Nigerian News from Leadership News Sun, 01 Mar 2015 18:51:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Security Operatives Kill Suspected Hoodlum In Ilorin Sun, 01 Mar 2015 18:42:42 +0000 There was a heavy exchange of gun fire between a suspected hoodlum and a combined team of security operatives in Anifowose, Pakata area of Ilorin, Kwara State capital yesterday.
In the ensuing crossfire, the suspect was said to have been gunned down and killed while an unidentified security operative among the security team sustained wound on his arm as a result of bullet fired at him by the suspect.
An eyewitness said that the security operatives had been on the trail of the suspect for the past three days.
The suspect was said to be hiding in the apartment he rented for his mother and wife at Anifowoshe annex when the security operatives consisting of men of the Nigeria Army and Air Force, swooped on him.
A resident of the area told Journalists that the suspect was likely to be a hardened criminal with the way he engaged the security personnel in gunfight.
When the gun duel became intense, the suspect was said to have hidden himself in the ceiling while security forces were relentless in pursuing him.
It was gathered that the stern looking security men surrounded a story-building the suspect was taking refuge while heavy bombardment ensued.
Residents of the area were held hostage for hours while the main road around Government Girls Day Secondary School was blocked by the security team, thus preventing vehicular movement from both sides.
A team of the Kwara state special security operatives code named ‘Operation Harmony’ was also drafted to join in the operation.
However, luck ran against the suspect after he allegedly exhausted bullets in his gun, ostensibly making it possible for the operatives to overpower him.
He was said to have been severally shot on his head and leg before he eventually gave up.
The security men were said to have taken away the suspect’s lifeless body.
A source said, “we started noticing sporadic gunshots around 2am in the early hours of yesterday. We thought it was political thugs that were fighting. Later, we discovered it was the Ebira man who rented an apartment for his mother and wife in the area that engaged in gun duel with security men. Among them were soldiers and Air Force.
“I think they have been on his trail for three days because they were about evicting him from the house. I knew him (the suspect) to be a policeman. But with the way he was shooting, he must be a notorious hoodlum.
“Before the operation started, they evacuated every occupant of the building out and seized their phones while the suspect had gone into hiding. Later, it was discovered that he was hiding in the roof. They overpowered him, though he shot a soldier in his arm during the gunfight”.
When our correspondent arrived the scene around 12:30pm, the building was riddled with bullets.

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FRSC Officers Extort Motorists Along Games Village In Abuja Sun, 01 Mar 2015 16:57:32 +0000 Federal Road Safety Corps officers in vehicle No. RS391A01 cause traffic jam near Games Village, FCT, extort unsuspecting motorists, especially female drivers.

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Arewa Youths Back PDP Claim on Buhari’s Health Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:34:04 +0000 Northern Youths under the aegis of Arewa Youth Integrity Forum, have supported the claim by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari is critically ill and unfit to be president.

According to a statement signed by the president of the group, Mal. Ibrahim Abubakar,  the northern youths have aligned to the allegation that the fronting of Buhari by Bola Tinubu and his cronies is an attempt to tactically move power to the west, as Buhari may not be strong enough to survive the four years of presidency.

It said the alliance of Tinubu and Olusegun Obasanjo is similar to what happened in 2006 when the north was tactically denied presidency by fostering it on a sick Umar Yar A’dua  who died to bequeath the seat to a Southerner.

“We strongly believe this to be another scheme by the Tinubu/Obasanjo alliance which does not like the north, to deny the north of the presidency.  It smacks of the same scheme employed by Obasanjo in 2006 when he presented a sick Yar’Adua as the north’s candidate amidst many healthy and vibrant aspirant knowing full well that the latter’s health condition will not allow for him to live through the tenure. We strongly refuse this tactic in 2015″. It read in part.

Accusing Tinubu of trying to usurp the presidency, the group also queried the reason why the person chosen to be Vice-President to the ailing Buhari whom they allege will be the defacto president perchance the APC wins, is Tinubu ‘ s aide which will give him the opportunity to loot. Proving their allegation, they queried why it was Tinubu who is in charge of receiving donations for the campaign and logistics.

Then statement also called on all well meaning northerners to queue behind Goodluck Jonathan in the forthcoming polls as the best option for the north so that power will return to it after four years rather than allow those described as haters of the north to tactically cause power to evade the north for another eight years.

Meanwhile the group has also prayed for the safe recovery of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari who they believe is alleged to be critically ill and under intensive care in a Florida hospital in America. They however advice the former head of state to reconsider his ambition while in America so as to save from soiling his name and return to the position of statesmanship he truly deserves.

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Legal Reprieve For Persons Living With HIV/AIDS Sun, 01 Mar 2015 07:34:02 +0000 President Goodluck Jonathan early last month signed the HIV/AIDS Anti-Discrimination Bill 2014 into law. It is targeted at stopping all forms of stigmatisation and discrimination against people living with HIV, makes provisions for the prevention of HIV-related discrimination and provides access to healthcare and other services, as well as protection of the human rights and dignity of people living with HIV and those affected by AIDS in Nigeria. The law also makes it illegal to discriminate against people based on their HIV status and prohibits any employer, individual or organisation from requiring a person to take a test for HIV as a pre-condition for employment or access to services.

Before the law came into force, there were reports of all forms of discrimination against people suffering from the disease, with some of them denied employment, others losing their jobs because of their status and yet others being ostracised from their families and communities. With this legal instrument, it is now criminal for any Nigerian to discriminate against another infected with the disease in matters such as recruitment and termination of employment and access to services including healthcare, education, association and other social services.

It has been reported that the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria increased by almost 500,000 in three years, while the number of AIDS-related deaths also witnessed a marginal rise to 217,148 within the same period. A 2014 report of the United Nations also indicated that Nigeria is the country with the highest number of children living with the virus in the world.

In our opinion, this is alarming and to that extent we welcome the law. Before now, stigmatisation was a major problem. Many people diagnosed with the disease have kept their status hidden for fear of being discriminated against and refused access to essential services and as such, constituted a threat to others. The elimination of the stigma and discrimination will make ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 possible through increased access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services, just as it will ensure that no one is left out in Nigeria’s HIV response measures. It will help more Nigerians to seek testing, treatment and care services without fear of discrimination or the stigma.

We therefore call on all those in positions of authority to ensure that the law is enforced to the letter. It is often said that the problem of Nigeria is not its laws, but the willingness of those charged with enforcing them to do so; we hope that enforcement will not be a problem with this law.

However, we commend the National Assembly for passing this important Bill and the president for signing it into law, even as we hope that it will enhance commitment of the government to helping those discriminated against, because of their HIV/AIDS status.

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Women Should Aspire To Elective Positions – Soniaya Sun, 01 Mar 2015 07:29:28 +0000 Prof Remi Soniaya is the presidential candidate of KOWA party in next month’s election. In this interview with MBACHU GODWIN NNANNA, she speaks on her aspiration to govern Nigeria.


If elected, what is it that you can do better than the present government?

I will be able to demonstrate what true leadership is by my personal example of hard work, discipline, compassion for the people, and commitment to a true democratic system. I will work to strengthen our institutions and not allow powerful vested interests to continue to override the interests of the generality of the people.

There is the belief that it is not time for Nigeria to have a female president; what is your reaction to that?

First, I do not know if anybody has conducted the research which substantiates that opinion. From my own experience of discussing with Nigerians on the streets, of granting interviews on radio and television where people have communicated their points of view, and also from the opinions of the people with whom I have interacted on social media, more people actually believe that it is time for Nigeria to have a female president. People are disappointed with the state of the nation as it is now, after 54 years of having men at the helm of affairs.

How would you assess the 35 per cent affirmative action of the PDP-led government?

President Jonathan has definitely raised the bar in terms of the number of women appointed into his cabinet, which stands at about 33 per cent. However, women should be interested not only in appointive positions, but in elective ones as well. This is where the challenge lies. Currently, we have only 7 per cent of the members of the National Assembly that are women. Many state houses of assembly are even worse than that. How can you have such a poor representation of women who are said to constitute 52 per cent of the population?

What structures has your party to dislodge the incumbent government?

I am not sure I fully understand what you mean. It is only through elections, a democratic process, that any incumbent government can be dislodged – to use the same word you used.

How would you assess President Jonathan’s fight against corruption?

The experts are already speaking about that. We are all aware of what the former CBN governor, Prof. Soludo, has been saying in the last few days. Criticisms are also coming from outside. For example, Ms. Sarah Chayes of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace was said to have advocated stiffer sanctions by America against Nigeria because of the level of corruption in the country. The prestigious magazine, The Economist, has equally passed a scathing judgment on the present administration because of corruption. What more can I add?


What are your chances and experience?

My chances are good, because I believe that Nigerians will recognise that things really cannot go on the way they have been going. They will come to see that they have a choice to make for real change, so that their lives can be better. They don’t need a government that will spend all its time fighting opposition instead of devoting its energy to providing good service to the people and improving their lot. They will realize that voting in a government which has so many vested interests will mean that their days of suffering will not quickly come to an end. Nigerians will come to see that KOWA Party offers them a way of escape from their current predicament through a president who is coming in with clean hands and no baggage. This whole experience of contesting for the presidency of Nigeria and campaigning has been a wonderful and enriching one for me.


Do you have any regret as a female politician?

Not at all! What kind of regret could I possibly have? Again, I should mention that KOWA Party with its core values (which include fairness and equality) as well as its well-entrenched democratic practices is the best platform for any female politician. We do not operate in terms of men versus women, with the women being relegated to the position of cheerleaders or add-ons. Rather, we operate at the same level, with each individual accorded their worth as a human being.

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APC, PDP Bicker Over Alleged Tinubu-Osinbajo Pact Sun, 01 Mar 2015 07:25:17 +0000 The All Progressives Congress (APC) has debunked claims by the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation (PDPPCO) that its national leader and former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu plans to become Vice president through the back door.

The party in a statement issued in London on Saturday by its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made available to journalists, said the allegation of the Jonathan Campaign Organisation was designed to divert attention from the runaway success of the APC presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, at the Chatham House in London last Thursday.

Recall that the director of media and publicity of the PDPPCO, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, on Friday while addressing journalists in Abuja, accused Tinubu of trying to seize presidency by subterfuge should the APC win the presidential election.

But the APC said the PDP and the Jonathan administration still do not have any answer to what has now become an epochal moment that has separated the wheat from the chaff, insisting that its presidential candidate’s globally-acclaimed outing has presented Nigerians and indeed the global community, with a choice between a bumbling, ineffective, incoherent, clueless, visionless and incompetent president and an assertive, knowledgeable, dignified, purposeful and principled president-in-waiting.

‘’Having failed to discredit that outing with a rented crowd, some of whom confessed to have been paid to carry placards they do not even understand, the PDP and the Jonathan administration have now resorted to making nauseating claims that are totally untrue, absolutely incomprehensible and nothing but sheer bunkum,” Mohammed said in the statement.

The APC further described the claim as the latest in a series of desperate moves by the PDP and the Jonathan administration since the emergence of Gen. Buhari as the APC presidential candidate, and the clearest indication yet that they have no answer to the unstoppable momentum of a man of history, noting that they have thrown everything imaginable at Gen. Buhari but he has continued to wax stronger and stronger.

“They said he was not qualified, that he was too old, and then they fabricated a medical report of an illness of their own choice, sponsored death wish adverts against him and instituted a myriad of court cases to stop him. After they failed to stop him, they went after the election itself, using the PVCs as a tool to launch a campaign for postponement and when they realised that would not work, came up with the bogey of insecurity in the North-east to force a postponement of the election, hoping they can buy enough time to revive their electoral misfortune. With everything working against them, they engaged in a show of shame at The Chatham House that backfired badly, on the heels of their bare-faced lies that Gen. Buhari was hospitalised in London. The preposterous claim of a secret oath – reminiscent of what they do in their own party – by the apparently ailing spokesman of the Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Femi Fani-Kayode, is their latest desperate act,’’ the party said.

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Rivers And The Politics Of Violence – Analysis Sun, 01 Mar 2015 07:19:44 +0000 A victim of the violence that has rocked parts of Rivers State since the commencement of party politics and campaigns ahead the governorship election in the state, ANAYO ONUKWUGHA writes on the crisis and it’s impact on the Rivers polity and the nation at large.


Although the current spate of politically motivated violence in Rivers State can be traced back to February 2014 when the All Progressives Congress (APC) began its membership registration exercise in the state, where unknown gunmen attacked members of the party in several parts of the state, the increased level of violence in the state began about two months ago, following the emergence of flag bearers of both the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2015 general elections.

Political actors from both the APC, which is the ruling party in the state and the PDP, seem to have abandoned issues in their campaign to solicit for votes from the electorates and resorted to use of intemperate and violence-coated language, which has in no small measure led to physical assaults on political opponents in parts of the state.

The politically motivated violence in the state has continued unabated despite two peace accords signed by leaders of the three major political parties in the state, the APC, the PDP and the Labour Party. The first peace accord was at the instance of the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James F. Entwistle, while the second peace accord was at the instance of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in-charge of Zone 6, Calabar, Mr. Tunde Johnson Ogunsakin.

Speaking after signing the peace accord before Entwistle, APC governorship standard bearer, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, said peace was necessary for not just prevalence of credible elections, but inevitable for a united Rivers State, and promised that he and his party would ensure a non-violent election where every Rivers citizen would be secured to cast their votes.

Also speaking, the governorship candidate of the PDP, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, who reiterated his commitment and that of his party to peaceful and violent-free elections in the state come March 28, and April 11, 2015, affirmed his party’s commitment towards credible elections, saying that peace was imperative for the state to progress.

On his part, the governorship candidate of LP, Prince Tonye Princewill, expressed his joy over the peace pact, saying that violent elections had never done any state or nation good, saying that his party is commitment towards credible and peaceful elections for the future of the state.

In his speech during the signing of another peace accord before Ogunsakin, the APC governorship candidate, Peterside lamented that in all the reported attacks against the APC, including violent attacks against its members and supporters, as well as arsonist attacks on its party secretariats at Okrika and Ngor, in Andoni local government area, and its campaign podium and sound system with explosives suspected to be dynamites at Okrika, on Saturday, January, 24, no arrest has been made by the police. He however told AIG Ogunsakin that the APC remains committed to peace before, during and after the general elections.

On his part, the PDP governorship candidate, promised to conduct a peaceful campaign, maintaining that he will adhere to the stipulations of the peace accord because political leaders will have no one to govern if in their quest for political power, they kill all their political opponents during the electioneering campaigns.

The latest incident of attack on political opponents occurred at Okrika, headquarters of Okrika local government area of the state and home-town of Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Faka Jonathan, where the APC had gone for its governorship campaign rally.

While a police officer, Corporal Ifeanyi Okorie was killed, while three other police officers were seriously injured, in what the Police public relations officer (PPRO) in the state, Ahmad Muhammad, a deputy superintendent of Police (DSP) described as stray bullets, a journalist with Channels Television, Charles Eruka, received multiple stabs on his head and neck.

Also several other journalists who had gone to cover the re-scheduled campaign rally were manhandled by the hoodlums, leading to loss of several working gadgets, including handsets, cameras, and recorders.

Before the incident of February 17, 2015, the APC governorship campaign rally had been postponed on three occasions as a result of what the Rivers State police command described as ‘unfriendly security reports.’

The rally was first scheduled to hold on January 24, 2014, but was abruptly put off following attack by hoodlums on the proposed venue of the rally, National School field, Okrika. The rampaging gunmen destroyed properties, and burnt cars believed to belong to members of the APC. The party’s campaign rally was later rescheduled to hold on February 10, February 11, and February 12, but was called off due to security reasons.

On the rescheduled date, February 17, Peterside and his entourage arrived Okrika and went straight to his alma mater, the Okrika Grammar School (OGS) where he addressed the teachers and students before proceeding to the palace of the traditional ruler of Ogoloma community, also in Okrika, King Emmanuel Obudibo (Ikwo V) for a courtesy call.

Before the APC team arrived at the venue of the rally, unknown gunmen had launched attacks on the venue, with explosives suspected to be dynamites, which exploded and damaged the roof of the left block of the school.

There were reported attacks by unknown gunmen on members of the APC, who were coming from Khana, Akuku-Toru and Degema local government areas of the state for the campaign rally of the party’s presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, at the Adokiye Amesiamaka Stadium, Greater Port Harcourt City on January 7, 2015.

It was gathered that one person was feared dead while several others, including two women, were severally injured in the attack, which occurred along the Bori-Sakpenwa Road, in Khana local government area, as well as at Okpo community in Asari-Toru local government area of the state.

On January 15, 2015, governorship candidate of the PDP in the state, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, escaped death as unknown gunmen shot sporadically to disrupt the party’s campaign rally at Abua Central in Abua/Odual local government area of the state.

Wike, and other leaders of the PDP in the state, including his running mate, Dr (Mrs) Ipalibo Banigo, were not hurt in the attack that lasted for more than 45 minutes, as they were still at the palace of the traditional ruler of Abua, King Kaleh Obunge, when the incident occurred.

Also in his entourage were the state PDP chairman, Chief Felix Obuah; the executive director, finance and Administration, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr Henry Ogiri; a member of the House of Resentatives, Mrs Betty Apiafi, and the party’s candidate for Rivers West senatorial district, Hon. Osinakachukwu Ideozu.

However, when the sound of guns died down, supporters of the party who had earlier fled the venue of the campaign rally as a result of the sporadic shooting returned, and the event commenced in earnest.

The leadership of both the APC and the PDP have continued to blame each other over the violent attacks during their campaign outings in parts of the state.

According to Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who is also the director-general of the APC presidential campaign organisation, the attack on members of the party who were coming to Port Harcourt for the party’s presidential campaign rally was the handiwork of the PDP.

Amaechi said, “I heard today, that members of APC from Asari-Toru and Khana local government areas were attacked on their way to this place. The PDP believes in guns, we believe in God and man. We shall stand and face their bullets; we shall stand and face their guns.”

On the attack on the party’s governorship campaign rally at Okrika, the governor blamed Dame Jonathan, who, it was alleged, decreed that no other political party, other than the PDP will campaign in Okrika, for the attack.

He also condemned the act of violence and expressed disappointment over the law enforcement agents’ failure to ensure a hitch-free campaign for the APC, despite having earlier assured the party of security and gave approval for the campaign to hold.

Amaechi said, “Again, as usual, the wife of the president won’t allow the APC hold rally in that place (Okrika). The wife of the president and the governorship candidate of Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP in Rivers again organised thugs to disrupt APC rally.

“As usual, the police couldn’t protect us, over 200 police men. I asked the commissioner of police and he said they have over 200 policemen there. Yet, three explosions and then they opened fire on members of APC. The Channels TV reporter I hear is injured, stabbed, and members of APC injured.

“We had meetings with DSS (Directorate of State Security) and police and they confirmed we could go ahead. There were 200 policemen and there were over 20 to 30 DSS men who came there and they did nothing,” the governor said.

To the PDP, the attack is condemnable, this is as it urged the police and other security agencies to investigate the incident and bring the culprits to book.

The party, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt and signed by Emma Okah, chairman, Media and Publicity Committee of its Campaign Organisation, said, “Nobody should encourage violence in the polity. The PDP is a peace loving party and believes that everybody should be given equal opportunity in all parts of the country to hold rally and canvass for votes.

“Violence does not end well and it is for that reason that we have continued to encourage our PDP members to remain peaceful and law-abiding despite the recurring cases of provocation by the APC in Rivers State and many parts of the country.”

Apparently angered by recent developments in Rivers State, Ogunsakin, who recently relocated to Port Harcourt to carry out investigation into the shooting at the APC governorship campaign rally at Okrika, carpeted political leaders in the state for wilfully breaking the peace accord he facilitated, on February 4, 2015, in the state capital.

Speaking after a meeting with stakeholders from Okrika and Ogu/Bolo local government areas of the state, the AIG in-charge of Zone 6, said, “I emphasises during that political activities must effectively accommodate the interests of all without undermining the fundamental human rights of the citizens and without also compromising the peace, order, security and safety of lives and property in Rivers State.

“It is important to state that in the course of aforementioned meeting with the political parties and stakeholders, aspirants and all other political actors signed a “peace accord”, which was committal in nature to the effect that all political actors will among other things eschew all forms of violence.

“Unfortunately, it has become apparent that the political actors who were present at the said stakeholders meeting are not complying with the ‘peace accord’. It was agreed that in the event of violation of the content of the peace accord, we will not hesitate to visit any of person(s) concerned with the full wrath of the law”, he said.

Worried by the ugly development, A group, the Rivers State Conflict Management Alliance (SCMA) has called on Nigerians to vote against any candidate or political party that encourage against members of other political parties and the general public through words or actions.

The group said the spate of politically-motivated violence in the country, especially in Rivers State is already having devastating toll on the psyche of voters as many voters may prefer staying indoors on election day while others are planning on moving to safer areas if the violence does not stop.

According to Dr. Fidelis Allen, convener of the group, and senior lecturer in the Department of Political and Administrative Studies, University of Port Harcourt, “The power of the electorate to choose who to represent them has now been enhanced with the assurance from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that their votes would count as a result of the introduction of the card-reader technology.

“We therefore urge the electorates to vote against any candidate or political party that, through words or actions, orchestrated acts that can cause bodily or mental harm to members of other political parties or the general public.

“There is no doubt that the spate of political violence in Rivers State is already having devastating toll on the psyche of voters. Many voters are already wary and may prefer to stay indoors while others are planning on moving to safer areas if the wanton acts of politically motivated violence do not stop.”

Allen called on political parties, candidates and their supporters to put into practice their commitment to running issue-based campaigns and refrain from utterances that encourage antagonistic behaviour.

by their supporters, which are likely to incite violence or jeopardize social cohesion.

He said, “The parties, aspirants and their supporters should put into practice their commitment to running issue-based campaigns. They should refrain from utterances that encourage antagonistic behaviour by their supporters, which are likely to incite violence or jeopardize social cohesion.

“Although transitional times are usually wrought with heightened competition, political parties and their candidates must know that underneath the differences between them are shared commonalities. We believe that elections are a contest of ideas among candidates and their political platforms.

“We therefore urge charge parties and their candidates to focus their campaigns on issues. It is by focusing on issues that the political parties will increase the understanding of the electorate on the policies they intend to implement if they are voted into office,” the group stated.







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NFF Offered Me Slave Contract, Keshi Reveals Sun, 01 Mar 2015 07:13:15 +0000 Coach Stephen Keshi has said a new deal offered to him by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) amounts to a “slave contract”.

A debate has raged whether 52-year-old Keshi should be given a new contract after he failed to qualify the Super Eagles for the recent Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.

His initial contract of three years ran out after last year’s World Cup in Brazil, where Nigeria reached the last 16 knock-out stages.




After a long wait, Keshi, who triumphed with Nigeria at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, said he had received his new contract from the NFF but had been far from impressed with what was on offer.

“From the clauses I have seen so far, I don’t know what words to use but the contract can be described as a ‘slave contract’”, he said, probably in reference to clauses which make him answerable to several persons and committees.

It was learnt that Keshi has now been offered a two-year contract effective from March 1, 2015 with him to meet several targets or else the deal was off.

He is also required to sign a code of conduct.

Keshi himself revealed that he will be paid fN5m (less than $25,000), which was what he also received during his initial contract.

This week, the former Togo and Mali coach lost out to Franco-German Gernot Rohr in the race to handle Burkina Faso.

In March, Nigeria are billed to play two friendly matches against Bolivia and Ghana.

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Obama Recognises, Commends 19-year-old Nigerian Harvard Finalist Sun, 01 Mar 2015 07:11:04 +0000 Nigerian genius, Saheela Ibraheem, 19, made history On Thursday, February, 26, when she was honoured with an official reception in the White House by the US President, Barack Obama and the First Lady, Michelle.

Saheela Ibraheem got into the Ivy League Harvard at the age of 15, where she is currently studying neurobiology — a branch of science that studies the brain — and has been listed among the “World’s 50 Smartest Teenagers.” She was also accepted for admission by 13 other top colleges in the United States, including the MIT, Princeton, Columbia, and six Ivy League institutions, choosing Harvard, she became one of the youngest students to ever attend the university. She will be graduating in May this year.

Speaking after an introductory speech by Ibraheem at the White House, President Obama stated that “there are a lot of teenagers in the world. Saheela is like one of the 50 smartest ones. That’s pretty smart. And she’s a wonderful young lady. She’s like the State Department and the National Institute of Health all rolled into one. And we are so proud of your accomplishments and all that lies ahead of you. And you reflect our history. Young people like you inspire our future.”

Ibraheem, who skipped two grades in school, said the key to success is figuring out what you love to learn as early as possible, which she did at the young age of five.

“If you are passionate about what you do, and I am passionate about most of these things, especially with math and science, it will work out well,” she told CBS 2s Cindy Hsu. In addition, Ibraheem speaks four languages that include Arabic, Spanish and Latin.

Her mother, Shakirat Ibraheem, said her daughter has been way ahead of the academic game since kindergarten — never cutting corners and trying to do everything on her own. “She’s like always independent,” she said. “I never get to help with her homework because she’d say ‘it’s my work mommy, not yours.’”

Ibraheem’s recognition and reception was part of the “Black History Month” celebration in the US, which comes up in February. The “Black History Month”, takes root from the activities of the “Association for the Study of African American Life and History.” Every year, Americans set aside the month of February to celebrate the central role that African-Americans have played in every aspect of American life especially the march for freedom and equality, jobs and justice, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and some profound contributions African-Americans make in the American culture.

Present at the evening event were members of the US Congress, including Leader Nancy Pelosi, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

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Why Obasanjo Avoided Jonathan In Sokoto Sun, 01 Mar 2015 07:08:44 +0000 Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has clarified that his failure to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan and other former presidents and heads of state during the 90th birthday celebration of former President Shehu Shagari in Sokoto, on Thursday, has nothing to do with his perceived differences with Jonathan.

Recall that all former heads of state, including Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar, former head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan and President Goodluck Jonathan witnessed Shagari’s 90th birthday celebration where a commemorative cake marking the birthday was cut.

Obasanjo who was also supposed to grace the event however arrived the venue minutes after the others had left.

Following the development, there were media reports (not LEADERSHIP), that Obasanjo had deliberated stayed away to avoid a confrontation with Jonathan. The meeting would have been their first since Obasanjo formally declared that he had left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and ordered and monitored the tearing of his membership card in the presence of local party executive and supporters.



But Obasanjo in a statement yesterday, said contrary to reports that he deliberately shunned Jonathan, he was delayed by a traffic gridlock he ran into on his way to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, from Abeokuta, enroute Sokoto, having left Abeokuta at about 6:45am in order to catch up with his colleagues in Sokoto.

While describing the reports as unfortunate, he said, “I have read with dismay the imputation of some section of the media to the unfortunate incident of my not being able to be with my colleagues at the birthday celebration of President Shehu Shagari on Thursday 25 February.

“Leaving Abeokuta at 6:45am and hoping to fly out of Lagos airport at 8:30am to Sokoto, we ran into a very bad traffic hold-up that made me get to Lagos airport at 10:45am. I did not arrive at Shagari’s house until about mid-day by which time the team of my colleagues had left. It is a pity that the media did not report my profuse apologies to both Shagari and other colleagues when I spoke at Shagari’s house.”

Obasanjo noted that he had no cause to dodge, avoid or snub his colleagues over what they all agreed to do together.

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