Lake Chad Dredging: Shettima Meets Naval Chief Over Monguno-Baga Road Repairs 


Kashim Shettima
Governor Borno State
‎As the Nigerian Navy carries on the dredging of Baga axis of the Lake Chad, Governor Kashim Shettima on Wednesday visited the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas to discuss ways the Borno State Government will quickly rehabilitate the bad Monguno-Kroskawwa-Baga to make it possible for the Navy to be able to move heavy duty dredging and other equipment to site. 
Baga, a commercial area in Kukawa local government area of Northern Borno State, is famous for large scale commercial fishing, taking advantage of waters from the receding Lake Chad. Fishing activities from Baga accounts for significant portions of dry fish in Nigerian markets and some neighboring African countries. The Lake Chad on which Baga communities depend, also provide water for fishing and irrigation farming to more than 68 million persons across Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic who live in surrounding communities regarded as the Chad Basin. But global resource information from the United Nations Environment Programme shows the Lake has ‘shrank by as much as 95% from about 1963 to 1998, even though 2007 satellite images show some gains of water’.
President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the Navy to begin dredging some Nigerian portions of the Lake. Although it is not yet clear to what extent the Nigerian Navy is to dredge the water from the Baga axis, the move is expected to improve water flow that should benefit thousands of Borno residents of Baga who mostly engage in large scale commercial fishing distributed across Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
Governor Shettima requested the Naval Chief to allocate soldiers that will secure construction workers and machinery for the Borno Government to rehabilitate the poor road from ‎Monguno to Baga through Kroskawwa ‎to make deployments of Naval dredging equipment possible. Shettima said the State has acquired different brands of construction equipment which it’s Engineers use for ongoing construction of roads and bridges through direct labour to cut cost. 
“Borno State is now highly equipped with construction equipment, we have virtually every needed equipment for construction of roads and bridges and we also have the skilled manpower. I am aware of the Navy’s dredging of Baga portion of the Lake Chad but I know that some of your equipment get stuck on the road to site, the road needs to be quickly rehabilitated. The state is willing to quickly fix the road but we need the Navy to provide the necessary security for our construction workers that will be camped in Monguno. ‎I am here with the Commissioner for Works and Transport who coordinate all road construction. If we are to award contract, because of the terrain, a lot of contractors might be reluctant to go. But once we have the dedicated security for our Engineers we can dedicate a number of equipment and 30-40 trucks to start conveying laterite, crush stones and other components from Damaturu in a convoy down to Baga almost on daily basis. We will start the surface works. We can tidy up the road especially between Cross Kaiwa to Baga. There are a lot of potholes” Shettima said. 
In his response, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas
Said, “Mr. President directed that we move in. There is progress except for the challenges but if we can have that (road repairs), I am sure it will hasten the developmental efforts”. 
The Naval Chief expressed satisfaction with Governor Shettima’s developmental passion and promised to discuss the Governor’s request with relevant authorities with a view to fixing the road to fast track the dredging project.

FCTA Says No Confirmed Case Of Monkey Pox In Abuja

Dr Humpherey Okoroukwu, the Acting Director, Public Health, Federal Capital Territory Administration, says there is no confirmed case of monkey pox in Abuja.
Okoroukwu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview in Abuja on Thursday that though there were two suspected cases reported at Gwarimpa General Hospital in Abuja.
He explained that he was called by the Medical Director of the hospital that cases suspected to be monkey pox were reported and he led a team of health workers to investigate them.
According to him, the sample of the suspected cases of a man and a woman had been taken to a reference laboratory for a test and they were waiting for the result.
“I can tell you authoritatively that there is no confirmed case of monkey pox in the territory.
“Nobody should panic because we have not confirmed any case and do not hope to confirm any and there is nothing wrong for people to report any suspected case,” he said.
The director advised residents to imbibe culture of cleanliness to minimise chances of contracting the disease.
He added that rodents and monkey of Africa specie are the vectors of monkey pox, urging residents to avoid direct contact with such animals, dead or alive, as well as the people suspected to be infected.
Okoroukwu also enjoined health workers to take universal precautions prescribed while discharging their duties. (NAN)

Unbelievable! Mum Killed Son ‘For Looking Like His Father’ Sentenced To 33 years In prison


Australian Supreme Court on Thursday sentenced a mother, who killed her three-year-old son “because he looked like his father,” to no less than 33 years in prison.

The mother and her partner, the boy’s stepfather, were found guilty of murdering the toddler after almost two months of abuse in August 2014.

Her partner was sentenced to 30 years in jail.

“This was a terrible crime of child murder,’’ New South Wales Supreme Court Judge Peter Johnson said during the sentencing.

The mother, 43, had claimed that the boy, identified only as Joseph, died after tripping over a rope tied to the family dogs.

She told police the boy “just pushed my buttons too many times” and “I had so many thoughts about killing Joey.”

“Don’t get me wrong I did love that boy, but there was a part of me that hated him because he looked like his father and that he’s his father’s child,’’ she said, according to records heard by the court.

Judge Johnson said that rather than nurturing her son, the mother punished him as if he was in some way responsible for the sins of his biological father.

“This was a grotesque and cruel feature of her conduct towards her son.

Joseph was extensively tortured in the weeks before he died.

“His mother slammed his head in a cupboard and his eyes had been covered by duct tape,’’ the judge said during the sentencing the court heard.

The judge said Joseph was “exceedingly vulnerable” and the couple had worn him down “physically and psychologically” with the assaults.

After the sentencing, Joseph’s uncle told newsmen that the judge dished out the appropriate punishment. (dpa/NAN)

Governor Bello Pledges to EMPOWER the girl child before, during and after conflict

As the World Marks the 2017 International Day of the Girl Child, the Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, pledges his commitment to Empower the Girls child before, during and after conflict. Governor Bello says he is not unaware of the myriad of issues that face the girl child in today’s society during peace and in times of conflicts.

As a father and a governor, he is aware of the need for the girl child to be EmPOWERed for life especially during conflicts through information and education and says his administration will continually seek ways to ensure this objective is achieved in collaboration with relevant agencies within and outside the country.

He uses the occasion of this year’s commemoration to reflect on the plight of girls in IDP camps in the North East and the psychological trauma they have suffered over the years as a consequence of terrorism and the war on terror in the region. Governor Bello says while the Nigerian Army is winning the war against terrorism, all hands must be on deck to EmPOWER survivor girls to live purposeful lives that will impact society.

Governor Bello uses this opportunity to appreciate the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari is securing the release of Chibok Girls stressing his optimism that others would reunite with their families as the Federal Government is not resting until everyone in captivity is freed.

The Governor calls on government at all levels, domestic and international partners– governmental and non governmental, the clergy, and the entire society to intensify their relentless efforts in the pursuit of a better life for girls during peace, conflict and after while appreciating them for the work done over the years.

Governor Bello calls on parents and caregivers to pay closer attention to the needs of the girl child stating that instilling values of strength, self awareness, self confidence is one of the most effective ways of EmPOWERing the girl child to adequately prepare for the vagaries and cruelty of life.

He assures girls in Kogi State that they are priority and his administration will continue to explore policies, opportunities and partnerships which will EmPOWER them against predators and ensure that Kogi State remains secure and peaceful not only as a prerequisite for development but especially for the sake of the girl child who suffers the most in times of crisis.

House spokesman Namdas, elected Deputy Chair Pan African Parliament

Hon Abdulrazak Namdas, Chairman House Committee on Media and Public Affairs has been elected as Deputy chairperson of the West African Caucus of Pan African Parliament.

The election took place Tuesday at the Pan African Parliament sitting  in South Africa.

Hon Namdas was nominated by Hon Mohammed Muttaka of the republic of Ghana who was later unanimously elected unopposed by members of the West African caucus.

With this, Hon. Namdas has joined the leadership of the Pan African Parliament.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara,  has congratulated  Hon Namdas over his emergence as Deputy chairperson of the West African Caucus of Pan African Parliament.

The Speaker Dogara who described  Hon Namdas as a worthy ambassador of Nigeria  further urged him to deliver on his new mandate.

Day of the Girl: Let’s End Discrimination, Says Dogara…Seeks Domestication, Enforcement Of Child Rights Act

All forms of discrimination, violence and harmful cultural practices which stunt the development of the Girl Child must come to an end, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara has said.

In a statement to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child, Dogara raised concerns about the discrepancy in literacy statistics for girls, and said all hands should be on deck in order to attain a future where there is equal opportunity and a better quality of life for Nigeria’s female population.

“It is disheartening that in this century, as a nation, we still grapple with actions and attitudes which are aimed at repressing and suppressing girls and women. It is high time we all acknowledged the reality that discrimination, violence and lack of equal opportunity have no place in civilised society and do all we could to ensure a better lease of life for our female  population.”

The Speaker lamented that statistics from UNICEF and UNESCO show that 50% of all sexual assaults are targeted at girls below 16. Girls account for 80% of the 800,000 people trafficked annually. Two-thirds of the global illiterate population are female and 116 million women across developing countries have not completed primary education and argued that “these statistics forecast a gloomy future, and such negative trends must be arrested with genuine efforts made towards correcting the situation.”

“Harmful traditional practices such as genital mutilation must be discouraged and met with punitive measures in cases where they occur. The news is replete with stories of assaulted children and we must demonstrate that such acts of evil will not be condoned by applying stiff penalties.”

“In light of the many challenges faced by girls in Nigeria, it is important for more states to adopt the Child Rights Act. Where this has already been done, full implementation and enforcement are necessary.”

“As parents, we must protect our daughters and empower them by not denying them access to education. We must uplift them with words of encouragement and support, and assure them that their dreams and aspirations are attainable.”

“The girl child is of utmost importance to us at the House of  Representatives. We have stayed the course in seeking the release of our beloved Chibok Girls, and all other matters relating to gender equity have consistently enjoyed our full support.”

2,000 Kano Rural Dwellers To Benefit From NYSC Medical Outreach State – Coordinator

Corp Members

Alhaji Ladan Baba, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Coordinator in Kano State, says 2,000 people will benefit from the scheme’s medical outreach in four local government areas of the state.
The coordinator made this known on Tuesday while launching the medical outreach at Kwa in Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area of the state.
According to him, the gesture is part of the NYSC Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers (HIRD) programme in the state.
He said that the programme was aimed at mobilising corps members to provide health intervention to the general public, especially those in the rural communities.
He explained that the intervention programme, which will last from Oct. 10 to 13, include diagnosis, treatment and referral when the need arises and proper preventive measures that would enhance health status of the people.
“We mobilise our corps members to those four local government areas; namely Minjibir, Kura, Wudil and Dawakin Tofa to render free medical services to rural dwellers on quarterly basis,’’ he said.
The coordinator further said that NYSC also impacted positively on people of the state through Community Development Services (CDS) particularly in the areas of Education, Health and Environmental Sanitation.
Baba said: “We initially planned to offer the medical outreach to 200 persons in each of the four local government areas, but with the turnout now of people, more than that can benefit.’’
He noted that several people from the rural areas suffer from various diseases and could not afford to seek medical help in hospitals due to financial constraints.
“That is why the NYSC came up with this initiative to assist people, especially the less privileged at the grassroots.
“Various diseases such as malaria, diabetes, cholera and typhoid and eye problems will be treated during the outreach,” Baba said.
The coordinator appealed to the benefiting communities to cooperate with the NYSC by availing themselves of the free medical service.
He said that in addition to the medical outreach, the scheme in Kano is targeting 140,000 U-Reporters before Dec. 31.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that U-report is a free SMS social monitoring tool for community participation programme initiated by the NYSC in collaboration with the UNICEF to address issues that the populace cares about.
In his remarks, the District Head of Dawakin Tofa, Alhaji Yusuf Nabahani, commended the NYSC for the gesture and called on wealthy individuals, government and private organisations to emulate the scheme.
Nabahani, who was represented by the Village Head of Kwa, described the medical outreach as a “welcome development” most especially with the recent outbreak of malaria in the state. (NAN)

Steve’s Unfair Tirade Against Buhari – Garba Shehu


“THAT OCTOBER 1 HATE SPEECH,” a column by Steve Nwosu the respected journalist and director of the Sun, was neither fair nor balanced. If anyone is looking for a hate speech, they should please look elsewhere. The least one can say of the column is that it was a premeditated attack on a President who did no other than come before the nation with an olive branch.

Let me also state that this rejoinder respects, in a strong sense Steve’s entitlement to hold his views, but he is not entitled to the erroneous facts on which they are based.

Three of these warrant a rebuttal.

The first of these facts that came to my attention was the claim that President Muhammadu Buhari came before the nation, in this and the speech before it an angry man talking about red lines, the boundaries of which nobody knows.

Steve asked: Who drew the red line and when was it drawn?

Two, the writer tried in many subtle ways to say that the President lied; that the account he rendered of his meeting in Daura with the late Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu in which the question of Nigeria’s continued existence as single entity was settled is, as he put it, a “tales by moonlight” because nobody was there to corroborate it.

Three, Steve in his view believed that the President was disdainful of his kinsmen, the Igbo by not addressing the issues “hurting the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB and the Igbo” but instead, dwelling on the problems of the Niger Delta as if these were the only ones with a problem in the country.

In a seemingly smart but clearly identifiable innuendo, he accused the Buhari administration of hypocrisy for declaring the IPOB a terrorist organization but not doing so with respect to the Fulani cattle herders.

Shockingly and unbelievably, Steve gave a free pass to IPOB, describing it as a “non-violent organization”that did not deserve to be labeled a terrorist organization; that it amounted to injustice, hypocrisy and double standard to brand IPOB as terrorist “and Fulani murderers are let go.”

As I said in the opening lines, the October 1 speech by the President was no hate speech as claimed by the headline of the article but a conciliatory one in which the leader of the country was making an appeal to community leaders in all parts to “rein-in their hot-headed youth.”

To quote that speech, what the President said is that “Many irresponsible groups are calling for a rerun of the civil war. Those doing this were not born by 1967 and have no idea of the horrendous consequences of the civil conflict which we went through.

“I’am very disappointed that responsible leaders of these communities do not warn their hot-headed youth what the country went through. Those who were there should tell those who were not there the consequences of such folly.”

The problem with Steve in this particular column is that he didn’t believe there are hot-headed youth anywhere, more especially in the “non-violent” IPOB.

Even if he did, he didn’t pick his pen to lash at the extremist ideology propagated by Kanu’s IPOB. Such hate-filled quotes are still being shared on WhatsApp and I here present a few to illustrate the point one is making:

“I will go to Abuja, and when ‘am coming home I will bring Buhari’s head”-Nnamdi Kanu.

” If they don’t give us Biafra, there will be nothing left breathing in that zoo called Nigeria”-Nnamdi Kanu.

“Its either Biafra or death”-Nnamdi Kanu.
“If they don’t give us a date for referendum, there will be no election in Anambra or any part of Biafra land”-Nnamdi Kanu.

” It is clear that the only language the zoo called Nigeria understands is war and death and we are ready for war”-Nnamdi Kanu.

“From today forward, I put the protection of Biafra land in the hands of the Biafra Security Services”-Nnamdi Kanu.

” If the zoo Army enters Biafra land, they will die”-Nnamdi Kanu.

“Buhari is a mad man” Nnamdi Kanu.

“I call on all Igbo’s who have the know how to manufacture bombs, arms and ammunitions to come forward, we need to take this war to the zoo ( via Biafra radio). -Nnamdi Kanu.

( And I’am pleased reading Kanu’s excoriation for those hateful views by no less a person than Chief Nnia Nwodo, the brilliant President of the Ohanaeze.)

These were statements the IPOB leader made publicly, statements about which many critics of government have however ignored and are shockingly complaining that he is being badly treated.

When he reads the quotes above, then he takes a bit of time to view Kanu’s videos on YouTube inspecting the parade by both the paramilitary group and the Biafran Secret Service, BSS formed by him, the Steve that I know, brilliant, logical and deep will change his mind about his defense of that rash and unjust modus operandi.

I also don’t want think that Steve is adamant of the juridical implications of what he was saying about IPOB being badly treated.

If a court of our land finds that a group fits the description of terrorist organizations and gives orders to that effect, what is best to do by law-abiding citizens is to go higher, appeal the decision not to close your ears and eyes to go on blasting aloud that you disagree. To do that is not only to undermine the judicial process in our country but also to weaken our democracy.

To end the column, Steve my friend barked at the leader of the country, saying “Mr. President, you must talk to the Igbos.”

To speak for the President, I don’t seem to see or know at what point he said he won’t talk to the Igbo or any other organized groups in the country for that matter.

When the new leadership of the Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo took the mantle of leadership, his message to them was, “come, be my partners.” That still hasn’t changed.

Taking it from there, I recall that the then Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN called to a round table, community leaders for the East, South-South and the North, for meetings he held separately with each of the groups. He wanted to lower the tension in the land at a time when the barometer was rising higher.

The plan as he put it with his team was that an apex meeting with the combative nationalities in attendance was going to climax the consultative meetings.

It will be improper to go into details of what followed the very successful preliminary meetings. Sadly however, as is now known, that final meeting was never convened.

Unimpeachable sources told me that some hardliners interloped and what followed was a complete abrogation of the promise and commitment some of the groups gave to the Acting President back in Abuja.

I have narrated these facts not to tarnish or degrade from the standing of any person or community but to show the willingness, determination and good faith on the part of the administration to engage with aggrieved communities in a dialogue to solve national problems.

Perhaps Steve, my all-time friend, a well-known investigative journalist who poured scorn on President Buhari, accusing his administration of hypocrisy should send his correspondents to the field to help us uncover where the hypocrisy actually lies.

When he does that, we will doff the hats in three hearty cheers, “Hip, Hip, Hip!” for he does not belong to these characters in the famous film, Catch-22 of whom a Chaplain in the movie said: “ to turn vice into virtue, thievery into honor, brutality into patriotism and sadism into justice requires no brains; all it requires is a change of character.”

Steve, go read that speech again. The President is sincere and he means well!

Re–Graphic Images: ISIS Ambushes Nigerian Army Convoy, Executives Soldiers

The attention of the Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE has been drawn to a news article published online by (AMN), in which one Chris Tomson claimed ISIS had in an ambush against Nigerian Army convoy, executed 30 soldiers on Friday afternoon. It is very pertinent to state here, that contrary to the report, there was no such attack or ambush on any convoy of troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE by ISIS or any other adversary within or outside the theatre of operation.

The said report is not only false but another media propaganda and an attempt by Boko Haram terrorists to remain relevant and portray seeming potency. The graphic images used to support the article has been closely studied and found to lack nexus to any recent operational engagements of Operation LAFIYA DOLE. The photographs culled from “only god knows where” are not a reflection of recent operational encounters of Operation LAFIYA DOLE. The concocted story is therefore unsubstantiated and lacks credibility.

Troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE did not at any time have an encounter with ISIS terrorists, neither have they suffered from such fictitious attack as claimed. This points to the desperation of the Boko Haram terrorists group to create awe and hold the people captive psychologically.

Undoubtedly, the article and the graphic images are a bundle of unprofessionally packaged falsehood aimed at misinforming the general public by creating fear in the minds of people and building an aura of false potency around the terrorists. This can better be described as one of the last kicks of a drowning terrorists group.

Looking back at the activities of Operation LAFIYA DOLE in the just concluded week; own troops have continued to sustain devastating attacks on the Boko Haram terrorists in precursor operations in the north east. Aside neutralizing their hideouts in the fringes of the Nigerian-Nigerien border through coordinated air and artillery bombardments, own troops recently killed 2 fleeing Boko Haram terrorists in an ambush at Futchinam village in Geidam Local Government area of Yobe State.

Troops also killed 3 insurgents in another ambush in Lingir village where they recovered 5 AK-47 rifles, 5 magazines and 11 rounds of 7.62mm (special) ammunition. Own troops have dominated the theatre of operation and have denied Boko Haram terrorists freedom of action, hence the resort to the propagandist news on AMC.

Members of the public are enjoined to discountenance this mischievous publication as it lacks the least iota of truth. It is also imperative to seize this opportunity to remind Chris Tomson and Amardanews, that “publicity is the oxygen of terrorism”, therefore the need to thoroughly investigate and give a balance report is of paramount importance in the credibility of any journalist and media organization.