News Headlines for Jan 23. Headlines from Nigeria’s major newspapers Compiled by Demola Adefajo
Nobody can stop me from visiting Bayelsa –Patience Jonathan
Youths attack President’s campaign team in Bauchi
Jonathan’s security adviser, Dasuki, wants polls postponed
Buhari’s certificate forged – PDP
…PDP has exhausted its lies, Oshiomhole says
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah dies at 90
02:30 11 Comments
LASAA vows to sue PDP over illegal adverts
Nigeria won’t be polio-free in 2015, says expert
‘PDP planning to stone Buhari in Ondo’
Striking health workers accuse FG of neglect
Nigeria records 100,000 new cancer cases yearly —Ajekigbe
Nigerian Army gets new spokesman
African states seek UN mandate to fight B’Haram
INEC warns politicians against desperation
Rivers PDP reports Amaechi to police
Fuel subsidy: PPPRA removes pricing template from website
We created N220bn fund to help MSMEs – Jonathan
Uncertainty surrounds TCN privatisation
Groups protest against marketers selling petrol above N87
US group to build 250MW plant in Rivers
Fashola kicks as NCC stops APC’s SMS campaign
I’ll make Ogun an oil-producing state —Isiaka
Fashola didn’t raise LASU fees —Olukoga
Kashamu promises to influence creation of Ijebu State
Retire from politics, APC advises Obanikoro
Shorunmu laments endless wait for Eagles coach
West Brom rule out loan deal for Ideye
Shofoluwe banks on local players for Eagles revival
Indian doctors separate African conjoined twins
What you should know about bird flu
Fruits are nutritious, they also prevent cancer
Bricklayer, others nabbed for N100m robbery in Lagos
Police arrest guardian for brutalising 15-year-old
Pandemonium as thugs kill APC supporter in Lagos
14 injured in motor accident
Leadership, security and national development (2)
Elections as moments of mutually assured deceit
If Nigeria had values like France
Odds in favour of Buhari
Globalisation drags Nigerian schools into foreign curricula
Ogun teachers resolve to continue strike
In Gone too Far, Ukeje conquers London
We will miss Muna Obiekwe – Nollywood practitioners
Banks face sanctions over Windows XP
LCCI warns FG against excessive borrowing
Skills for good business returns
Tips to improve your company’s customer experience
Let’s prepare for the next pandemic – Anan
Blogging can boost your career
Dasuki urges INEC to shift polls
Okorocha is just showmanship — Udenwa
Estimated billings: FG to compel DISCOs to deploy metres —Nebo
After the certificate saga, what next?
Aregbesola visits warring Osun communities
TUC condemns attack on Jonathan in Katsina
FG to boost agriculture, food security with N50bn
Power: President orders new sources of supply to Borno
The glamour of manifestoes: Are Nigerians being taken for a ride?
Why we must rescue PDP from itself — Edojah
Amelia Edet goes down memory lane
Egwuekwe lands in London
Bewarang cautions coaches on contracts
Plot thickens to postpone elections
APC rejects call to postpone elections
Police kill 3 MASSOB members in Imo, injure 5
i don’t have PVC –Fashola
14 killed in Gov Dakwambo’s convoy
Inferno strips filmmaker, Ola Balogun, naked
Jonathan buries sister today
Again, thugs attack LP members in Ebonyi
World AIDS Day: Fayose’s wife canvasses increased help for AIDS/HIV victims
New fuel price: CSOs urge FG, DPR, PPPRA to close defaulting stations
Northern youths give Jonathan ultimatum
NCC shuts down APC’s SMS for fund
Again, DSS accuses APC of illegal registration of voters
I’ll return Aba’s lost glory –Mascot Uzor Kalu, PPA Reps candidate
Anglican bishop tasks Nigerians on general elections
Emerhor to set aside N10bn business fund for Delta entreprenuers
IPMAN’S 2 refineries ready in 18 months
Sterling Bank sponsors Social Media Award
Ahead Niger 2015: 40 Golden Eaglets undergo MRI scan
AFCON 2015: South Africa restructures for Senegal
Glo Super 4: Anaezemba keen to shine with Enyimba
Esperance unveils Eduok
Jonathan’s visit to Maiduguri and other matters
The reduction of petrol pump price
Buhari Was Our Classmate In 1961– Abdullahi, Coomassie
By Our Correspondents
Two prominent Nigerians the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen Muhammadu Buhari, mentioned as his classmates in secondary school – former president of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Umaru Abdullahi and former inspector-general of police, Alhaji Ibrahim Cooomassie – last night spoke on the personality of Buhari.
In an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP in Abuja, Umaru Abdullahi and Coomassie told LEADERSHIP that they and about five prominent Nigerians attended the same school.
Coomasie said Buhari was the head boy and loved to play football during their days in school.
Coomasie mentioned the former PCA Justice Abdullahi; Gen Shehu Musa Yar’Adua; the late Grand Khadi Halilu, and a Second Republic senator Abdul Ali as some of their classmates.
Coomassie said: “While we were in school, Buhari was the head boy. He loves playing football. We were all close friends in school. After we finished secondary school, General Buhari decided to join the military, I joined the police and Justice Abdullahi decided to go to the university.”
“I, the late Shehu Yar’Adua, the late Halilu, a Grand Khadi in Katsina, Senator Abdul Ali, a Senator in the 2nd Republic and several other attended the same school”
On his part, Justice Abdullahi described Buhari as a brilliant student when they were in school, saying he was Buhari’s classmate from primary to secondary school, saying: “I, Buhari and some others had the best results during our final examinations in secondary school back then. He was a very brilliant student in school, no doubt; we attended the same school from primary to secondary school.”
Katsina college confirms custody of Buhari’s result
The controversy over whether or not the presidential flag bearer of All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) sat and obtained the school leaving certificate may have been put to rest as his former school confirmed custody of his result.
Authorities of Government College, Katsina, yesterday confirmed that General Buhari sat and obtained the school leaving certificate.
The principal of the school told our correspondent that Buhari obtained the WASC/Cambridge University Exams certificate in 1961, adding that the school had released his result yesterday, in line with general’s request.
“One Prof Haruna Kaita wrote to the school on behalf of General Muhamnadu Buhari, demanding his result and we have since released it to the said professor.”
The principal showed our correspondent a copy of the result but said he would not release it without a formal request.
Although the management of LEADERSHIP promptly wrote to the school, efforts by our correspondent to get a certified copy of the result from the school did not yield a positive result.
The result showed that Buhari got the following scores: English – 5 (credit), Hausa-5 (credit) English Lit – 7(pass), History -3 (Good), Geography – 6 (Credit) Maths – 9 (Fail), Health Science – 6 (credit), Woodwork – 9 (fail).
Why we cleared Buhari to contest – APC Screening Chair
Against the backdrop of the raging controversy over Buhari’s academic records, the head of the APC presidential screening panel, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, has explained why the party’s presidential candidate was cleared to vie for the office of president in the forthcoming February 14 election.
Onu, who is one of the leaders of the party, told journalists in Abuja yesterday that members of the panel adhered strictly to the provisions of the constitution to clear Buhari.
“Really, that issue shouldn’t create the kind of problem that we are seeing today in the polity. When this matter came before us in the presidential screening committee, we had to rely on the constitution of our great country.
“To qualify to be president of Nigeria, you have to be a Nigerian by birth; you have to be 40 years of age; you have to be a member of a political party and that political party must be registered, should sponsor you and finally you should obtain education at least up to secondary school level or equivalent, and our presidential candidate has attended military schools in Nigeria, in India, in the United Kingdom (UK) and in the United States of America (USA).
“And in America, he attended the US Army War College. So, there isn’t any reason whatsoever to create this type of problems that we now have in the polity,” Onu said.
Asked if the panel actually demanded to see a copy of Buhari’s school certificate during the screening exercise, he said: “No, we demanded it but there was an affidavit and you know once you swear to an affidavit, that definitely gives you whatever protection in any matter, not just in this case. But the thing is that we were not doing this for the opposition – the PDP, we were doing it for Nigeria. This is a man who will be president of Nigeria and there is a supreme law, the constitution, that guided us and the issue of qualification is at least a school certificate.
“So if there is evidence that somebody has attended military schools that are tertiary institutions up to the war college of the USA, I mean why should you really go on about school certificate and so on? So all those are in his file. So, I really don’t see why we should be thinking in this direction because the problems before the nation are enormous. We should be looking at how we can solve the problems of insecurity and unemployment,” he said.
PDP demands Buhari’s trial for perjury
The Presidential Campaign Organisation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday accused General Buhari of lying under the oath over his certificate, and demanded that he should be interrogated and prosecuted for perjury.
Director, Media and Publicity, PDP Presidential campaign organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode at a press conference in Abuja yesterday, said Buhari lied in the affidavit he swore to in which he claimed that his credentials were in the custody of the military.
They also condemned the hurling of stones at the convoy of President Goodluck Jonathan in Katsina by those they alleged to be supporters of the APC, stating that Buhari and his party will be held responsible if anything untoward happens to the PDP presidential candidate or his supporters during the course of this campaign.
Speaking against the backdrop of Buhari’s defence over the certificate controversy, Fani-Kayode said: “The implication of the action of this so-called “Mr Clean” is nothing but perjury and we all know that this is grave criminal offence under our laws and constitution.
“We urge Buhari to do the right thing and tender an unreserved apology to the Nigerian people, throw in the towel and report to the nearest police station for interrogation and prosecution.”
Fani-Kayode noted the Buhari had insulted the collective intelligence and integrity of the Nigerian people and urged the Nigerian Armed Forces to consider the possibility of stripping him of his rank and privileges, alleging that he was not qualified when he joined the army.
“At best Buhari should never have been anything more than a non-commissioned officer,” he concluded.
On the stone attack of President Jonathan’s convoy in Katsina, Fani-Kayode warned that “if anything untoward happens” to the president or his supporters given the attacks of PDP campaign train in the north, “we shall hold Buhari and his party responsible and the consequence would be grave, unimaginable and far-reaching.”
Fani-Kayode remarke4d that the Katsina incident was the first case of violence unleashed on the PDP candidate by Buhari’s supporters after the signing of the historic Abuja Accord by the presidential candidates of all the parties participating in the election.
“The purpose of that accord was to discourage violence before, during and after the election?” he noted.
Source: Leadership News
Weather ‘to blame’ for AirAsia crash
A report by Indonesia’s meteorological agency suggests storm clouds were responsible for the downing of Flight 8501.
Bad weather was the likely cause of the crash of AirAsia Flight 8501 which resulted in the deaths of all 162 passengers and crew.
The claim comes in an initial report by the Indonesian meteorological agency, BMKG.
According to the agency, ‘The flight document provided by the BMKG office shows fairly worrying weather conditions for the aircraft at cruising level on the chosen route’.
“From our data it looks like the last location of the plane had very bad weather and it was the biggest factor behind the crash,” said Edvin Aldrian, BKMG’s Head of Research.
Mr Aldrian said that icing was a significant factor, possibly affecting the operation of the plane’s engines and causing it to stall.
It is known that shortly before the crash the pilot requested permission to change altitude from 32,000ft to 38,000ft. (Flight levels are always given in these imperial units, rather than metres.)
This request was refused which would have left the crew to contend with extensive cumulonimbus clouds. These are likely to have extended to an altitude of more than 50,000ft, based on weather balloon data from around the region.
Weather forecasts at the time were predicting cloud heights of between 50,000 and 53,000ft.
Reuters news agency has reported that a source close to the investigation told them that radar data apparently showed that the aircraft made an ‘impossibly steep’ climb shortly before the crash, possibly taking it above the operating limits of an Airbus A320.
The recovery operation has been hampered by ongoing poor weather conditions. Most of the bodies have yet to be recovered from the Java Sea. The plane’s black boxes, flight data and cockpit voice recorders have yet to be located.
Source: Al Jazeera
After the deluge: beyond corruption and regional realignment of forces in a post-PDP Nigeria
Written by Biodun Jeyifo
It is not hyperbolic to speak of a post-PDP Nigeria in mythic terms. To speak of our country as a land readying itself for cleansing and restitution after a great deluge that lasted for a long time and laid nearly everything to waste is to deploy the powers of language and symbolic logic to try to capture what Nigeria has gone through in the last sixteen years. This order of discourse moves us beyond the dry, conceptualist universe of political economy in which a country like Nigeria under the rule of the PDP is described as a failing state.
With the discourse of symbolic and mythic logic, we are much closer to the human and psychic realities of the nation and the masses of its peoples in a period of great travail. For there are parts of the country in which, quite literally, it is as if one is in a physical terrain that looks very much like a land washed over by a great flood, a massive tsunami. Parts of the Niger Delta and the North come to mind here: those parts of the Niger Delta in which farmlands, fishing waters and the entire physical environment have been blighted by oil spills that are never cleaned up; and those parts of the North that have been seized by the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency. But these are only the worst expressions of realities that confront us everywhere in the country in which great suffering and insecurity have become the daily experience of millions of our peoples and the majority of the young that see only bleak futures ahead of them. At any rate, beyond the relatively more benign biblical parable of seven fat years coming after seven lean years, I see a post-PDP Nigeria as a land gearing up for a massive cleanup after a political tsunami, a moral and spiritual valley of death. The only caveat to add here is the necessity of anchoring the symbolic discourse of floods and tsunamis in concrete observations concerning the probable course of capitalist democracy in a post-PDP Nigeria.
It is of course possible, though highly improbable, that the PDP will continue to rule after the general elections of 2015. In that case, I hasten to observe that my reflections in this piece will not have proved futile and delusory; rather, they would have turned out to be prescient in the sense that, by a reverse logic, the deluge will continue, the moral and psychic morass will not come to an end. This is because PDP cannot, and will never reform from within; it will never clean up the Augean stables of filth and rot it has created. If it rigs its way into perpetuation of its misrule, it will be emboldened to raise impunity to new levels and we and the whole world will be astonished by new forms of monumental corruption, waste and mismanagement of our natural and human resources. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala once said that she would be quite satisfied if she was able to reduce the scale of looting and squandermania in PDP’s Nigeria by 4%; in a post-2015 general elections era that maintains the PDP in power at the centre, that 4% will dip into the minus percentile range, that is if it has not already done so. The worst will never reach its bottom in PDP’s misrule for what we confront in it is an abyss, a bottomless cesspit. Dear readers, dear compatriots, do not withhold yourselves from dreaming about and working for a post-PDP, post-deluge Nigeria especially as it so happens that there are solid grounds on which to base projections of the PDP’s complete rout in next month’s elections, these being the roles that corruption and a new realignment of forces among our political elites, our ruling class will play in the presidential elections. Let me explain.
Barring the stealing of victory by the PDP through massive rigging and a will to use very costly repressive violence to contain mass resistance to rigging, the 2015 general elections will be fought primarily around the twin axes of corruption and the electoral alliance of mainstream politicians of the “core” North” and the Southwest. Corruption of course exists in all the ruling class political parties and is to be found at varying levels in virtually all the state and local governments of the country. As almost every commentator on corruption in Nigeria has stated, the scale of corruption in Nigeria is nothing short of systemic: it is the noxious glue that holds everything together among godfathers and clients among our political elites; and it is the nefarious bond that binds the rulers to the ruled with regard to the unofficial and manipulative redistribution of resources between the few thousands of the haves and the millions of the have-nots. Given these factors, the question arises as to how and why corruption has come to loom much larger in the coming February 2015 general elections than it had ever done in all previous elections since the return to formal, civilian democracy in 1999.
The answer to this question is simple and unambiguous: under the Jonathan presidency, more specifically under the Jonathan administration’s endgame to the PDP’s era of arrant misrule, corruption has far exceeded the systemic to become extra- or para- systemic; it no longer has rhyme or reason, method in madness, or logic in illogic. Trillions of naira and tens of billions of dollars vanish or are unaccounted for, even as government workers and contractors are unpaid; state governors go cap in hand to Abuja and return with near empty bowls, month after month. The looting frenzy has reached dizzying heights of impunity and this is why corruption is the first and perhaps main issue of the coming elections. Additionally, this is why short of massive and violent rigging, Jonathan and the PDP will lose as they more than deserve to do. Most Nigerians are focused on corruption as the main issue of the elections, especially given the myths, legends and facts concerning Buhari’s alleged distaste for corruption The U.S. and the European Union will in particular be keenly watching the outcome of the elections and the main reason for this is also the scale, the extra- and para-systemic nature of corruption in the Jonathan presidency and its offshoots around the country.
And of course the other big issue in the election is what is being described as the return of power or, more specifically the presidency, to the North, this in an alliance that brings large segments of mainstream political forces of the “core” North with those of the Southwest. This is an infinitely more complex issue than the unifying and idealizing “ABJ” (Anyone But Jonathan) battle against corruption. In the postindependence political history of the country, this is not the first time that this sort of alliance has happened, the NPC-NNDP alliance of the 1960s being the first time that a joining of forces between the North and the Southwest came to power in the center in our country. But this time around, the alliance will not be a simple repetition of history, a mere regrouping of similar ideological and programmatic tendencies. In the earlier case, the two parties did not completely merge, for the simple reason that neither the NPC nor the NNDP wanted to lose its regional identity in a single party in which regionalism was or could be completely subsumed into a national party whose regional currents took second place to a nation-wide plurality. Now the allied forces have merged into a single party of diverse and even contradictory ideological and policy orientations and as a consequence, we are about to enter into an almost totally unprecedented space of ruling class politics in our country.
The parameters for apprehending this new space are already being set around very familiar oversimplifying ideas and perspectives. Perhaps by far the most common among these is the view that the new President will be Northern and Muslim while the Vice President will be Southern and Christian. This will certainly be the dominant view in the Western press and even within the ruling circles in Europe and the United States. And to be very candid about this, the thoughts, the emotions and the aspirations of a very large segment of the Nigerian electorate are also driven by this particular perspective. But like the question of corruption, this subject of a balancing act between a Moslem North and a Christian South begs the question of how a post-PDP Nigerian ruling class will be different in policy, programmes and issues from the era of the PDP and the long military interregnums before it. This is quite apart from the fact that the North is neither wholly Moslem nor the South wholly Christian.
Perhaps the most important consideration of all is the fact that the APC being unlike any other merger of disparate ideological forces we have ever seen in the political history of this country, we are almost certainly on the cusp of a new order of political discourse in a post-PDP Nigeria. In this, our beginning observation is that the present coalition within the party is centre-right, with the proviso that a center-left formation is slumbering underneath the present dominant formation. There are some among those reading this piece who will think that these reflections are premature or perhaps even meaningless in the context of present-day ruling class politics in our country. These caveats, these objections will be our starting point in next week’s concluding essay in the series as we focus on what sort of capitalism a post-PDP ruling class party will institute as a replacement for the present vacuum that combines a looting frenzy with a thoughtless, fundamentalist and unregulated capitalism driven by a latter-day primitive accumulation of the basest and most unregenerate kind that the world has ever known.
Source: The Nation
What is Bro Jona saying about all the criticisms?
By Yomi Odunuga
What exactly does President Goodluck Jonathan make of the barrage of criticisms against his overall performance as Nigeria’s leader over the past six years or so? This question becomes more pertinent as Nigeria inches towards another crucial election in February this year. In the last two or three weeks, it appears the President has been so overwhelmed by the critical comments that he now seizes any available opportunity to whinge at every public appearance. Of course, one understands the frenzied, almost frustrated attempt at shouting back at the growing band of critics at a period when every political wannabes in our system cling to whatever straw they can lean on to remain relevant. What beggars belief is the President’s plea to innocence and an ignoble demonstration of a defeatist attitude. Each time Jonathan talks, he comes across as someone needlessly being vilified for, presumably, firmly walking his political promises. Nothing, I dare say, could be farther from the truth.
Rather than throw up his hands in surrender to what his apologists would snidely term as uninformed and acerbic criticisms by those bent on pushing him out of office in 2015, it would benefit Mr. President greatly if he critically sifts the issues with the aim of addressing those that are, at best, self-inflicted.
In truth, certain things have been said about this President that could be termed jaundiced, politically-inspired and wickedly untrue. Politicians are always adept at doing that. Yet, that is not the main reason why criticism stalks Jonathan like a putrid sore. For a man who rode on the back of widespread general acceptance to become Nigeria’s first democratically elected President from the minority South-South, he should ask himself some hard questions on why his acceptance rating meticulously nosedives, steadily treading on a bumpy downward slope in less than four years on the saddle. It is only when he does this that he would be able to appreciate the enormity of the problems on his hands. It is a cross he swore to bear!
In his own words, Jonathan admits that the country he presides over is reeling under the yoke of a life-threatening impairment; hamstrung physically, psychologically and socially by a harvest of tragic impulses. He wonders why the problems keep piling up instead of abating, considering the ‘unprecedented’ giants strides he has made in different sectors of our national life. He said that but for the prayers of well-meaning citizens, the country could have been in a deeper mess than it is already soaked in. And then, the resort to biblical canticles: “I always say that whenever I read the Bible, especially the Old Testament, particularly the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land, and the kind of challenges they faced; their confrontations, the wars up to the days of King David, they were always fighting. You may need to ask, why should children of God continue to be fighting? I believe what is happening to us now is not even as serious as sometimes the passages we read in the Bible and God saw them through.”
If this is the President’s understanding of the Nigerian situation, then we have a problem on our hands. Indeed, we should all realize now that we have a problem of leadership that is much bigger than we all thought. The difference between his biblical exhortations and the Nigerian story lies in the debilitating leadership vacuum that has driven the country into an abyss of woes. We all know the trajectories the Israelites had to pass through and the inspiring leadership that saw them to the Promised Land up to the time of King David and his encounter with Goliath. In every step they took, there was the God element and a leadership they could trust. The reward was the song of victory after many years of gnashing teeth in lamentation. In our own case, there is the belief in the God element with a glaring dearth of an inspiring leadership. And so, the best we can boast of is a triumphalism that glorifies mediocrity of a generation of bumbling and wasteful leadership. Sometimes, you just wonder why a country so blessed with abundant human and natural resources is cursed with such tragic leadership recruitment processes! If Jonathan insists on being our modern-day David, I honestly doubt if he has the capacity to overcome the Goliath on his path! I seriously doubt it.
By the way Mr. President, when you boasted the other day that Nigerians would praise you when you leave office, are you in anyway saying that we don’t seem to appreciate all the sacrifices you have put into the re-engineering of the country for greater development? Or are you, as you are wont to do, paraphrasing Jesus Christ who said a prophet is never appreciated in his domain? If that is the case, then you are getting it twisted. Nigerians are not under any obligation to praise you for what you have done. With Mr. President’s so-called ‘transformation agenda’, Nigerians have seen long stretches of a mirage over vast stretches of parched land, with little water to quench thirst even while rich aquifers and wellsprings of crude oil abound. Shame. Nigerians, Mr. President, are obliged to take you up on those things you have failed to do and the ones you have handled with crying incompetence. You occupy a seat from which much is expected. The Presidency is not a seat for whingeing individuals or those who offer tendentious excuses to justify plain misgovernance. That seat, President Jonathan, is for people who are prepared to walk their talk or ready to walk honourably out of the seat!
You really want to know why people can’t stop pointing accusing fingers at you as the country wallows in the bloody waters of violence, endless bloodletting and utter breakdown of law and order? The answers are not that difficult to fathom Mr. President. Never in the history of this nation has any leader superintended over a mortally divided people like what it is unfolding right under your nose. Those who truly voted for the political slogan of ‘a breath of fresh air’ are daily being choked by the fetid odour of intolerance that has taken over our land. Those who were swayed to stand by you on the promise that that they would witness rapid infrastructural development in key sectors of the economy can no longer swallow the bitter pills of failed promises. How many times, in a span of four years or less, have you told them that regular electricity supply would soon be ‘a thing of the past?’ What did you ask them to look forward to in the areas of primary health delivery? What significant improvement can you point to in the educational sector? In what significant way have you impacted the lives of the poorest of the poor? How far have you gone in the closet fight with corruption? And, wither security?
Contrary to your thinking, Nigerians are not a bunch of unappreciative people. They really don’t need to wait for your departure to compare your achievements with that of others before acknowledging your worth. If they cry now, it is because they believe something is fundamentally wrong with your leadership style. How do you justify the kilowatts of darkness in spite of the billions of dollars spent in the power sector? You once said Nigerians would soon be getting rid of their power generators in “a couple of years.” Today, more homes are purchasing different brands of the noisy machines to keep hope alive! What reason would you give for the continuous infrastructural decay in spite of the propaganda that things have significantly improved? Why do students keep recording abysmally low performance en masse, in various examinations despite claims that a lot has been done to stem the tide? Why the increase in the number of unemployed graduates, out-of-school children and other categories of persons? Why has corruption become the official policy of state to the point that serving ministers now run to the courts to prevent a possible probe of their stewardship by the legislature?
Above all things, Nigerians are tired of hearing their President’s feeble attempt at justifying the carnage going on in the North-East. It is not enough for President Jonathan to keep on making a noise and dance of the fact that terrorism has become a global phenomenon and that no part of the country is safe. What? Being the President, it is his responsibility to do something about it just like every other global leader worth that name has been doing. They want to be briefed on the mathematics of a “stable economy” as poverty bites harder. They want to know why a select group of Nigerians reeks of stupendous wealth amid the crying penury. They want to know why 217 young girls remain in captive some 264 days after they were abducted from their school dormitories in Chibok, Borno State. They just don’t understand if they still have a President who is firmly in control of the ship of state! That is why they ask questions and task him to be presidential in words and in deeds!
So, when next the President wonders why he should fit into a self-imposed title of the world’s most criticised leader even by those who played a major role in imposing him on the rest of us, he should not look farther than his shadows. Let him first ask himself a pertinent question: do I have the capacity to lead these people of divergent cultures, religions and tribes to the Promised Land like the biblical Moses and David? In this question lies the answer to his search for a fallen popularity rating. He surely needs not wait until he vacates the seat!
Indian police officers ‘kidnap and rape teenage girl at police station’
Authorities are hunting the suspects in the state of Uttar Pradesh
By LIZZIE DEARDEN
Two Indian police officers have gone on the run after allegedly kidnapping and raping a 14-year-old girl at a police station.
Authorities in the state of Uttar Pradesh have been searching for the constables since the attack on New Year’s Eve.
The victim had left her home to go to the toilet in a nearby field when she was bundled into a police car and taken to a Musajhag police station, in Badaun district, the Hindustan Times reported.
“They locked my daughter in a room located in the police station. Later, they raped her and when her condition deteriorated they dumped her on the outskirts of the village at midnight,” her mother said.
When she and her daughter returned to the station the next day to report the crime, the staff present would not record it, they claimed.
The complaint was only officially investigated after extensive Indian media coverage, the Hindustan Times reported, and the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, has now vowed to take swift action.
Many girls and women in rural India have no access to toilets and use local fields
Policing in Badaun district was criticised last year, when two teenage girls were found hanging in a mango tree after allegedly being gang raped and murdered.
An official probe later found that the cousins committed suicide and had not been attacked, alleging that their family members had fabricated evidence to frame five men who were arrested.
The two girls had also disappeared after leaving to go to the toilet in a field because they had no access to proper sanitation – a practice campaigners say put women at risk of sexual attacks, bacterial infections and snake bites.
A series of high-profile rape cases in India have sparked international in recent years, leading to tougher punishments for sexual offences.
On Friday, police arrested three men for allegedly gang raping a Japanese research scholar and keeping her captive in a Buddhist pilgrimage centre.
The 22-year-old woman was reportedly held hostage for almost three weeks in Bodh Gaya, a town nearly 80 miles south of Patna, the capital of Bihar state.
She managed to escape on 26 December from a man posing as a tourist guide who had taken her to the retreat and four other suspects.
Source: The Independent