Igbo will never be President of Nigeria, MASSOB insists

Igbo will never be President of Nigeria – MASSOB 

Ihuoma Chiedozie, Enugu
The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, on Tuesday declared that an Igbo man would never become Nigeria’s President.
In a statement signed by MASSOB leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu, entitled ‘We insist on Biafra through non-violence, not Igbo presidency’, the secessionist group berated Igbo leaders, describing them as ‘political slaves’ who have no chance of ruling the country.
Leading Igbo politicians are nursing strong hopes that the presidency would be zoned to the South-East in 2023, and a former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, recently suggested that that the Igbos should run for the office in 2019.
But MASSOB described expectations that an Igbo man would become the country’s President in 2019 or 2023 as mere wishful thinking.
“The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra has declared that an Igbo man may not be President of Nigeria again because Igbo leaders are political slaves in Nigeria.
“Even 2019 and 2023 will come and go, an Igbo man will not be President of Nigeria.
“We insist on Biafra actualization and restoration through non violence, not Igbo presidency,” the group said in the statement, which was made available to journalists in Enugu.
Source: The Punch

​Naira appreciates further, sells at N425/$, pounds at N510 in parallel market

​Naira appreciates further, sells at N425/$, pounds at N510 in parallel market

The Naira continued to regain strength and appreciate in value in the parallel market on Tuesday as it was sold for N425 to a dollar .

However , it was N450 to a dollar at the close of transactions on Monday .

At the Bureau De Change market in Abuja on Tuesday BDC operators bought at the rate of N 415 and sold at N425 .

The BDC operators bought the Pound Sterling at N500 and sold at N510 , while the Euro was bought for N420 and sold for N 425 .

For the inter – bank rate, the dollar exchanged for N331 . 6 , Euro 335 . 75 , while the pound exchanged for N394 . 25

Some of the BDC operators said that the provision of forex by the CBN to the commercial banks was responsible for the appreciation of the naira in the market .

Mr Sani Ahmed , one of the operators said that the best way to crash the high rate in the market was the continuous injection of liquidity into the market .

According to him , the appreciation of the naira is a good development for the BDC operators and other investors who require forex for their businesses .

He said , “ Now that the naira is appreciating, we make more profit because if you buy at the lower rate, you sell and make gain .

“ When the cost of dollar is high , we make little profit ; but when it is low , we make more profit because we buy more to sell . ”

He , however , said that there was the challenge of accessing the forex from the commercial banks because of the stringent measures stipulated by the deposit money banks to obtain the forex.

“ If someone applies for forex from the banks , it takes time and the process is frustrating ; sometimes , they make additional demands before they issue forex to you , ” Ahmed said .

Experts have , however , expressed concern about the sustainability of the measures by the apex bank.

An economic expert, Prof . Uche Uwaleke , admitted that a complete currency float was capable of unifying rates and reducing round tripping and speculative activities in the market .

He , however , said that such a measure could be suicidal for an import- dependent economy that derived much of its forex inflow from a single commodity .

He , therefore , recommended coordinated fiscal policies designed to encourage import substitution and enhance competitiveness of local production to help reverse the downward trend in the value of naira .

“ Government should fast track efforts to improve the ease of doing business and the state of infrastructure in order to attract foreign investments to develop multiple streams of earning foreign exchange .

“ It is only when the supply of forex is guaranteed from diversified sources that the issue of market – determined value of the naira can be tabled for consideration , ” Uwalake said .

( NAN)

Breaking! JAMB bars awaiting results candidate from UTME

​[BREAKING] UTME: JAMB scraps awaiting results registration
Friday Olokor, Abuja

With effect from this year ( 2017 ), candidates awaiting results would no longer be eligible to apply for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination , the Joint Admissi ons and Matriculation Board , said in Abuja on Tuesday .

The organisation also said it had concluded all r estructuring and reforms and is now set to commence the sale of its application document in March .

The restructuring exercise will now allow for only one choice of public university in which new registration platform will now be first choice , second choice , third choice and fourth choice and not most preferred , preferred choice .

A statement by the spokesperson of JAMB , Dr . Fabian Benjamin , said the agency had taken time to add value to the services it have been offering to Nigerians for over three decades .

According to him , the restructuring was aimed at expanding the opportunities available to candidates since almost all the public universities do not consider candidates on the second choice list because they hardly exhaust their first choice .

He said , “ We have designed a Central Admissions Processing System where the Board will interface with the institutions and ensure the compliance of this reform . The summary is that no candidate will be admitted with awaiting result . Candidates and their parents are also to note that JAMB has restructured the registration platform to allow for only one choice of public university. The new registration platform will now be first choice , second choice , third choice and fourth choice and not most preferred , preferred etc as it was .

“ Candidates ’ first choice can be a College , University , Innovative Enterprises Institutions or Polytechnic/

Monotechnic . However , if a candidate makes a Public University his first choice , he will not have any public University to choose for second , third and fourth choice . He will have on the remaining three choices , a College , Polytechnic , Private University and IEI’ S . However , c andidates for the 2017 UTME can now select National Certificate in Education (College ) or National Diploma (Polytechnic /Monotechnic ) as their first choice up to third choice and the fourth IEI . They can select the IEI ( Innovative Enterprise Institution , ND ) as their first choice up to the fourth choice , but can only pick a public university once . ”
Source: The Punch

We are not banning danfo buses- Lagos State Government

​No plan to ban Danfo buses – LASG
Lagos State Ministry of Transport has no plan to ban yellow buses known as “ Danfo ” but to upgrade them to international standard , the acting Commissioner for Transport , Mr Lanrewaju Elegushi , has disclosed .

Elegushi made the disclosure in Lagos on Tuesday during a stakeholder ’ s forum to deliberate on how to improve the transport system in the state .

He said that the plan of the government was to restructure the transportation system in the state to international standard.

He said , “ What we are planning is to restructure the transportation system in the state to meet international standard.

“ That is why we organised this forum to seek the contributions of the people involved at the new Bus Terminal at Tafawa Balewa Square .

“ We are changing the face of the transport system in Lagos state with fully air condition buses, charging port, CCTV and other infrastructure for the benefit of commuters . ”

Elegushi said the government had also embarked on the building of standard bus terminus in various locations across the state , to standardise the transport system .

The acting commissioner appealed to the stakeholders to make judicious use of the new bus terminal at TBS .

In his remarks , Mr Kunle Azeez , the Chairman , National Union of Road Transport Workers , Idumota branch , commended the government for building befitting bus terminal for members of the union .

He assured the government that members of the union would obey rules and regulations and ensure proper maintenance of the terminal .

“ We appreciate the government for carrying us along in its development plan .

“ I am sure that our members will not let the government down in its plan to make the state a Mega City , ” he added .

On February 6 , Governor Akinwunmi Ambode announced that the government plans to restructure the operations of ‘ danfo ’ buses for an efficient , well – structured and world -class mass transport system .

According to the governor, a well -structured transport system will ease movement within the state and make Lagos cleaner .

( NAN)

​Can’t Fight Xenophobia with Xenophobia

​Can’t Fight Xenophobia with Xenophobia

Something unNigerian happened in Abuja on Thursday: protesters vandalised an MTN office in an apparent reprisal mission over the perennial xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa. MTN, being the biggest South African company in the country, is by far the easiest for reprisal. This, I suppose, was meant to send a message to South Africans that their interests in Nigeria are also at risk if they do not relent in their shameful targeting of Nigerians. It would seem Nigerians in the former apartheid enclave have committed an offence by doing well economically. When you flourish in a foreign land more than many of your hosts, envy and resentment are to be expected.

I said the Abuja reprisal is unNigerian because, to the best of my memory, Nigerians do not assault foreigners unprovoked. We even tend to treat foreigners better than fellow Nigerians. We must rank among the most accommodating societies in the world. Like a Nigerian who suffered xenophobic attacks in South Africa two years ago told the BBC: “If I should take you to my place, my mother would make your food first every morning before making my own food. That is how welcoming we are. That is how we show appreciation to foreigners.” He was described as “Ibo” but I can assure you that my mum would do the same thing. It is very Nigerian!

In a funny way, the attack on MTN in Abuja did not hurt South Africans — it hurt the Nigerian employees instead. Their phones and laptops were stolen. They were assaulted. So Nigerians are being robbed and molested in faraway South Africa — and, to retaliate, Nigerians are robbing and molesting fellow Nigerians in Abuja! You may say this is the dumbest thing to do, but I could see that many Nigerians — including those who should know better — were delighted. They even asked for more South African companies, such as Multichoice and Shoprite, to be targeted. Indeed, Nigerian students have asked a couple of South African companies to leave the country.

Why are South African thugs always attacking Nigerians? I think there are political and economic roots to the malady. Politically, Nigeria and South Africa have become fierce rivals since the end of apartheid. There is a struggle between the two to lead Africa. Nigeria, having contributed so much — more than any other country, I dare say — to the liberation of South Africa from apartheid, believes it deserves some deference from the southern African country. South Africa, having been built into a mini-Europe by the apartheid government, believes it should be the pre-eminent country in Africa. They feel superior to the rest of Africa, Nigeria inclusive.

When the question is asked, for instance, on the African country that should get a permanent seat in the Security Council of the UN — in the event that the Big Five are in a generous mood to admit more members — the battle is directly between Nigeria and South Africa, with Egypt putting up a slight fight. Nigeria displays as its credential the role it plays in peace-keeping across the continent and its financial and material support to poorer African countries, not forgetting its enormous population. South Africa flaunts its economic might and level of physical development, which is clearly ahead in sub-Sahara Africa. Pride is thus at play between the two countries.

However, the ascension of Mr. Jacob Zuma to power in South Africa seems to have magnified the rivalry between the two countries, who are working very hard to outplay each other in the politics of African Union. We should remember that South Africa and Nigeria took different positions in the crisis that rocked Cote d’Ivoire after the defeat of the recalcitrant President Laurent Gbagbo in the 2011 elections. In the crisis that engulfed Libya, eventually leading to the death of Muammar Ghaddafi, Nigeria and South Africa did not see eye to eye. We can safely conclude that there is no love lost between the two countries.

The political rivalry, I suspect, has spilled into other areas of human endeavour. The South African white economic elite, empowered by massive accumulation of capital under apartheid, had invaded the rest of Africa at the end of white minority rule. They had the biggest telecom companies, the biggest supermarket chains, the biggest banks and the biggest media companies. They were always going to dominate Africa. In no time, South African Airways, MTN, Vodacom, Shoprite, Pick n Pay, Spar, Steers, Debonairs, Hungry Lion, Mr. Price, Woolworths and DStv were all over the continent, prospering spectacularly in the huge Nigerian market.

Bu there are two South Africas in this game. There is the White South Africa and the Black South Africa. White South Africa is prosperous and adventurous while the Black South Africa is poor and desperate. The poor and desperate South Africa was created by the white supremacists who treated blacks as foot mat under apartheid, denying them good education and oppressing them mindlessly for decades. It will take several generations to undo this damage. White South Africa owns the big corporations, although the black middle class is gradually being initiated into the inner circle. Nevertheless, the majority of blacks are still struggling to breathe.

Now, the narrative of “Superior South Africa” is no longer limited to White South Africa; the black “nouveau riche” are also in on it. The poor and desperate blacks have also apparently been indoctrinated into seeing other Africans, particularly Nigerians, as different from themselves. They possibly see themselves as “black Europeans”. The success of immigrant businesses in South Africa is thus viewed by them as a threat and a nuisance. They cannot understand how Nigerians will come into their country and be making it big while they are struggling. The result is that Black South Africa now “beefs” us. We are easy targets when their economic frustrations boil over.

It gets complicated that some Nigerians are into crime — drug, fraud and prostitution. This provides an excellent excuse for South Africans to lump everybody together and conclude that Nigerians are “destroying” their country. Although Nigerians may not be able to run big corporations very well (most of our so-called big companies are one-man businesses that can hardly survive in a competitive economy), we are not bad in small business. Nigerian SMEs are doing very well in South Africa. Therefore, the poor and desperate South Africans cannot but envy and despise the prospering Nigerians. Their frustration and resentment are conjoined. Hence the attacks.

I have two conclusions. One, it is time for the Nigerian government to stand up strongly for Nigerians. Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, the foreign affairs minister, should summon the South African high commissioner and deliver a firm message to him. Also, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo should call up Zuma and let it be known that we too have the capacity to hurt them without throwing a single stone. It appears the South African government is deliberately not doing enough to protect Nigerians, maybe for political reasons. In fact, Nigerians complain that the authorities look the other way when they are being attacked. What a shame.

Two, the federal government should continue to protect South Africans and their assets in Nigeria. Nigerians are not known for xenophobia. We must not allow some misguided and deranged hate-mongers down below to distort our culture. We should, I propose, not repay evil with evil. We should not allow the conduct of the thugs to shape our own reaction. Hospitality to foreigners is a cultural thing for Nigerians. We cannot afford to lose it. An eye for an eye, it is said, will only make the whole world blind. We cannot fight xenophobia with xenophobia. When they go low, Michelle Obama said, we go high. Word.

“It appears the South African government is deliberately not doing enough to protect Nigerians, maybe for political reasons. In fact, Nigerians complain that the South African authorities look the other way when they are being attacked”


You will never understand how overjoyed I was when I heard that the acting president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, paid an unscheduled visit to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos on Thursday. Not just that, he even inspected the God-damned toilets, conveyor belt, travelator, escalator and carousel. Osinbajo expressed dissatisfaction with most of what he saw. I love that. We have been complaining about this intercontinental embarrassment for years but we were ignored. It appears the airport has been deliberately left to rot in order to market Nigeria as an unserious country. Yet we keep saying we want to promote tourism, trade and investment. Jokers.


Mr. Kola Awodein, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has admitted giving Justice Adeniyi Ademola, a judge now facing corruption trial, a “gift” of N500,000 for his daughter’s wedding. Judges are normally not expected to accept gifts from lawyers — neither are lawyers expected to give gifts to judges. But this case is particularly interesting because Ademola was handling a case involving Awodein’s client, President Muhammadu Buhari, at the time. The bigger problem, though, is that since many judges are on trial for receiving “gifts”, Nigerians will be watching how this particular case goes. One gift can certainly not be more equal than others. Intriguing.


The University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) appears to be the first Nigerian public university to introduce student assessment of their teachers. UNN students will now grade their lecturers on the quality of instruction. The days of the “almighty lecturer” may be over — assuming the authorities will do something about teachers consistently rated poorly. It’s a common practice abroad. There is another practice I would want Nigerian universities to adopt: appointing two markers for every paper (preferably one male and one female). If both cannot agree on a grade, an external marker will make the final decision. The issue of sex-for-marks will be tackled forever. Innovative.
Source: ThisDay

I will not collect salary until you are paid, Akeredolu assures Ondo workers

​As long as you’re not paid, your governor cannot be paid — Akeredolu


Hakeem Gbadamosi – Akure

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu

NEWLY sworn in governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has assured workers in the state that “for as long as you are not been paid your salaries for that long, your governor too cannot be paid his salary.”

This is just as the governor is set to set up a committee to look into the seven months’ salary backlog owed by the state government.

Akeredolu who made this pledge in Akure, Ondo State capital while formally meeting with the workers in the state civil service also appealed to the workers in the health sector to suspend their strike action and give room to dialogue on how to ensure payment of their salaries.

The governor said that all issues relating to payment of salaries would top his agenda as he assumed office and disclosed that a committee would be put in place by the government to address how the backlog of salaries would be paid and how to move the state forward.

Akeredolu said “I am aware of your pains and agony. I feel your pains and what you are going through, and I can see your sufferings that you are still able to put up these smiles as I can see everybody here without seven months salaries, I am surprised. No doubt, a labourer deserves his wages.

“A committee will soon be set up to address this salary issue, we are set to move forward and at the end of the day we will all win. Let’s join our hands to work together for the development of this state and I can assure you that with God on our side, we shall scale all obstacles to make Ondo great.”

He vowed not to receive any salary until he was able to put smiles on the faces of the workers, saying “For as long as you are not been paid your salaries for that long, your governor too cannot be paid his salary. A governor should not earn salaries when others are owed salaries.”

Akeredolu however solicited for the people’s support, urging them to be patient with his government and sustain the peace in the state saying “any act of thuggery will not find a place in this state.”

He said “I don’t need anybody’s two arms: they will see a different governor. I am particular about the touts going to work, not going to the street begging and disturbing the lives of the people. We will put an end to it.

All I need from the civil servants in the state is dedication. I want dedicated workers, you are the engine room of any government, with you, we can make Ondo State a better place. What I need is workers who are ready to work with me to move the state forward and I want you all to be prepared to work with me.”

He lamented the untapped bitumen resources in the state, assuring the people that in about two years, “we will be exporting bitumen” and pledged that Federal Government will commence cocoa rejuvenation in the state before March.

Akeredolu stressed the need to make agriculture the mainstay of the economy, calling on young graduates and idle hands in the state who engaged in street-begging and other vices to explore the opportunities available in the sector.

He however urged people to always say the truth, admitting that no human being is perfect, but said “be critical of your governor, be critical about our government but be constructive in your criticisms. We will run an open government.”

“We shall move forward, and we shall all team together to Ondo State forward. Let us be patient with this government, I beg all of you let us work together, we shall move forward.”
Source: Tribune

Lagos to break, recycle 400 seized commercial motorcycles

Lagos to crush, recycle 4000 seized Okada

•Bikes may be banned in Lekki, VI

Over 4000 commercial motorcycles seized for flouting the Lagos State Traffic Law 2012 will be crushed and recycled, Police Commissioner, Fatia Owoseni said yesterday.

The law prohibits Okada and tricycles also known as Keke Marwa from operating in at least 495 of the 9200 roads and routes across the state.

Owoseni told reporters at the Olusosun Refuse Dumpsite in Ojota that the clampdown on Okada was a fall out of the government’s renewed resolve to address the security issues since criminals operate mostly with okada

He said Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had directed the police and other security agencies to ensure the law is complied with.

The Commissioner said: “It would not be one-off. So far, we have impounded about 500 motorcycles since we started our renewed efforts and we now have a total of about 4, 000 bikes ready to be crushed. The law made provisions on how those motorcycles should be handled and the law also made provision on how to handle those that have flouted the law itself.”

According to Owoseni, the decision to crush and recycle the motorcycles accords with the law.

The enforcement, he said, would also affect Okada patrons, adding that mobile courts would be instituted to try offenders.

“The operators of the commercial motorcycles and those patronizing them, with time, you will get to see the Mobile Court going around to try some of those that have been arrested. What we are saying here is that we want people in Lagos to know that there is a law and the law is made for a purpose and if all of us obey the law and conform, the better for us.”

The government, Owoseni said, was considering banning okada in some areas, , starting with the Lekki and Victoria Island axis.

He frowned at the way Okada and Keke Maruwa flout the law, especially by not obeying traffic light, which in most cases lead to avoidable accident and death.

Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Olanrewaju Elegushi said commercial motorcycles have been warned to clear off restricted routes.

“We have an enforcement unit led by the Commissioner of Police, the Task Force on Environmental and Other Special Offences, the Divisional Police Officers and the Area Commanders. They have started enforcement and we came to see how far they have gone,” Elegushi said.
Source: The Nation