Hopes that the first Briton to contract the deadly Ebola virus will make a full recovery have been raised after his father said he was doing “pretty well” and eating bacon butties.
Nurse Will Pooley, 29, is talking more and showing more interest in things around him, indicating that he may be over the worst.
“He’s a lot better than we thought he might have been … he seems to be pretty well actually,” said his father, Robin.
When President Goodluck Jonathan precipitously removed fuel subsidy, in January 2012, the country was wracked by protests, strikes and demonstrations. Prior to Jonathan’s miscalculation, most Nigerians had always argued that there was nothing like fuel subsidy. Rather, they asked the federal government to sufficiently and effectively man Nigeria’s porous borders and curtail the activities of smugglers who take the purportedly subsidized petroleum products across the borders for higher gains at the expense of the majority of Nigerians who queue endlessly at filling stations to buy the products at black market rates.
This is why the recent admission by the president that 60 per cent of subsidized petroleum products is smuggled out of the country by fraudulent marketers and their collaborators in government could be regarded as a rare moment of truth. The president, while speaking during the formal launch of the issuance process for the National Electronic Identity Card (e-ID Card) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja last week, was quoted to have said: “If you take the issue of subsidy of transport, what we do is subsidizing hydrocarbon (and) it does not go to the ordinary people. Government spends huge sums of money, hundreds of billions of naira every year in the budget; ask the National Assembly. Sometimes it is controversial subsidizing kerosene, yet it’s going very high in the market; subsidizing PMS (petrol) and so on. We are thinking, how do we subsidize transport of the person going to school, the person going to the market, the person moving from Lagos to Enugu, or Lagos to Kano. Not paying subsidy that 60 per cent of that will be smuggled out of the country. And those who make the money will come and use that money to induce the people suffering to even riot against government.”
I ordinarily would not have responded to Tom Ikimi’s lengthy chronicle of falsehoods, cheap blackmail and abuse. My only reason for this response is that I know Tom Ikimi’s style. He subscribes to the view that no matter how unbelievable a lie may sound if you brazenly assert it and repeat it often enough you may persuade many that it is in fact true. I have seen Ikimi perpetrate this deviousness in his years in public life.
1. Regarding Ikimi’s bid for the Chairmanship of the Party. It was clear to practically everyone who had the interest of the party at heart that we simply could not have a man of Tom Ikimi’s antecedents as Chair of the party. As chairman of the NRC, one of the only two political parties in the country under the military transition programme, Tom Ikimi not only connived with the then military regime to annul the elections, terminate the democratic process and sell off his party. He became Abacha’s foreign minister, convincing the world that heinous state murders like the hanging of Ken Saro Wiwa were just acts! If Ikimi were the Chair of APC the party would have to sleep with both eyes open lest its chairman sell off the party before day break .No matter what anyone may say about me it is unlikely that I can be accused of supporting incompetent or morally light-weight individuals for important political positions. My philosophy is to put the best forward, men and women of competence and integrity, who can stand up to us politicians to challenge us and say no when necessary. Such people are not noisy or able to gain attention by being loud, I believe my role is to do all I can to project them. Who in their right mind would compare the highly principled Chief Bisi Akande, or Chief Oyegun with a Tom Ikimi? Either of these two men are known for their no-nonsense styles, not once in their careers would you hear that they betrayed a cause or were anybody’s stooge.
•President and other top government officials must distinguish private and public trips
We cannot but wonder why public officials in Nigeria have failed to realise the demarcation between public and private endeavours. As if the nation is one big jungle without rules and regulations on rights and privileges of office, top government officials have deliberately snubbed the need to distinguish between the two. One recent incident reignited our concerns in this regard. And that was President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s recent officially designated ‘private visit’ abroad.
The news went viral that the president was seriously ill and flown abroad, precisely to Germany for medical treatment. In what has become an embarrassing routine of official denials of the state of health of government officials, and especially that of the president and governors usually shrewd in secrecy, Reuben Abati, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity expectedly denied the widely reported purpose of the trip. Abati’s reported elucidation: ‘Before leaving Nigeria, I issued a statement that the President will be embarking on a private visit to Germany with a few of his aides. The President is hale and hearty. In fact, he is treating files in his hotel room. Are these not enough proofs that Mr. President is not sick as they want Nigerians to believe?’
Constitutional provision becomes political tool
One of the least-attractive features of Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in May 1999 is the repeated refusal of politicians to play the game by its established rules. The most egregious manifestation of this tendency is the use to which the constitutional provision of impeachment has been put. Instead of being utilised as a last resort to be employed when all other options have been tried and failed, impeachment has become a crude weapon for the achievement of crassly partisan political ends.
The recent impeachment of the Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi, must rank among the most gratuitous examples of this grossly-misused constitutional provision. The speed of the process, its glaring lac k of transparency, and the sheer ludicrousness of the charges against him all combine to show that getting rid of a perceived nuisance was the real aim, rather than serving the interests of due process and fair play.
…As Lamido, Jigawa PDP reject PDP’s endorsement
Indications that Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State will after all slug it out with President Goodluck Jonathan, at the primaries, for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), presidential ticket, further emerged yesterday, following an open rejection of Jonathan’s endorsement by the party in the North-West zone.The party held its zonal stakeholders’ meeting in Kaduna at the weekend, where they endorsed Jonathan for next year’s election, as part of the resolutions reached at the parley.Although, Lamido was not in Kaduna for the meeting, he was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Ahmed Mahmoud. Daily Sun, however, gathered that once the resolution pertaining to the endorsement, which was the last item on the list of 25 resolutions came up, the meeting was disrupted, as the hall became “a noisy arena with party faithful opposing it,” insisting that the decision was not unanimous.
In order to further press home their opposition to Jonathan’s approval, Governor Lamido yesterday again said the endorsement as the party’s 2015 presidential flagbearer was “undemocratic and totally wrong.”
The Emir, Muhammed Timta, escaped after the militants invaded Gwoza on August 16 and took over his palace.
He arrived in Abuja after first making his way to Maiduguri to escape further attempts on his life. His father, Idrissa Timta, had died in a Boko Haram ambush on May 30, 2014 as Boko Haram ambushed his convoy on his way to the burial of the Emir of Gombe.
The hostility between Pastors Chris and Anita Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy Church is getting messier, as it has emerged that Christ Embassy has deleted her pictures and personal information from its official website.
Those in the know described the action as the beginning of a process to shut her out of the church, after she accused her husband of “adultery” and “unreasonable behaviour” in the divorce suit filed in London last April but only made public on Friday.
According to The Streamng, Christ Embassy’s new website now shows only Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, with a broad smile welcoming his followers to the month of September and tagging it, “Month of Praise”.
In the message on the website, Oyakhilome also urged his followers to “rejoice for the joy of the Lord is your strength”.
SaharaReporters Interview: Australian Negotiator Insists Modu Sherriff, Ihejirika Sponsor Boko Haram, Exonerates Buhari, El-Rufai.
Stephen Davis, an Australian hostage negotiator who spent some time in Nigeria trying to secure the release of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram militants in Chibok, Borno State, told SaharaReporters that he stands by his widely reported allegations that former Governor Modu Sherriff of Borno State and a former Chief of Army staff, General Azubuike Ihejirika (ret.), were among the top sponsors of the Islamist insurgents who have massacred thousands of Nigerians and foreigners and made the northeast part of Nigeria a highly militarized zone.
In an extensive telephone interview with SaharaReporters yesterday, Dr. Davis also accused an unnamed senior official of the Central Bank of Nigeria as well as a man based in Cairo, Egypt whom he claimed operates as Boko Haram’s bagman. He said both men, in addition to Mr. Sheriff and former General Ihejirika, were major players in the funding and continued existence of the deadly Islamist sect.
The Federal Government has disclosed that more Nigerians are likely to test positive to the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, following the confirmation of fresh cases of the disease in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, even as the Lagos State Government says it is in control of the outbreak in Lagos.
“It is expected that a few more contacts will develop the EVD, especially in Rivers State before Nigeria will see the last case of EVD. While it is encouraging that so far, all confirmed cases of EVD in Nigeria have their roots in the index case, Mr. Patrick Sawyer, great vigilance is required particularly at our ports of entry to ensure we do not have cases of EVD from other sources other than Mr. Sawyer,” he remarked.Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, who spoke in Abuja yesterday during the 2nd Emergency National Council on Health Meeting on the outbreak of EVD in the country, said the last may not have been heard about the EVD outbreak as contacts currently under surveillance may come down with the disease.
first saw Ms Ogar on London’s BEN Television about a couple of years ago. I can no longer remember what it was she was pushing on BEN then, but I remember that it was a phone-in show.
In my view, on that occasion, Ms Ogar did quite well speaking for the Department of State Security (DSS) and for Nigerian security agencies in general. Oh, she veered off into non-answer and banalities once or twice – especially when asked tough or searching questions – and tried to pass those off as responses, but callers to the programme wouldn’t let her. Her feet were held to the fire with robust questioning and counter arguments – you know, the type that Bishop Mathew Kukah absolutely loathes.
But, overall, Ms Ogar acquitted herself very well and I went away thinking here was a lady who knew her job. However, it is a whole different Marilyn Ogar that I see on Nigerian TV stations these days: overbearing, patronising, impatient, condescending, pushy and intolerant – the quintessential overzealous civil servant who ignores the demarcation between the state and a political party. The Marilyn Ogar I see now is full of hubris, has the penchant to sermonise, and talks down to people. She also seems to regard anyone who has a contrary view an enemy of the state.
An intensive lobbying is presently going on in the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), a paramilitary agency of the Ministry of Interior, to persuade the authorities to turn a blind eye to the report of two committees, which recently verified the certificates of the NIS staff.
The NIS and Ministry of Interior had not long ago set up different panels to investigate charges of certificate and age falsification levied against some senior officers.
Comptroller General of Immigration Service (CGIS), David Shikfu Paradang, had carried out the exercise in line with the tasks handed over to him during his swearing-in by President Goodluck Jonathan on June 12, 2013.
Jonathan had directed Paradang to flush out bad eggs, “viruses and all forms of bad characters in the service”.
Paradang was said to have begun the in-house cleaning exercise after the President’s charge to flush out majority of the officers said to have altered their dates of birth to beat early retirement.
In fact, about 60 per cent of the staff of the NIS was discovered to be working with fake certificates.
Not only this, many of them were also found to have falsified their ages.
IF Nigerians needed proof that the import duty racket was alive and well, the latest report showing the Federal Government as granting N25.8 billion in waivers over a five-month period this year should be proof enough. Indeed, if it seems any consolation that this may not come close to the preceding three-year (2011-13) an average of N478 billion yearly, the return appearance of some companies on the beneficiaries’ list would seem a measure of how very little has changed in terms of the attitudes which underlie the administration of the waiver regime.
Obviously, old habits die hard. For, how else can one explain the case of Globe Motors said to have got a waiver of N991 million for the import of the 290 cars used for the World Economic Forum in Africa? In 2012, it was Coscharis Motors securing the same largesse for the 200 exotic cars it supplied for the 7th African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) summit in Abuja.
A former member of the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye, has accused a former Aviation Minister, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, of making hasty comments on alleged Boko Haram sponsors.
The activist said Fani-Kayode’s accusation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with alleged connection with the sect was hasty, indecent and unconscionable.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja, Melaye said: “Mr. Fani-Kayode’s stout defence of an alleged Boko Haram sponsor, as identified by the Goodluck Jonathan administration-appointed negotiator, Stephen Davis, and his attempt to continue pointing fingers at my party, the APC, is hasty, indecent and unconscionable.
“The last time I checked, Mr. Fani-Kayode was not a duly-constituted independent commission of enquiry to investigate the allegations by the negotiator. One, therefore, wonders how he could so quickly exonerate any of those who were fingered by Dr. Davis purely on the basis of sheer sentiments as well as unbridled hatred for the APC.
Terrorist group ISIS is causing panic around the world. ISIS, which is the acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, is probably the first terror group to have territorial expansionist ambition, and it is so far succeeding in actualising it. It has taken over critical parts of Syria and Iraq already and heavy fighting is currently going on for the control of strategic facilities in these countries. This group is so ruthless, beastly and heartless that even al-Qaeda has declared that it does not want to have anything to do with it. They kill for the fun of it and actually enjoy doing so. They have wiped out small towns and villages and they are already causing disruptions in the geography of the Arab world. They hate everybody and everybody hates them; they are very happy about that, apparently.