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Showing posts with label Binnabook Magazine. Show all posts

ECOWAS Leaders have lifted economic and financial sanctions imposed on Mali

 Leaders from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) gathered to assess efforts to secure timetables for restoring civilian rule in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso.

Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have lifted economic and financial sanctions imposed on Mali, after its military rulers proposed a 24-month transition to democracy and published a new electoral law.

The bloc imposed stiff sanctions on Mali in January after the military government said it would not organise democratic elections the following month as initially planned.

ECOWAS Commission President Jean Claude Kassi Brou told a news conference on Sunday that the sanctions will be lifted immediately. Borders with Mali will reopen and regional diplomats will return to Bamako.

“However, the heads of state decided to maintain individual sanctions, and the suspension of Mali from ECOWAS, until the return to constitutional rule,” Kassi Brou said.

The individual sanctions targeted members of the ruling military government and the transitional council.

Sanctions have crippled Mali’s economy, raising humanitarian concerns amid widespread suffering. The country has defaulted on more than $300m of its debt due to the sanctions, which cut it off from the regional financial market and the regional central bank.

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo, ECOWAS Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou and Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara attend the ECOWAS summit to discuss a transitional road map for Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea, in Accra, Ghana 

The ECOWAS mediator in Mali, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, visited the country last week. A member of his entourage told AFP news agency that Mali had made “enormous progress”.

Mali’s top diplomat Abdoulaye Diop on Friday said the recent political developments were moving the country towards a lifting of the sanctions.

Burkina Faso and Guinea transitions

ECOWAS leaders had gathered to assess efforts to secure timetables and other guarantees for restoring civilian rule in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso.

Mali underwent coups in August 2020 and May 2021, followed by Guinea in September 2021 and Burkina Faso this January.

The West African leaders meeting in Accra also accepted a pledge from the military that seized power in Burkina Faso to restore constitutional order in 24 months.

Kassi Brou said that after a lengthy discussion with the coup leaders in Burkina Faso, a new proposal for a 24-month transition was more acceptable, after the heads of state rejected a proposed 36-month transition.

Economic and financial sanctions on Burkina Faso were also lifted, he said.

The situation appears more complex in Guinea, whose military government has refused an ECOWAS mediator and announced a 36-month transition – a period that African Union Chairman and Senegalese President Macky Sall has described as “unthinkable”.

ECOWAS leaders rejected the three-year transition. They told Guinea’s military to propose a new timeline by the end of July or face economic sanctions.

The heads of state appointed Benin’s former President Boni Yayi as a new mediator and urged the Guinean military government to work with him and quickly propose a new timetable.

“Beyond that, economic sanctions will be imposed,” Kassi Brou said.

The political upheaval came as many observers started to think that military power grabs were a thing of the past in West Africa, an increasingly restive region that also faces growing danger from armed groups.

Some leaders who spoke at Accra’s one-day summit urged action as armed groups expand their footprint in the region.

“These terrorist attacks are now not only focusing on the Sahel, but also expanding to the coastal states in our region,” said Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo. “It is imperative for us to continue to implement our regional action plan against terrorism and to coordinate our various security initiatives.”

In the first half of 2022, the region recorded a total of 3,500 deaths from 1,600 attacks targeting countries including Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria, according to Kassi Brou.

In Burkina Faso, where attacks blamed on armed groups are soaring, gunmen killed at least 55 people in the country’s northern Seno province last month.

SOURCE: Aljazeera

Arsenal Signed Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City

 Gabriel Jesus has signed from Manchester City on a long-term contract.

The 25-year-old forward joins us having established himself as one of the leading strikers in the Premier League in recent seasons. He scored 95 goals in 236 appearances in all competitions during his five seasons in Manchester.

Gabriel has won the Premier League title four times, the FA Cup, and the League Cup three times. He is a regular in the Brazil national team, making 56 appearances and scoring 19 times since making his full international debut for his country in September 2016. He was a member of the squad which won the Copa America in 2019. During his international career Gabriel has also notably won a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and featured at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Gabriel developed through the youth setup at Palmeiras, signing a youth contract in 2013, with his prolific goalscoring ensuring he quickly progressed into the first-team squad, making his debut as a 17-year-old in March 2015. During his time with Palmeiras, Gabriel was an integral part of the club’s Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A winning side in 2016, when he was voted as the league’s Bola de Ouro – Player of the Season. 

Technical Director Edu said: “We are delighted that we have secured the transfer of Gabriel. Everyone who knows football well, knows the qualities of Gabriel Jesus.

"Gabriel is a player who we have admired for a long time now. He is 25 years old and an established Brazil international who has consistently demonstrated that he is a player at a very high level. We look forward to seeing him join up with his new teammates ahead of the new season. We all welcome Gabriel to Arsenal.” 

Mikel Arteta added: “I’m very excited. The club has done a tremendous job to recruit a player of this stature. I know Gabriel personally very well, and we all know him well from his time in the Premier League and being really successful here.

"This is a position that’s been on our radar for a long time now and we have managed to get a player that we all wanted, so I’m really happy.”

Gabriel will wear the number 9 shirt and will join up with the Gunners squad for pre-season training soon.

Everyone at Arsenal welcomes Gabriel to the club. 

The transfer is subject to the completion of regulatory processes.

Gabriel Jesus

Kwankwaso: Peter Obi is been Mislead Not To Be My Running Mate in 2023 election

 Someone Loyal To PDP Is Misleading Peter Obi Not To Accept To Be My Running Mate, To Ensure Atiku Gets Bloc Votes In Northern Nigeria—Kwankwanso

Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has said Peter Obi, his counterpart in the Labour Party, is being misled by someone into taking decisions that will benefit the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

The former Kano governor described the person as a member of the PDP who is loyal to the party but pushing Obi not to accept to be his (Kwankwaso's) running mate in the planned alliance between the NNPP and Labour Party.

According to him, having Peter Obi as the presidential candidate in the alliance will give Atiku bloc votes in the North as Northerners will rather vote for A northerner, who they will see as one of theirs, than Obi or any other southeasterner, especially with the current agitation for the state of Biafra in the South-East.

There has been pressure on the NNPP and the Labour Party to work together to produce a presidential candidate between them for the 2023 presidential election. Kwankwaso and the presidential candidate of the Labour Party have admitted that the parties have held talks, but the bone of contention is that the two candidates want to be the presidential candidate in the arrangement.

In an interview with Channels TV on Sunday, Kwankwanso urged Obi to be wary of such a person, whom he said had been expressing his views on social media.

When asked about the planned alliance between Kwankwaso's NNPP and the Labour Party, the former Kano governor said, "I think that it will happen but I believe also that there are some challenges that we are having, especially from the side of the Labour Party itself because there are so many influences; some on their side, positive, but even the negative side.

"We have a situation today where there are some people who are in other parties, who are also influencing the decision of the party which I believe is not good for the party.

"I was just reading on social media and even people very close to the party that are... The presidential candidate is very close to one of the leaders of the PDP which we are trying to verify but I think the source is very genuine, that is, contacts with him while he is in a party, PDP, supporting the candidature of the presidential candidate from the North in that particular party and of course saying that the presidency must go to the South in the other party, that is, in our alliance and that is really to weaken our party."

Speaking further on whether it is the Labour Party or the NNPP that voters will be encouraged to vote for in the 2023 presidential election as it is too late to have a merger between the parties, Kwankwanso noted, "I believe so many modalities can be worked out to work together, it is just a matter of getting the right calibre of people to sit down and look at the situation as it is.

"Now, you see, the main issue as it stands today is the issue of who becomes the president, who becomes the vice president and I believe this is the time really to advise, especially those who are positively behind the candidate of the Labour Party.

"For me, I have seen an opportunity for the South-East to be relevant in the next dispensation. In PDP, they are completely out and so also in the APC (All Progressives Congress). The only option now is NNPP."

He further advised that "the leaders at the level should think positively so that this merger (alliance) can work. They should avoid talking to people.

"You know, in this part of the country, we have at least the person people are talking about on social media and so on and so forth, who pretends to be very close to Peter Obi himself while everybody knows he has a political party. He is promoting the person in that political party in the PDP, yet pretending to say look, we want Presidency to come to the South-East."

Kwankwanso, however, refused to mention the name of the person, saying, "We don't have to go into the details now but the details will come out very soon."

But he advised Obi to be concerned because "he himself believes that he is very close to him and he is misleading him. He is misleading the Labour Party and so on and so forth".

He said Northern voters will choose to vote for a Northerner if they have to choose between a Northerner and a southerner.

"The idea is if the marriage works, for example, with Obi as the Presidential candidate, the implication is his candidate in the PDP will be the biggest beneficiary because the North today... You see, the way we operate politically in this country, is not very clear to many people. Fortunately, the northern voters have always voted their own opinion and it is hardly influenced by any political elite or anybody you can think of," he added.

Kwankwanso earlier described southeastern Nigerians as good business people but poor in politics.

The former Kano governor last weekend said the people of the South-East are well talented but need to learn politics, adding that “in politics, they are at the bottom line”.

Kwankwaso stated this in Gombe State during a visit to Gombe State to inaugurate the state office of NNPP and meet with elected members of the party on Saturday.

On the choice of his running mate, Kwankwaso had said “we have options in the NNPP in the South to pick a good vice president and one of them is the Labour Party man you are talking about.”

He had previously noted that his party had been in talks with the Labour Party for a possible merger but that the decision on who would emerge as the presidential candidate between him and Obi had hindered the progress of the talks.

“From the discussion with Labour Party, the main issue was who becomes the president if the parties merge.

“At the end of the day, some of our representatives thought that there should be criteria in terms of age, qualification, offices held, performance and so on.

“Of course, the other side wouldn’t want that. Most of the people from there believe that presidency has to go there (South-East).

“If now I decide to be vice presidential candidate to anybody in this country; NNPP will collapse because the party is based on what we have built in the last 30 years.

“I served for 17 years as a civil servant; we are talking of 47 years of very serious hard work that is what is rarely holding NNPP now,” he had said.

According to Kwankwaso, the best option left for the South-East is to partner with NNPP, describing it as “a golden opportunity”.

“If they lose it, it will be a disaster,” he added.

Lekki Deep Seaport Lagos Receives First Cargo Vessel

Steps towards commencing full commercial operations at the nation’s first Deep Seaport at Lekki received a major boost on Friday with the arrival of a cargo vessel Zhen Hua 28, berthing at the port.

The arrival of the ship, bearing modern ship-to-shore cranes and ten rubber tyred gantries, is historic as it provides a glimpse into commercial operations at the port.

The vessel, 232 meter long with a draft of 9.2 meters, originated from Shanghai China and spent 30 days at sea before berthing at the deep seaport.

Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Muhammed Bello Koko who led other stakeholders to receive the ship said her arrival is an indication that the September 2022 projection for the commencement of full automated operations at the port is realistic.

The deep seaport, conceived 13 years ago, is the first in Nigeria and the best in West Africa.

It has a draft of 16.5 meters and a turning circle of 600 meters,. giving it huge advantage in terms of container capacity turnout for shippers in Nigeria and other African countries.

Lekki Deep Seaport

Lekki Deep Seaport

cargo vessel Zhen Hua 2

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, has resigned

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, has resigned, Channels Television learned on Monday.

Sources told Channels Television that Justice Muhammad resigned on Sunday night, citing ill-health as the reason for his decision.

Information also has it that arrangements are ongoing to swear in the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

According to reports, a formal announcement will be made shortly.

Until his resignation, reports had it that Justice Muhammad was seriously ill.

Last week, 14 justices of the Supreme Court had written him a letter to lament the decrepit state of affairs in the apex court.

In the leaked letter, the Justices accused the CJN of refusing to address the issues despite drawing his attention to them.

They complained of a lack of residential accommodation and vehicles at the court.

The justices further accused the CJN of gallivanting with his “spouse, children and personal staff,” while not allowing them to travel with an assistant on foreign trips.

The justices decried the lack of legal research assistants, despite the magnitude of cases being adjudicated.

On erratic electricity supply, the justices said they have been confined to work between the “hours of 8 a.m and 4 p.m daily, for lack of diesel,” after they were notified of the development by the Supreme Court’s Chief Registrar, Hajo Bello.

Meanwhile, Justice Tanko Muhammed did not attend the opening of the training for Judges on Alternative Dispute Resolution organized by the National Judicial Institute, amidst reports of resignation.

source: Channels Tv

Nigeria Supreme Court’s Dirty Linens and fight for Reform

 A storm appears to have been stirred at Nigeria`s Supreme Court over an unprecedented letter written by fourteen Justices of the Court to the CJN. The prediction is that the snakes washed out of their holes are venomous and are not going away soon.

Out of silence, a shrill cry

The nature of a judge`s work compulsorily makes it that he is necessarily to be seen not heard. On a job where partiality is an anathema and perception almost everything, those who sit on the bench are expected to live strictly within their code of conduct so they are not seen as impartial.

Justice is rooted in confidence, and the fact that there is no love lost between Nigerians and the Nigerian  judiciary bears eloquent testimony to how much confidence Nigerians have lost in the  judiciary.

So, when the justices of the Supreme Court, Nigeria`s highest Court chose to express their frustrations in a letter, the alarm bells were necessarily tolled.

 A litany of lamentation

In the letter which was signed by about 14 of the Justices, led by  Kayode Ariwoola, the next in line after the Chief Justice of Nigeria, sundry issues were raised which  have had the effect of startling everyday everyday Nigerians.

In the letter, the Justices pointed out that they had privately raised the issues with the CJN since March 24,2022 but nothing was done about them.


According to the letter, some justices of the Court sworn in to the Court  since two years ago were yet to receive their due residential accommodations from the court. Vehicles supplied the Justices were also said to be refurbished or substandard.

The letter was also littered with complaints about inadequate  legal research assistants for the Justices, deteriorating healthcare as epitomized by the  Supreme Court staff clinic which has become a `mere consulting clinic’ where ‘drugs are not available to treat minor ailments.

The letter also complained about withheld assent to the rules of court, erratic power supply at the court.

Some of the most damning complaints came however when the justices accused the CJN of preventing them from going for overseas training with their assistants while the CJN frequently took in foreign trips with his spouse, children and personal staff.

If indeed these issues became weighty enough to wriggle into the public space in a court where discretion is everything, then, the implications are frightening.

A cryptic response

 The CJN, Mr. Ibrahim Tanko, has since replied but not without softly upbraiding his brother justices for actions he compared to dancing naked in the market square. In the reply which generally addressed the issue, citing them within the larger context of the prevailing economic situation in the country at the moment, the CJN was at pains to stress there was no bad blood between the Justices as the issues  were being addressed.

 Dirty linens.

 For many Nigerians who for long have suspected that all was not well at the Supreme Court, the letter and the reply was little more than an attempt to launder dirty linens in the public.

If the Nigerian judiciary has been recently and sarcastically described as the `lost hope of the common man’, it is by those who no longer feel any confidence in the actions of the judiciary and judicial officers in the country.

The task of the judiciary in a country where the rot is a systemic one is not exactly an enviable one as there are many who have no doubt that members of the judiciary are in bed with those who have been taking Nigeria down the  road of self-destruction.

Chickens coming   home to roost.

For many other Nigerians, the travails of the Justices who have been treated to generous shades of karma, is simply a case of the chickens come home to roost.

In 2019, it appeared that amid what was a poorly disguised attempt to force out the then CJN, Mr.  Walter Onnoghen, from office, many of the Justices of the Supreme Court chose the convenience of silence that was interpreted as complicity at the time  by those who were determined to subvert due process.


Indeed, when the current CJN hurriedly made himself available to be sworn it, the script was thought to have been fully acted out.

So, the question many ask and continue to ask is whether the Justices were expecting better  from a leadership that was the product of a process rigged with complicity and impunity from the onset.

If Nigeria is all over the place today, it is largely because many of those who occupy public offices choose dereliction over diligence in the discharge of their public duties.

They it is who have largely complicated the Nigerian problem leading to a gradual but deleterious disintegration of the national life as Nigerians knew it.

Kene Obiezu,

Ekweremadu Saga: Nwamini David Is 22 Years-old – Nigeria Immigration Boss

The Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Isah Jere Idris, has affirmed that Mr Ukpo Nwamini David, the person at the heart of the alleged organ harvesting involving former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, is 22 years -old.

He added that the service adhered strictly to due process in issuing the country’s ordinary passport to David.

Speaking with selected journalists, Sunday, the Nigeria Immigration Service boss said David applied for the international passport using the service’s portal after “which he visited the Gwagwalada office in Abuja of the immigration with his birth certificate issued by the National Population Commission, National Identification Number (NIN) and a letter of indigineship from the Ebonyi State Liason office confirming he is from the state.

The Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service said from all the available information provided by Ukpo Nwamini David showed that he was born on October 12, 2000.

“The Nigerian Immigration service relies on information and Documentation from other government agencies like National Population Commission and the National Identification Management Commission.”

He said the case of David was not an exception as the Immigration Service followed all the due process in issuing the international passport to him

Isah Jere Idris, therefore, appealed to the public to know that as a Nigerian, David was validly issued a Nigerian International passport.

Asked if the British Government or the National Assembly has contacted the Immigration office regarding the case of David, the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service said nobody has contacted the service.

Recall that Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, were remanded in custody in London on Thursday charged with plotting to have a 15-year-old boy taken into the United Kingdom to harvest his organs.

Tems Wins Best International Act At The BET music Awards 2022

 Congratulations to Tems as she becomes one of the few Nigerian artistes with the prestigious BET best international act .

Infact she is the first female artiste to win this category.

Nottingham Forest have signed Nigeria forward Taiwo Awoniyi from Union Berlin for a club record fee

 The 24-year-old joins newly promoted Forest on a five-year deal for a reported £17m.

Awoniyi scored 20 goals in 43 games across all competitions last season and becomes Forest's first signing since gaining promotion back to the Premier League.

"It's always been my dream to play in the Premier League," said Awoniyi.

"Having spoken to [Forest boss] Steve Cooper about our ambitions and looking at Forest, with its great history, it's a club that I want to be part of."

After a season-long loan, Awoniyi joined Union Berlin on a permanent deal in July 2021 from Liverpool, where he started his career.

He did not make any first team appearances for Liverpool after signing for the club in 2015 and spent the majority of his six years with the Merseyside side out on loan.

Forest manager Cooper said Awoniyi was a player the club had been monitoring closely over the past few months.

"There's been a lot of interest of Taiwo from other Premier League clubs, and other clubs across Europe, so we're delighted he's chosen Nottingham Forest," Cooper said.

"He's a player who we really believe in and we look forward to him going on to fulfil his potential and become a top Premier League striker with Nottingham Forest."

Scoring 15 goals in 31 league games, Awoniyi was the Bundesliga's sixth highest scorer last season and helped Union Berlin to a fifth-place finish which guarantees the club Europa League football for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

Since making his senior debut for Nigeria in October, the striker has made four appearances and scored his first goal for his nation against Sudan in January at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Forest are expected to sign goalkeeper Dean Henderson, 25, on loan from Manchester United this summer and are also in talks to sign central defender Moussa Niakhate, 26, from Mainz.

Peter Obi The Face Of Take Back Nigeria Movement

 Every democratic nation has a standardized terminology used by politicians and electorates that centres on regaining control of their nation during election seasons. As the general elections in 2023 approach, the slogan "Take Back Nigeria" or "Take Nigeria Back" has made it's way back into our collective psyche.

Peter Obi

The people's rallying cry, "Take Back Nigeria," originally stood for liberating the nation from a particular oligarchy that gorges itself on Nigerians' national wealth and from those who require the nation to advance one step and regress eight steps in return. A ruling class that is deaf to Nigerians' yearnings.

The slogan "Take Back Nigeria" suggests that the country's administration is in bad hands and that things are headed in the wrong direction.

Recently, Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, invited Nigerians to assist him in reclaiming the country from mismanagement. His party is currently the toast of voters, who consider Obi and the LP as the party that will eventually reset the country.

According to reports from throughout the federation, the selection of Peter Obi as the party's presidential flagbearer has resulted in an upsurge in Labour Party followers. Nigerians see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reclaim control of the country, and they are working tirelessly to make a difference.

The youths, who are the driving force behind these Tsunami changes, are doing everything humanly possible to get the elders to enter an alliance with them in order to reclaim control of the country through a figure like Peter Obi.

Carnivals, street performances, voter registration education, and other events are just a few of the creative tactics used by pro-Obi supporters to boost the Labour Party's popularity.

Everywhere you look in the six geopolitical regions, people are pointing to Peter Obi as the third force poised to unsettle the ruling party.

Since its independence, Nigeria has never had a long period of prolonged recession, with a rapidly declining economy, a battered currency, and an unreliable power supply riddled with the worst insecurity in the federation. Nigerians have suffered greatly.

With the populace's joy, Peter Obi has emerged as the Face of the Take Back Nigeria Movement, whose main goal is to return the country to its former glory.

Will Peter Obi be successful in his attempt to succeed President Buhari in the presidential elections next year? Let us cross our fingers and observe how the event unfolds.

From Island Communications Village, Smart Omo-Idemudia writes.

Boat Accident Claims Eight Lives In Bayelsa

 Tragedy again struck in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State following a boat accident that reportedly claimed eight lives.

The boat was said to be conveying passengers from Korokorosei community to Ayama Ijaw, both in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.

DAILY POST reported a similar boat accident involving about seven persons travelling from Otuan to Ayama in Southern Ijaw. They were killed in a boat mishap that occurred over the weekend.

The recent accident where a passenger boat capsized killing eight persons happened Wednesday morning.

DAILY POST gathered that the passenger boat was conveying 12 passengers when it rammed into a local boat conveying Garri from Yenagoa to Ayama.

It was said to be raining and the tarpaulin used to provide shield for the passengers was said to have been blown by the wind which covered the boat driver’s face and made him hit a local boat, causing the boat to capsize.

According to the State Chairman of Maritime Union Workers, Mr Ipigansi Ogoniba, who confirmed the accident in an interview, he said the accident was another avoidable tragedy but happened unfortunately.

“The accident occurred around 9 am this morning (Wednesday). The boat was travelling from Korokorosei to Ayama Ijaw. It was raining so the boat driver covered the passengers with tarpaulin, unfortunately the passengers did not hold the tarpaulin well and the wind blew the tarpaulin which covered his face and he went to hit the local boat and the boat capsized.

“The boat loaded 12 passengers and eight drowned, while four were saved. Our rescue team saved the four persons and took the empty boat to Ayama,” he said.

Ogoniba lamented the failure of boat drivers to provide life jackets to passengers which is meant to save them from drowning.

According to him, the union‘s rules remained that no boat should sail without life jacket, but the rule is often violated.

He hinted that in the next coming days, the union would synergise with its taskforce and security agencies to clamp down on boat drivers travelling without life jackets for passengers.

“We found out that the boat drivers normally do not give life jackets. We condemned the act of not wearing a life jacket,” he added.

Ekweremadu, Wife Denied Bail by UK Magistrate’s Court

 Ekweremadu, Wife Denied Bail by UK Magistrate’s Court

ARISE International correspondent, Adefemi Akinsanya reports on the arrest of Nigerian Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife by the UK police for allegedly taking and underaged boy to the UK for organ harvesting. The Ekweremadu's have currently been denied bail as investigations into their role in the case unfolds.

UK Police detain Ekweremadu, wife for conspiring to bring child to the UK to harvest organs

 The Specialist Crime Team of the Metropolitan Police in London has detained a former Senate Deputy President Dr. Ike Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice.

According to Sky News, the two suspects were arrested for alleged conspiracy to harvest the organs of a child.

But the child has been taken into protective custody.

The media organisation reported: “Two people have been charged with conspiring to bring a child to the UK in order to harvest organs, the Metropolitan Police said.

Lagos Government sealed a joint redevelopment partnership with Afriland Properties to develop Falomo Towers

 A major urban renewal project that will restore the aesthetic landscape of Falomo, the commercial suburb of Ikoyi in Lagos State, has been flagged off by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday.

Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) sealed a joint redevelopment partnership with Afriland Properties Plc, a private developer, to turn former Falomo Shopping Complex to a premium sky-high real estate that will enhance the socio-economic outlook of the neighbourhood.

Falomo Towers, being developed on 11,950 square metres of land, will offer a blend of green amenities that will promote quality living.

Afriland Properties Plc is a subsidiary of Heir Holdings, owned by the foremost entrepreneur and banker, Mr. Tony Elumelu.

Sanwo-Olu, at the sod turning ceremony held at the project site, said the construction flag-off ended a decade-long discussion with the developer to revive the project and build iconic towers that would turn around the fallow land for the benefit of the public.

The Governor said the project was another milestone achieved by his administration to renew urban amenities, stressing that the strategic implementation of the Lagos Masterplan had been dependent on the Government’s ability to forge workable partnership between the public and private sectors.

He said: “This is a phenomenal project that will bring back the lost ambience of Ikoyi. When this partnership was initiated 10 years ago, I was the Managing Director of LSDPC. It is interesting to note that we’ve all gone through arbitration but we didn’t throw a wrong punch. We agreed this project must not be thrown away. Today we are making a transaction that is bigger and better than what was initially proposed 10 years ago.

“This testifies to the uniqueness of public and private sectors in ensuring things can be made a lot better when we sit and agree. This is a clear example of what Public Private Partnership (PPP) model is out to achieve when partnerships and collaborations are pursued and implemented with seriousness. When we put our minds of possibilities to ideas, great things happen. This aptly describes the story of today’s flag-off of construction of Falomo Towers.”

Sanwo-Olu described Afriland Properties as a tested, trusted and reliable developer, saying the Corporation had found the right partner for the redevelopment project.

The Governor reiterated that the State Government would remain committed to ensuring the investors get full value for their investments, while promising to continue to pursue business environment reforms, including automation of land and property records to scale up transparency and efficiency that catalyse sustainable investments.

Elemelu said the partnership was another testimony to the Lagos State Government’s belief in the private sector as a key development driver in the State, praising the Lagos political leadership for setting the pace of private sector inclusion in governance.

For surmounting obstacles that delayed the take-off of the partnership, Elumelu said Lagos remained the most hospitable environment to investors seeking profitable return on their investments.

He said: “I commend Gov. Sanwo-Olu and the political leaders of the State for believing in the private sector. What we are witnessing today attests to their beliefs in the private sector as driver of development in the State

“For private sector to do well, the political leadership must create the right environment. Lagos has set the pace in this direction. This partnership is a celebration of dialogue and this makes Lagos remain the most hospitable environment for investors.”

LSDPC Chief Executive Officer, Hon. Ayodeji Joseph, said the project site evoked memories of a glorious past for Island dwell in the 1970s, noting that the Corporation took an informed decision to turn around the site by building residential apartments to provide additional accommodation to the growing middle class, business professionals and the swelling rank of young citizens.

He said: “Over forty years down the line, the Corporation in its decision to renew some of its facilities has deemed it fit to redevelop the site of the shopping complex, taking into consideration the realities of today’s needs as well as the environmental impact implications.

“To achieve this purpose, we decided to mobilise finance from the private sector. This decision will free resources that could otherwise be tied down to this project, for other pressing needs. In addition, it will allow the project to benefit from the competitive efficiencies for which the private sector is better known.”

Chief Executive Officer of Afriland Properties, Mrs. Uzo Oshogwe, noted that the redevelopment project was a revival of a landmark, saying: “With the project, we tend to give Ikoyi back its aesthetic landmark

She said the iconic project would enhance and beautify Ikoyi skyline, adding that the partnership would be creating economic opportunities and social wealth that would transform the State and the country.

The project development is expected to be completed in 30 months.

Falomo Tower Ikoyi

Tinubu Is A Baby-Weight Compared To Atiku – Dino Melaye (Video)

 Tinubu Is A Baby-Weight Compared To Atiku – Dino Melaye (Video)

Former senator and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Dino Melaye, has said that the presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is a baby weight compared to Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, IGBERETV reports.

Melaye stated this when he appeared on Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today.

“For us in the PDP, we have advised Atiku to please put together his acceptance speech because he is the next president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Bola Tinubu with his inordinate ambitions, campaigns and formation is no match in any way. Bola Tinubu is a baby weight compared to Atiku Abubakar. In all ramifications, politically, medically, mentally, socially even religiously.

“Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar in terms of political popularity, they are not on the same page. How can Tinubu be bigger than Atiku? How can a volkswagen be bigger than a 9/11? In terms of political experience, you cannot put Tinubu and Atiku on the same page. Atiku stepped down for MKO Abiola … Atiku Abubakar by virtue of being the VP of this country at the time have a political edge in terms of experience more than Bola Tinubu.”

Speaking further, Melaye said that Atiku is the only qualified candidate that better understands Nigeria’s lingering problems.

“In terms of connections, political power, in terms of knowing and understanding this country, including the problems of this country, you cannot put them on the same page. To govern Nigeria, you have to be mentally and physically fit, it is a constitutional requirement, it’s not possible for you to have an incapacitated president”, Melaye added.

Atiku, PDP Considering Two Governors As Vice Presidential Candidate

 The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for next year’s election, Atiku Abubakar, is considering choosing one of two South-South governors – Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State – as his running mate.

Party sources said Atiku began consultation with the leadership of the party shortly after he won the primary of the party held in Abuja Saturday night.

Atiku, in his previous outing as the candidate of the party at the 2019 election, picked former Anambra State governor, Peter Obi, as his running mate.

At the time, Mr Obi’s choice annoyed many party leaders, especially those from the South-East, who complained that he was a new entrant to the party and was neither familiar with leaders of the party in the region nor enjoyed their trust.

Mr Obi served two terms as governor on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). He retrieved his first electoral victory in court from the PDP, whose candidate, Chris Ngige, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the winner of the 2003 governorship election in Anambra.

To avoid ruffling feathers again with his vice presidential pick, party sources said Mr Abubakar is working closely with Iyorchia Ayu, a long-time ally, and other top leaders of the party on the nomination of his running mate.

According to our sources, the discussions so far have focused on Mr Okowa and Mr Emmanuel, but the Delta governor is said to be the favourite.

Delta State delegates to the PDP National Convention on Saturday voted for Atiku, ignoring the two aspirants from their region, Rivers State Governor Wike and Mr Emmanuel.

This choice was despite Mr Okowa hosting a meeting of southern governors in May 2021 in Asaba at which they demanded in a 12-point resolution that the two major parties pick their presidential aspirants from the south of Nigeria.

Although other key PDP leaders like former governor James Ibori were also believed to have determined the voting pattern of Delta State delegates, the party is giving the credit for the delegates backing Atiku to the governor who they said has been strategic in his management of the party in the state.

Another factor said to favour Mr Okowa in the consideration is his close linguistic and cultural affinity with the South-East, as the Igbo language is spoken in the governor’s senatorial district in Delta State.

Atiku courted Igbo affection in the last election but will be overlooking the area in his choice of running mate this time due to a number of reasons, party sources said.

The immediate reason is that the two governors of the party from the zone – Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu – led their delegates to vote for Mr Wike at the convention. Atiku was however able to pick votes from Imo and Anambra delegates. Ebonyi State’s delegates voted for former Senate, Anyim Pius Anyim.

Party leaders are also said to be concerned about the threat of the socio-political association, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, to disown any governor or politician who accepts nomination as a running mate for next year’s presidential poll.

Ohanaeze and other southern socio-political groups, such as Afenifere of the South-West and PANDEF of the South-South, have been vociferous in demanding that presidential power shift to the South after eight years of the Muhammadu Buhari presidency.

Mr Emmanuel, who was a candidate in the PDP presidential primary like Atiku and won the votes of the 31 delegates from his state and those of seven others from Benue, is said to be in contention for the nomination because the candidate and party leaders see him and Mr Okowa as possessing the characters of their ideal vice president. Although Mr Udom’s refusal to step down for a more viable candidate even when he knew that he had less than 50 delegates in his bag may count against him.

However, party leaders believe the two governors would be loyal to their principal, while also having the capacity to perform the constitutional and other roles that may be assigned to them.

Atiku has a few more days to consider his options before he and other parties submit lists of their candidates to INEC from June 9.

“But these are current permutations and we cannot say for sure who will make it into the ticket until the candidate make up his mind and we forward his name to INEC,” a party leader said.

The man Ifeanyi Okowa

Mr Okowa, 62, is a medical doctor born in Owa-Alero in Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State.He was the chairman of the local government council from1991–1993 and joined the PDP upon its formation in 1998.

He served as a commissioner in many ministries under the government of Mr Ibori between 1999 and 2007 when he resigned to contest for the PDP governorship ticket in 2007 but lost. In June 2007, Mr Okowa was appointed Secretary to the Delta State Government, a position he held until his election as senator for Delta North district in 2011.

He was elected governor in 2015 and reelected in 2019.

Udom Emmanuel

Mr Emmanuel, 55, is a chartered accountant and former bank executive, was born in Awa Iman in Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. He was an executive director in Zenith Bank before he joined politics.

He was appointed by then Governor Godswill Akpabio as the Secretary to the State Government in 2013 and was elected governor of the state in 2015.

Mr Emmanuel was reelected four years later in 2019 and will complete his second term next year.

Atiku Emerges PDP’s 2023 Presidential Flagbearer

 Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has been elected as the Peoples Democratic Party’s flagbearer for the 2023 presidential election.

It will be the 75-year-old’s sixth attempt for the nation’s top job.

He was also the PDP’s candidate in the last election in 2019, which he lost to President Muhammadu Buhari.

To win the PDP’s 2023 ticket, Atiku had to beat the likes of Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, Akwa Ibom Governor, Udom Emmanuel and former Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

Before voting commenced on Friday at the primary election in Abuja, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal stepped down for Atiku, a move that strengthened the Adamawa politician’s bid for the ticket.

Mr Atiku scored 371 votes. His closest challenger, Wike, polled 237 votes. Saraki pulled 70 votes.

Emmanuel (38), Mohammed (38), Anyim Pius Anyim (14), Mrs Tari Diana Oliver (1) and Sam Ohuabunwa (1) shared the remainder of the valid votes.

‘Sense of Belonging’

In his victory speech, Atiku commended the electoral process employed in the primary.

“Today we are making another history,” he said. “A history which we believe will bring about fundamental changes and also in our political processes.”

He reiterated that his campaign will be built on five fundamentals, including a pledge to unify the country.

“I pledge to unify this country,” he said. “That’s why I refer to myself as a unifier.

“The reason why I feel that unity is important is because APC has disunited Nigerians completely.

“I will work to restore unity and bring a sense of belonging to all Nigerians.”

Mr Atiku vowed to decisively deal with the country’s security challenges and confront its economic problems.

“The PDP made Nigeria one of the most prosperous countries in Africa,” he said. “We implemented economic reforms. The APC wiped out all those gains.”

He also called on his fellow contestants to work and cooperate with him.

Turkey President Erdoğan back down in NATO spat over Sweden and Finland NATO membership

 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will drop his objections to Finland and Sweden joining NATO once an enormous amount of pressure is put on him, said Henri J. Barkey, an adjunct senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“It is possible that the Europeans and the Americans would find some facesaving concessions that may not mean much but will satisfy him,” said Barkey, who is also the Cohen Professor of International Relations at Lehigh University.

Erdoğan, who has lost significant political support at home ahead of elections scheduled for next June, is in defensive mode and therefore will try to make the most of everything, Barkey said in an interview with journalist Nervana Mahmoud for Ahval’s Turkish Trends podcast series on Wednesday.

“The thing about the Turks is that they always ask for the maximalist conditions so they make it sound like they want heaven on earth, and hope that eventually they would get a little bit and they would turn around and call it a big victory,” he said.

Turkey blocked the start of NATO membership talks with Finland and Sweden on Wednesday citing their alleged failure to combat terrorism, saying the two Nordic countries provide shelter to members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group fighting for Kurdish autonomy on Turkish soil, and the religious Gülen Movement, which Turkey blames for a coup attempt in 2016.

Turkish officials say that Sweden and Finland have failed to agree to extradite dozens of the so-called terrorists over the past five years. The two countries should also drop an arms embargo on Turkey, Erdoğan says.

Sweden is a country of rule of law and there is absolutely no way that it would extradite a person to a country where anyone can be found guilty by a court on completely invented accusations, Barkey said.

Barkey pointed to an Istanbul court’s decision last month to jail philanthropist Osman Kavala for life for seeking to overthrow the government by financing the Gezi Park protests of 2013. The case was based completely on fictituous accusations, he said.

“So there’s no way on earth that Sweden will give up anybody,” Barkey said.

Erdoğan is in a very difficult situation at home and it is certainly not clear that his party is going to win the polls next year and he may even be defeated himself, Barkey said.

So “He’s using everything to show how tough he is against the West,” he said.

“I think at the end of the day the Turkish public will not vote for Erdoğan or against him on this issue. It’s mostly the economy. Economic conditions are what matters,” Barkey said.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) walks with officials including Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L) as he arrives for an extraordinary NATO summit at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on March 24, 2022. (Photo by Evan Vucci / POOL / AFP)

Don't Hold Crusade In Aba Because Of Rampaging Gunmen — IPOB Advises Deeper Life Church Overseer Kumuyi

 The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, on Thursday, urged Pastor Williams Kumuyi of Deeper Life Bible Church to cancel his scheduled crusade in Abia State.

IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, warned Kumuyi to stop the planned crusade due to the security in the Southeast.

Stressing that IPOB would not allow anyone to die, Powerful noted that any death incurred during the crusade would be blamed on the group.

Powerful said: “We the global movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by our great leader Mazi Nnamdi KANU wishes to advise Pastor Kumuyi of Deeper life Ministry to take note of the security situation in the South East as he comes to Aba for his gospel crusade.

”Let him and the organisers of the crusade make sure that nothing happens. The security of this region is not good because of political and criminal activities; therefore we advise him to stop this crusade for security reasons.

“IPOB will not allow anyone to die because of this crusade scheduled to hold in Aba. The operation of criminals operating as unknown gunmen infiltrating the events is high and they will blame it on IPOB.

“We ask him to pray for an end to the insecurity in Biafra land if he can. We charge Christians and men of God in Biafra land to engage God in fervent prayers to expose all those behind the insecurity in our land.

“Kumuyi should also pray against wicked Leaders and saboteurs in Biafra land and Nigeria. They are the real problems of the people. Let him use the opportunity to pray against the powers holding people captive in Nigeria in his church in Lagos.”

Amaechi Resigns As Nigeria Transportation Minister

 Frontline Presidential aspirant on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, on Monday, officially resigned his position in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari as the Minister of Transportation to focus on his aspiration to contest for the 2023 presidency.

In a press statement issued by the Amaechi Presidential Media Committee (APMC) signed by Kingsley Wali, in Abuja, Amaechi in his resignation letter expressed profound gratitude to the President for considering him fit to serve in his administration.

He equally thanked Buhari for the enormous support given him, which he said, was responsible for the tremendous record of achievements he made in the Ministry of Transportation over the last seven years.

The statement quoted Amaechi as saying in his resignation letter: “It is with mixed feelings that I tender my resignation as the Minister of Transportation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to contest for the Presidential ticket of our great party, the All Progressives Congress.

“Your Excellency, it has been a great honour and privilege serving as a member of your cabinet following your historic victory at the polls in 2015. Under your administration, the Ministry of Transportation has recorded significant achievements, made possible by your visionary support and commitment to ensuring that we deliver on our mandate.

“As I embark on the next phase of our mission to work towards a better Nigeria for ALL NIGERIANS, I humbly seek Your Excellency’s prayers, blessings and look towards your continuous support and guidance.

“Your Excellency, whilst humbly seeking your kind consideration of my request please accept the assurances of my highest esteem.”

Amaechi, the 56-year-old quintessential politician believed to be the most qualified among those aspiring to secure the ticket of the APC for the 2023 presidential election, is widely reckoned as the best performing minister in the Buhari’s cabinet. The kind of zeal and energy with which he carried on in his revolutionization of the transport sector was never seen in any previous Minister of Transportation in the country.

All the agencies under his direct supervision – Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), etc – have been remarkably transformed and repositioned for better performance and greater efficiency in their operations.

ECOWAS Leaders have lifted economic and financial sanctions imposed on Mali

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