11 years against
three different PDP candidates and lost thrice. Buhari’s selling
points are his personal integrity and discipline, attributes that are
sorely needed in the Nigerian political space today. There is also a
growing feeling that as a former military leader, he might be able to
handle better the security challenge confronting the nation. And in
terms of followership, Buhari has a cult-like support base in the
North-West and North-East zones of the country that could easily be
mobilized on election day.

Despite those attributes, Buhari is rightly or wrongly generally
perceived as parochial in disposition and for that reason, not trusted
by many Nigerians in the south and the middle belt. But more
importantly, most Nigerians (including this reporter) do not know
Buhari’s position on critical political and socio-economic issues of
the day since his few public interventions, almost always on BBC Hausa
Service, have not provided any peep into his mind. Buhari also carries
a religious cross: “Honestly, what do Nigerians want me to do? If they
don’t believe I’m not a fundamentalist, what else can I do?” That was
Buhari, speaking in an interview with TheCable last week on an issue
that will just not go away.

It is for the foregoing reasons that some people within the opposition
party are calling for a “more acceptable” candidate who is also
prepared for leadership. That is how the name of Tambuwal comes to the
equation. And without any doubt, a Tambuwal ticket on the platform of
APC will change the dynamics of the contest for the 2015 presidency.
He is young (still below 50), clear-headed, has full grasp of the
issues, very articulate and does not carry either an ethnic or a
religious baggage. For sure, Tambuwal will feel at ease campaigning in
Enugu, Port Harcourt and Ibadan as much as he would in Kebbi, Damaturu
and Minna.

Now, a disclosure is appropriate here: Tambuwal is my personal friend
so I plead guilty to any charge of bias. But this intervention has
more to do with looking at the options available to the opposition
party if it really wants to compete in February next year than my own
personal prejudices. Even at that, is a Tambuwal ticket really
feasible within the context of the APC projections? With what I know
and given my interactions with many of their governors and leaders, I
do not think so and I perfectly understand why.

When politicians form parties and invest all their time, energy and
financial resources, they do so because they have a direct stake. For
that reason, Nda-Isaiah, Kwankwaso, Atiku and Buhari could not have
been doing all the difficult work in the APC just for Tambuwal to come
and take the party’s ticket. They do so, betting on themselves.
Therefore, the cold calculation of most of the APC pundits and their
sympathizers is that if Buhari could poll 12 million votes in 2011
when he had no structure to support his aspiration, he would do far
better with a formidable opposition structure. But such political
arithmetic (including one from my own egbon, Dele Momodu) ignores
several important variables in an election in which religion,
ethnicity, money and the power of incumbency will come to play.

All said, the decision on who to field as the presidential candidate
is that of the APC to make now that the PDP is staying with the
incumbent. However, for the neutrals, a Jonathan-Buhari electoral
rematch offers little by way of excitement even though political
pragmatism may make that the easy pairing in the circumstance. On the
other hand, a Jonathan-Tambuwal contest will enliven the entire
landscape and draw the best out of the two contenders. But I am
realistic enough to wager that such may not happen. Or will it?

Of Governors & ‘Retirement Home’

My column of last week, (Senate: Governors’ Retirement Home) generated
considerable interest from readers. Aside those of who sent me mails
with their own perspectives, there were also calls from critical
stakeholders on what needs to be done. Interestingly, all of them were
of the opinion that the current situation where governors see the
Senate as a place to hibernate after their tenure in office is
antithetical to the growth and development of our democracy. A few,
however, pointed out errors of fact on my part.

Abdulkarim Umar says: “…this is just to add that there were more than
six governors who came to the Senate after their tenure in office in
2007. Apart from the six you mentioned, Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu
State and Ibrahim Saminu Turaki of Jigawa State were also elected to
the Senate. It is also important to remember that two Governors in the
class of 1999-2007 sent their wives to the Senate: Oluremi Tinubu and
Zainab Kure (former First Ladies of Lagos and Niger States
respectively). In 2011, two more Governors joined their colleagues in
the Senate: Bukola Saraki of Kwara State and Danjuma Goje of Gombe
State. Meanwhile, also in 2011, Boni Haruna of Adamawa State and Jolly
Nyame of Taraba State contested for Senate and lost.

Salisu Suleiman writes: “Abdullahi Adamu of Nasarawa State went to the
Senate in 2011, not in 2007 as you wrote because, after his tenure as
governor, he became secretary to the PDP Board of Trustee then chaired
by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Also, you forgot to mention
that in Plateau State, Jonah Jang is equally preparing to contest for
Senate. Meanwhile, Ali Modu Sheriff left the Senate in 2003 to become
Borno State Governor, and wanted to return in 2011, but he was
defeated. Babangida Aliyu of Niger state has already ‘zoned out’
Senator Shem Zagbayi who was elected only a few weeks ago because he
wants the seat…”

I was also reminded by Senator Tunde Ogbeha, a retired
Brigadier-General who spent two terms between 1999 and 2007 in the red
chambers (and one of the best lawmakers at the time), that it may be
difficult to push the argument for long legislative tenures in some
circumstances. In his own case, for instance, there was an agreement
between and among the constituent units within his senatorial district
for a form of rotation to balance the diversities. Ogbeha was
gentlemanly enough to honour the agreement so he did not seek a third
term in 2007. In the peculiar nature of our country, there are many
situations like that.

I stand corrected by the interventions, including the one who pointed
out that Dr. Chris Ngige, a former Anambra State Governor who is
currently a Senator, should also be mentioned. However, Jang paints a
vivid picture of what we are talking about. “If God decides to give
the governorship to the son of Jang, let it be. Whoever God anoints,
let’s accept it”, the Plateau State Governor said recently, confirming
speculations that he has been grooming Yakubu, (his son and special
adviser on special duties who virtually runs the state), to take over
from him next year.

While Jang reserves the right to anoint his son as successor at a time
he is also plotting to be a Senator, there is a public cost to his
ambition. If you add the life-long pension Jang is receiving from the
Nigerian Air Force from where he retired as an Air Commodore to the
jumbo packages he is entitled from Plateau State after his tenure as
Governor and the hefty remunerations he will receive as Senator once
he gets to the red chamber, then you will begin to have an idea of
what public service means in Nigeria with such “legitimate”
three-for-one attack on the public treasuries just to keep one old man
happy!
Source: ThisDay

Nigeria Escapes FIFA Ban as Court Strikes Out Giwa’s Case

Chris Giwa, Photo credit. ThisDay

Chris Giwa, Photo credit. ThisDay

Nigeria escapes FIFA ban as court dismisses case against NFF

BY JUDE OWUAMANAM, JOS

Nigeria on Thursday escaped the wrath of FIFA as Justice Ambrose
Allagoa of the Federal High court sitting in Jos, Plateau State on
Thursday withdrew the suit filed against the Nigeria Football
Federation by the Chris Giwa-led board.

FIFA had given Nigeria Thursday to put its football house in order or
be banned, which may not be reviewed until the board meeting in May
next year.

Messrs. Obinna Ogba and Yahaya Adamu of the Giwa-led faction had
dragged the immediate past President of NFF, Alhaji Aminu Maigari and
the NFF General Secretary, Musa Amadu, to court seeking for orders to
restrain Maigari (first defendant), the NFF (second defendant) and the
36 Football associations (third defendants) from conducting another
election after the faction claimed that their principal was the duly
elected president of the association

The judge had fixed Thursday for the ruling on whether he has
jurisdiction to hear the case following the preliminary objection
raised by the NFF defence counsel, Mr. Damon Dashe, who questioned the
eligibility of the court to entertain the matter.

Dashe had on Monday filed a counter affidavit to the originating
summons, saying that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain
the matter since the plaintiffs hearing was delayed because he was not
properly served by the counsel for the plaintiff.

He had told the court that it was incumbent on it to hear the
preliminary objection, which would guide it on the proper path to
follow, adding that the prayers contained in the preliminary objection
is for the court to strike it out “because the plaintiffs have
submitted themselves to the NFF statutes.”

However at the sitting of the court on Thursday, the judge announced
the dismissal of the suit following the withdrawal of the suit by the
plaintiffs.

Allagoa said, “The suit is hereby dismissed as the plaintiffs have
announced their intention to withdraw the case from the court.”

Counsel for the plaintiffs, Mr. Ardzard Habilla, who spoke to our
correspondent after the ruling said his client had to withdraw the
case in the interest of Nigerian football and the appeal of
well-meaning Nigerians for an end to the crisis in the Glass House.

He said, “My client is well aware of the implication of another FIFA
ban on Nigeria and has also listened to the appeals from well meaning
Nigerians to withdraw the case from court.”
Source: The Punch